2019-20 Board of Directors
Did you know?
More than 100 young leaders have graduated from the Youth Now program.
Each year, over 100 non-profit professionals attend our training opportunities.
Over two dozen non-profit organizations have participated in the Youth Now program.
The CCRR provides nearly 400 child care referrals per year.
On average, the CCRR hosts 30 workshops and training courses each year.
Every year, over 500 child care providers and parents attend CCRR training opportunities.
Every year, RCRG completes over 3,000 grocery orders for local seniors.
Nearly 300 seniors make use of our Better at Home services.
Our volunteer drivers complete more than 1,200 trips annually.
At least 350 people per year find a volunteer position using our Volunteer Match program.
Close to 500 volunteers support RCRG’s programs and services.
Volunteers contribute nearly 23,000 hours to our organization each year.
Each holiday season, the Richmond Christmas Fund helps more than 2,200 low-income residents.
Every year, the Christmas Fund provides over 600 children with toys, books, and sports equipment.
The Richmond Christmas Fund was first started by Ethel Tibbits, in the 1930s.
The number of Neighbourhood Small Grants we’ve awarded has increased every year since 2014.
Block parties are the most popular type of Neighbourhood Small Grant project.
Every year, the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre serves over 7,300 local women.
The Richmond Women’s Resource Centre currently offers 16 programs and services.
Nearly 60 volunteers support the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, contributing nearly 2,500 hours per year.
Richmond is home to over 350 registered charities, all of which rely on volunteer support.
There are nearly 13 million volunteers across Canada.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated throughout the world on December 5.
There are 35 volunteer centres in British Columbia.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations, worth a combined $59,000.
The Foundation manages $4.5 million in nearly 50 Forever Funds, returning CPI plus 4%.
In 2017, the Foundation distributed $198,000 as community and Canada 150 grants, scholarships, and charitable disbursements.
Foundation activities result in the enhancement of our community and residents’ sense of belonging.
ROCA has raised over $21,000 for local charities.
ROCA has performed its Elementary School Concert Series to over 8,000 students.
ROCA provides mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
The Richmond Arts Coalition was founded in November of 2005.
RAC co-produces the ArtRich exhibition every two years!
RAC highlights Richmond's arts events in a monthly email.
The Richmond Music School is the oldest not-for-profit music school in Richmond.
The Richmond Music School offers affordable music lessons through its diverse programming.
Our students performed 40 hours of music to welcome the Olympic athletes to the 2010 Olympic Games.

Board of Directors

Vision, Passion, Leadership

"It all starts at the top." How often have you heard that about successful companies? Great leaders inspire and motivate employees, resulting in higher quality work, and a stronger company overall. 

Well, the same thing applies in the non-profit sector. At the top of every community organization is a volunteer board of directors, tasked with developing a strategic plan, monitoring the organization's finances, and yes, motivating and inspiring employees to do their absolute best in service of the organization's mission.

At RCRG, we're lucky to have a diverse, dynamic, dedicated board, comprised of both community and business leaders. If success starts at the top, then our organization is in good hands. 

Ed Gavsie (President & CEO, Ex Officio)

Portrait of Ed GavsieA longtime resident of Richmond, Ed has been involved in the volunteer sector for decades, having served as a Director and Chair of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Chair of RCRG (previously Volunteer Richmond), Chair of the Richmond Spirit of BC Committee, as well as several other positions.

He and his wife, Linda, founded a private career college which they expanded to several campuses in the Lower Mainland before they sold it. Ed’s background also includes media (radio news) and management positions in the tourism, hospitality, and financial sectors.

When not working, Ed enjoys being with his adult children and seven grandchildren, all of whom live close by.


Rick Duff (Chair)

Rick Duff 200A lifelong Richmond resident, Rick lives in Steveston with his wife of 34 years. He is recently retired from a successful 32-year career in the BC Gaming Industry. As Past President of the Rotary Club of Steveston, Rick understands the importance of community involvement and is honoured to be the current Chair of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.


Lawrie Portigal (Vice Chair)

Lawrie Portigal 200Lawrence (Lawrie) Portigal is a native of Calgary and attended the University of Alberta, where he received degrees in Science and Law. He is a reitred member of the Alberta Bar. Lawrence first practiced with the City of Calgary and later was a senior executive in the coal, electricity, and natural gas industries. He moved to Richmond in 2002.

Lawrence is active in the volunteer and non-profit sectors, and is currently a Director, Vice Chair, and Past President of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, a Director of Touchstone Family Association, a Director and President of Volunteer BC, and a Director and Past Chair of Volunteer Canada.


Jat Puri (Vice Chair)

Jat Puri 200
Jat Puri has served on the RCRG board since 2019. His volunteer experience also includes mentoring youth in the RCRG Youth Now program, serving as Vice President of the West Richmond Community Association, and as Director of the Heart of Richmond AIDS Society.  

In 2021, Jat was a Nova Star Award recipient, which recognizes volunteers whose contributions go above and beyond in Richmond. Outside of volunteering, Jat works at the Vancouver Airport Authority, where he has trained many volunteers in YVR’s Green Coat program, and supports multiple contracts that keep the airport running smoothly.


Christine Campbell (Treasurer)

Christine Campbell 200Before her retirement in 2015, Christine Campbell, with her husband, owned and operated four McDonald’s restaurants in Richmond. She now finds joy in supporting this community that is home to her heart.


Zinnia Johnston

Zinnia Johnston 200From the day she immigrated from the Philippines to Canada in the early 80s and settled in Richmond, BC, Zinnia felt she was truly home. There's no place she would rather be. Zinnia has grown up here, married, worked and had her two boys in this wonderful and inclusive community.

She has worked for TD Canada Trust for over 30 years and is currently a Corporate Senior Manager in Personal Lending. Zinnia first got involved with RCRG in 2016 with their Christmas Fund and toy drive. She has been an RCRG director since 2018 and is a proud supporter of all its initiatives because she wants to leave a lasting legacy of belonging and community for all that live here.


Charmaine Ponnambalam

Charmaine Ponnambalam 200Giving to the community where she lives and works has been a part of Charmaine's life since she was a young student in grade school. Encouraged to see the needs of others and find a way to make a difference was the model put in front of her, which she embraced. This made it very easy to join the board at RCRG, and the numerous ways it supports the community. Charmaine is excited to continue to serve and see the future unfold at RCRG.


Linda Reid

Linda Reid 200Linda Reid is a parliamentarian at heart. She enjoys the likes of Erskine May and Beauchesne. She has been a teacher, a school administrator, a seven-term MLA and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. She believes passionately in strengthening community because every child deserves a champion.


Rebecca Swaim

Rebecca Swaim 200Rebecca enjoys work that connects people with their purpose and passion. She lived in New York and Shanghai before moving to Richmond in 2012 and currently serves as the Executive Director of Trinity Western University, Richmond. She and her husband, Russ, are raising four kids, who are each active in various facets of our local community.


Richard Vetter

Richard Vetter 200Richard was born in Winnipeg but has lived in Richmond since 1970. He and his wife Zinha have raised three sons here and currently own and operate WealthSmart Incorporated, a local financial planning and wealth management firm. He has fond memories of our community and is even more excited about our future!


Antony Wang

Antony Wang Headshot 200Antony Wang grew up in South Delta but is now a resident of Richmond, BC. He graduated from UBC in 2018 with a BSc and is currently working as an Assistant Branch Manager at RBC Royal Bank.

He first became acquainted with RCRG in 2018 and volunteered with his former TD colleagues to support RCRG at A Not So Silent Night, Windows of Hope, Richmond RCMP Toy Drive, TD’s Christmas Toy Drive at Toys-R-Us, and more. Antony is humbled to serve on the board of directors and to continue his community involvement so that we can make Richmond an even better place to live, work, and play.


Ray Wang

Ray Wang 200Ray grew up in Steveston, BC and has always had a passion for community engagement and supporting non-profit organizations. He has volunteered with Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives for over a decade and looks forward to continuing to contribute to the organization.

Ray graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and concentrations in Finance and Marketing. Ray currently operates a digital marketing agency in Richmond, BC.



Pat Watson

Pat Watson 200Pat's background is in Human Resources in domestic and global organizations in health care, commodities, biotechnology, and information technology. Additionally she is a distance education instructor at Okanagan College.

She has participated and chaired a number of community boards including the Richmond Public Library, Richmond Community Foundation, and RCRG - Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.


Lisa Wong


Melissa Zhang

Melissa Zhang 200Elected to the RCRG Board in 2018, Melissa took on additional responsibilities in 2019 and 2020, when she also served on the organization's marketing committee. Melissa supports the Richmond Christmas Fund, and in 2021, joined the organizing committee for “A Not So Silent Night," the program's biggest fundraising activity. She is a business professional with experience in financial planning services, and actively volunteers throughout the Richmond community.