Tyee Bridge

Research Associate

Tyee is a Vancouver-based journalist and writer. His essays, profiles and investigative features have received four National Magazine Awards and seven Western Magazine Awards since 2007. He is the founder of the literary nonfiction press Nonvella Publishing (www.nonvella.com) and Arclight Media, which assists thought leaders and values-aligned organizations with custom publishing opportunities. He is the co-author, with Joel Solomon, of the 2017 book The Clean Money Revolution. Most recently, Tyee co-authored a report “Jobs for Tomorrow,” which will be released in summer 2017. @TyeeBridge

Kevin Millsip

Executive Director

Kevin works as the Executive Director of the BC Libraries Cooperative where he is developing a project to support libraries engagement in helping tackle the climate crisis. He also works on a climate leadership program in Alberta. He co-founded Check Your Head and Next Up, has served as an elected Vancouver School Board (VSB) Trustee and subsequently worked for the VSB as their first Sustainability Coordinator. He serves on the boards of the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Wilderness Committee, and Upstream.net.

Ken Melamed

Advisory Council

Ken Melamed is a former mayor of Whistler in BC. He is a businessman, conservationist and former Green Party of Canada candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. Ken Melamed was first elected to the Whistler council in 1996, serving as a councillor until 2005. He was elected as mayor in 2005 and served in that position until 2011.

Darlene Marzari

Advisory Council

Darlene has had an extensive public career, which began in the Social Planning Department of the City of Vancouver in 1968. From this position, Darlene continued on as a Vancouver City Councillor for 8 years and served as a GVRD Director. Darlene became MLA of Point Grey in 1986 and held two cabinet positions: Minister of Tourism & Culture from 1991-1993 and Minister of Municipal Affairs from 1993-1996. During this time she was responsible for the creation and adoption of an innovative Growth Strategies Act in 1995.

Now retired, Darlene serves on a number of boards and committees. Her roles have included, Chair of Georgia Basin Network, Honorary Director of the Legal Action Fund, Honorary Director of the Big Sisters Society of BC, Member of the Katherine Sanford Housing Society, Board Member of Headlines Theatre, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Elected Member of the UBC Alumni Association, and  Member of the Vancouver Folk Festival Society Board.

Seth Klein

Advisory Council

Seth is the BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social and economic justice. Seth holds a BA in international relations and a B.Ed from the University of Toronto, and an MA in political science from Simon Fraser University. He has been a social activist for over twenty-five years.

A former teacher, Seth is co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, a board member of the Canada Without Poverty Advocacy Network, and an advisor and instructor for Next Up, a leadership program for young people committed to social and environmental justice. He is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on public policy issues. He lives with his wife and daughter in East Vancouver.

Cheeying Ho

Advisory Council

Cheeying is the Executive Director of the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. She has worked in the non-profit sector in policy, planning and education on transportation, land use and smart growth for over 10 years. Cheeying was the Executive Director of Smart Growth B.C. – a province-wide non-governmental organization promoting sustainable land use and development and Executive Director of BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation).

Cheeying is a former high school and college teacher of science and mathematics. She served as a member of the Prime Minister’s External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities, as well as a term on the Board of Vancity Credit Union and currently sits on a number of other advisory boards and committees including the Mayor of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Team.

Michael Clague

Advisory Council

Michael writes, teaches, and works in the fields of adult education, community development, and social planning. He currently works as a private consultant and as a community volunteer. In the past, he has served as Director of the Carnegie Community Centre, Director of Programs for SPARC BC, Executive Director of SPARC BC, and as Executive Director of the Community Council of Greater Victoria.

Michael is the recipient of several notable awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Council on Social Development and the Thakore Foundation Award for Service to the Carnegie Community Centre and Vancouver Eastside presented by SFU. He has taught courses and workshops at UBC, SFU, Langara, and through SPARC’s Community Development Institute.

Michael is an active community member, having founded the Downtown Eastside Community Arts Network, and is currently the President of the Carold Institute for the Study of Citizenship in Social Change.

David Levi

David Levi currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institute.

Outside volunteering his time to the non-profit, David is the President & CEO of Working Enterprises Ltd. In 1992, he founded the Working Opportunity Fund (WOF), BC’s original labour-sponsored investment fund, and was CEO until 2016. WOF has invested $600 million in more than 130 growth-oriented, entrepreneurial BC companies.

GrowthWorks was founded by David in January 1999 and grew to be a leading venture capital fund manager, having five offices and nine venture capital funds under management which have made investments in over 200 companies across the country David has grown assets under management to $800 million for GrowthWorks, the second largest manager of labour-sponsored investment funds in Canada. Today, he serves as Executive Vice President.

In addition to his entrepreneurship and strategic leadership, David has over 10 years of investment management experience and an in-depth knowledge of the brokerage community, having previously been chair of VanCity Credit Union and Vice-President of Broker Services at C.M. Oliver.

David has provided strategic direction to many portfolio companies and currently serves on the boards of Avcorp Industries and Xantrex Technology. He also chairs Verite, an independent, non-profit social auditing and research organization and is involved in a numDirectorber of community organizations.

Contact David via email.

Annette Toth


Annette has been a vice president at MoveUP (Movement of United Professionals) since 2013. Her experience in the labour movement goes back to 1992 when she was president of Local 4002 with the Airline Division of CUPE. In her capacity as Vice President, Annette represents the 4500+ unionized employees at ICBC. She also serves on the board of directors for the BC Labour Heritage Centre. She is the chair of the MoveUP Human Rights Committee, as well as a member of the BCFED Human Rights Committee. Additionally, she is the labour co-chair for the United Way campaign at ICBC and serves as a pension trustee. Annette holds a BA from the University of Victoria.

Sussanne Skidmore

Board Chair

Sussanne was elected BCFED Secretary-Treasurer in November 2018. A well-known human rights, social justice and queer rights activist, Sussanne has served as executive vice-president of BCGEU since 2014. She has also served as co-chair of the BCFED’s Human Rights Committee, and is active in the Women’s Rights Committee.

Ken Neumann


Ken is the National Director for Canada, United Steelworkers (USW). Born and raised in rural Saskatchewan, Ken Neumann has been a lifelong Steelworker. When he was still a teenager, he was a member of Local 5890 at Ipsco Ltd. in Regina, SK, and later was a member of Local 6166 at Inco Ltd. in Thompson, MB.

As a member of Local 4728 (Westank-Willock, Regina), Ken became active as a steward and later took on other responsibilities in the local prior to being elected president. He became an instructor, organizer, and president of the Regina Area Council before being hired as a Steelworker Staff Representative in 1977.

First elected District 3 Director in 1989, he was returned to office in every election until he was appointed by the International Executive Board as National Director for Canada in 2004 following the retirement of Lawrence McBrearty. He was reconfirmed in the union’s 2005 international elections, and in November 2009 was re-confirmed again for the 2010-2014 term.

Ken has built a personal reputation for strong service to Steelworker members. As National Director, Ken was instrumental in completing the merger with the Industrial Wood & Allied Workers of Canada (IWA) in 2004, and under his leadership, the union in Canada has signed strategic alliances with the Alliance of Canadian Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA); the Canadian Region of Communications Workers of Canada (CWA); Environmental Defence; and most recently the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU). In 2007, he hosted the 50th Canadian National Policy Conference, an historic event that included signing the Ottawa Accord – the agreement between our union and UNITE to form the first Global Union.

Ken is active in numerous Canadian and international organizations, including serving as labour co-chair of the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress (CSTEC); President of the Steelworkers’ Humanity Fund; and Director of the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) and the International  Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM). He is also secretary of the USW Non-ferrous Industry Conference, chair of the United Dominion Industries Conference, and a General Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado


Before joining the Columbia Institute, Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado worked with Amnesty International-PRO as Office Coordinator for one year and with FORGE, a non-profit organization based in the Philippines, as HR/Administrative Officer for eight years. Amor earned her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology and Master’s in Business Management from the University of the Philippines. She has also completed her office administration program from Vancouver Community College.