Here are the staff members whose expertise and experience make the Victoria Foundation what it is: a community foundation with a strong reputation based on a history of offering individualized service, customized programs and objective decision-making.

Sandra Richardson

CEO

Prior to joining the Victoria Foundation as CEO in 2001, Sandra enjoyed a successful career in fund development in both Canada and the USA. Most…

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Serkan Altay

Director of Investments

Serkan was born in Turkey, raised in Bahrain, studied in Canada and worked in Dubai and Toronto, before finally calling the west coast home in…

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Natasha Benn

Manager of Philanthropic Services

Natasha’s background includes over 13 years as a paralegal specializing in the area of Wills and Estates with the law firm of McConnan Bion O’Connor…

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Melody Burns

Office Administrator

Melody was born and raised in Victoria and completed her studies in Business Management and E commerce, graduating with honours. While working in innovative private…

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Anna Glenny

Community Initiatives Coordinator

Anna was born on Vancouver Island, and has lived and worked in a variety of cities and countries since that time. After graduating with a…

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Gord Griffiths

Finance Director

Gord has lived in the Greater Victoria area since 1989 and has served various capacities as a Controller, Executive Director, CFO, and CEO in both…

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Rory Grewar

Director of Special Funds

Rory was born and raised in Winnipeg and attended the University of Manitoba. He worked for 14 years as a Senior Administrator with the Provincial…

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Carol Hall

Director of Strategic Initiatives

Carol joined the Foundation in 2014, bringing more than 20 years of experience in community development and philanthropy within the non-profit sector. She has worked on projects in…

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Robert Janus

Director of Communications

Born and raised in Alberta, Rob moved to Victoria in 1983. Following studies at Camosun College and the University of Victoria, he has worked for…

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Nathan Lapointe

Senior Accountant

Nathan was born in Vancouver, raised in Victoria and graduated from Oak Bay High School. He has been with the foundation since May 2008. He…

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Kate Donahue

Philanthropic Services Associate

Kate was born and raised in Edmonton and obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alberta. After University, she moved to Vancouver…

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Alison McCluskey

Finance Manager

Alison was born and raised in Saskatoon and attended the University of Saskatchewan. After university, she moved to Vancouver to pursue her Chartered Accountant Designation….

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Brin S Morgan

Director, Governance and Executive Operations

Brin was born in Edmonton and raised in Prince George. She has called Victoria home since 1991, when she moved here having never visited the…

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Tanya Chassé

Administrative Assistant

Tanya spent her formative years in the Yukon and, after a short stint in Lethbridge, Alberta, arrived in Victoria in 1989 to study at the…

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Sara Neely

Director of Philanthropic Services

Sara joined the Victoria Foundation in 2008. She is responsible for working with professional advisors and their clients, building relationships in the community and enhancing…

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Melanie Porter

Communication and Project Coorindator

Melanie was born in Burnaby and raised in Comox before settling in Victoria in 2003. She studied Travel Counselling/Tourism at North Island College. Melanie’s previous…

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Rudi Wallace

Grants Manager

Born in Vancouver, Rudi moved to Victoria with his family in 1991. Growing up on the island, he developed a deep love for the west…

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Kyle Wells

Communications Specialist

Kyle grew up in Chemainus and called a number of different places around BC and Canada home before returning to the Island and settling in…

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Emily Wiesenthal

Community Initiatives Specialist

Born in Gimli, Manitoba, Emily has lived in Victoria since 2014. She recently completed a BA in Gender Studies at the University of Victoria as…

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Sandra Richardson

CEO
Prior to joining the Victoria Foundation as CEO in 2001, Sandra enjoyed a successful career in fund development in both Canada and the USA. Most recently, she worked for five years as Director of Development and Planned Giving with the Victoria Hospice & Palliative Care Foundation and prior to that as Director of Development for the Cleveland Playhouse/Cleveland Opera. Among her many professional endeavours, Sandra has been a member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) for over 10 years and has been an integral part of the success of the CAGP Vancouver Island Roundtable, where she served as Chair for four years. She also served on the Board of Community Foundations of Canada for eight years and for six years was an active participant with the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network. Sandy has been recognized on many occasions for her achievements and for her distinguished service to the community, including being invited to enter the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem (2007) and a recipient of the Royal Roads University Community Leadership Award (2008), Vancouver Island Public Relations Professional of the Year Award (2009), University of Victoria Distinguished Alumni Award (2010), Rotary Community Leadership Award (2011), Order of British Columbia (2016) and University of Victoria Honorary Doctor of Laws (2018).

Serkan Altay

Director of Investments
Serkan was born in Turkey, raised in Bahrain, studied in Canada and worked in Dubai and Toronto, before finally calling the west coast home in 2012. A world traveller, he brings over 10 years of investment experience into his role in overseeing the primary endowment portfolio and management of the Foundation’s financial assets. Serkan has volunteered for a number of organizations across Victoria and is a CFA charterholder. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising and discovering the natural beauty of Vancouver Island with his family.

Natasha Benn

Manager of Philanthropic Services
Natasha’s background includes over 13 years as a paralegal specializing in the area of Wills and Estates with the law firm of McConnan Bion O’Connor & Peterson. Wanting a career change, Natasha decided that a natural fit would be in the area of Legacy Giving. Natasha joined the University of Victoria and managed the Planned Giving and Estate Administration Department for over six years. More recently, Natasha joins us after three years with Victoria Hospice where she established a formal planned giving program and later became the Director of Fund Development. Natasha has served on the Board of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners for seven years, as well as the LEAVE A LEGACY™ program. Born and raised in Victoria, Natasha enjoys the natural beauty of Vancouver Island. She spends her weekends gardening, cooking and crafting.

Melody Burns

Office Administrator
Melody was born and raised in Victoria and completed her studies in Business Management and E commerce, graduating with honours. While working in innovative private industry around Victoria, and starting a live-streaming business with her partner, Melody has also been an active member in the community serving special interest groups. She is passionate about raising up the community around her through social innovation. When not working or volunteering, Melody enjoys listening to podcasts, hiking, taking in the cultural aspects of the city, and spending time with her young children.

Anna Glenny

Community Initiatives Coordinator
Anna was born on Vancouver Island, and has lived and worked in a variety of cities and countries since that time. After graduating with a degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria in 2008, she moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland to work in community development for a year. Since returning to Canada, she has worked in the non-profit field in the capital region. When not at work, Anna loves spending time with her partner and young daughter, especially getting outdoors and enjoying fun family activities.

Gord Griffiths

Finance Director
Gord has lived in the Greater Victoria area since 1989 and has served various capacities as a Controller, Executive Director, CFO, and CEO in both the private and public sectors. He is a CPA, CA, and Audit Committee Certified by The Directors’ College. He has been both reporting to and serving on boards since 1994. His familiarity with finance and governance is supported by knowledge and experience in human resources and general business operations. Gord and his family participate in a variety of sports and outdoor pursuits.

Rory Grewar

Director of Special Funds
Rory was born and raised in Winnipeg and attended the University of Manitoba. He worked for 14 years as a Senior Administrator with the Provincial Government’s Environment Commission. In 2004 he moved to B.C. to become Director of Administration at the David Suzuki Foundation and in 2010 fulfilled a lifelong dream to move to Vancouver Island when he joined the Victoria Foundation. Rory has served on several charitable boards including the All Charities Campaign of Manitoba, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and the Performing Arts Lodge (Vancouver). He has also volunteered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, The Immigrant Centre of Winnipeg and, most recently with the Victoria Film Festival. He has a passion for travelling and has visited over 30 countries and loves theatre, classical music, art and architecture.

Carol Hall

Director of Strategic Initiatives
Carol joined the Foundation in 2014, bringing more than 20 years of experience in community development and philanthropy within the non-profit sector. She has worked on projects in Victoria and globally to mobilize knowledge and tools to strengthen communities in an era of rapid change. Prior to moving to Vancouver Island, she was executive director of a foundation in New England that conserved farms and natural areas, and earlier worked on community and economic development projects in southern Africa. She started her career focusing on emerging workplace issues with the Society for Human Resource Management based near Washington, DC. She completed studies at University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University and University College London. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano, Nordic skiing and hiking in the great outdoors.  

Robert Janus

Director of Communications
Born and raised in Alberta, Rob moved to Victoria in 1983. Following studies at Camosun College and the University of Victoria, he has worked for over 25 years in the fields of communications and social marketing. Rob started his career at the Capital Regional District where he worked for 14 years managing a number of communications and operational programs within the Environmental Services Department. He has also worked as an independent sustainability consultant for businesses, government and non-profits and, most recently, as a member of the executive team for Victoria Hospice, looking after communications, marketing and public relations. Rob joined the Foundation in 2012 and enjoys volunteering as well as gardening, renovating, traveling, classic cars and spending time with his friends and family. He is an active volunteer and has held numerous positions with local organizations, including Chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Environment Committee, Chair of the BC Hydro PowerSmart Awards Committee, Founding Board member of the Victoria Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and member of both the Bowker Creek Watershed Steering Committee and the Oak Bay Climate Change Steering Committee.

Nathan Lapointe

Senior Accountant
Nathan was born in Vancouver, raised in Victoria and graduated from Oak Bay High School. He has been with the foundation since May 2008. He graduated from Camosun College in April 2009 with his Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting Option) degree. He completed the Certified General Accountant program in August 2011. Nathan completed co-operative work terms with local accounting firms before joining the Foundation. Nathan enjoys volunteering, reading books and playing board games.

Kate Donahue

Philanthropic Services Associate
Kate was born and raised in Edmonton and obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alberta. After University, she moved to Vancouver where she worked in the Marketing and Communications Field for Concert Properties and later Deloitte. In 2013, her family moved to Victoria. Prior to joining the Victoria Foundation, Kate was the Marketing Manager at Ecoasis. Outside of work Kate enjoys spending time with her family on adventures in the great outdoors.

Alison McCluskey

Finance Manager
Alison was born and raised in Saskatoon and attended the University of Saskatchewan. After university, she moved to Vancouver to pursue her Chartered Accountant Designation. Alison worked in Public Practice with Grant Thornton (and its predecessor firms) for 17 years in both Vancouver and Victoria. Prior to joining the Victoria Foundation in July 2016, Alison was the Director of Finance at Habitat for Humanity Victoria for 7.5 years. She has also served on several charitable Boards including the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society and The Story Studio Writing Society. Outside of work Alison has two young daughters and a busy family life. With any spare time, she enjoys being active outdoors and getting together with friends.

Brin S Morgan

Director, Governance and Executive Operations
Brin was born in Edmonton and raised in Prince George. She has called Victoria home since 1991, when she moved here having never visited the city before. She attended Camosun College and the University of Victoria, studying psychology and then business administration. After 16 years in the tourism industry, she changed career paths and joined a local real estate company. As part of their support staff for over 5 years, she filled many different roles including reception and conveyancing. Outside of work, Brin enjoys an active lifestyle, reading, and creating foods, crafts and memories with her family.

Tanya Chassé

Administrative Assistant
Tanya spent her formative years in the Yukon and, after a short stint in Lethbridge, Alberta, arrived in Victoria in 1989 to study at the University of Victoria.  She holds a diploma in journalism, a BFA in writing and post-graduate certificate in fiction. Tanya’s work has taken her down many paths including administrative work and grant writing with local non-profits and charities. During her 11 years as an Executive Assistant at a local newspaper, she created a long-running writing contest. In her spare time, Tanya loves reading, writing and exploring local trails wither her partner and their newly adopted dog. Tanya joined the Victoria Foundation in 2019.

Sara Neely

Director of Philanthropic Services
Sara joined the Victoria Foundation in 2008. She is responsible for working with professional advisors and their clients, building relationships in the community and enhancing services provided to individuals and organizations who invest their funds with the Foundation. A native Victorian, Sara graduated from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law in 1982. After practicing for several years Sara joined the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation in 1993 where she served as the Director of Gift and Estate Planning for over 14 years. Sara maintains membership with the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, the Victoria Estate Planning Council, and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners. She was also the founding chair of LEAVE A LEGACY™ British Columbia and served on the Board of the Victoria Symphony for six years.

Melanie Porter

Communication and Project Coorindator
Melanie was born in Burnaby and raised in Comox before settling in Victoria in 2003. She studied Travel Counselling/Tourism at North Island College. Melanie’s previous positions include Sales and Business Development Representative at Core-Mark International, and Administrative Technician at Ross Place Retirement Centre. Melanie enjoys the activity and natural beauty that Victoria and surrounding areas have to offer and enjoys taking in the cultural talent that we have in this city.

Rudi Wallace

Grants Manager
Born in Vancouver, Rudi moved to Victoria with his family in 1991. Growing up on the island, he developed a deep love for the west coast and the vibrant region that Victoria continues to become. Heavily involved in the non-profit and social justice community in Victoria, he completed his BA at the University of Victoria in Political Science before going on to complete a bilingual graduate degree at the University of Ottawa, specializing in Community Development and Post-Colonial Studies. Rudi brings 5 years of non-profit leadership experience with an in-depth understanding of grant writing, social enterprise and non-profit management to his role as Grants Manager. In his spare time, he loves going to the movies, travelling, reading and volunteering.

Kyle Wells

Communications Specialist
Kyle grew up in Chemainus and called a number of different places around BC and Canada home before returning to the Island and settling in Victoria in 2012. Following studies at the University of British Columbia and the University of King’s College, Halifax, he worked as a newspaper reporter both in Powell River and Victoria. In 2014, Kyle made the switch to communications, taking a position with the Royal BC Museum, and went on to join the team at the Victoria Foundation in 2016. A lifelong movie nerd, Kyle continues to keep a toe in journalism by covering film festivals for Monday Magazine. Kyle is also an avid reader and enjoys cooking, gardening and playing guitar.

Emily Wiesenthal

Community Initiatives Specialist
Born in Gimli, Manitoba, Emily has lived in Victoria since 2014. She recently completed a BA in Gender Studies at the University of Victoria as a Loran Scholar. Emily is an active volunteer with many community initiatives in Victoria, and has previously interned with both Women’s Shelters Canada and the Human Rights Office of Reykjavik.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking and exploring the Island’s great outdoors.