BOARD OF GOVERNORS
The structure of Quest University Canada, including the role of the Board of Governors, was established by the Sea to Sky University Act on May 29, 2002. The Board is made up of volunteer members, who support the purpose and mission of the University. Members are elected for a five-year term in accordance with the bylaws of the University and may serve two consecutive terms. Typically Board members are accomplished individuals from the professional world or higher education, who share their expertise in the governance of the university.
According to the Sea to Sky University Act, “the powers and duties of the university are vested in the board, including but not limited to the management, administration and control of the property, revenue, business affairs and academic governance of the university”. What this passage means is that the Board sets the major administrative, financial, and academic policies for the University. The Board consults the Executive team and the Academic Council on policy matters and gives direction to the development of educational and financial plans.
The Board also hears recommendations on employment matters including contract renewals and is informed by regular reports from various university areas, such as Student Life, Admissions, Registrar, Finance, and Development.
Mary Jo Larson, BA, JD
Mary Jo Larson is a partner at the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Detroit, Michigan. She earned both her BA and her JD from the University of Michigan. Ms. Larson advises large employers on designing and complying with the maze of tax and labor laws applicable to retirement plans and executive compensation and represents them before the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Department of Labor. During her career, she has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Michigan Lawyers and Top 50 Women Michigan Lawyers by Michigan Super Lawyers. She is also a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel and has been recognized as a Chambers USA American Leading Lawyer and as Lawyer of the Year in ERISA/employee benefits/Detroit by Best Lawyers in America. Ms. Larson is a graduate of Leadership Detroit, which awarded her and several members of her class their “emerging leaders” award to recognize the group’s work to overcome racial divisions in the city. She also serves on the Board of Forgotten Harvest, one of the largest food rescue organizations in the world, dedicated to eliminating both food waste and hunger in the Detroit area. Ms. Larson’s son, Jordan, is a recent graduate of Quest, and her nephew, Noah Bizer, is a current Quest student.
Daniel R. Birch, BA, MA, PhD, DLitt, FRSA
A British Columbia native, Dr. Birch received his Bachelor of Arts (Classical Studies and English) and Master of Arts (History) at the University of British Columbia, and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught briefly at Berkeley before returning to BC where he spent his career in a variety of leadership roles, first as Dean of the Faculty of Education and Associate Vice-President of Simon Fraser University where he also served some months as Acting President, and then as Dean of the Faculty of Education and, subsequently, Academic Vice President and Provost of the University of British Columbia, a post he held for twelve years. Following an early retirement from UBC, Dr. Birch spent a decade with Janet Wright & Associates, recruiting leaders for institutions in the public and not-for-profit sectors. For six years he co-chaired the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer and is an active consultant to the Degree Quality Assessment Board of the Ministry of Advanced Education. In 1992, he was awarded the FRSA (London), and the following year, received a Cree name—Mitehe (Heart)—in recognition of twenty years of support for the development of First Nations programs in universities, support which led to the establishment of UBC’s first Aboriginal graduate programs and the opening of the First Nations Longhouse on the campus.
David Fujimagari, BPE
David Fujimagari is the Chief Financial Officer for Squamish Cornerstone Developments, a real estate development firm, where he focuses on management and financing of mid-sized development projects. He brings a broad and eclectic work background to the role, having held senior positions in accounting and IT as well as golf and ski resort management. Mr. Fujimagari completed a bachelor’s degree in physical education at the University of Calgary while a member of the varsity volleyball team. He is a life-long learner, having also completed a CPA, CMA accounting designation, a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from UBC, and a post-secondary certification in business administration from Camosun College. Mr. Fujimagari lives in Squamish with his wonderful wife and two children.
Chief Dale Harry
Chief Dale Harry (Pekultn Siyam) has served as Negotiator on the Squamish Nation Council for fourteen years. Along with earning certification in the Governance Essentials Program for Directors for Not for Profit Organizations from the University of Victoria, Chief Harry’s educational background includes studies in business, criminology, political science, and geology. Chief Harry has a dynamic connection to the community as demonstrated in the many boards and organizations he has been associated with including Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Squamish Credit Union, Squamish Nation Peacekeepers, Aboriginal Education Council School District #48, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, and Squamish Valley Development Corporation. Chief Harry was born and raised in Squamish and resides on the Squamish Reserve with his wife and two children. Currently he is a consultant at Aboriginal Economic Solutions Inc.
Michael Hutchison is a visionary, private investor and entrepreneur who serves as current president of his family office. As the Principal behind Bethel Lands Corporation Ltd he develops sustainable projects to satisfy local community needs. Through strategic partnerships with First Nations, public, private, and non-profit entities, Mr. Hutchison has delivered both unique and winning projects in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and beyond. Past careers in capital markets and commodity derivatives with a background in finance has allowed Mr. Hutchison to grow the global reach of the 42 corporations owned by his family. Local Squamish developments under the leadership of Mr. Hutchison include the Sea to Sky Gondola, Newport Beach Development, Cheekeye Developments, and Quest University Canada student housing. Mr. Hutchison currently serves on a number of Boards including Carbon Engineering, Sea to Sky Gondola, and Whistler Housing Authority.
Stuart D. Louie, BA, JD
Born and raised in British Columbia, Stuart Louie returned to the West Coast in 2010 to join the London Drugs leadership team, continuing his family’s legacy of overseeing the operations of the 105-year-old retail company. Mr. Louie brings a wealth of educational and business experience with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Duke University and a certificate in Markets & Management. He completed his law degree at Duke Law School and spent the next several years as an Associate in the Finance and Commercial Transactions Department at the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine in both Seattle and New York. Mr. Louie’s legal and business expertise assisted his many public practice clients. His current position at London Drugs has him involved in strategic planning specifically related to business growth and development while working both at the company’s head office and in stores across Western Canada.
Claude Rinfret, CPA, FCA, TEP
Claude Rinfret was a senior tax partner in the Vancouver office of Deloitte & Touche LLP Canada and a partner in its Private Client Tax Services Group. From 2008 to 2010 Mr. Rinfret was responsible for monitoring Risk and Reputation matters for the Deloitte Tax practice in Canada; served as partner in charge of International Tax, Paris (France) from 1987 to 1989; was the managing partner of the Vancouver office from 1999 to 2002; and is a past member of the Board of Directors of Deloitte & Touche LLP Canada. Mr. Rinfret is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC and Canada and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He was previously on the Board of the Alzheimer Society of BC and the Hollyburn Country Club. He is currently on the Board of Langara College. Mr. Rinfret earned his Bachelor of Commerce from UBC.