Urban Academy Board of Directors

A visionary board is made up of a wide variety of people from all walks of life with a rich and diverse skill set. With backgrounds ranging from finance and business to the arts and service, the Urban Academy Board is no exception. Our passionate Board of Directors are committed to upholding our commitment to innovation and excellence. Through strategic guidance and expertise, our board ensures that Urban Academy has a strong, stable leadership group behind it.

board of directors

Deborah McKenzie
Chair

Deborah is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience consulting on significant residential and commercial development projects, and has been part of the Urban Academy family for over a decade. She has a passion for bringing talent and expertise together to achieve strategic growth for healthy, long-term community development.

Children at UA: 2

Jennifer Thompson
Vice Chair

With more than two decades of experience in both the private and public sectors in Canada, Jennifer is a resourceful entrepreneur. She has participated actively in the not-for-profit sector since becoming a member of the Leadership Vancouver class of ’99, and she brings a wealth of strategic, communication and planning skills to the Urban Academy Board.

Children at UA: 1

Rory Langran
Treasurer

Rory holds professional CTP (Certified Treasury Professional – AFP) and DMS (Derivatives Market Specialist – Canadian Securities Institute) designations, has been involved with multiple Boards, and has experience in both Canadian and International banking.

Children at UA: 2

Abigail Shu
Secretary

Abigail Shu is a physician dedicated to the development and growth of Urban Academy. She has a strong passion for childhood education and has been committed to various school initiatives including the Gala Committee and Parent Auxiliary.

Children at UA: 2

Ben Marsolais
Member at Large

Ben Marsolais is a graduate of the BCIT Building Technology Program, the University of Northern British Columbia Construction Management program, and he has a LEED Green Associate designation. Ben brings with him an extensive background in construction, development, planning, and project management.

Children at UA: 2

Jeremy Poole
Member at Large

Jeremy is a partner with the Vancouver law firm, Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, and he brings expertise, legal perspective, and acumen to the board at Urban Academy.

Children at UA: 1

Carmen Grant
Member at Large

Carmen has been a senior human resources professional at a prominent Vancouver-based business for over a decade. She also spent many years working in HR roles in the public sector, and has held a board position at another independent Vancouver school.

(Grand)children at UA: 2

Sarah Cepeliauskas
Member at Large

Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts in Family Science and a Diploma in Education from the University of British Columbia, where she captained the UBC Women’s Volleyball team. She also obtained her Certified Bodyworker designation from Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage (VSBM), where she now works as the Clinic Supervisor.

Children at UA: 1

Viral Thakkar
Member at Large

Viral is an engineer with over a decade of experience in management and leadership of all phases of Medical Device Design and Development. He has also actively participated on the boards of other non-profit organizations. In his current business role, he is managing the development of a novel disposable trans-vascular diaphragm pacing catheter.

Children at UA: 2

Laura Bradley
Member at Large

Laura has over two decades of counselling, group facilitation, and community education experience in both a not-for-profit capacity, and in her own private practice, where she is the clinical director and senior therapist. She also has over 15 years of managerial experience, and graduated from the Theatre and Film program at the Gastown Actors’ Studio.

Elizabeth Fletcher
Member at Large

Elizabeth has over 30 years experience in financial services delivery, and senior management. She was the Chief Financial Officer of a TSX listed, publicly regulated utility company, and in her current role, she manages a project budget in excess of $800 million. Elizabeth has also has actively supported the non-profit sector, acting as a director for several organizations.

Children at UA: 1

building the board

Board Nominations Invitation

At Urban Academy we’re always seeking innovative, motivated, and community minded individuals to be appointed to our Board of Directors for a renewable two-year term.

All Candidates must:
  • Understand and support the Urban Academy Vision, Mission and Values
  • Be prepared to contribute 10 – 15 hours per month in Board and committee work
  • Be prepared to sign a confidentiality and Board Commitment Agreement upon appointment to the Board.
Ideally candidates will possess skills or experience in one or more of the following areas:
  • Board or Executive Director roles
  • Business Development experience in an Independent School or non-profit environment, either as a volunteer or paid employee
  • Community Engagement/Communications
  • Financial Management or Accounting
  • Fundraising/Advancement work
  • Legal or Strategic Management
  • Marketing/Public Relations work

Individuals may nominate themselves, or be nominated by another person providing that person has the prior consent of the prospective candidate.

To get started, contact us today

The right education takes your child from remembering and reciting to knowing and understanding.

Stop imagining. Start achieving.

inquire today

Staff Directory

Our diverse team is comprised of thinkers, innovators, movers and shakers.

learn more +

Welcome Message

We would like to welcome you to explore the school and learn about what is possible in education.

learn more +

Parent Auxiliary

Parent involvement is a cornerstone of our success.

learn more +

Advancement Plan

Our advancement plans help us develop facilities and programs for our students.

learn more +

Donate to UA

We strive to create a place that is inclusive and dynamic, your donations help us make it happen.

learn more +

Admissions

Our team works hard to make the application process easy, guiding you and determining if Urban Academy is the right fit.

learn more +