VASS operates with an active board filled with passionate skiers & boarders who all offer a wide range of skills that creates a powerful and effective team. It is a pleasure to introduce you to them:
Anne Bethune, President
Anne has been a long term volunteer with VASS since 1986 and began her role as VASS President in 2005. In addition to her front line teaching and behind the scenes leadership with VASS, Anne is a certified Canadian Adaptive Snowsports Level III instructor and Level 2 Course Conductor. Her experiences as an adaptive sailing instructor and ski instructor and her professional career as an occupational therapist makes Anne uniquely qualified for her leadership within VASS. She is a proud mother of three boys/men and has a thriving home based business in both health and jewelry creation.
Ewa Holender, Vice President
Ewa grew up skiing in Europe and worked with people with disabilities as a sports instructor, mentor and teacher, alongside a day job as a lawyer specializing in charity and philanthropy law, several stints as a ski rep and a sabbatical getting her CASI Level 2 qualification in Whistler. VASS was the perfect opportunity to combine her love of the mountains with a passion for making a difference, so Ewa signed up as a volunteer instructor the moment she moved to Vancouver. She worked for four years as the Director of Education & Outreach at the Rick Hansen Foundation, helping make Canadian schools accessible and inclusive, and providing opportunities for people with disabilities to share their stories. She now works as a lawyer for First Nations in BC. Ewa joined the VASS board in 2013.
Tom Gillespie, Treasurer
Tom Gillespie, CPA, CA, is a Partner at Clearline CPA, whose practice primarily focuses on the provision of audit and review engagement services to various private businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Originally from Ontario, he obtained his accounting designation while articling as an auditor at a mid-sized firm in Ottawa. Subsequently, Tom moved to Bermuda in 2007 where he joined an international accounting firm in their investments and banking audit department. He has lived and worked in the Vancouver metro area since returning to Canada in 2011. Tom performs consulting and volunteer work for the CPA profession at both the provincial and national levels. Outside of the office, Tom enjoys golfing, skiing and traveling with his family and friends.
Sandy Millar, Director at Large
Sandy is a Managing Partner with EQUA Specialty Risk Partners, where he specializes in insurance and risk management programs for clients primarily in the sports, recreation and hospitality sectors. As a Level IV CSIA course conductor and Level II CSCF member, Sandy comes to VASS with over 25 years of ski industry experience. His volunteer experience includes serving three terms as a director of CSIA-BC, with two terms as Chair. When not skiing with his family, Sandy is also an avid rugby player, cyclist and musician.
Bryce Eyton, Director at Large
Debbie McLean, Director at Large
Debbie joined VASS in 2016 as a volunteer CADS Level 1 ski instructor. In addition to instructing, Debbie quickly became involved with supporting VASS behind the scenes, as a member of the VASS Cup Committee. She has a life-long love of the mountains, and is committed to helping others experience the enjoyment it brings. Debbie is thrilled to be a member of the Board and looks forward to her involvement with the VASS organization.
Jack Hughes, Director at Large
Jack grew up skiing in Quebec and still can’t get enough of west coast skiing. To that end he has been a happy member of the VASS family since 2011, where he has discovered how much more fun it is to ski AND make a small difference in someone’s life by teaching them to ski. He has enjoyed getting involved in many facets of VASS including helping as a coordinator of the Sunday program, assisting with CADS training of new instructors, the training committee and working on becoming CADS level 3 certified. Being out on the mountain is a great counter point to his work as an IT Trainer.
Liisa O’Hara, Director at Large
Liisa grew up with a love of skiing, and the opportunity to help others learn to ski was a perfect fit! For seven years, she evolved from a VASS volunteer, to Program Coordinator to Board Member and now, after a hiatus to have a few kids, she is happy to be back in the VASS family once again. Liisa brings her Marketing experience, passion for helping others and pride of VASS to the Board.
Tom Mooney, Director at Large
Tom has been hanging around VASS for the last few years and received his CADS level 1 last year and will be working on CADS Level 2 next season. One of Tom’s three daughters has been a VASS student with the Saturday morning program for 12 years. Tom and his family have been involved in various areas of inclusion and advocacy for the past 25 years. Tom is a technician with NCR Canada, and plays third clarinet with the North Vancouver Community Band.
Jim Neal, Director at Large
Jim joined VASS in 2019 as an instructor and is now CADS Level 1 certified. He learned to ski in Ontario and fell in love with the mountains on a high school ski trip to Austria and likes to share his passion for the sport and the mountains with others. He is now retired after 36 years in Marketing, Sales and IT with Ford of Canada and a local Ford dealership. Jim’s enjoying his retirement spending time with his family, skiing, golfing, hiking, kayaking, and travelling. Jim has also been coaching minor hockey in North Vancouver since 2007.