VWNC

EXECUTIVE

Meet our NEW 2020-2021 Executive

Sandra Roy, President

We moved to Victoria in April 2018 from Nelson, B.C.  I had travelled and lived in many parts of the world, including Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru (12 years), and Colombia.  My husband worked as a Project Manager, mainly on mining construction projects.  Returning to Canada in 2008, we started out in Kelowna, then moved to the Kootenays, where I grew up.  We wintered in Arizona for many years, but finally gave that up and headed to Victoria.  My youngest son and family live here, and all other children live in the Lower Mainland.  Although I loved the Kootenays, I wanted to live closer to the children and grandchildren.  Victoria, with it’s fabulous climate, and everything it offers as a city, was a great choice.  Besides hanging out with my 3 grandsons, I like to golf, play bridge, read and walk. this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Kim Girtel, Vice President

Born in Winnipeg and raised in Edmonton, I originally came to Victoria to study law at the University of Victoria many years ago, but left after completing my degree.  Following a wonderful career with Global Affairs Canada that allowed me to travel the world, I am now happily retired in Victoria and enjoy learning new things, especially golfing, plus gardening, hiking, volunteering and taking the occasional trip. 

I moved to Victoria with my husband, Stephen Pienaar, in the summer of 2018 from North Vancouver. I was in semi-retirement, having worked part-time for two years as a fundraiser for the Museum of Vancouver and the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast in Art in Vancouver.  Previously I had a 30+year career in corporate communications – media and public relations, sponsorships, donations, and event management. The most recent full-time work was with BMO Financial Group.

Moving to Victoria was made easy when my twin sister, Leslie Grant (also a newcomer) arrived in Victoria with her husband in 2017 from New Brunswick. Originally, over 30 years ago, from Regina, we were finally back together!  I’ve been able to follow some passions such as Bridge, painting, golfing, gardening, and walking. New past-times include tennis and e-biking.

Shauna Strasdin, Secretary

Shauna Strasdin followed her children to the Island in January 2018.  Moving in the winter from Grande Prairie, AB helped clarify that the Island was the perfect choice to settle.  Shauna has lived and traveled throughout Canada and is enjoying exploring her new island home.  Shauna trained as a teacher at the University of Saskatchewan and taught briefly in various provinces as many moves allowed.  Volunteering and advocacy have been priorities that eventually led to a Masters of Education from the University of Calgary in 2016.  Looking forward to seeing where life takes her, Shauna joined the Newcomers to meet new people and to have new adventures. 

Lia Woods, Treasurer

Lia is a retired registered nurse who moved to Victoria from Duncan, BC.  Previously, she enjoyed living and working in Vancouver and Los Angeles.  She is very happy to be settling in beautiful Victoria and enjoys playing tennis, biking, hiking, gardening, times with family, and singing in a choir.

Sharon Thomas, Membership Coordinator

We moved to Victoria in April 2018 from Nelson, B.C.  I had travelled and lived in many parts of the world, including Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru (12 years), and Colombia.  My husband worked as a Project Manager, mainly on mining construction projects.  Returning to Canada in 2008, we started out in Kelowna, then moved to the Kootenays, where I grew up.  We wintered in Arizona for many years, but finally gave that up and headed to Victoria.  My youngest son and family live here, and all other children live in the Lower Mainland.  Although I loved the Kootenays, I wanted to live closer to the children and grandchildren.  Victoria, with it’s fabulous climate, and everything it offers as a city, was a great choice.  Besides hanging out with my 3 grandsons, I like to golf, play bridge, read and walk.

Diana Sharo, Activity Coordinator

Diana visited Victoria so often that she finally had to move here in 2017.  Originally from Montreal, she spent 40 years in Calgary in many varied occupations.  She was a bartender, event planner, computer instructor, business owner, and did business-to-business sales.  In industries from retail to the oil patch, she’s enjoyed them all.  Diana loves the walkability of Victoria, looks forward to exploring it thoroughly and thinks Newcomers will be the perfect way to do that! 

Linda Stern, Activity Coordinator

My previous vocations were physiotherapist, (McGill grad), Director of Events (City of Westmount), President of Home and School, Chairman of School Committee.  Our move to Victoria was enhanced by the arrival of my first grandchild - what a delight!  The VWNC has offered a lovely introduction to this intriguing city.

Janet Burns, Venue Coordinator

Janet was born in Medicine Hat and spent her youth in Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver.  She moved to New Brunswick to take a teaching position as a professor of sociology at UNB in Saint John where she flourished in a 30 year career.  While loving Atlantic Canada, she is thrilled to be back in the west to reconnect with family and friends.  Favourite pastimes: hanging out, eating good food, walking the dawg, and playing bridge. 

Bonnie Hoff, Webmaster

Bonnie moved to BC in 1970 with her husband to attend Simon Fraser University.  After obtaining her teaching certificate, she taught primary for 2 years, then moved to Toronto when her husband began working for Environment Canada, and soon found a job teaching in North York.  Then followed careers as an owner of a yarn shop, weaving for the Royal Ontario Museum, and working in a country library north of Toronto.  In 1999, they moved to Columbia, Maryland, where she volunteered for a non-profit group presenting chamber music concerts, and later became its Executive Director.  The Hoffs returned to Canada in 2016, deciding to retire in beautiful Victoria, which had often been a vacation destination.  She loves Victoria's beautiful flowers, mild climate, and being able to walk everywhere!  And hopefully she will soon get back to her loom.

Connie Smith, Website Administrator

Connie moved to Victoria from Edmonton, where she was a professor of economics.  She has previously lived in Montreal, Kingston, Vancouver, Calgary, Canberra Australia and Wellington New Zealand.  She loves Victoria's mild climate, as it is amenable to running and gardening, even in winter.  She likes friendly conversation, particularly when combined with views of the ocean and mountains, which she enjoys Thursday mornings with the Dallas Road walking group.

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The Victoria Women’s Newcomers Club is a volunteer organization where women, new to the city, build friendships and knowledge of the community through social, cultural and outdoor activities.

New City   •  New Friends  •  New Opportunities

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