2021-2022 Board Applications

Below are all the applications that have been submitted from the community to be a member of the next Kamloops Pride Society board.

Sara Berkelaar 

Pronouns:   She/Her

Position(s): General Board Member

About Themselves: I have lived in Kamloops for the last 8 years. I would love the opportunity to become more involved with Kamloops Pride and with the lgbtq2s+ community. I have a great deal of skills with communication and planning. I have formal education in adult education and curriculum development, and have a job that focuses on both training as well as creating and updating policies and procedures. I’m also more than happy to do tasks like setting up/taking down equipment etc.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: I was previously a volunteer for my university’s Pride Centre. I’m hoping to start volunteering again as I’ve been less involved in the community in recent years

Why they want to join the board: I would like the opportunity to work with other members of the board to improve the sense of community amongst lgbtq2s+ individuals in Kamloops

Skills: Demonstrated Interpersonal Skills, Team Leadership, Strategic Planning, Policy Development, Excellent Written and Oral Communication, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Training and Education

Ashton O'Brien

Pronouns: They/She

Position(s): President

About Themselves: My name is Ashton and my pronouns are they/she. I identify as a genderfluid lesbian, and I live in Westwold. I work in Kamloops and have lived in the area for about 10 years. I volunteered with Kamloops Pride a few years ago before joining as a director. I took a break for a year, and this past year I was elected Vice President. I would like to continue working with Kamloops Pride and so this year I am running as President. I am an outdoorsy kind of person, but also an introvert and a bit of a geek. I love to adventure but also love to curl up at home and play video games. I am a big fan of NBA, and I also enjoy hockey and softball. I have 2 dogs, Tucker and Lily, and a leopard gecko named Matilda.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: I worked as VP on the Kamloops Pride board and helped plan and execute events during pride week this year. I also have been working on a counselling resource for the community.

Why they want to join the board: I think Kamloops has a lot of room to grow when it comes to supporting LGBTQ2S+ and I would like to drive that change. I would like to see Kamloops Pride be more integrated into the larger community and I would like to see more partnerships and stronger relationships between the board and both the LGBTQ2S+ community and it's allies here in Kamloops.

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Team leadership, Strategic planning, Previous experience on anther Board of Directors, Fundraising, Advocacy, Event planning, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Social media, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of order, IT/Computer proficiency, Website building/updating, Training and Education.

Lisa Hietala

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Position(s): General Board Member

About Themselves: Ally of 35 years. I live in Blind Bay but work in Kamloops. I enjoy reading, traveling, gardening and hanging out with my dog. I am interested in learning more about the world, other people's experience in it as mine has been mostly very fortunate. I am a fierce advocate of LGBTQ2 community, love to meet new people and lend my support to important causes and relationships.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: This past year has been one of enormous change and upheaval for me, so unfortunately outside of my regular support (pride/virtual pride/support of LGBTQ2 businesses) I haven't made many overtures that I would consider contributions. I am interested in joining your board so that I can change my involvement and contribute.

Why they want to join the board: I have several friends that are in the LGBTQ2 community, some of whom I work with. I want to become more involved in that community, meet new people and learn new things.

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Team leadership, Strategic planning, Previous experience on another Board of Directors, Fundraising, Advocacy, Excellent written and oral communication, Ability to work effectively with a variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, IT/Computer proficiency, Training/Education

Emily Cooke

Pronouns: She/Her

Position(s): General Board Member

About Themselves: I moved to Kamloops last year with my husband and in that time have come to finally realize and accept my transgender self. I am a bisexual trans woman. I am minister for two churches in town: Mount Paul United on the north shore and Plura Hills United in Aberdeen (both are inclusive churches that have been wonderfully accepting). I've been active in advocacy in previous places I've lived and am passionate about creating inclusive safe spaces where I live and work. In my work, I've become very familiar with being on boards of directors, including Hospice, LGBTQIA2S+ advocacy, and others and have gained a lot of skills from doing so that I would hope to bring to the board.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: I have worked on creating safe and inclusive spaces within my churches for LGBTQIA2S+ persons. In the past I have been a part of LGBTQIA2S+ advocacy groups where I have lived.

Why they want to join the board: I want to become more involved in Kamloops and I feel my skills lend themselves best to being on a board. Organization is a passion of mine, and it seems to me that Kamloops is in need of greater LGBTQIA2S+ advocacy; I would love to be a part of that.

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Team leadership, Board development, Previous experience on another Board of Directors, Policy development, Advocacy, Grant writing, Excellent written and oral communication, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Social media, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of order, IT/Computer proficiency, Website building/updating, Training/Education, Community networking

Shea Lozinski

Pronouns: They/Them

Position(s): General Board Member

About Themselves: I am a 28 year old nonbinary artist who moved to the Okanagan 2 years ago. I currently work at a farm in Westwold. In my free time I like to draw; whether it be tattoos, decals, comics, and misc ink art. I've utilized my artistic abilities to do multiple fundraisers. My most recent being a fundraiser for folks who have lost their homes to the White Rock Lake fire, and the last/ongoing fundraiser for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. When I'm not doing my art, I like to go atving, target shooting, camping, do woodworking, and just go on adventures.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: With covid halting a lot of events I have not done as much as I would've liked however I made some posters for kamloops pride online events.

Why they want to join the board: I want to join the Kamloops Pride board so I can share my ideas, work directly with/and advocate for change on behalf of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Strategic planning, Fundraising, Advocacy, Youth outreach, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Social media, Graphic design, Community networking

Jesse Ritcey

Pronouns: He/Him

Position(s): General Board Member

About Themselves: I am a 35 year old gay man. I've lived in Kamloops for much of my life and would love to see our city become more inclusive! I work in the non-profit sector, grant writing and managing projects related to my interests of environmental protection, education, and horticulture/agriculture. Besides doing work in the community, you'll likely find me out in nature, puttering around my garden, or reading.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community:I haven't had the opportunity to make an impact at the community wide level this past year, although I have supported several LGBTQ2S+ youth through these turbulent times, as part of a youth environmental education program I manage.

Why they want to join the board: I think I can be useful to the organization because of my past experience serving on boards and doing community work. I'd like to meet some new people and have fun along the way!

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Team leadership, Board development, Strategic planning, Previous experience on another Board of Directors, Fundraising, Program management, Policy development, Staffing/Human Resources, Advocacy, Grant writing, Excellent written and oral communication, Youth outreach, Event planning, Media relations/ communications, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Social media, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of order, Financial/Accounting, Training/Education, Community networking

Jade Abounassar

Pronouns: They/Them

Position(s): Volunteer Coordinator

About Themselves: BSW student, nature enthusiast, musician, spirituality, social justice advocacy, poet, passionate about music, Queer things. Currently a co-facilitator at Queer Connections. I work at the Y shelter as well as an anti-violence crisis support worker.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: I am a co-facilitator at Queer Connections.

Why they want to join the board: It has been a dream of mine for the last four years since I came out as nonbinary.

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Team leadership, Fundraising, Policy development, Advocacy, Grant writing, Youth outreach, Event planning, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Understanding of Roberta's rules of order, Training/Education

Tre Rhiness

Pronouns: He/Him

Position(s): Vice Presient

About Themselves: I am a 24 year old gay man. I am currently a social work student at Thompson Rivers University. I moved to Kamloops earlier this year to pursue my post secondary education.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: I recently organized the Peace For Pride Gathering in Kamloops in response to a hate crime that happened here in September.

Why they want to join the board: I have always been a very passionate person and have always wanted to make sure 2SLGBTQ+ have space to celebrate who they are. I also feel like I am at a place in my life where I would like to start helping others and giving back to my community.

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Team leadership, Strategic planning, Fundraising, Advocacy, Excellent written and oral communication, Youth outreach, Event planning, Media relations/communication, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Social media, Understanding of Roberta's rules or order, Community networking.

Riann Munro

Pronouns: They/Them

Position(s): Volunteer Coordinator

About Themselves: Hello! I am a 34 year non binary human, whom is also the parent of two! I feel like since coming out in 2017, becoming apart of our Pride community has become a important part of my life. I want to change the outlook and acceptance we face in every day life in our province and in Canada. It’s my goal to raise more awareness of our pride community as a whole.

Contributions made to the LGBTQ2S+ community: In the past I have volunteered with the Kamloops pride week. I am in the midst of making a documentary that I have been working on for the past couple of years, and more so currently to raise awareness in our community with the LGBT+ Members. With covid and living in a pandemic, it’s been hard to meet but for the near future I hope to have more get together, volunteer more and even host events!

Why they want to join the board: I want to make a difference within our community!

Skills: Demonstrated interpersonal skills, Fundraising, Advocacy, Event planning, Media relations/communication, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Social media, Understanding of Roberta's rules of order, Community networking, Photography/media publishing