New board leadership + directors at Coquitlam Foundation

Saturday, July 1, 2017

COQUITLAM – The Coquitlam Foundation is pleased to announce that Coquitlam technology entrepreneur Jason Leo Carvalho has been named chair of its board, replacing Janet Toddington, whose term as a director has expired. Longtime board member Colleen Talbot is the new vice-chair, replacing Ken Catton, who has resigned to devote more time to his business interests.

New appointees to the board are Coquitlam lawyers Michele Chow and Roch Ripley.

Carvalho, 38, was a Business in Vancouver magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” award-winner in 2012, has served three years on the Board of Governors of Douglas College and two years with the Forum For Women Entrepreneurs charity. He thanked Toddington for her service and said he is, “deeply honoured and excited by this opportunity to chair the Coquitlam Foundation, particularly during a time of growth and unprecedented opportunity.”

He continued, “Building a vibrant, sustainable and healthy community is at the heart of the Coquitlam Foundation’s mandate. It is a vehicle for caring citizens who want to provide a benefit to their community in perpetuity. I’m excited about the year ahead and the prospect of working with my fellow board members, wonderful staff, volunteers and donors to make a real, lasting difference at the community level in Coquitlam, British Columbia.”

Toddington looked back fondly on her time with the Foundation. “From my early experience as a committee volunteer to my time as a board director in various executive roles and, during the past three years, serving as chair, I have thoroughly enjoyed my nine-year association with the Foundation,” she said.

“It’s been an honour to work with the Foundation’s dedicated and supportive team of board directors, staff and volunteer members to help make a difference in our community.  I know that Jason will bring energy and vision to benefit the Foundation in the years to come.”

Justina Mark is continuing as the Foundation’s treasurer and Justin Kim is retaining his role as secretary.

Chow and Ripley are replacing Toddington and Catton on the foundation’s board. Chow is a commercial lawyer who practices in the business-law group at the Coquitlam firm of Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP.  Prior to joining DBM Lawyers, she gained particular experience in real estate matters, insurance law and municipal law during her years at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Pacific Law Group, MIABC and in her role as General Counsel and VP of Operations for a real-estate-investment group.

Chow recently moved to Coquitlam with her family and joins the Foundation with a passion to contribute to her local community. Her recent community involvement includes serving as Auction Chair for the 2016 Heart and Stroke Foundation Gala.

Ripley and his wife have lived in Coquitlam since 2011 and have two young children. He is a partner in the law firm of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP where he practices intellectual property law and is a co-chair of the Vancouver Technology group.

He is a co-author of Video Game Law, 2nd edition, published by LexisNexis. He is also a past chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch) and is the current chair of the Information, Technology and Communications committee of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada.

Executive Director Dwight Yochim said he is looking forward to working with the new leadership and board members. Rounding out the board are Carol Cahoon (School District 43’s statutory representative), Carlo Zarrillo (Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce), Terry O’Neill (City of Coquitlam), Ron Grender, Madahvee Inamdar, and Linda Meneghello.

The public is invited to attend the first event of the foundation’s 2017-’18 fiscal year – its AGM, taking place Sept. 14 in the Coquitlam Foundation room of the Town Centre Branch of the Coquitlam Public Library. Help us celebrate our role as “the charitable heart of Coquitlam.”

About the Coquitlam Foundation

The Coquitlam Foundation manages $3 million in 30 foundation-directed and donor-advised funds. The foundation always welcomes donations to any of its funds, which can be made through its website, As well, the foundation invites interested individuals or organizations to consider establishing a fund with the foundation. Legacy and estate donations are also welcome. The Coquitlam Foundation is registered with Canada Revenue as a charitable organization, No. 890762347 RR0001.