Board of Directors

board 2021
2021-22 UVic Alumni Association board members during a recent Zoom meeting.

About the alumni board

The board and committees are dedicated to providing support and recognition for the University of Victoria, its students and alumni. To contact any board member, or call 250-721-6000.

All alumni have an opportunity to meet the board at the Annual General Meeting and Reception held in late May or June. Nominations may be made by any member of the association but must be received at least one week before the AGM.

Meet the board of directors

President

Gerry Bliss

Gerry Bliss, BSc ’87, BSc ’77

Gerry provides information governance and risk management (privacy and security) consulting services to organizations in Canada and the US. He is co-author of Guidelines For The Protection of Health Information, a founding director of the Calgary Security Professionals' Information Exchange, past director of the Computer Science Advisory Board of Mount Royal College, and Past-President of ISACA Victoria.

He developed the privacy framework for Panorama, Canada's public health information system, and is involved in big health data research as privacy lead. He was in the first Health Information Science graduating class at UVic and has spent a good portion of his life close to the campus.

Vice-President

Bellamano head HighResCOL

Kathleen (Kat) Bellamano, BSW '15

Kathleen (she/her) was born in St. James, Manitoba (now a part of Winnipeg). Winnipeg is located within Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland.

She currently resides in Saanich, BC, on the traditional lands of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. She is a social worker in private practice and a dispute-resolution professional. Her busy life includes her spouse, Richard, her daughters, Julia and Morgan, her son-in-law, Levi, and her dog, Zola.

Treasurer

Heather Siddon

Heather Siddon, MA ‘96

Heather spent her early years in Ottawa, but has lived in Vancouver (Tsawwassen), Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Kirkland, Washington. She also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta. Siddon is a Project Manager at Codan Communications.

She enjoys gardening and has a passion for comedy, having spent some years performing improv. She has recently signed up for a Continuing Studies course to refresh her French and has volunteered in the annual bat count in the Capital Regional District for HAT (Habitat Acquisition Trust).

Secretary

Paul Morgan

Paul Morgan, BA ’04

Paul calls Victoria home. He holds a BA in Economics from UVic and a Law degree from Canterbury Christ Church University (LLB ’11). He is a lawyer with his own practice and enjoys being a “sole practitioner.” He loves sports: watching, playing, reading and dreaming about them. He has a passion for waterskiing and wants to learn how to sail. He is the proud father of a young son who seemingly doesn’t require food or sleep to operate at 110%.

Past President

Brian Cant

Brian Cant, BA 03, Cert. 08, MBA ’18

Brian Cant is Vice President, Business Impact & Engagement for 4VI, a social enterprise created to ensure that travel is a force for good for Vancouver Island—forever.

Brian previously worked as Director, Communications & Engagement for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, a community-based not-for-profit that is committed to sustainable stewardship of Victoria’s working harbour. He has worked in communications for more than 15 years developing and executing communications and engagement strategies. Inspired by his summer job guiding visitors through the underground mine at the Rossland Museum in the Kootenays, he has focused in the tourism industry. His career has also included roles with Destination Greater Victoria, Destination British Columbia, and tartanbond (formerly Tartan Group). He is a proud graduate of the Gustavson School of Business MBA program and holds a BA in History and Geography and a Diploma in Public Relations from the University of Victoria. Brian Cant is Past President of the UVic Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Growing up in Rossland, BC, he was first put on skis by his dad at the age of 18 months and barely looked back or slowed down. He managed to have his own daughter on skis around the same time, to somewhat mixed results.

Faculty Association Representative

simon pek

Simon Pek

Simon was raised in Ottawa and lives Victoria. He earned a PhD from Simon Fraser University and is now an assistant professor with the Gustavson School of Business. He spends his free time camping, hiking, reading and climbing.

Vikes Athletics Representative

Tracie Sibbald

Tracie Sibbald, BA ’83

Tracie is from Victoria currently lives in Saanichton. In addition to her UVic degree in geography and political science, she earned her Level 4 Coach credentials from the National Coaching Institute of Canada. She is retired after a long career with Canada Post. She enjoys golf, as well as exploring nature and keeping physically fit. As a former Olympian and UVic Vikes alumna, she loves basketball and staying connected to Vikes Athletics—especially following the women’s basketball program. She completed four years in UVic’s Continuing Studies program and would love to be fluent in French.

Board Members

Jesse Baltutis

Jesse Baltutis, PhD '18

Jesse hails from Belleville, Ontario and lives in Esquimalt. He holds a PhD in geography from UVic, a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and did an undergrad at University of Ottawa. He is a senior policy analyst, Climate Action Secretariat, with the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

He enjoys mountain biking, running, woodworking, music, reading, cooking and baking bread. His true passion is being on two wheels in the forest. He recently learned to make a bent-wood lamp and would like to learn to play the banjo.

Chris Gill

Chris Gill, BA 06

Chris was born and raised in Victoria. He is a local realtor with The Condo Group Real Estate. He uses his expertise every day in his work to coach other realtors inside his brokerage to help everyone exceed in their careers. He is a multiple MLS Gold Award winner and has also received the prestigious Presidents Award.

He attended Northwood University in Dallas, Texas, on a golf scholarship and then transferred to UVic, where he finished his BA. He and his wife, Francesca, are the proud parents of two boys, Abel and Everett. Gill enjoys golfing, skiing, travelling, playing hockey and spending time with family.

Alyssa Manankil

Alyssa Manankil-Lakusta, BSc ’17

Alyssa was raised in Toronto, moved to Victoria in 2013 to attend UVic and has been residing there since. As well as her degree in Psychology, she holds a Bachelor of Sport and Fitness Leadership 2020 from Camosun. She currently works as a Receptionist, Student & Research Assistant. Her hobbies include Brazilian jiu-jitsu and graphic design. She has a passion for holistic health promotion and connecting with others through movement, whether it's exercise, sports or being active in nature. Her family went on many cross-country road trips, and to this day, that’s her favourite way to spend a vacation.

Ethan Phillips

Ethan Phillips, BSc (Hons.) '22

Ethan is from Kamloops, BC. He is a recent graduate from the Chemistry for the Medical Sciences Honours program. During his time at UVic he conducted a study under Dr. Christie in the Concussion Laboratory to develop a concussion education program for youth. For his Honours thesis with Dr. Hof, he designed a series of molecular traps to capture certain bioactive compounds. 

Ethan continues to be active in the sport community after being a member of the UVic Vikes swimming team 2017-2022 and attending U Sport Championships each year. Ethan continues to coach, recently as the assistant head coach of the Saanich Peninsula Piranhas Swim Club and as the BC Summer Swimming Association Provincial Coaches’ Representative. He also served on the Vikes Leadership Council and as UVic’s representative on the inaugural Canada West Student-Athlete Engagement Committee.  

Ethan is currently a volunteer researcher with Island Health Research and assists with new initiatives. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, baking and playing piano. He looks forward to continuing to serve the present and future UVic alumni community as an active member of the UVAA.

Saeed Rezvani

Saeed Rezvani, MSc '21

Saeed finished his Civil Engineering MSc in 2021 and started working as a construction Project Manager in Vancouver. While in Vancouver, he has been helping the UVAA rejuvenate the Vancouver alumni branch.  

During his time at UVic, he served in a variety of positions including a Director in the Graduate Students' Society and student rep in various committees including the President's search committee. 

When not working, Saeed can be found on a soccer field, a tennis court, a climbing wall, or on his bike cycling around Vancouver.

Maggie Sewagudde Peden

Maggie Sewagudde-Peden, MBA ’18

Maggie was raised in Kampala, Uganda and now lives in Oak Bay. As part of her MBA program, she completed a study term at Copenhagen Business School. Sewagudde-Peden completed the Investment Funds in Canada Course through the CSC and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Makerere University Uganda. She currently works with the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation as a Senior Associate within the Cash Operations Department. She enjoys spending time with family and good company, travelling, listening to children’s insights and gardening. She would like to learn the Swahili Language and to master scuba diving.

Natasha Thambirajah

Natasha Thambirajah, BA 

Natasha Thambirajah is a third-generation public servant and has worked for the Province of BC since 2006. Over the past 15 years, she has led nationally recognized examples of transformative, citizen-centred public policy, including the prize-winning BC Services Card and the modernization of gender identity expression on government-issued identification.

In her current role as Director, Digital Health Policy, Natasha works closely with senior leadership and key partners to lead the development of provincial standards, policies and guides for virtual care and digital health. This work has been a critical part of the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and sets a foundation for digitally transforming the way we deliver health care in British Columbia.

Natasha completed a double major Bachelor of Arts in history and political science at UVic, and holds a Master of Arts from the University of Manitoba/Winnipeg, and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.