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OUR TEAM

Executive Director

Amy Nugent
Amy brings experience in capacity building, government relations and programming to the Urbanarium as its first ever executive director. Prior to this she was the executive director of Inclusion BC Foundation and has held resource development positions for a number of cultural institutions in Western Canada. As the former president of Artspeak, she has been recognized with a Mayor’s Award for Board Member of the Year from the City of Vancouver. You can reach Amy by email at amy@urbanarium.org.

Communications Manager

Sara Chitsaz
Sara has a MSc in Environmental Sociology, with a focus on Indigenous community renewable energy projects. She believes in the potential for our built environment to shape our experiences and communities.

Board Directors

Andrea Smith
Andrea Smith has been involved with the Urbanarium since 2013 as a volunteer and Administrator. She is the Controller at Henriquez Partners Architects, a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and is currently pursuing her CPA designation.
Brad Jones
Brad is the SVP Development of Wesgroup Properties, responsible for overseeing project design and execution, community consultation and government relations. With a background in Urban Planning, he has been involved in the design and approval of 4,000 homes and over 4.5 million square feet of built space.
Bruce Haden
Bruce Haden is an architect and urban designer in Vancouver.
Bryce Rositch
Bryce is a principal of Rositch Hemphill Architects in Vancouver, is active in community issues and loves to ski.
Derek Lee
Derek Lee is a Partner at PWL Partnership and Adjunct Professor of Urban Design at the University of British Columbia. Derek draws inspiration from the our city’s close relationship with the natural environment, fundamental to the planning and design of resilient cities around the world.
Kari Dow
Kari is an urban designer at the City of Vancouver with 12 years of professional experience in urban design and sustainable community planning. Before joining Vancouver's City Design Studio, Kari was an Associate at Perkins+Will Vancouver, where she managed a number of large-scale, multi-disciplinary urban design projects.
Marta Farevaag
Marta Farevaag is an urban planner and Principal at PFS Studio interested in the integration of planning, landscape architecture, and urban design.
Michael Mortensen
Michael Mortensen brings 20+ years of development and urban planning experience to his consulting work at Liveable City Planning, leading teams and managing all aspects of the development of transformative mixed-use projects. His experience includes projects at scale in Greater Vancouver, Toronto, L.A., London UK, and Edinburgh.
Mitch McKamey
Mitch is a seasoned communications professional with 15+ years of experience, currently serving as Group Business Lead at Rethink Communications. He brings a unique blend of brand building knowledge, marketing strategy, and content amplification together to help clients maximize their impact and effectiveness across various marketing channels.
Nic Paolella
Nic Paolella is a development manager at Marcon. As part of the second generation of his family’s real estate development firm, he is helping build on the successes of the company over the past three decades.
Rebecca Chaster
Rebecca is an urban planner with experience in both municipal planning and real estate development. She currently works at Darwin Properties managing over 3 million sqft of mixed-use master-planned development proposals, and previously worked at the fastest-growing cities in Metro Vancouver (Coquitlam, Surrey) and West Africa (Dakar, Senegal). She also volunteers with ULI, UDI, PIBC, and Vancouver’s Development Permit Board Advisory Panel.
Richard Henriquez
Richard Henriquez, Vancouver Architect and Artist is the Founding Partner of Henriquez Partners Architects . Recipient of the RAIC Gold Medal, he is internationally recognized for his award-winning, iconic buildings and for his many years of Community Service.
Rob Wilson
Rob is a Professional Quantity Surveyor with experience working across North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania. Rob is a Director at BTY and leads a team which provides cost & risk advisory services on construction and infrastructure projects, with a portfolio value exceeding $35B.
Sara Stevens
Sara Stevens is a historian of architecture and urban design and an associate professor at UBC SALA. She is a member of the collective Architects Against Housing Alienation that curated the Canada Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Shirley Shen
Shirley is the director and co-founder of Haeccity Studio Architecture. She is a registered architect in BC and Washington State.
Travis Hanks
Travis Hanks is Principal and Co-founder of Haeccity Studio Architecture, and adjunct faculty at UBC SALA. Travis has presented housing research across BC and beyond in order to contribute to policy change around housing choice and affordability.

Advisors

Carol Henriquez, CM
Carol Henriquez is the Co-founder and former Executive Director of Children’s Arts Umbrella, a visual and performing arts organization for children located in Vancouver. She has worked as a social worker and an artist. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Emily Carr University and is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Catherine Alkenbrack
Catherine Alkenbrack is the director of Facilities Planning at UBC, working to develop comprehensive planning models for new and renovated facilities.
Dan Henriques
Daniel is the CFO of EnWave Corporation (TSX.V: ENW), a Vancouver-based technology company. Previous to EnWave, Daniel worked in PwC's Assurance Group assisting public and private clients with financial reporting and taxation services.
Darren Yada
As Managing Partner and head of digital planning at Rethink, Darren oversees the strategic direction for the agency and clients within social and digital channels. He leads a team of strategists, analysts and amplification experts across offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Dr. Gary Hack
Gary Hack is professor emeritus of urban design in the School of Design, University of Pennsylvania. From 1996-2008 he served as dean of the School and is a former chairman of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. He practices and writes about large scale urban design, and has prepared plans for over 40 cities in the US and abroad. Garry Hack serves as an advisor to the Urbanarium.
Ian Grais
Ian is a founder and Creative Director of Rethink Communications.
Joe Rekab
Joe Rekab is a Partner and Chairman of BTY Group, a real estate and infrastructure consultancy for project delivery, design and construction cost management services in urban centres globally. Joe Advises world cities from affordable housing to health care, transportation to utilities infrastructure.
Jon Stovell
Jon Stovell is the President of Reliance Properties Ltd. and has been in the real estate investment and development industry for over 25 years working in all areas including acquisitions, finance, civic approvals, construction and marketing.
Larry Beasley
Larry is the retired Co-director of Planning for the City of Vancouver. He is now the founding principal of Beasley and Associates, an international planning and urban design consultancy and the “Distinguished Practice Professor of Planning” at the University of British Columbia. He is a Registered Professional Planner in Canada. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Leslie Van Duzer
Leslie Van Duzer is a Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia.
Mark Busse
Mark Busse is a strategist, communication designer, engagement specialist, and facilitator with a strong belief in the power of curiosity, creativity, conversation, and community as catalysts for positive impact and change. Mark’s career has put him on the frontier of applying design methods to social and strategic questions in business, community and the arts, and he is an outspoken design industry writer, speaker, and activist. As a Director at HCMA, Busse is a member of their interdisciplinary design practice and leads TILT Curiosity Labs, where the firm explores, experiments, and seeks new discoveries, approaches, and opportunities.
Mike Flannigan
Michael brings 25 years of experience in partnering with different levels of government, not-for-profit and private housing partners, as well as the development community to his role of promoting the creation of affordable housing. Previous appointments include Vice President – Development & Asset Strategies BC Housing, director of leasing and vice-president at Hong Kong-based Henderson Development, and director of real estate services for City of Vancouver, responsible for the City’s $3-billion Property Endowment Fund.
Peeter Wesik
Peeter Wesik is the President of Wesgroup Properties, one of Vancouver’s most prominent development companies, a long term holder and developer of industrial, commercial and office properties. Peeter has over 30 years of experience in corporate law, corporate acquisitions, real estate investing, mortgage lending, and structuring and negotiating complex transactions.
Ray Spaxman
Ray Spaxman is an architect and planner with over 50 years of experience. Half of his career has been as a municipal planner in England, Toronto and Vancouver (Director of Planning 73-89), and the second half as president of RSC Ltd. providing planning and urban design advice in Canada and Internationally.
Sam Khany
Sam Khany is an interdisciplinary urban designer and planner at the City of Vancouver, with experience in land use, public space, transportation and community planning. He has been contributing to Urbanarium since 2014 and is the organization's webmaster.
Scot Hein
Scot Hein is the University of British Columbia’s Urban Designer and teaches in the Masters of Urban Design Programme.