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 GOVERNORS

Oksana Exell, MPA
Chairwoman of the Board

Oksana Exell was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Western Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC) in October of 2014, assuming responsibility for advancing WESTAC’s role as the premier forum for transportation industry leaders in Western Canada concerned with the competitiveness of the western transportation system.

With a background in both private and public sectors, she served most recently as founding principal and Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and stakeholders in western transportation. During her five years at the Skills Table she created a regional partnership among business, labour and training institutions, focusing on labour market enhancement and innovation in transportation and community engagement, with the goal of facilitating the development of the Gateway and Corridor infrastructure.

Oksana received her BA from McGill University and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Victoria. Early in her career she served in a policy role with the Government of British Columbia. Subsequently she acted as an advocate for small business in Western Canada as regional Executive Director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

As her career progressed she was made vice-president, then president, of the British Columbia Trade Development Corporation, a Crown corporation. She also served as a commissioner in the Royal Commission inquiring into workers’ compensation in British Columbia, and as vice-president of Catamaran Ferries international, a subsidiary of B.C. Ferries.

While in the private sector she fulfilled the roles of CEO of the Vancouver-based corporation, Watertrax, an applications service provider, and COO of the geoscience corporation Terraprobe, Vancouver.

In addition to her role as President and CEO of WESTAC she is a member of the boards of the Technology, Education and Careers Council of B.C. (TECC), and the British Columbia Corps of Commissionaires.

She speaks English, French and Ukrainian.


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 next year on changes to the criminal justice system in British Columbia.

Mr. Bass has been a member of the Board of Governors for the Commissionaires 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(N) Stuart Evans, MBA, CD, AScT, CMC

Stuart Evans became a member of the Board in 2012 and in June 2014 was elected as Chair of the Board of Governors. Stuart has been Past Chair since 2017.

Stuart’s high-tech career began in the mid-80s in the electronic security field, initially with a Vancouver alarm company and later with a national alarm equipment distributor. 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, primarily working in sales and business development. Stuart has held positions ranging from Account Manager to Director in various businesses ranging from start-ups to global corporations. He is currently a business management consultant, specializing in sales & marketing strategy for the high tech industry. Stuart’s volunteer work includes serving on the board for the BC Chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and as a file reviewer for the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.

Stuart joined Canada’s Naval Reserve as a Boatswain in 1991. In 1994 he became a Naval Control of Shipping Officer and in 2005 he converted to Intelligence Officer. He served with Canada’s contingent in international exercises in Canada, as well as the USA, Chile and South Africa. His current appointment is Executive Officer in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Discovery.
Stuart received his MBA from Royal Roads University and he has a Diploma in Marketing and Sales Management from UBC’s Sauder School of Business. He received a Diploma in Engineering Technology from the BC Institute of Technology and holds the designations Applied Science Technologist (AScT) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC).


Ana Lopez, B.A (Hons), LL.B., CPHR

In her current role as Vice-President, Human Resources & People Development at BCIT, Ana provides leadership and strategic vision to a broad HR portfolio which includes recruitment, total rewards, learning and professional development, change leadership, labour relations, employment advisory services, organizational wellness, human resources information systems, privacy and safety, security and emergency management. She is focused on leading the team to provide outstanding client-focused services, innovative people development initiatives and transformational practices while building collaborative partnerships with all stakeholders.

Prior to her role at BCIT, Ana was the Vice-President, Human Resources at TransLink, responsible for developing, leading and implementing HR strategy for the TransLink group of companies. Ana also held other progressively senior positions at TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company in the areas of labour relations and human resources.

Prior to these roles, Ana practiced labour and employment law, having represented clients before the courts as well as arbitration boards and administrative tribunals including the Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal, and WorkSafeBC.

Ana holds a B.A Honours from Carlton University and an LL.B. cum laude from the University of Ottawa. She is an alumna of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and Chair of the Education & Human Resources Development Council of the Transportation Association of Canada. Ana previously served as a Board member for BCCC Enterprises Inc.


Hugo David Madeira, CD, BBA
 

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 level. 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.


Joy Playford, CMC

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.


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.