• Board of Directors

     

  • Mark Warkentin
    President
    Linley Welwood, LLP
    604-850-6640

    Mark Warkentin is a founding partner of Linley Welwood, and served as Managing Partner of Linley Welwood and its predecessor firm for nine years. His areas of practice include real estate transactions, real estate development, business transactions, financing, corporate, and commercial law. He holds a B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Saskatchewan (1988), and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia Law School (1992).

    Mark has been involved for many years with the Canadian Bar Association, Abbotsford and District Bar Association, as a guest lecturer at Professional Legal Training Course, and as a presenter on legal topics at the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN).  From 2014-2017 he was the public appointee to the board of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia, where he chaired the Inquiry Committee and sat on the Finance Committee. In 2016 he was appointed to the Abbotsford Police Board and is a member of the policy committee.  Most recently, in March 2017 he was elected as President of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce for a two year term.

    He and his wife live in Abbotsford. They are the proud parents of two French immersion students, the oldest of whom is attending McGill University.

     

  • Sara Lawson
    Vice President 
    Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes 

    Sara has been in the funeral industry since 1997 when she began her apprenticeship with a small-town funeral home in Central Alberta.  She has been serving grieving families in Abbotsford since 2000 and is the manager of Henderson's Dignity Memorial Funeral Home.

    Sara also cares for the bereaved as a volunteer with Abbotsford Hospice Society.  She facilitates children grief groups at AHS with particular attention to helping families who struggle with how best to support their children through grief.

    Sara is  president of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford and a member of the Abbotsford Executive Association.

    Sara is passionate about supporting the growth and development of business in Abbotsford.  She is excited for the opportunity to work with the Chamber of Commerce to help Abbotsford continue to be a great community in which to live and work.

     

     


  • Ranjit Malay
    Treasurer
    KPMG

    Ranjit Malay is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Senior Tax Manager with KPMG in Abbotsford where he advises private companies and their shareholders on a broad range of business and taxation matters.  These include corporate reorganizations, business structures, estate planning, buy-sell agreements, employee/shareholder compensation and general tax minimization strategies.  He serves clients in a variety of industries, such as agriculture, manufacturing, property development/real estate and transportation.

     

     

     

  • Jason Dykstra
    Director
    Mt Lehman Cheese Company

    Jason Grew up in Abbotsford on a local Goat Dairy farm and enjoyed attending 4H as a young person.  Life on the farm carried to life as a Dairy Processor and Jason has been making handmade artisan cheese since 2003.

    In 2013 Jason Decided to start an new adventure so together with his wife Dawn, founded Mt Lehman Cheese Co. and now makes local goat and water buffalo cheese.

    In addition to being a cheesemaker Jason is also a father of two, and serves as Vice President on our local Strata council, as well as head audio technician for the worship committee at his local church.

    Jason has also served as a board member for Fraser Valley College and Careers and volunteered for 10 years as a youth leader at Living Hope CRC.

     

     

  • Melinda Friesen
    Director
    Clearbrook Grain & Milling

    Melinda Friesen is the General Manager of Nature's Pride Nutrition, a local vitamin premix business, and in addition, the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Friesen Group of Companies, which includes the companies' main poultry and livestock feed milling operation, Clearbrook Grain & Milling.  Born and raised in Abbotsford, Melinda attended MEI for her high school education.  After high school graduation and a brief traveling hiatus, she returned and began her  career in studies at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).  At the same time she also accepted a position to perform part-time receptionist duties at Clearbrook Grain & Milling.  After one ear, the growth and demands of the companies personnel needs encouraged her to take on full-time hours and expand her role.  She continued at UFV as a part-time student until 2006, when she graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing major, while earning a spot on the Dean's list of distinguished students.  She was selected as the valedictorian to present the graduation address for the class of 2006.

    Over the past 20 years, the benefits of her education, professional development and being involved in a family-owned and operated business have enabled her to pursue a variety of positions within the companies, such as sales, accounts receivable, human resources, events coordinator and marketing.  Adventure seeking, travel lover, farm girl at heart and driven by opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally, she is honoured to have the opportunity to be a part of the Directors team with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. 

     

     

  • Chris Gauthier
    Director
    Memento Mori Studios Inc.

     

    Chris is the President & Studio Director of Memento Mori Studios Inc., a Professional tattoo, piercing, body jewelry, laser removal & retail studio in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

    Chris is a graduate of Robert Bateman Secondary & although he completed the first year of the UFV Fashion Design Program he ultimately decided to pursue his passion for being a musician.  He realized a talent for business through promoting and managing his band which enjoyed moderate success.  In his early twenties he took a position as a retail store manager for a large cellular communications company and over the next 10 years worked his way up through the corporation, winning ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2009.  In 2011, along with his wife and two partners, he utilized the skills he had developed to open his own business and has enjoyed rapid growth and success over the past 6 years, now employing 15 people.  As a local business owner Chris has organized many successful fundraising events including the annual Anchor August event where his studio does anchor tattoos and raises an average of $3000 for the Abbotsford Food Bank in just one day.  He’s also organized and event called ‘Pink in the Rink’

    where his studio did pink ribbon tattoos live during an Abbotsford Heat game at the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Awareness.  Chris loves his community and with his friend, Brian Neufeld, they created a movement known as ‘Abbotsford over Everything’ which works hard to assist in any way required such as organizing volunteers for a monthly Food Bank Warehouse organizing event.

    As an animal lover Chris also works closely with an organization called ‘Rescue a Boxer’ that finds forever homes for Boxer dogs from shelters in the US.  He and his wife adopt senior boxers and ensure they enjoy a comfortable retirement.

    Chris’s family relocated from Montreal to Abbotsford when he was six years old, in 2005 he married the love of his life and together they’ve been proud Abbotsford home owners since 2008.  Chris is eager to further his devotion to both the people and businesses of his community by committing to a position with the Chamber of Commerce.

     


  • Stu McIntosh
    Director
    Cascade Aerospace

    Stu is the Vice President of Programs, Quality and Continuous Improvement for Cascade Aerospace.  In this role, he is responsible for the consolidated delivery of services to Cascade's broad customer base.  His focus is on developing individual and team performance throughout the organization by fostering sound leadership, accountability and focused customer engagement at all levels.

    Prior to joining Cascade, Stu served for twenty-one years as an Aerospace Engineering Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, followed by 5 years with Bombardier Aerospace.  He returned to Abbotsford in 2011 because it is, and always has always been, home.  He is committed to seeing the community flourish and stays involved.  Stu  has truly enjoyed being an active minor hockey coach with multiple teams and currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of the Abbotsford International Air Show.

    Stu holds a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee, a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Royal Roads and is a Flight Test Engineer graduate of the Empire Test Pilot's School.  More importantly, he is a proud 1985 graduate from Abby Senior.

     

     

  • Kathrin Matadeen
    Director
     
    TD Bank

    Kathrin Teichrieb-Matadeen is the District Vice President for TD Commercial Banking, managing the Abbotsford Commercial  Banking Center. She leads a team of business banking professionals in the Abbotsford community, who serve the unique needs of large and small local businesses by offering a broad range of customized products and services to help business owners meet their financial goals. Prior to joining TD Bank Group in 2001, Kathrin completed a BBA and MBA in Finance at SFU. 

     

     

  • Dave Miller
    Director
    Fix Auto

    Dave is the owner and CEO of eight Fix Auto Collision shops with three in the Fraser Valley as well as Vernon and Salmon Arm and two locations in Alberta.  Dave is also part owner of Super Self Storage in Abbotsford.  With  a serious entrepreneurial drive, he grew his business from humble beginnings - fixing cars in a chicken barn (complete with a paint booth) to the modern, state of the art, paint and auto body shops that he runs today.

    He credits his hard working team of quality technicians, and managers whom he has engaged to follow, using his bottom line principle that "customers be treated as they would want to be treated themselves".

    As a defending World Masters Water Ski Champion, Dave continues to make waves both in business and on the water.  He believes that the empowerment of his managers to make their own decisions based on his principles, allows him the flexibility to follow his passion (waterskiing) and still be dialed in to the successful operations of his body shops.

    Dave has called Abbotsford home for more than 40 years and is married to his lovely wife Jackie.  They have two grown children. 

     

     

  • Kelly Railton
    Director
    The Reach Gallery Museum

    Kelly is Community Cultural Programmer for The Reach Gallery Museum. 

    Kelly is an outgoing, creative and forward thinking professional skilled in the engagement of private and public stakeholders and the development of community partnerships and initiatives.   She has spent her entire professional career in the not for profit sector.  Before coming to the Museum she enjoyed 12 years with the Abbotsford Hospice Society, six of these as Director of Operations.

    On the home front, she has been married to her high school sweetheart for 35 years and has delighted in her most important role in life - that of raising three sons now aged 29, 25 and 21.   Kelly is a proud new Nana, a lifelong volunteer and an active member of her community.  She enjoys all outdoor activities including a daily walk with her four legged “kids”.

  • Kal Sidhu
    Director

    FirstPage Marketing Inc.

    Kal has over 15 years of experience as an account manager in the internet marketing, newspaper, direct mail, and radio industries. He enjoys being a part of the local business community, along the way meeting with clients and building relationships that are mutually beneficial. 

    Kal has lived, worked and played in Abbotsford for over 30 years and truly loves being a part of the community.  He attended Abbotsford Senior Secondary School and graduated in 1993 (Go Panthers!). 

    Kal is married and has 4 children.  He serves in many volunteer roles in Abbotsford and likes to help wherever he can. Kal is currently serving on the Board of Directors at The Abbotsford Community Foundation and Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts Society.

     

     

  • Craig Toews
    Director
    University of the Fraser Valley

    Craig Toews is the Executive Director, Campus Planning & Resource Development at the University of the Fraser Valley, responsible for the planning and development of the University’s campuses and centres with a lead role in community liaison, partnerships, and resource development for the purpose of revenue generation.

    Toew’s portfolio encompasses leading and supporting the sustainable development of UFV’s campuses, giving oversight to ancillary services and all major capital projects and property development.  Toews serves on numerous committees including the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) Board, Mission Economic Development Committee and many other external committees and working groups that focus on the social, cultural and economic development of the Fraser Valley.

    With over 27 years at UFV, his collaborative leadership style has demonstrated his commitment to students, integrity and team work.  A Computer Science background first brought him to UFV’s IT department where he led the implementation of computer and network infrastructure during the technology boom.  After graduating with a post-graduate diploma in Management, he accepted a leadership role in Campus Planning and the opportunity to spearhead UFV’s largest capital expansion to-date.  The $45 million new facility at the Canada Education Park (CEP) in Chilliwack won an international architecture award and the recently completed $17 million Student Union Building on the Abbotsford campus received a gold award from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association. 

  • Kristin van Vloten
    Director
    Salvo Communications

    Kristin van Vloten is a ghostwriter, copywriter, and best-selling author. She founded Salvo Communications in 2014 to offer writing support to thought leaders who need to translate their vital insights into powerful content, including non-fiction books.

    She cut her teeth in the nonprofit world as a blogger, event director, documentary facilitator, and executive assistant to the International President of HOPE International Development Agency. During her time with HOPE, she played a key role in multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns