BC Assessment’s Board of Directors (Board) is appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council and are stewards of corporation, with a general duty to guide BC Assessment’s strategic direction and oversee Management in the conduct of the business of the corporation. In carrying out these duties, the Board plays a role in policy making, guidance of the strategic planning process, and performance monitoring. BC Assessment’s Board adheres to a
Charter of Expectations of Directors and
Terms of Reference for the Board of Directors.
The Board is committed to leading governance practices and operates in a manner consistent with the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office (CABRO) Best Practice Guidelines. If you have any questions regarding governance at BC Assessment, please contact Daniel van den Berg, Acting General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
Kathleen (Ruth) Wittenberg - Vancouver Island
(December 9, 2019 - September 26, 2026)
Ms. Wittenberg is based in Victoria, and has over 40 years experience in the academic, government and voluntary sectors. She served as President for the BC Association of Institutes and Universities (BCAIU) for 10 years, advising on strategies and approaches to working with government, including areas of policy and legislation and in board governance.
Prior to her role as President for BCAIU, Ms. Wittenberg was employed by the British Columbia Public Service for over 30 years, holding positions with the Ministry of Advanced Education & Labour Market Development (Assistant Deputy Minister, Post Secondary Education Division), Ministry of Education (Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Services Division), Ministry of Human Resources (Assistant Deputy Minister, Financial & Administrative Services), Ministry of Finance (Chief Information Officer), Ministry of Transportation (Manager, Financial Systems & Policy), and Treasury Board (Analyst). She served as a Board member of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria for over 6 years, including serving as Board President from 2013 to 2018.
Ms. Wittenberg is currently a public representative on the Law Society of BC Tribunal, hearing matters of lawyer misconduct and admission to the profession. She also serves as a faculty member for the United Way Public Policy Institute, where the focus is enhancing understanding and increasing capacity to advance public policy positions of strategic interest for the non-profit sector.
Victoria Chan - Thompson/Okanagan
(February 9, 2023 - February 15, 2024)
Victoria Chan has an extensive career in finance and accounting holding various leadership roles in the public sector. Beyond financial management and financial reporting, Victoria also has significant senior management experience in corporate services and policy development.
With implementation of considerable senior management initiatives involving strategic planning, truth and reconciliation and equity in action, she has comprehensive knowledge of business operations, including in the areas of financial planning, facility operations, information technology and human resource planning. Victoria also has experience in government relations and has led policy development and legislative and regulatory amendments initiatives.
Applying her legal knowledge, her significant experience in the public sector and leadership roles, she is one of the appointed Bylaw Adjudicators for the Ministry of the Attorney General and is the Board of Director for the National Film Board.
Victoria holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of London and a Master of Law degree from York University. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant.
As a firm believer in professional development and commitment of life-time learning, Victoria also teaches several accounting and finance courses at post-secondary institutions.
John D. Crawford - Lower Mainland
(February 9, 2023 - February 15, 2024)
John Crawford is a senior business leader with over 30 years of experience in the areas of corporate leadership, board governance, strategy and financial systems. He is a distinguished Chartered Professional Accountant (Fellow) and was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Chief Financial Officers.
He has held numerous executive officer positions, including as the former Chief Financial Officer and past President and Chief Executive Officer for Pacific Blue Cross. His responsibilities and oversight included leading initiatives to improve business processes, implementing major systems changes, long term business strategies, governance and maintaining relationships with stakeholders, including the board, executive, over 750 employees, insurance brokers and government.
He has served as a board and committee member for a number of organizations in the health insurance sector.
In addition to his extensive financial education and certifications, John holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D) through the Rotman Directors Education Program. John was appointed as FCPA.
Jill Davidson - Lower Mainland
(July 12, 2018 - February 15, 2024)
Jill Davidson is a seasoned professional Community Planner with a varied background in both municipal and resource planning. She is now retired from the City of Vancouver where she led teams that provided innovative directions for the City in homelessness, low-income housing and financing growth. Jill was instrumental in the City's acquisition and development of properties for over a dozen low-income housing buildings. For the 2010 Winter Olympics, Jill, in partnership with the provincial and federal governments and community members, led efforts to adapt the first ever Inner City Inclusive Commitments. This helped in the City's successful bid to host the Games and ensured the Games were beneficial for downtown communities. Earlier in her career, Jill worked at BC Hydro, in positions that identified and mitigated community impacts from electrical generation projects throughout the province.
Jill has previously worked as Vice-Chair and Board Member of BC Lottery Corporation. She has also been President of the Planning Institute of British Columbia where under her leadership the Institute played an increasing role in provincial policy matters on land use, heritage, transportation and agriculture.
Susan Gimse - Lower Mainland
(December 1, 2017 - February 15, 2024)
Susan Gimse has extensive Local Government experience (1993-2014), serving as Chair of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District for twelve years, and Vice-Chair for six. In addition, she served on Council for the Township of Pemberton (2009 -2011), was a Director on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (2006-2014), and was on the Executive of the Union of BC Municipalities (1999-2009), including time as President. She has been an active member of numerous other Boards and Committees, and in 2019, she completed the Institute of Corporate Directors – Directors Education Program (ICD.D).
Susan is Chair of her local community Fire Board. She and her husband Geoff own and operate a 130-acre farm in the Pemberton area. With the help of their two daughters and four grandchildren, they raise cattle, hogs, and chickens, plus tend a large garden and apple orchard. Susan is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canadian cities and communities.
Nicole Halbauer - Northern BC
(February 21, 2018 - February, 15 2024)
Nicole Halbauer belongs to the Ganhada (Raven) clan of Kitsumkalum, a Tsimshian community near Terrace B.C. Her traditional name is X'staam Hana'ax, meaning Victorious Lady. She has over twenty years of experience in Indigenous health, advocacy, negotiation, program planning and system change.
Ms. Halbauer is currently a community engagement coordinator for the First Nations Health Authority. Previously, she was a general manager for Kalum Kabs Ltd., a student researcher for Kitsumkalum Social History, and an Aboriginal health collaborative coordinator for the Northern Health Authority. Active in her community, Ms. Halbauer currently serves as Chair of the Board of governors for Coast Mountain College and as a chair person for the Kitsumkalum Economic Development Board.
She previously served as a trustee for the Coast Mountain School District. Ms. Halbauer holds her Associate Degree specializing in Criminology from North West Community College and her Master of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia.
David Highfield - Lower Mainland
(February 21, 2018 - February 15, 2024)
David Highfield has enjoyed more than a 40 year career focused on property assessment. Throughout that career he has gained broad experience in assessment, property valuation, organizational behaviour and governance, both in Canada and abroad. He is presently engaged presenting training in ad valorem taxation across Canada.
Active within his community, Mr. Highfield was a guest lecturer on organizational behaviour for the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a past president of the Appraisal Institute of Canada. He has held leadership roles in both private sector and public sector unions and served ten years as the Chair of the Valuers Global Forum in Washington, DC. Mr. Highfield is a Fellow and Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute (AACI) at the Appraisal Institute of Canada.
Karen Hoffmann - Vancouver Island
(December 9, 2019 – February 15, 2024)
Karen Hoffmann is a seasoned Senior Executive with a broad background spanning business unit operations, strategy development, head office services and governance. Karen served in numerous Executive positions at Canada's largest credit union, supporting a member-elected board and serving as acting Chief Executive Officer during a period of change. She has Executive leadership experience in the areas of strategy, investments, operations, risk management, human resources, compliance, legal, audit and insurance.
Ms. Hoffmann's extensive work on and with Boards provides a deep base of experience as a Director. She has served on six boards in the non-profit, private, and professional governing sectors, with five years' experience as Chair of the Governance Committee for the YWCA Metro Vancouver.
Ms. Hoffmann holds Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa, and holds the Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D) from Rotman's School of Business.
Robert K. Lapham - Vancouver Island
(February 9, 2023 - February 15, 2024)
Robert Lapham has over 36 years of experience working with local governments. He has managed a variety of business lines in corporate services and administration, health, capital finance, housing, transportation, planning and emergency services.
His extensive career in local government, includes serving as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Capital Regional District (CRD), Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) and Capital Region Housing Corporation. Previously, he was General Manager, Planning and Protective Services Department at Capital Regional Housing Corporation, CRHD and CRD.
He has served as a board and committee member for a number of organizations supporting local governments. He Chaired the Capital Region Regional Emergency Partnership Steering Committee and was a Project Board Member for the Greater Victoria Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project.
Active in his community, he served as Vice-Chair of the United Way of Greater Victoria.
Robert holds Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria and has completed a number of programs in the areas of public sector and local government management and municipal administration, holding a Senior Certificate Municipal Administration, Provincial Board of Examiners. He is a Registered Planner and Member with the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP) and Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC). He also holds a Diploma in Real Estate Appraisal.
Richard Rainey - Lower Mainland
(December 1, 2017 - February 15, 2024)
Richard is a partner and business lawyer with Drysdale Bacon McStravick LLP. Richard is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia and was called to the British Columbia bar in 1992. Richard practised business law in Vancouver with Douglas, Symes & Brissenden and later with Heenan Blaikie. Richard is a governor and past chair of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody.
Richard has also served on the boards of the Coquitlam Heritage Society, the Coquitlam Foundation, and the Coquitlam Adanacs Senior A lacrosse club and as co-chair of the Coquitlam Terry Fox Run. Richard is a former member of the Simon Fraser University Senate, the Board of Governors of the Children's Foundation of British Columbia, and the Board of Governors of the Meadowridge School Society. Richard previously served on the Advisory Planning Commission to the City of Burnaby.
The Board Chair is appointed pursuant to section 11(4) of the Assessment Authority Act, by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Board Chair provides leadership in managing the Board’s affairs, including ensuring that the Board is organized properly, functions effectively, and meets its statutory and fiduciary obligations and responsibilities. See BC Assessment’s
Board Chair Position Description.
Jason Grant was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective October 2, 2017. The CEO is the most senior executive position within the organization, reporting to the Board of Directors and provides strategic leadership for BC Assessment. The position is responsible for the overall management of BC Assessment’s operations, products and services, and for organizational compliance with Provincial Legislation. This position is the primary point of contact for senior provincial and local government officials, assessment organizations, and stakeholders. See BC Assessment’s
Terms of Reference - President & CEO.
The Corporate Secretary is an employee of the corporation who reports operationally to the Board Chair, is accountable to the Board of Directors and reports administratively to the CEO. The Corporate Secretary is responsible for providing strategic and operational support to the Board, working with the Board Chair to establish and administer BC Assessment’s governance framework. See BC Assessment’s
Terms of Reference for Corporate Secretary.
The Board has responsibility to ensure that BC Assessment meets its mandate and the performance expectations of Government. See the
2023-2024 Mandate Letter. The Board monitors and reports on BC Assessment’s performance under its
Service Plans. The Board is responsible for the corporation’s governance practices and for ensuring that those practices meet the needs of Government, the corporation, and the public. The Board ensures that governance practices, committee operations, and Board education and training programs are consistent with BC Assessment’s mandate and legislation. The Board Chair, in consultation with the CEO, is the principal interface between the Board and the Responsible Minister, ensuring the Minister is alert to significant issues which may affect BC Assessment or government and that the Board is alert to its obligations to government.
BC Assessment has four standing Board Committees, to assist it in fulfilling its role. Members of each the Committee are appointed by the Board Chair. The Chair of each Committee is appointed by the Board on recommendation of the Board Chair, following consultation with the CEO.
Audit and Risk Management
The Audit and Risk Management Committee is responsible for ensuring BC Assessment expends public funds in accordance with carefully considered plans that support the organization’s mandate, have been accurately accounted for, and are reported in a timely and transparent way. See the
Terms of Reference for Audit and Risk Management Committee, which describes the financial expertise requirements for Committee members. The Board has delegated to the Audit and Risk Management Committee full responsibility for establishing and overseeing the Internal Audit function that supports BC Assessment in the achievement of its strategic direction. The role and responsibilities of the Internal Audit staff are set out in the
Terms of Reference for Internal Audit.
The Governance Committee is responsible for ensuring that BC Assessment and its Board develop and implement an effective approach to corporate governance, to enable the business and affairs of the organization to be carried out, directed, and managed with the objective of ensuring compliance with governance practices, sound ethical principles, and government direction. See the
Terms of Reference for Governance Committee.
Human Resources and Compensation
The Human Resource and Compensation Committee is responsible for assisting the Board in ensuring that BC Assessment’s long term ‘People Strategy’ includes the appropriate human resource strategies, practices and business requirements. The Committee makes recommendations to the Board on all aspects of the employment of the CEO, including the
CEO Evaluation Process, Performance Development Plan and compensation. See
Terms of Reference for Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
Information Technology Transformation
The Information Technology Transformation Oversight Committee assists the Board discharging its responsibility to ensure that material investments in BC Assessment’s technology-enabled transformation projects and programs align with organizational strategy, achieve intended business outcomes, and are effectively managed in a way that mitigates risk. See
Terms of Reference for IT Transformation Oversight Committee.
The Board may establish other Committees by resolution. Currently, there is one Advisory Committee:
2023 Committee Structure and Composition for information regarding the current Committee members.
Composition and Succession
The Governance Committee recommends to the Board the ideal skills, qualifications, experience, and background required of the Board as a whole based on the strategic opportunities and challenges of BC Assessment and the Board’s leadership requirements to develop a Board Competency Matrix. Annually the Governance Committee updates and reviews the Board Competency Matrix and through the Board Chair, consults with the CEO and provides the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office (CABRO) the competencies required. Through the Board Chair, the Governance Committee works proactively with the Responsible Minister to ensure an appropriate succession plan for the Board.
Orientation and Professional Development
Special orientation sessions are held for new Board members. The sessions include an overview of BC Assessment’s governance framework and each of its divisions. Upon appointment, directors also receive a copy of BC Assessment’s Governance Manual that provides guidance on board governance issues, as well as other important information such as the
Service Plan and the
Government mandate letter.
The Governance Committee monitors emerging best practices, trends, and strategic direction and will support and encourage Board professional development opportunities that are consistent with corporate direction and gaps identified in the Board evaluation process. The Governance Committee develops a Board education plan to meet the education and training needs of the Board as a whole. Board members are also encouraged to pursue appropriate individual educational opportunities, to support their development.
Board, Committee and Director Assessment
The Board is responsible for implementing an appropriate annual process for assessing the effectiveness of the Board, its committees, and the contribution of individual Directors. The objective of the evaluation process is to contribute to a process of continuous improvement in the Board’s execution of its responsibilities. The Governance Committee annually reviews the skills, experience, background, and diversity of the Board, taking into account the strategic direction of BC Assessment. Recommendations resulting from that review regarding Board Composition and Succession Planning will be discussed with the full Board and the CEO and communicated to Government through the Board Chair.
The Director Lifecycle.
Details regarding the number of Board and Committee meetings held and attended by each Director during the past fiscal year are reported annually. See
2022-2023 Board Attendance Roster. The
Terms of Reference for the Board of Directors provide that the Board may move a meeting in-camera at any time. Board and Committees meet regularly without Management. The Audit and Risk Management Committee meet with the Director, Internal Audit, Planning and Risk and external auditors in-camera.
Fees and Expenses
BC Assessment remunerates its Directors in accordance with
Treasury Board Directive 2/20.
Meeting fees and retainers are paid to directors on a quarterly basis.
Directors are reimbursed for travel and accommodation costs incurred to attend Board and Committee meetings. Expenses are paid upon receipt of a completed expense claim form with supporting receipts.
Details regarding the fees and expenses paid to Directors is reported annually. See 2022-2023 Board Appointees Remuneration Disclosure.
Standards of Conduct
To establish and maintain the public's trust and confidence in BC Assessment, employees, Board members and contractors must uphold the highest standards of conduct in the course of their work for BC Assessment. The Board has adopted a
Standards of Conduct Policy and Procedures (Policy) that outlines the expected standards of behaviour for BC Assessment employees, board members and contractors. The Policy also outlines supporting processes and specific steps and measures for implementing the requirements outlined in this Policy. The Board has overall responsibility for the Policy. The Policy includes details regarding who can assist with interpretation of the Policy, disclosure of conflicts of interest and exemptions or waivers from the requirements of the Policy. For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2020, no waivers or exemptions were granted.