Over the last fifteen years, Colin has represented the interests of Indigenous communities, industry, and government towards building legacies of economic wealth that foster traditions, culture, and environmental stewardship. Through his experience with modular constriction during time with Metric Modular (formerly Britco Construction) and as a certified social housing manager (CertCIH), Colin is most proud of his work with the Yale First Nation, where they developed ten affordable housing units that were built to the Passive House construction standard – the energy efficient homes funded by either INAC or the CHMC for an Indigenous community in Canada. Today, Colin is a part of a new building technology, start-up called NEXII, patented whole building solution featuring a proprietary, ultra-lightweight high-performance structural layer with an expanded insulating and bonded core. It is fire-safe, waterproof, critter/insect resistant, mould resistant, earthquake/hurricane resilient, featuring superior sound dampening and surpasses Passive House energy efficiency performance levels, building up to twenty-four stories in 75% less time – all at the same price of wood-frame construction.
Dena Kae Beno is currently the Coordinator of the Housing and Homelessness Unit for the City of Abbotsford. Her scope of work includes affordable housing, homelessness, mental health and harm reduction. Dena was hired by the City in April 2015 and since that time has been the leader and visionary for the development of the Abbotsford Homelessness Prevention and Response system. Together with City Council, city staff, service provider staff, provincial and federal representatives she has facilitated the ongoing mobilization of the system with community partners to tackle the very challenging issues of homelessness and poverty. Dena’s has worked in federal, regional and municipal government, private construction and development sector, and with non-profit, Indigenous communities, and faith communities to support the development of housing, community infrastructure and community social development initiatives to respond to housing stability, wellness, and vibrant community. Dena has an M.A. in Anthropology/Sociology with a focus on sustainable community development and a B.A. in Geography/Extended Minor in Anthropology. Both degrees were granted from Simon Fraser University.
Ian Cullis is Director of Asset Management for BC Non-Profit Housing Association. His role allows him to develop funding solutions, incentive programs, and curriculum to support building renewal while coaching non-profit housing providers through retrofit projects. He is driven by a passion for affordable housing, the desire to help others, and a sense of accomplishment when people have access to safer, healthier housing. Outside of work, Ian has a family of five, whom he enjoys taking outdoors mountain biking, skiing, and hiking.
Marc Boychuk is a Metis Housing Tenant Relations Officer who is passionate about ending homelessness and identifying programs needed to accomplish this. Marc currently sits on several boards and committees including; Alberta Health Advisory, Stepping Up (Preventing Domestic Violence Against Women), Aboriginal Interagency, Poverty Reduction and RCMP Advisory committees. Housing First and Sustainable Housing with support are what Marc is advocating for as a major solution for people living in unsafe and unsanitary situations. Working with the Federal, Provincial and municipal governments and agencies Marc hopes to identify and bring much needed support for rural areas.
Working closely the Alberta Rural Development Network and being involved in the largest coordinated homeless estimation in 2018, gave Marc a firsthand knowledge at what is most needed in his community for those housed and unsheltered. By being in shelters, soup kitchens, streets, makeshift shelters, supportive living houses and prisons, Marc is continually learning and adapting to the new solutions and issues our vulnerable populations face.
Rod Hill is BC Housing’s Director of Indigenous Asset Management. His responsibilities include ensuring that the established partnerships with First Nations on developing asset management capacity exceed everyone’s expectations. Prior to joining BC Housing, Rod held positions of increasing responsibility working directly with First Nations with CMHC, BC Hydro and Canada Revenue Agency. Prior to becoming a public servant, Rod worked across North America in the mineral exploration industry. Rod holds a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration specializing in Management of Technology from Simon Fraser University. Rod is a proud member of Qalipu First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador, with mixed ancestry including English, Irish, Mi’Kmaq and French. He resides with his wife and 4 children in Vancouver’s suburbs.