Alexia launched Alexia Jones HR/LR Consulting in 2019 where she develops partnerships and collaboration between managers, union representatives, employees and other stakeholders in order to strategize successful approaches to complex labour relations issues and implement creative solutions to workplace problems. Alexia has worked in HR/LR in both the public and private sectors for over 20 years.
Outside of work, Alexia is an avid fan of reading and in particular loves Canadian literature. The book club that Alexia belongs to is over 10 years strong and have often been heard to describe themselves as a wine club with a reading problem.
Interim Vice Chair
Shannon launched Taylor Made Business Solutions in 2009, a marketing consultancy practice where she helps clients build their brands and business. Prior to consulting, Shannon had a lengthy and distinguished career as a senior leader at TELUS.
Shannon holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria.
She is an active volunteer, book lover, traveller and enjoys competitive running and tennis – as long as it’s for fun.
Growing up in West Vancouver, Ramona’s family were tireless supporters of opera, dance, theatre, and of course, the Vancouver Writers Fest. Ramona turned to more analytical pursuits, graduating from UBC with a BSc. in Mathematics, and becoming an accountant.
She raised three sons and began her second career as a dedicated volunteer. Ramona joined the board at the Writers Fest in August 2016, and brings infectious enthusiasm for supporting the festival and a much-appreciated love of spreadsheets.
Holman Wang is a lawyer who also finds time to make children’s books. He and his brother, Jack, are the twin powers behind the board book series Cozy Classics and Star Wars Epic Yarns, which abridge literary and cinematic classics into just 12 words and 12 needle-felted images.
In 2015, they created a Google Doodle celebrating Laura Ingalls Wilder. Their unique artwork has been exhibited around the world, including at The Original Art exhibition in New York (Society of Illustrators), the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and the National Museum of Play.
Hurriya Burney is a full-time banker and a part-time blogger. As Vice President – Commercial Banking, at RBC, Hurriya, along with her team, is committed to supporting the growth of small and mid-sized local businesses. Outside of work, Hurriya enjoys mentoring early-career professionals and sharing insights on leadership, careers, and diversity on her blog on Medium.com. Hurriya holds an MBA in Finance from the University of British Columbia.
Kyla Epstein lives with her child on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples also known as Vancouver, BC.
As the Member Engagement Officer for the BCIT Faculty & Staff Association Kyla works to support people who are working every day for high-quality, applied, public post-secondary education.
Natascha Kiernan is an experienced independent director who currently serves on several public, private and non-profit boards. She is also the principal and founder of Bellevue Strategic Advisory, which advises clients on the negotiation and structuring of major corporate transactions.
Natascha previously practiced corporate law for approximately 15 years and held senior positions at several major international law firms in both New York and London. Prior to relocating to Vancouver with her family, she was a Counsel in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where she represented corporations, financial institutions and international governments in mergers and acquisitions, complex debt and equity financings and other strategic transactions.
Natascha holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Victoria, where she studied Creative Writing and English Literature. Despite pursuing a busy corporate career, she has always maintained her love of writing and literature and she is passionate about creating opportunities for those of all ages to engage with writers and the written word.
Harvey is the author of four books, including the #1 best-seller The Power of Giving: winner of the Nautilus Gold Award for books on social change and chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year.
He has produced a variety of award-winning documentaries from: The Black Sea in Crisis, to biographies of David Suzuki and William Shatner.
He runs a fundraising firm with dozens of clients across Canada and the USA. He reads widely, and all the time.
As an investment advisor and portfolio manager with Richardson GMP, Robert provides access to a comprehensive range of services to help build and protect wealth. Specializing in charitable giving strategies, he works with families, corporations and foundations to enhance their philanthropic legacy.
Robert is heavily involved with educating youth on the topics of financial literacy and fiscal responsibility. Through seminars, classroom presentations and mentorship opportunities, he looks to engage with students in classrooms and lecture halls around British Columbia.
Actively supporting local sports and charities, you can often find Robert at fundraisers and community events throughout the greater Vancouver area. Robert has a tendency towards reading non-fiction but occasionally dips into his wife’s library of classical literature and modern fiction. He proudly founded the Vancouver Club’s Literary Society.
Tracy has been a lover of books for as long as she can remember, happily reading anything and everything, and is thrilled to join the Vancouver Writer’s Fest Board. Her love of literature propelled her to complete her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, but as a realist, Tracy knew she did not have the creative chops it takes to actually write a novel, so she turned her mind towards business where she has worked at the executive level in Human Resources for the past twenty plus years.
Currently, Tracy is Vice-President, Human Resources for the McLean Group of Companies, leading and developing all HR strategy and initiatives for their diverse business portfolio including: Vancouver Film Studios, Blackcomb Helicopters, Signal Communications, Pacific Backlot Services, Blanca Realty, and Harbour Landing Construction. Prior to joining the McLean Group: worked as HR Director, Western Canada for Unisource, a publicly held Fortune 500 Company. Handled 1500 employees including unions across Western Canada, as well as highly involved in HR strategy within the U.S., and Mexico. Other previous work includes consulting and mentor leadership.
In addition to her B.A., Tracy holds an MBA from Royal Roads University, post-graduate Diploma in HR Management from BCIT, and a Chartered Professional Human Resources designation.
Amanda Ross is a longtime Contributing Editor of both Vancouver magazine and Western Living magazine, as well as former Contributing Editor of enRoute magazine and Avenue magazine.
As a veteran of the magazine world, she’s been Editor-in-Chief of various publication (Deckchair, HomeSpa) and continues to freelance for myriad publications including the Globe and Mail, Travel + Leisure, Relais & Chateaux, Chatelaine and BCBusiness. She’s a keen Jane Austen devotee thanks to a Masters in 19th-century British Literature, but she’s equally as passionate about travel and design.
Nisha is a lawyer at Maurice Law where she advocates for predominantly Indigenous clientele. Prior to joining Maurice Law, she practiced in the area of family law. Nisha obtained her law degree from the University of Alberta and her Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Simon Fraser University.
Nisha thoroughly enjoys volunteering. She is the treasurer of the Canadian Bar Association’s Aboriginal law section and sits on the Board of Directors of Feminist Association for Collaborative Education as their secretary.
Nisha loves literature, travel and photography.
Terry Whitehead is Managing Partner of Alexander Whitehead Executive Search, a Vancouver-based search firm, and also the founder of Elev8exec Coaching, an executive coaching firm also based in Vancouver.
Terry spent the early part of his career in arts administration, serving in senior fund development positions with the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver and Theatre Calgary. He is a graduate of the University of Lethbridge and recently founded and financed the Bridge Prize, a national short story competition open to post-secondary students that awards over $10,000 in prize money on a bi-annual basis. Terry also serves as a member of the UofL Board of Governors, and he is Chair of the Advancement Committee and serves on the Executive and Compensation committees. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and currently serves as Chair of the VIFF Advisory Council.