Board of Directors
Vancouver Island Mental Health Society is a charitable nonprofit community-based organization, led by professional staff and governed by a volunteer board of directors
Board of Directors
Board members are elected at VIMHS annual general meetings (usually held in June each year) and generally serve for two-year terms. The current board of directors includes the following members:
Arthur Burrows, Chair
Arthur Burrows is a registered psychologist, with a private practice in both Alberta and British Columbia.
In addition to his private practice, Dr. Burrows has experience working in a range of settings including hospitals, schools and community mental health.
His work has included large urban centers, rural settings as well as the near north.
Brock Williamson, Vice Chair
Brock Williamson is a commissioned land surveyor with a background in engineering surveys and computer applications. He has served on the board of variance for the Regional District of Nanaimo and was chairman for five years.
Bill Scott, Treasurer
Bill Scott is a retired certified public accountant (CPA) with experience providing accounting, tax and business advice to Vancouver Island businesses. Bill moved to Nanaimo in 1979 and over the years has participated in a range of non-profit organizations, including United Way, Nanaimo and District Home Support, the Rotary Club and The Port Theatre.
He’s married to Linda and they have a blended family of 4 children and 9 grandchildren.
Cheryl Yan, Secretary
Cheryl has been a practising pharmacist in British Columbia since 2012. She holds a PhD degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Since coming to Nanaimo in 2012, Cheryl has worked in community pharmacies and at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, serving a variety of community groups.
Cheryl is a strong advocate for community involvement and mental health in local groups and has been involved in the Hope program at The Meeting Place Church to support mental health patients and their families.
James Brennan has served on various boards of directors over the years. His career includes a management role with John Howard Society, counselor for an alcohol and drug program, and work with disability and legal assistance initiatives.
Sharon Hobenshield, Ha-Youly, PhD, is of mixed ancestry, Gitxsan First Nations on her mother’s side and German on her father’s. She has been working at Vancouver Island University since 2006 as the Director of Aboriginal Education and Engagement.
Sharon believes strongly in the spirit and resiliency of Indigenous people and promotes that Indigenous ways of knowing and being in this world, have to be built into service delivery across all sectors.
Gagan Minhas was born and raised in Calgary Alberta. She moved to Nanaimo in 2017 and is currently working at Community Living British Columbia.
Gagan has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Neuroscience and a Master’s degree in counselling. She has experience working with people with mental health challenges and other vulnerable populations and has worked in a variety of settings including schools, shelters, and private practice providing addictions and mental health support.
The work of the Board
The Vancouver Island Mental Health Society’s board of directors is a governance board, meaning that it is responsible for the broader directions of the organization, while the management and staff are responsible for the details of the organization’s work.
The Board meets regularly with senior management and once a year in a day-long themed workshop. Members of the Board also meet in smaller committees as required.
Above, Board members Lynne Fraser, Brock Williamson, Arthur Burrows and (in background) Sharon Hobenshield work in small groups at a September 2018 workshop focused on the organization’s external communications and messaging.