There is an outstanding team of academic and administrative professionals behind BCIT. Their leadership ensures BCIT remains a viable, accountable and world-class institution.
Paul McCullough is Interim President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Canada’s premier polytechnic institution serving approximately 45,000 students annually. His focus is continuing BCIT’s commitment to delivering strategic workforce development to support British Columbia’s economic prosperity through an applied education model. Under Paul’s leadership, BCIT will continue to advance its provincial role to deliver high-quality education that is accessible and affordable, contribute to broad-based sustainable economic growth, and advance the objectives of Reconciliation.
Prior to his appointment as Interim President in July 2022, Paul served for eight years as Vice President Advancement at BCIT where he synthesised financial acumen and inclusive leadership to expand private sector engagement and fundraising, and balanced complex educational mandates with entrepreneurial deliverables. Through his leadership and strategic direction, the Advancement team were the architects for INSPIRE, the largest fundraising campaign in BCIT history. Through this campaign, BCIT has doubled the size of the Institute’s endowment fund and successfully raised over $100 million in private sector support for BCIT, its students, Indigenous programs, and capital projects.
From his diverse background, Paul brings a unique blend of private and public sector experience to BCIT, with over 16 years in global management in London, Dubai, and Hong Kong, and holding senior executive positions in three of the largest global business organisations. He gained experience at HSBC and Unilever before joining KPMG and becoming a Principal of the firm, where he served for over a decade providing governance advisory services to a large client portfolio of Mid-Cap and Large-Cap companies based in the UK, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Paul has been actively involved in many local community organizations and boards over the years, most recently with the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, where he was also the chair of the Audit Committee. He currently sits on the national board of the Paralympic Foundation of Canada.
Paul is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute, an Accredited Director, and holds a Diploma in Business from the London Metropolitan University School of Business in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Tom Roemer is Vice President, Academic and is responsible for providing academic vision at the Institute and leadership in the educational, international, Indigenous and applied research portfolios. Previously, he developed production control software and data solutions for corporate clients.
Tom holds a master’s degree in astrophysics, a doctorate in educational leadership, and various professional certificates from the University of California. He has adjunct professor status at Simon Fraser University, and specializes in global technical-vocational education frameworks.
As Vice President, Students, Lisa Collins provides leadership and strategic direction for a wide range of student services, including the Registrar’s Office and Program Advising, Financial Aid, Student Housing, Health and Accessibility Services, Counselling, Student Life Office and Recreation, Student Judicial Affairs, Workplace Education, and Testing Centres. Lisa is also responsible for the Enrolment Planning and Institutional Research offices.
Lisa is a collaborative champion, bolstering student success in the classroom and beyond by offering best-in-class student services and supports, and ensuring BCIT’s programming meets both student needs and expectations. She also plays a significant role in the development of the Institute, leading initiatives in student-centred services and programs that enhance BCIT’s enrolment, retention, and overall student success.
Prior to BCIT, Lisa was the Vice Provost and University Registrar at the University of Alberta. She has 18 years of experience in academic administration from the University of British Columbia.
Danica Djurkovic is the Vice President Campus Planning and Facilities, and a member of the BCIT executive leadership team. Danica provides strategic leadership and vision for the BCIT campus planning and development, as well as facilities services and operations.
Danica is passionate, visionary strategic leader with over 30 years of experience in the private, non-profit and public sector. Her remarkable array of credentials, experiences, and connections will be instrumental in the ongoing transformation of our Burnaby Campus in particular, but also other BCIT campuses as we renew and upgrade in the future.
As the President of the Architectural Institute of BC, she elevated the Institute and significantly contributed to the profession of architecture across the country and even around the world, as evidenced by the signing of the recent mutual recognition agreement with the European Union.
Danica joined BCIT from the City of Vancouver where she served as Director of Facilities Planning and Development. There, she lead the creation of a new Facilities Planning and Development division based on a “service first” delivery model, centered on the needs of the users and the community. She provided vision and strategic leadership in the planning, development and management of all city facilities (640 buildings, over 12 million square feet).
Danica and her team at the City won the 2020 Canada Green Building Council Government Leadership Award recognizing achievements in forward vision, strategies, planning, and development of city-owned facilities. Danica is also a 2020 YWCA Women of Distinction Award nominee in the category of Arts and Culture.
A proud BCIT Alumni, Jackie Jacob is a strategic and motivated leader who is committed to building and guiding high functioning teams to deliver on bold and comprehensive goals that provide impact. Jackie’s leadership style is collaborative, and she focuses on the delivery of results, accountability, and sustainability, while driving change through philanthropy and partnerships.
Prior to her appointment as Interim Vice President, Advancement, Jackie served as Executive Director, BCIT Foundation for seven years where she was instrumental in building the team and leading fundraising activities. In addition, she provided operational leadership to the Advancement team including the Development, Alumni Relations, Communications, and Finance and Advancement Services teams. Jackie continues to play a lead role in the creation and execution of INSPIRE, the largest fundraising campaign in BCIT history. Through this campaign, BCIT has doubled the size of its endowment fund and has successfully raised over $100 million in private sector support in support of three areas of focus: Access and Inclusion, Excellence in Teaching, and Infrastructure Renewal.
Lara Johnson is a seasoned marketing strategist with over 20 years experience in a wide array of industries. As Vice President of Marketing and Communications, she has led the development and stakeholder engagement strategy for the Institute’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, and the development of new brand positioning and creative identity for BCIT.
Prior to BCIT, Lara was the Vice President of Advertising at Shaw Communications and also spent close to a decade helping to build one of Canada’s most iconic corporate brands, TELUS. Earlier in her career, she partnered with brands such as McDonald’s, General Motors, and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, helping to launch their brand platforms and mass-advertising campaigns.
Lara has a Master of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio State University.
Ana Lopez oversees a broad, strategic HR portfolio that includes advisory services, labour relations, recruitment, total compensation, wellness, HRIS, organizational development, information access, privacy, policy development, governance, as well as safety, security, and emergency management. She is a champion of transformational educational change and a certified executive coach.
Prior to joining BCIT, Ana worked in progressively senior HR roles in the transportation sector, after having practiced labour and employment law with two Vancouver firms.
Reza Khakbaznejad has over 20 years of experience in technology management and leading technical teams. Reza joins BCIT from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) where he served in several roles – most recently as Chief Information Officer and Interim Vice President, Administration, Facilities and Ancillary Services, and Campus and Community Planning.
Prior to joining KPU, Reza was the Executive Director, IT and Facilities with Destination Canada, a Vancouver-based Federal Crown Corporation. He also served as Manager, IT for the Coca-Cola Company for the 2010 Winter Olympics project team.
Reza holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Capilano University and a Master of Business Administration in International Business from the University of Phoenix.
As Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance and Corporate Services, Trish Pekeles brings over 20 years of strategic, financial, and operational management experience in both the public and private sectors. Trish’s portfolio includes managing the finances for BCIT, which involves planning, economic strategy, decision support, financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasting. In addition, Trish leads corporate services which includes procurement, contracts, lease and events, legal, food and retail, and logistics.
Trish has served in several key senior executive roles at UBC, BC Hydro, and Vancouver Community College where she led strategic transformation initiatives, led renegotiations for $1B Accenture partnership, developed real estate strategy, and was the executive co-lead on the Workday ERP implementation for finance and HR at UBC.
Committed to lifelong learning, Trish holds a Master of Business Administration from Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC), is a certified Family Enterprise Advisor, and Chartered Professional Accountant.
As Executive Director, Stakeholder Relations, Cynthia Petrie identifies and leads strategic opportunities for BCIT, including with federal, provincial, and municipal governments, private industry, international organizations, Indigenous communities, and other post-secondary institutions. Cynthia provides leadership oversight to BCIT Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships as well as Institute Sustainability and is the lead for emergency and crisis communications and issues management.
Cynthia is the key contact for government-relevant issues and announcements and maintains strong relationships with local, provincial, and national elected, and senior officials. She maintains key relationships with other post-secondary organizations and associations through collaboration on common issues and concerns related to post-secondary public policy and workforce development.
Prior to BCIT, Cynthia was the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Energy and Mines for the province of BC. She has over 20 years of experience in stakeholder relations focused on issues management through effective communication and engagement.
Lisa Chu has more than 20 years experience in academic and healthcare leadership, including a decade with the Fraser Health Authority in various roles including Director, Clinical Programs, Older Adult Programs; and Director, Site Operations, Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. She joined BCIT in 2015 as Associate Dean, Laboratory and Allied Health, where she was responsible for strategic, operational and educational leadership to a number of key programs including Medical Laboratory Science, Clinical Genetics Technology, and Environmental Health Technology.
Lisa holds an Master of Business Administration (Executive) from Simon Fraser University, a Bachelor of Home Economics (Dietetics and Nutrition) from the University of British Columbia, and a Certificate in Health Care Management from BCIT.
Known as a strategic, collaborative and visionary leader, Lisa is passionate and experienced in leading transformational change. Accomplished in engaging diverse stakeholders to achieve common goals, Lisa has a strong track record of creating high-performing teams and building trusting relationships.
Dr. Kim Dotto received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia. He has more than 40 years of experience in software/hardware research and development, engineering, and information technology in both the private and academic sectors.
Kim is experienced in designing, producing and managing a wide range of technologies across multiple industries, including energy transmission, biomedical engineering, software, embedded and real-time systems design and computer graphics and game design. Accomplished in taking startup technologies, products and companies to successful commercialization, Kim has worked closely with both private and government organizations to fund major research and product development projects both locally and internationally.
Dr. Andrea Frisque has over 15 years of experience related to analyses and computer simulation for sustainable design. She is a mechanical engineer and began her academic career at RWTH Aachen, one of Germany’s most prestigious polytechnics.
Andrea holds a doctoral degree in theoretical physics and is certified as a Professional Engineer (PEng) in British Columbia. She was a Founding Director of the Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI) and holds Adjunct Professor status at UBC.
Andrea is known for her quantifiable outcomes, connections with industry, and strong interdisciplinary knowledge. She is a fervent believer in the collaboration between industrial trades, technologists and engineers, and integrated workforces, which effectively represents the BCIT philosophy.
Dr. Lawrence Gu graduated from McGill University with a PhD in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, he worked as a Nuclear Engineer in Ontario Hydro for five years, before joining BCIT as a faculty member in 1994. In 2005, Lawrence was hired to direct the International Business Services department where he currently holds the position of Dean, BCIT International. He is responsible for the internationalization of BCIT, this includes organizing partnerships with universities in other countries, recruiting international students, and managing the services that support those students once they arrive.
In addition to his role as Dean, Lawrence is the Chief Operating Officer of a BCIT wholly owned subsidiary, Technology Training Associates Ltd. (TTA). TTA has delivered a total of more than $35 million projects funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, as well as governments and organizations in countries including China, Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, and South Korea.
Under Wayne Hand’s direction, the School of Construction and the Environment has developed significant research programs and built the capacity of the Architectural Ecology and Building Science programs. He has been successful applying and executing various industry and government grants, in particular, the first-ever BCIT Canada Research Chair appointment. Wayne has spearheaded development of many new credentials, including the Carpentry Framing and Forming Foundation program, Interior Design Diploma and Degree, Architectural Science Degree, two master’s degrees in building science, and numerous part-time studies certificates.
Wayne is a Registered Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of BC. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Calgary.
Dr. Dean Hildebrand received his BSc and PhD from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He has worked in academia since 1997, joining BCIT in 2000 as a faculty member in the Forensic Science and Technology program. In that capacity, he helped build the largest forensics program of its kind in Canada.
Dean is a recognized forensic DNA expert with a passion for using cutting-edge technologies for humanitarian efforts. For the last 10 years he has worked with the BC Coroners Service (Special Investigations Unit) as a subject matter expert to develop and now maintain the unidentified remains and missing person DNA database for the province of BC.
Dean has had a 20 year career serving the BCIT community. He has progressed as an academic leader with ever more challenging and diverse portfolios that have spanned science and computing departments.
Kenton Low is an educator and senior executive with a record of leadership in companies ranging from entrepreneurial ventures to two of the FORTUNE 50 most admired companies in the world.
His previous roles include Chief Marketing Officer for Vancity and Ritchie Bros., President of New Media BC (Now DigiBC), and Corporate Chief Marketing Officer for Universal Studios. Kenton was also Vice President at Disney’s Internet Group, Disney Interactive, and Walt Disney Imagineering where he led international development and coordinated the activities of a multi-disciplinary team that resulted in approval to build Hong Kong Disneyland.
As an educator, Kenton has taught strategic planning, marketing, and customer experience courses at corporate training programs and various North American universities. Most recently he was an Adjunct Professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
In addition to his business and education experience, Kenton has served several communities as a board member for organizations including United Way of the Lower Mainland, Junior Achievement BC, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, and the Los Angeles Food Bank.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Steve Perry brings 14 years of academic leadership at BCIT across multiple transportation sector campuses, the Bachelor of Technology, Trades Discovery, and Access programs. Steve leads major initiatives to grow transportation education, including delivery of industry services to meet rapidly evolving workforce and technology demands, emissions testing and research, and developing clean technology education pathways. He provided vision for BCIT’s newest campus at Annacis Island and established the BCIT certified industrial railway.
Steve holds a master’s degree in Education; Post-Secondary Leadership. He also holds a Provincial Instructor’s diploma, ISO auditor certification, and a Red Seal in Automotive Service Technician (AST) through BCIT.
Steve is skilled in relationship building, working with industry leaders to support programming through donations of assets and funding to ensure outcomes are aligned to the needs of industry and expectations of graduates. During his time in the industry, Steve was in Service Management, a Grand-Master Technician, and an airline Ground Service Equipment Mechanic.
Kathy Siedlaczek is Dean of Academic Planning and Quality Assurance, providing leadership on academic planning, policy and governance. She leads strategic initiatives related to the Institute’s academic goals, and oversees processes related to BCIT’s quality framework. Her focus is on continually building a culture of quality across the institution in the overall service of student success.
Kathy has dedicated her career to working in higher education, joining BCIT in 2005. Prior to her current role, Kathy was an Associate Dean, faculty member and educational developer for over 25 years, at BCIT and previously in the Ontario public post-secondary system. She has served in various academic governance roles, including as past chair of BCIT’s Education Council and member of the Board of Governors. She holds a Master of Education and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at UBC.
Kathy also serves in the broader community, including the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) Transfer & Articulation Committee, various Ministry-related committees and review panels, BC Institute of Agrologists credentials committee, and previously as chair of the New Westminster Public Library Board.