OUR STORY

Commissionaires nationally is a private, Canadian, not-for-profit company with 15 independent divisions encompassing 50+ offices and more than 20,000 employees. The British Columbia division was established in 1927 with the original mandate of creating meaningful employment for former military and RCMP members. Today, we have broadened that mandate to “give back to all those who serve and have served our community and country.” Commissionaires BC is comprised of a well-trained, diverse team over 1,150 strong servicing 110 communities across mainland BC. We provide the best solutions and highest quality of service in the industry.

OUR EXPANSION

Commissionaires was built with the core methodology to serve the Federal Government of Canada while mandated to provide meaningful employment to veterans. Throughout our history, we have safeguarded Federal infrastructures and provided customer service as Ambassadors to all those who utilize these facilities. Our marketplace and client portfolio over the past 88 years has changed tremendously. Our clients demand, now more than ever, flexibility, implementation of technology, customer service, and cutting edge training programs. Resulting from our organic growth with commercial contracts, our portfolio has shifted from 100% Federal contracts to 38% Federal and 62% Commercial. This expansion has provided Commissionaires the opportunity to change and adapt our service offerings to better serve our clients and deliver a relevance in the marketplace that is second to none.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Chris Mitchell - 1.12Chris Mitchell, MHS - Chief Executive Officer

Chris Mitchell spent his formative years growing up in West Africa, returning to Canada in 1998. From there, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces, Infantry Corps, and enrolled in the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), where he first completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Business Administration. He later went on to receive a certificate in Health Services Management, a Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management, and finally his Masters in Health Studies – Leadership. In 2010, Chris was awarded the Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation by the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL).

Chris’s strong leadership foundation was established throughout his infantry experience. He later transitioned into military healthcare administration where he lead non-clinical operations and emergency support for the military’s busiest medical clinic. In 2010, Chris transferred out of the military to a new role with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, where he lead a team that developed, administered, and evaluated chronic disease programming. In 2012, Chris moved to Revera Inc. as the Executive Director for the Capilano Care Centre, where he was responsible for leading a blended clinical and administrative management team in delivering exceptional care to residents. He later transitioned to the Provincial Director and was accountable for the strategic direction, performance and welfare of eight Revera long-term care homes in BC.

Chris recently served as a board member of the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA), and had the pleasure of working with a team that developed strategies aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of provincial health systems.

His diverse experience spreads over multiple provinces with government, non-profit, and private healthcare organizations, and has established him as an expert in people-leadership and Canadian business.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Joy Playford, CMC
Chair

Joy has been a member of the board since 2019.

Joy is an innovative leader with a passion for people, building community, developing organizational bench-strength and delivering exceptional results. Her interest in leadership started early, growing up in her family’s manufacturing business, where she learned firsthand the impact of entrepreneurs creating business success, developing opportunities for people and building strong communities.

Over a 30-year corporate leadership career, Joy effectively led change, turned around and grew business results, developed new service offerings and cultivated strategic partnerships. As a Vice President and General Manager with inter-provincial responsibilities, she effectively led strategy development, operations and performance execution across multiple business lines and locations. In private practice, Joy continues to support leaders and their success by providing Executive Coaching, Leadership Development and Team Facilitation support. Leaders particularly value her ability to both challenge and cultivate their growth in ways that inspires them to “up their game”, and find new ways forward. She co-created and facilitates the firm’s innovative Leadership Action Learning Forums.

Joy is a Certified Management Consultant. Her leadership development includes York Universities’ Executive Development Program, International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited Executive Coach training and Covey Leadership’s in-residence programs. Her community service includes founding membership in the Kelowna Women Leaders Network and service as a Director of the Women’s Enterprise Centre of BC. Joy supports the Playford Performance Group’s annual pro bono executive coaching in the not-for-profit sector. She has served as Chairperson for the Regional Development Council of the BC Cancer Foundation for the Southern Interior, Chapter Chair and Board Member of CMC BC.


Commander King Wan, CD
Vice Chair

King joined the Naval Reserve while attending UBC. Upon graduation from the Reserve Officers University Training Plan he continued with his naval service. As a MARS (seagoing) officer, he participated in many naval training and operational cruises. He served two separate tours as Executive Officer of HMCS DISCOVERY then as Commanding Officer from 2001-2005. He was then appointed to the VDS office as the Canadian Forces Liaison Council BC Regional Liaison Officer for the Pacific and the North regions.

Commander Wan served on the Executive Committee of the Naval Officers’ Association and was the president from 2010-2011. He was also active with the BC and Yukon St. John Ambulance Brigade; served as Deputy and then appointed as the Provincial Commissioner (2008-2011). He also served 4 years on the Board of Governors for the Pacific Marine Training Institute (PMTI – later BCIT Marine campus) eventually as the Board Vice-chair. King is a member of the Vancouver cadre of Honorary Aides-de-Camp to the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia and president of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum in Vancouver. He also sits on the Board of the Vancouver Canadian Club as a special advisor.

Commander Wan graduated in Business Administration from the University of British Columbia, is a member of the Certified Professional Accountants (CMA) of BC and a member of the Institute of Certified Internal Auditors (CIA). He also earned an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School.


Gary Bass, O.O.M, M.A. (Crim.)

Gary Bass spent over 39 years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at a variety of locations across Canada. He retired in May 2011 as the Deputy Commissioner for Canada West, which included the three northern territories, the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia. Prior to that, he was the Commanding Officer for “E” Division RCMP (BC) and Deputy Commissioner for Pacific Region, BC and the Yukon.

Before moving to senior management positions in the RCMP, Mr. Bass spent most of his career involved in major crimes, terrorism and organized crime investigations. Since retiring from the RCMP, he has been working at the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies at Simon Fraser University as a Senior Research Fellow with interests in policing and related criminal justice issues.

Mr. Bass is a member of the Board for the Canadian Centre on substance Abuse, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Vision Quest Recovery Society. He recently served on the Premier of British Columbia’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Crime Reduction, which recently made recommendations to the Premier on changes to the criminal justice system in British Columbia.

Mr. Bass has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2013.


Gigi Chen-Kuo, LL.B.

Gigi Chen-Kuo became a member of the Board in 2017.

Gigi Chen-Kuo currently serves as General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s public transportation authority. She is responsible for the organization’s Legal Services, Insurance, Claims, Privacy, Access to Information, and Records Management functions. As Corporate Secretary, she also provides governance support to TransLink’s Board of Directors, the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, and an independent Screening Panel mandated by legislation. She is Chair of the Board of TransLink Security Management, the TransLink subsidiary that employs Transit Police personnel.

Prior to joining TransLink in 1999, Gigi served as in-house legal counsel at BC Transit, a provincial Crown Corporation. She also worked in private practice in the areas of corporate/commercial and real estate law.

Gigi is a director of the Boys and Girls Club of South Coast BC, and chairs its Nominating and Governance Committee. She has participated in various conferences and courses as a speaker.


Lt Cdr (N) (Ret’d) Stuart Evans, MBA, CD, AScT, CMC

Stuart Evans has served on the Board since 2012.

Stuart’s high-tech career began in the mid-80s in the electronic security field. During the 1990s, he worked in manufacturing, service management and business management, predominantly in BC’s high-tech industry. In 1998, Stuart concentrated his focus on the power electronics industry for the automotive and military markets, primarily working in sales and business development. Stuart held positions ranging from Account Manager to Director in various businesses ranging from start-ups to global corporations. He runs a business management consultancy, specializing in sales & marketing strategy for the high tech industry. Stuart’s past volunteer work includes serving on the board for the BC Chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.

Stuart joined Canada’s Naval Reserve in 1991 and currently serves in HMCS Discovery as Executive Officer. He worked as an Intelligence Officer with Canada’s contingent in international exercises in Canada, as well as the USA, Chile and South Africa. Stuart received his MBA from Royal Roads University, a Diploma in Marketing and Sales Management from UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and a Diploma in Robotics Engineering from the BC Institute of Technology. He holds the designations Applied Science Technologist (AScT) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC).


Hugo David Madeira, CD, BBA
 

Dave has been a member of the Board since 2019.

Dave has been a member of the Board since 2019. Dave attended school in Toronto, and later moved to Vancouver to work as a Technology Support Officer with the Royal Bank of Canada and in computer support at Innotech-Execaire Vancouver. He earned his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

His 35-year career in the Royal Canadian Navy was with both the Naval Reserves and the Regular Force. Initially, he worked as a visual communications specialist and later commissioned from the ranks as a Maritime Surface Officer. He served as the Executive Officer of HMCS Discovery and as the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre. While in recruiting, he specialized in attractions and diversity, recruiting for women, visible minorities and aboriginal people.

Dave retired from the Canadian Armed Forces but remains active in the community serving on committees at the school and district levels. He is currently a PAC Chair at McRoberts Secondary School. He supports his local community centre as a Vice President and a member of its youth committee. He also chairs the committee of his leasehold complex of over 250 units.


Bill McKinnon

Bill joined the RCMP in 1975 and after completion of training, was posted to the “F” Division (Sask.) where he served for 26 years. Bill served in many communities during his time in Saskatchewan, at northern posts as well as a number of small farming communities and First Nation Reserves. His duties included traffic control, GIS, NCIS and Drug Units.

Bill moved into administrative positions serving in the Staffing & Personnel Section and then moved into Internal Investigations serving as the NCO I/C of the unit for the Division.

He was commissioned to the rank of Inspector in 2001 and became the Operations Officer at Kelowna Detachment in charge of all support sections. He was then promoted to Superintendent in May 2004 and became the Officer in Charge of Kelowna Detachment, the 3rd largest RCMP Detachment in BC. He remained in this position until his retirement in July 2013.

After retirement from the RCMP, Bill took a position as a Security Manager at the Kearl Oil site in northern Alberta where he worked for 18 months.

In addition to his normal duties he also served as President of BC Chiefs of Police, President of Cops for Kids, Board member of provincial CFSEU and speaker at the RCMP Jr. Officer course on Performance.

Bill is the recipient of a number of awards: RCMP Long Service Medal (Gold Clasp), RCMP Commissioner Commendation Outstanding Service British Columbia Meritorious Service Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.


Scott Robertson, CPA, CA

Scott Robertson became a member of the Board in 2019.

Scott is a Tax Partner at Deloitte and the BC Leader for the Global Investment & Innovation Incentives Practice. Working with a multidisciplinary team, he assists businesses access government incentives and tax credits that support innovation and business growth. Scott provides strategic advice on industry-specific grants, incentives, Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) and other tax credits. Scott provides consultative guidance and advice to companies across B.C., helping them understand the requirements of their marketplace, build relationships with suppliers and customers, navigate the challenges of the regulatory frameworks under which they operate, and providing them access to the audit, tax, financial advisory, risk management and consulting resources they require to be successful.

Scott Robertson is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Business Administration, Honours Accounting.


Capt. Philip Walters, CD, P.Eng, MBA, LL.B., Cert Conres

Phil Walters brings a variety of skills and experience to the Board. He is a mediator with a background in the manufacturing and construction industries. As well, he instructs in the School of Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Phil served for 36 years as a Reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces as a Combat Engineer Officer, primarily at 2nd Field Engineer Regiment in Toronto, and later at 39 Service Battalion in Richmond, BC. He also served as a Staff Officer in 32 Brigade Headquarters and later as a Course Commander in its Battle School. After his retirement, Phil has continued to be active in support of 39 Service Battalion as a coach and mentor.

Phil is a member of the Bar of British Columbia and is registered as a Professional Engineer (Industrial). He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada (B.Eng.), McMaster University (MBA), Institute for International Studies & Training (Japan), Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B), and the Justice Institute of BC (Certificate in Conflict Resolution). As a former Vice President of Comstock Canada, a large scale industrial and commercial construction contractor, he fulfilled varying leadership roles in operations, engineering, business development, HR, contracts, and corporate and legal services.


Major (Ret’d) Konrad Mech, CD, P.Eng., PMP, BEng, BA, MBA

Konrad Mech started his military career in 758 Argus Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets. He received his Glider and Private Pilot Licenses via the Cadets. He attended Royal Roads Military College from 1978 to 1980 and Royal Military College of Canada from 1980 to 1982 as a Reserve Entry Cadet. Commissioned as an Artillery Officer, Konrad served in the Active Reserves with 7 Toronto Regiment from 1982 to 1991 and 2 Field Regiment RCA from 1991 to 1994. After moving to British Columbia, he continued to serve on callouts with the Supplementary Ready Reserve, planning for Federal Disaster Response support to the Province of BC. He spent New Year’s Eve 1999 in uniform as DND’s representative to the City of Vancouver at the Emergency Operations Centre for the Y2K roll-over.

Konrad is a Registered Professional Engineer in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia and a Project Management Professional certified by the Project Management Institute. In addition to Bachelor of Engineering from RMC, he holds a BA with a major in Commerce from the University of Toronto, Master of Business Administration with Distinction from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France, and Master’s Certificate in Sales Leadership from Schulich School of Business, York University. He currently serves as Director, Sensors and Robotics Channel Management with Kongsberg Maritime AS, a world leader in acoustic technology for numerous subsea applications. He is fluent in French and speaks functional business Spanish. He has travelled extensively around the world on business, including Antarctica for a project with the Brazilian Navy. He holds his Black Belt in Taekwan-Do. He is a Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance Level II Ski Instructor and recently taught skiing part time at Grouse Mountain Resorts.

Konrad’s board experience is as board member, Canadian Ski Patrol System Vancouver Zone, Chair – Fundraising for the Royal Military College of Canada Foundation, President of the North Vancouver Electoral District Association and a past board member of BC Commissionaires.


Lindsay Sill

Lindsay Sill is an Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the information/digital technology and services industry. She is skilled in Strategic Partnerships, Management, Leadership, Team Leadership, and Project Management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Victoria.

Over the past decade she’s held various leadership roles at the Quantum Algorithms Institute and WestGrid / Compute Canada. Prior to that Lindsay worked as a Laboratory Manager in the Department of Medicine for the University of Calgary where she did research on gene therapy and immunology, which eventually led to a publication in Nature. As a member of the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) Working Group, Lindsay co-authored a position paper on the ARC needs in Canada, as requested by the federal government, through the Leadership Council on Digital Research Infrastructure. These efforts led to the 2018 federal budget announcement of $572.5M over five years to implement a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy.

Lindsay was also an Advisory Board member of the first international and Canadian chapter of the non-profit organization Women in HPC, which works to improve the gender balance in high performance computing. She serves as a National and Global Ambassador for the Universal Women’s Network, Vice-Chair of The Nest Foundation, on the CanShield Solutions Board of Directors, and is a member of the CIRA Nominations Committee.


Jas Parmar

Jas became a member of the Board in 2020.    

Jas currently serves as the Director, Total Compensation and HR Systems at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). She is responsible for providing strategic direction to the development and delivery of compensation and benefit programs, disability management, workplace accommodations, employee wellness programs, and HR systems operations and analytics. As a collaborative Human Resources leader, Jas has a passion for creating a culture of high engagement and performance by inspiring team members through coaching and development.

Prior to joining BCIT, Jas was the Director, People Services at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Early in her career, Jas managed English as a Second Language and skills training programs at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. Jas holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and English and an M.Ed. degree in Educational Leadership from Simon Fraser University. Jas also holds a Lean Greenbelt certification.