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

(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.

Bellamano (BSW ’15) 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

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

Photo of 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 is from Rossland, BC. He is the Manager of Communications for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. He enjoys skiing, reading, hiking and yoga. He began skiing as soon as he could walk and has loved it ever since. He has recently learned the practice of mindfulness and would like to learn guitar someday. Cant is married and has a four-year-old daughter as well as an amazing duck-tolling retriever.

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

ethan phillips

Ethan Phillips

Ethan is from Kamloops, BC. He is a fourth-year student in Chemistry for the Medical Sciences. He also serves as senior coach for the Saanich Peninsula Piranhas Swim Club. He swims competitively on the UVic Vikes varsity team, and enjoys cooking, baking and playing piano.

He values learning new skills and recently mastered making sticky buns. Phillips is conducting a directed study under Dr. Christie in the Concussion Laboratory to examine the current knowledge level in youth about concussion and to develop an education program.

Board Members

Jesse Baltutis

Jesse Baltutis

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.

Dan Smythe

Daniel Sharp, BA 84

Daniel is from Vancouver, but has lived in Greater Victoria for more than 25 years. He is the  owner/CEO of Western Allergy, a niche pharma lab manufacturing allergy diagnostics and allergy immunotherapy. His hobbies include walking his dogs, Lucy and George. Sharp enjoys contributing to not-for-profit boards and groups. Sharp was formerly VP of the Victoria Symphony and also chaired a major fundraising event for the BC Cancer Society. Sharp was awarded a UVic Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. He has two sons, James and Christian, who are both UVic alumni. Sharp lives in Cordova Bay with his wife, Pam.

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.

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.

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Natasha Thambirajah, BA ’02

Natasha did a double major in history and political science at UVic, earned an MA from the  University of Manitoba/Winnipeg, and an MSc Public Health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She is a specialist in environmental health and works at for the BC health ministry as Director, Digital Health Policy. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, reading, mushroom hunting, travelling, cooking, preserving food/jam making and learning new languages. Her passion is public policy. She has recently learned the meaning of a Gordian knot, would like to learn to play polo and has a bilingual dog named Egon.