Mary oversees CIH Canada and works with the Board and Executive Committee. She oversees the financials, membership, course development, and communications. She is committed to ensuring that there are professional development opportunities for people who find themselves in the housing sector.
Mary comes to CIH Canada with over ten years of experience working on national networks focused on socio-economic planning. She got her start in the housing sector as the Capacity Building Coordinator at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association. She has a Master of Urban Planning from McGill University where she focused her studies on affordable housing and environmental planning.
“I am so pleased to be leading CIH Canada. When I was a student at McGill, it was difficult to find housing course and professors and I reached out to CHRA to support my studies. Through CHRA, I was exposed to the housing sector and introduced to many passionate professionals with years of experience who were willing to provide insight into the sector. I believe CIH Canada provides an important opportunity to support people who find themselves working in the housing, to engage people in housing as a career, retain staff, and build up the strength and expertise in the sector.”
Isbhel Solvason worked for many years at The Social Housing Registry in Ottawa as its Executive Director. While there, the Registry became a real voice for the housing sector in Ottawa with a strong staff and Board. She helped found and later chaired the Social Housing Co-ordinated Network of Ontario, the network for senior staff of the 47 provincial waiting lists systems, to share best practices and work collaboratively. She was Chairperson of the Ottawa Social Housing Network and continues as a member of the Steering Committee. Before working with the Registry, Ishbel served as the Executive Director of the John Howard Society in Manitoba and the Elizabeth Fry Society in Ottawa.
Ishbel has received numerous awards to recognize her dedication and success in housing. In 2005, she was awarded the ONPHA Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award. In 2014, Ottawa Life named her as one of the “top 25 people in the capital”. And in 2021, Ishbel received the CHRA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ishbel is excited to work with the CIH Canada Board to ensure its success in Canada.
Lori-Anne Gagne joined “Vic Park” in August 2014 bringing with her almost 30 years of experience in the social housing sector through various organizations and perspectives. She began her social housing career in 1986 when she joined a development consulting firm in Northern Ontario.
In 1992, Lori-Anne branched out on her own to operate a successful property management firm in Sudbury, Marlor Management, specializing in non-profit and co-operative housing management. During her 14-year tenure as owner/operator of Marlor Management, Lori-Anne gained an appreciation of the challenges faced by providers in trying to deliver safe, affordable, community housing.
Lori-Anne relocated to southern Ontario in 2006 to join the Agency for Co-operative Housing. In her role as Ontario/PEI Team Leader, she was charged with the overall administration of 300 federally funded co-operative housing projects throughout the two provinces.
In 2009 Lori-Anne joined the Housing Services Corporation as the Manager of Stakeholder Relations before joining the team at Victoria Park.
Jill Atkey is the CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association, where she leads a team that passionately supports the community housing sector. She has been involved in the not-for-profit sector for over two decades, focusing over the last decade on research, policy and advocacy on housing and homelessness. Most recently, Jill led the development of the Canadian Rental Housing Index, an interactive web-based tool that has driven media commentary and community planning in communities across Canada, and a ten-year strategy for solving British Columbia’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis. Jill also leads the strategy for building the community housing sector’s capacity through education, policy research and direct supports, and works with government partners at every level to ensure a safe, secure and affordable home for everyone. She is a Director with Encasa Financial, the Community Housing Transformation Centre and CIH Canada. In 2019, Jill was appointed to the Canada-BC Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability. She is a Chartered Member of CIH Canada and has an M.A. from the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC.
Over the twenty years, Colin Doylend has represented the interests of Indigenous communities, industry, and government towards building legacies of economic wealth that foster traditions, culture, and environmental stewardship. Colin is a former Chief of Staff to Provincial Ministers, senior communications advisor with BC Hydro, and has experience with modular constriction during his time with Metric Modular and as a certified social housing manager (CertCIH). However, he is most proud of his work with the Yale First Nation, where they developed ten affordable housing units that were built to the Passive House construction standard – the most energy-efficient homes funded by either INAC or the CHMC for an Indigenous community in Canada. Today, Colin is the Director of Corporate Development Nexii, which designs and manufactures innovative high-performance buildings and green building products that are sustainable, cost-efficient, and resilient in the face of climate change. Its building solutions have a lower carbon footprint with 20-33% less embodied carbon, use 33% less energy overall and 55% less heating energy.
Wayne Follett has 14 years of experience working directly in social housing with Newfoundland Labrador Housing. He has a proven ability to work collaboratively to reach a common goal and is known for his consensus building and problem-solving abilities. Wayne’s role at Newfoundland Labrador Housing is to answer inquiries from individuals, government members and other stakeholders to resolve issues with program and service delivery and look to close gaps in policies and procedures. Wayne is a dedicated student and participated in the Housing Professionals Mentorship Program and completed the Chartered Membership route at CIH. He studied political science and business administration at Memorial University and is currently working on a Diploma in Public Relations at the University of Victoria. In addition to his Board duties with CIH, he sits on the Board of Directors with the Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Tim Ward is an experienced housing professional with over eight years’ experience in housing and 14 years’ in the public sector. Tim is originally from the UK and has a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Tim’s early career focused on consumer education, government relations and corporate policy in a municipality in the south of England. Following a move to Canada with his wife in 2014, Tim joined the Government of Alberta as a Policy Analyst in the Housing Division. In 2015, Tim moved to the City of Calgary and has worked in various roles there since, including Executive Advisor, Transformation Manager and, most recently, as the Coordinator for Capital Development, where he leads the City’s capital development program for housing aiming to deliver 1,000 new homes by 2026.
Wendy Pollard is a seasoned housing professional with over 25 years of experience. She started her career with 10 years as an architect in private practice. Since then, she has spent 15 years at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation learning about and supporting the innovative solutions and impactful housing research being conducted in Canada. She led the design and delivery teams for several programs under Canada’s National Housing Strategy. She has extensive experience with knowledge mobilization and social marketing of sustainable communities, indigenous housing and the socio-economic factors related to affordable housing. She is fully bilingual and has been working in Quebec for the past 25 years. She has expertise in project management, social housing development and the financial and technical aspects of housing. Wendy is a Member of the Order of Architects of Quebec, a Chartered Member of CIH, and has a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University.
“I would like to use my skills and expertise in order to have a real impact on the lives of all Canadians. I believe in the aspirational goals of CIH Canada and want to contribute to ensuring that everyone has a place to call home.”
Geraldine Howley is the Group Chief Executive of one of the largest social housing providers in the Yorkshire and Humber region with nearly 22,600 homes for rent and almost 1,000 leasehold properties in the Yorkshire region.Geraldine started working in the Housing Sector over 30 years ago and has gone on to build a successful and rewarding career. Since 2003 she has lead an organisation which has invested over £400 million modernising and delivering new homes and transforming neighbourhoods. A key focus of the group’s work goes beyond providing homes to ‘Improving lives Incommunities’.
Geraldine is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Chartered Surveyor. In May she was appointed as a Chair of the Governing Board of the Chartered Institute of Housing following her CIH Presidential year and was appointed to the Chair position in 2019.
Locally, Geraldine is a member of the Health and Wellbeing board and Council Member of the Yorkshire and Humber CBI. In December 2016, Geraldine was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Bradford and in June 2017 was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to housing, young people and the local community.
Geraldine is also Chair of The Centre for Partnership, which is part of the Incommunities Group. The Centre for Partnership’s GEM Programme (Graduate Employment Mentoring Programme) started in 2009 and has now grown to achieve National status and has connections to both Europe, North America and Hong Kong. Geraldine is currently Chair of the International Housing Partnership.
Paul is Group Chief Executive of Orbit, UK, a group of housing organizations owning and managing over 38,000 homes. The “partners” within Orbit provide a wide range of housing, care and support services, build over 1,000 homes a year and provide corporate support services to members of the Group and many other housing associations.
Paul is Past President of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Past Chair of CIH Canada. His particular interests include increasing the quality and range of service offer of housing organizations and progressive business transformation, alongside promoting ethics, professional standards and the values offer of the housing sector.
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