mary-ellen-purkisDr. Mary Ellen Purkis, Board Chair
Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Human & Social Development, University of Victoria

Mary Ellen holds a doctoral degree in Nursing from Edinburgh University (1993). She has held an academic position at University of Victoria since 1993 where she has taught, undertaken research in the area of Home Care and Health Services as well as numerous administrative roles.

Mary Ellen got involved with the United Way of Greater Victoria in the mid 1990s, initially by taking part in fund allocation committees. She participated in reviews and reorganization of the funding process, ultimately sitting on the Family and Community Wellbeing Impact Council. She is honoured to be serving now as Chair of the Board for the United Way of Greater Victoria and hopes to bring her knowledge of factors contributing to health and wellness in our community to her role.

IvanWatsonIvan Watson, Vice Chair
Marketing & Communications Professional

Ivan has worked in strategic communications, policy analysis and issues management for the federal and provincial governments in Ottawa and Victoria, for the European Union in Brussels and for a number of organizations and non-profits. He is an active community leader and serves on the national board of the United Way of Canada, chairing the Strategic Marketing Committee where he recently led the development of the new national brand framework and oversaw the development of the United Way’s three focus areas. Locally, he is an alumnus and communications director for Leadership Victoria. He has just left a position at the University of Victoria where he advanced the university’s domestic and international recruitment objectives. He is now employed by BC Pensions Corporation.

Ivan is often called upon as a consultant, keynote speaker or workshop presenter and has helped to organize many local, regional and national conferences. His interests include reading, writing, film, music, photography, running and international travel. Ivan has volunteered with the United Way of Greater Victoria for almost fifteen years in a variety of roles, helping to found our Youth Advisory Council while he was still in high school.


Sharon Moysey, Chair, Finance Committee

Sharon is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree.   She retired from the provincial public service as Assistant Deputy Minister in February 2014. Her career included cross-government work on building healthy communities; designing and improving social services delivery for vulnerable citizens; and financial management of organizations in the transportation, construction, and social services sectors.

Sharon has been on the board of non-profit groups involved in nature preservation and education, social justice, youth soccer, and charitable bingo. Sharon joined the board of directors in February 2016.


StevewaddellCaptain (N) Steve Waddell, Chair, Governance & Nominating Committee
Base Commander, Department of National Defence

Captain (N) Steve Waddell was raised in Temagami, Northern Ontario and joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1990. A mariner at heart, most of his career has been at sea; he conducted several operational deployments to the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Adriatic Sea and the waters off the Horn of Africa and Korean peninsula. Following his frigate command, he transferred to Ottawa where he served as the Director of Naval Strategy with the Navy Staff. On promotion to his current rank, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) at Canadian Joint Operations Command where he directed national-level joint operations from the Caribbean to the Arctic. Captain (N) Waddell went on to serve as an advisor in the Chief of the Defence Staff Initiative Group before taking up studies at the United States Naval War College. He assumed his current position as Base Commander Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt on July 30, 2014.

Captain (N) Waddell holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Manitoba, a Master’s Degree from King’s College London, U.K. and a Diploma in National Security Affairs and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College. A fan of most forms of music, he wishes he was better at playing his electric bass but is content, along with his wife Shauna, to admire the growing musical talents of their two children.

stushieldswebStu Shields, Victoria Labour Council Representative

Stu graduated from Carleton University with his BCom and is a National Staff Representative for Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector Union, and he has held several positions over the years in a number of Unions in British Columbia. Stu was appointed to the board of the United Way by the Victoria Labour Council.

 As a lifelong trade unionist, Stu has worked across Canada with his last stop being the Central Canadian Director for the former CAW (now Unifor) based in Winnipeg Manitoba representing the staff and locals of the Union in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario. He returned to BC in 2008 with the CAW where his labour career began over 30 years ago. Stu is responsible for collective bargaining, arbitrating, mediating and all manner of legal applications at both the BC and Canada Labour Boards. He moved back to Victoria in 2014 where it all started and lives in Strawberry Vale with his wife Lisa. Stu has 2 adult children and 7 grandchildren all of whom live right here in Victoria.

Ashley ForseilleAshley Forseille, Young Professional Representative

Ashley holds a B.A. (History and Sociology, Thompson Rivers University) and an M.A. (History, University of Victoria). Working as an editor, writer, and historical research consultant, Ashley’s work focuses on projects involving collaborative, local, and oral history and editing for academic audiences.

As a community volunteer, Ashley’s interests lie in community building, youth engagement, and intergenerational exchange. Her volunteering history includes volunteering with the Oak Bay Volunteer Society, the Victoria Fringe Festival, and serving on the Executive Board of the Society for the Friends of St. Ann’s Academy. She has been volunteering with the United Way Greater Victoria for three years as a member of the UnitedNOW! Council, which she currently chairs, along with being a member of the NOW Steering Committee.

Ashley is also a coordinator for the Victoria Food Swap; a free event that encourages homegrown and homemade food consumption and community connections.

MikeMacdonellMike MacDonell
Business Advisor, Professional Services, MNP

Mike Macdonell is a Business Advisor with MNP LLP.  He is a seasoned management professional with a varied career in the private sector and government.  An experienced committee leader and community volunteer, Mike has worked successfully with a wide range of people from various backgrounds.  He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, holds an MBA and is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada.  Mike is excited to bring his unique set of financial, strategic and business acumen to the United Way of Greater Victoria. Mike is married to Sarah, a former United Way board member, and lives in Saanich with their three children.

SteveMcSteve McKerrell

Steve’s first career was in design and implementation of airborne remote sensing systems for geophysical exploration and environmental assessment; followed by 20+ years as executive chairman of one of Canada’s leading health supplement companies. He is currently president of Konrad Trading, developing personal medical devices while actively engaged in philanthropy, supporting his community and looking for the next business opportunity. His volunteer career spans 3 decades from co-chairing one of the first recycling programs in Canada to several years on the Board of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria as well as chairing the AGGV Foundation for 3 years.

In 2013 Steve wrapped up 8 years with Victoria Foundation including 2 years as board chair, and is currently a member of the Governor’s Circle for Governor General David Johnston’s Smart & Caring Communities Initiative. He is a board member of the Victoria Hospital Foundation, and is board chair of the Victoria Symphony Foundation. Originally from the Toronto area, Steve has lived in Victoria for the past 24 years with his wife Barbara and dog Millie. He has 2 adult daughters; Tricia in Calgary and Dianne in Victoria.

kathymacneilwebKathy MacNeil
Executive Vice-President, Quality, Safety & Experience, Island Health

As an experienced healthcare executive with 30 years of progressive leadership experience, Kathy came to Island Health in 2015 as the Executive Vice-President, Quality, Safety & Experience from Capital Health in Halifax where she had served as the Vice-President of People since 2008. Her background and experience in the areas of leadership and organizational development, systems design, human resources and change management  allow her to lead people effectively, always focussing on people at the heart.  Kathy holds a Masters of Arts in Leadership (Health Specialization) from Royal Roads University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. She is a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

 Kathy and her husband Pat live with one of their three daughters in James Bay.


Rick WiegelRick Wiegel, CIM, FCSI 
Vice-President, Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy

Rick Wiegel has been an Investment Advisor since 1983. Rick’s background includes extensive experience in all aspects of investments and portfolio administration, including retirement and estate planning. In addition to specializing in bonds, GIC’s and blue chip equities, Rick is also qualified to offer insurance and advise in third-party money managers.

Outside of the office, Rick makes a special effort to be active in the community and takes part in many civic and charitable organizations. Rick is active in his Church, is a Paul Harris Fellow and has been a contributor to a Bursary for Business students at Camosun College Foundation for many years. In addition, Rick’s worldly travels have given him unique perspectives and insights.