We are pleased to welcome FIVE new board members to the GVFB Board of Directors: Lisa Coltart, Jonathan Cote, Brahm Kornbluth, Ed Ratnarajah, and Robin Smith.
We look forward to having them provide their expertise and guidance as we continue providing healthy food to those in need.
Lisa is committed to helping mentor and develop the next generation of leaders. She is a strategic and thoughtful leader, a seasoned Board Director and a former senior executive. Lisa is currently on the Board of the Rick Hansen Foundation. She has served as the Chair of the Board of the YWCA-Metro Vancouver and Chair of the Finance Committees of the Canadian Sport Institute-Pacific and the Vancouver Community College Boards. Lisa was formerly the CFO and then the SVP of Enterprise Services at Vancity. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Powersmart and Customer Care for BC Hydro. Lisa has earned the CPA.CA and ICD.D designations as well as a BBA from Simon Fraser University.
Lisa’s current area of focus is using her governance, financial and business expertise to support not-for-profit organizations that are serving the needs of the community. She has long been interested in health and nutrition and is committed to leveraging her broad experience to help advance providing healthy food to those in need.
Jonathan Coté is a passionate urbanist who has dedicated his career to building better cities. Jonathan has recently finished serving two terms as the mayor of New Westminster and has spent the past 17 years in local government. In his role as mayor, Jonathan has served as the Chair of the Mayor’s Council for regional transportation and was the Chair of Regional Planning in Metro Vancouver. Jonathan also has extensive board experience serving on the Translink Board of Directors and Chairing the New Westminster Police Board. Prior to being elected, Jonathan completed his Master’s Degree in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University. Jonathan’s work in local government has focused on some of the most challenging social issues facing our communities and he is looking forward to joining the board at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to help tackle food security issues in our region.
Brahm is the Vice President and General Manager of Hudson Bay’s flagship Vancouver Downtown store, leading a large team of associates and managers focused on service and sales and serving our community. Prior to his dozen years with Hudson’s Bay, he held leadership positions with Holt Renfrew, Smtihbooks / Chapters, and John Fluevog Shoes. Brahm studied history at McGill University and journalism at Concordia University (both in his home city of Montreal). He now resides in Delta with his husband and their dogs.
Prior to joining the GVFB board, Brahm served on non-profit boards for the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Edmonton Humane Society. He is excited and honoured to serve on the GVFB board, in support of providing healthy food to those in need in our community.
Currently, Ed Ratnarajah is the Director of National Strategic Partnerships at LifeLabs. LifeLabs is a Canadian-owned company that has been serving the healthcare needs of Canadians for more than 50 years. Ed works closely with his colleagues and networks across Canada to create transformational solutions using new innovative technologies and platforms to prepare the company for its future needs and challenges. Ed’s expertise is in strategic and operational planning, public policy, project and change management and building capacity through partnerships.
Ed has worked in healthcare for 35 years. He holds a BSc in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and completed the leadership development program at the Centre for Creative Leadership focusing on human-centred, transformational leadership producing lasting change. He has served in various senior healthcare administrative roles in both the public and private sectors.
Ed is honoured to volunteer on the GVFB Board and is strongly committed to the Food Bank’s mission and vision of providing healthy food to those in need to create healthy communities through fair and effective food systems.
Robin has had an extensive career in the agriculture, food processing and seafood industries across Canada and internationally. Currently, he provides consulting services to governments and the food industry through his own firm, Foodwest Resources Ltd., which he has owned for 30 years. Past experience includes: CEO of the BC Dairy Foundation; Chair of BC Chicken Board; Chair/CEO of NuFood Pet Inc. and President of Protein Foods International, where he spent 11 years involved in the food business in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He also headed the national agri-food consulting practice of Price Waterhouse for four years.
Robin’s other board experience includes: 15 years on the board of the BC Food & Beverage Association (including chair), Alliance Freeze Dry and chair of CFP Marketing Corp. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Agriculture from the University of British Columbia specializing in food science and an MBA from Simon Fraser University.
Robin looks forward to contributing his knowledge of food systems and his many contacts in the industry to helping the GVFB achieve its mission of providing healthy food to those in need.