Board of Directors

The people that make CIRES possible

Irene Gannitsos - Director

Vancouver Community Foundation, Manager of Strategic Programs

Irene has a broad range of experience supporting and leading different nonprofit organizations, including specific expertise in each of our foucs areas of social enterprise, community owned real estate and impact investing. Irene has also worked in microcredit, through international experiences in Bolivia and Guatemala, as well as domestic examples including inner-city Winnipeg, and as the founding Executive Director of the Immigrant Access Fund in Saskatoon. Her university degrees are in Business and in Rural Planning & Development, and she also had a role with the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development doing post-graduate research and coordinating a joint program delivered through a Mexican University in Cuernavaca. 

Mary Clare Zak - Director

City of Vancouver, Managing Director of Social Policy

Mary Clare is the Managing Director of the Social Policy & Projects Division with the City of Vancouver. She has decades of public sector experience at all three levels of government and the not-for-profit sector. Her role at the City of Vancouver is to provide advice to the Mayor and Council on social issues, and to work across government and various sectors to address these issues.

Duncan Wlodarczak - Director

Chief Of Staff, Onni Group of Companies

Duncan is the Chief of Staff to the President at the Onni Group of Companies. He holds a Masters Degree in Urban Studies and has previous experience in the non-profit and private sector, while also serving in a number of roles while working in politics. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), an education and research-based non-profit, focused on best practices in the sustainable use of land and excellence in city building. Duncan serves as Chair of ULI BC for his local district council, while also serving as a representative on multiple national ULI Committees. Duncan is active in the community, including serving on the Urban Studies Alumni Association Steering committee, supporting a number of local groups, and remains active in politics at the local, provincial, and federal level.

Suky Cheema - Director

Partner and Regional Leader for Real Estate and Construction for Western Canada, BDO Canada LLP

Suky is the leader of the Western Region Real Estate and Construction practice at BDO. She has over 20 years of industry experience managing the financial interests of landowners, land developers, property managers, and residential and commercial landlords.  

Suky assists her clients with audit and accounting services, capital funding, financial modelling, financial projections, and domestic and international tax planning and tax structuring, and she’s helped clients with commercial, retail, office, industrial, and residential property developments in Canada, the United States, and internationally. In addition to her private company clients in real estate and construction, she also works with clients in retail, distribution, manufacturing, and professional services. Some of her clients include Concert Properties, Balfour Pacific, Clarity Financial, Amacon Developments, and CIBT Education Group/Global Education City Holdings Inc.

Suky behaves like an equal partner in her client relationship. She strives to produce results strategically aligned with her client’s vision, which she says can only be understood and appreciated through a high level of personal attention to clients—many of whom have been with her throughout her long career.  

Leslie Bonshor - Director

VP Indigenous Health, Vancouver Coastal Health 

Leslie Bonshor was appointed Vice President, Indigenous Health at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in April 2021. As Vice President, Indigenous Health, Leslie is responsible for providing executive leadership to Indigenous Health programs, services, and initiatives across the continuum of care to create a comprehensive service delivery system in collaboration with all of our health and wellness partners and Indigenous communities and organizations. She provides strategic advice and leadership to enable and facilitate culturally safe care across VCH with a focus on improving the wellness, health and care needs of Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit).

Leslie has made immense contributions to the Indigenous portfolio at VCH and continues to bring her strategic leadership to this critical portfolio. Her advice and expertise help to focus efforts on delivering safe, quality care to Indigenous peoples, and guide our implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the delivery of other recommendations from reports such as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and addressing Indigenous-specific racism that exists in health care as outlined within In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care.

Joining VCH in 2015, Leslie has worked tirelessly leading the Indigenous Health team as Executive Director at VCH and has been instrumental in providing direction and guidance on the priorities and issues related to improving the health of Indigenous populations. Prior to joining VCH, she was Director of Aboriginal Health at Fraser Health, starting as a consultant with them in 2005, before taking a permanent role in 2007. Prior to joining health care, she started her career in the banking and financial services industry where she excelled for 15 years, followed by the start-up of a First Nations consulting company with her husband.

Leslie comes from the Stó:lō Nations Ch’iyaqtel community and she has dedicated her career to promoting, improving and advocating for the wellness and health needs of Indigenous Peoples.