Karen St. Aubin, President
With over 15 years working as an event management team-of-one in her various roles in the non-profit world, Karen manages all aspects of event production from concept to planning and execution, through promotion and marketing to post-event analysis. Her event experience runs the gamut from corporate meetings, charity fundraising events and gala dinners to international conferences and the largest Chamber Music Festival in the world…and plenty in between. Karen is currently the Director of Membership for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC.
Karen’s exposure to and experience in event planning began as a young child surrounded by the protocol and pageantry of the military while living in Canada and Europe, and a teaser of time in the Middle East. She loves a properly set table and happily admits that her favourite reference book is Emily Post’s Etiquette.
Alex Bickers, Immediate Past President
He is currently the General Manager for SW Audio-Visual and Showtime Event & Display.
Gemma Scott, VP Finance
Gemma is the Operations Director of Go2 Productions, a leading edge Vancouver-based creative company, specializing in producing immersive experiences, projection mapping and moving art. She believes strongly in change and innovation and with this vision, the team at Go2 pushes the limits of digital art and technology to transform physical spaces into magical events that thrill and inspire.
Gemma’s love of creating inspiring events also lead her to be a licensee and producer of TEDxEastVan, an event dedicated to discovering, sharing and celebrating great ideas and extraordinary people.
Courtney Westwood, VP Communications
Courtney Westwood is a dedicated event professional with over 13 years experience. Always looking to ‘raise the bar,’ she quickly climbed the seniority ranks in municipal recreation where she started out as a skating instructor. She ended up taking on a variety of jobs within the venue including event and recreation program marketing, event set-ups and strikes, being an event supervisor and, towards the end of her 13-year career on Vancouver Island, was responsible for creating and implementing the facility’s overall marketing strategies as well as coordinated and supervised events and event staff.
Currently, Courtney is the Special Events Coordinator at the City of White Rock. Did you know she is ILEA Vancouver’s first student member to turn in to a full member, a Director and now VP?
Jennifer Harper-Uncao, VP Sponsorship
With over 18 years of event management experience, Jennifer Harper Uncao specializes in event management, executing over 50 signature gala; weddings and mass participation events across BC. Since 2005, Jennifer has worked with the BC Cancer Foundation as their Senior Director of Special Events and has been dedicated to delivering first class flawless events and prides herself on relationship building and scaling up organizations through innovation. Under Jennifer’s leadership, the BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala raising over $22 Million over the past 11 years supporting breakthrough research at the BC Cancer Agency.
As of June 2016, Jennifer started Elevate Strategies, a company specializing in transforming and elevating events and fundraising initiatives through innovation and leadership development.
- The 2015 Inspiration Gala raised an incredible $5 Million and was name largest cancer fundraiser in Canada.
- In 2012 Inspiration Gala won “Best Fund Raising Event” in Canada at the Canadian Event Industry Awards. The BC Cancer Foundation is the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province.
Rob Porter, VP Membership
Shannon Boudreau, VP Programs & Education
At the Lazy Gourmet, Shannon oversees the sales team and executes hundreds of events a year, ranging from 6 to 15,000 people. She loves being part of some of the most interesting events in the city, with a team of passionate, creative people. (She also loves getting paid to eat really good food.) Shannon has an inimitable sense of humour – you can see her witty yet educational segments on CTV Morning Live and Noon hour. In her spare time, she loves wine, golfing, theatre and travel and spending time with her cat, Robert Deniro 🙂
Dana Arsenault, Director at Large
Dana hails from Winnipeg originally and moved west to pursue a career in Event Management. Upon completion of her Event Management diploma, she finished an internship and contract position, both in Conferences. Next, she moved on to planning credit courses for water and wastewater operators all across this beautiful province. While honing in on her time management and organizational skills, she found it difficult to have passion for her position, she then moved on to the BC Cancer Foundation where she has remained since 2013. Dana has had the opportunity to manage front end logistics, volunteers, and social media for the mass participation event – Workout to Conquer Cancer, and managed the auction and guest list for the inaugural Hope Couture Fashion Show and Luncheon which raised $1.54 million in 2014. She is now the Development Officer for Signature Events (the fancy events), supporting both Hope Couture and the award winning Inspiration Gala, which raised $5 million in 2014. She manages the Silent Auctions, entertainment logistics, guest lists and ticket sales, and builds relationships with committee members all while bringing innovation to both events by keeping up with education in the Special Events industry. Her passion is found in building relationships and assisting others in growing professionally, she has been called the ‘Auction Queen’ at times, and she is thrilled to sit on the ILEA Vancouver board for the third year in a row!
Shayla Gabriel, Director at Large
Inspired by her childhood full of attending Pow-Wows and family gatherings, Shayla Gabriel moved to Vancouver to study Event Management at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Since then, she has grown to appreciate the art and logistics behind putting together events of any size.
Shayla is currently the Operations Coordinator at Chair Décor Etc, Canada’s largest supplier of specialty linens and chair covers with fully stocked warehouses in both Vancouver and Toronto. Her outstanding attention to detail and organizational skills help her excel in her position within the company.
She is beyond excited to bring her passion and knowledge to the ILEA Vancouver Board this year.
Jan Cabalu, Director at Large
Jan has over 8 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Live Events Industry. With his strong passion for creating memorable customer experiences, Jan has brought his strong leadership focus and background in hospitality to our Leadership Team.
Jan currently works as an Account Manager with FMAV, Canada’s largest independent Audio Visual company. He is accountable for managing a portfolio of new and existing clients and ensuring the delivery of FMAV’s services.
As a Director of Programs and Sponsorship and a first-year member of ILEA Vancouver, Jan is excited to be a part of this year’s board and to assist with elevating the chapter to new heights.
Buket Donnelly, Director at Large
Buket has a bachelors degree and 15 years experience in commercial banking. She immigrated from Turkey in 2010. While she was working at RBC, she volunteered organizing festivals, picnics, balls and Receptions for The Turkish Charity. She opened her own business, Get2Gether Events, in 2014.
She is currently The President of European Festival and The CEO of Get2Gether Consulting Inc.