Board of Directors

Meet our Board of Directors

Justine Semmens: President

Justine Semmens is a historian, research fellow, and teacher at the University of Victoria. In addition to her academic career, Justine brings strong skills as an archivist and heritage management professional. Justine and her husband have been residents of Vic West since 2008. She has family roots in the community, and has always felt a special connection to Vic West- where she has chosen to raise her family. Having been actively involved in the campaign to oppose proposed sewage treatment plant siting for Vic West in 2013, Justine remains committed to serving the community to which she feels so fortunate to belong.

Mike Medland: Treasurer

Mike has been a resident of Victoria West for the past 8 years and has been the association treasurer for the past 4 years and the Vice-President for the past year. Mike has also served on the Land Use Committee from 2007-2009 and on the Community Centre Committee since 2011. Other board experience includes serving as President of his strata corporation for the past 8 years. Mike is a professional accountant, and believes the community association needs the support of engaged citizens

Dar Purewall: Secretary

Dar is a member of the VWCA Board of Directors and currently responsible for Chairing the Communications Committee. His interest in volunteering with the community association stems from his interest in local government and community affairs. Dar has a keen interest in what goes on at the community and regional level. As a person with long history in Vic West, Dar continues to play a role in our community’s transition. He especially appreciates Vic West’s unique heritage, natural features, and social diversity.

Patti Parkhouse: Chair, Food Security Collective

Veronique Plante: Chair, Projects & Events Committee

Amanda Allan: Chair, Transportation Committee

Laura Tate: Director at large

Laura Tate brings practice and research experience to the board, in urban planning and public health.  She currently works with her partner on a green subdivision using site adaptive planning principles in suburban Victoria, while also providing consulting services.  She has also recently completed a sole-authored book on progressive planning, called Post-rational Planning: A Solutions-oriented Call to Justice (Routledge, New York and London, due in June 2021).  While conducting her research for the book, she taught urban planning and policy in the United States, as a Visiting Lecturer at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, and at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  Before that, she worked professionally in Canada, at several Metro Vancouver area cities and for several British Columbia government agencies, including assignments as a Manager of Growth Strategies, Director of Aboriginal Healthy Living, as well as work funding community mental wellness and substance use initiatives in British Columbia.    She has a doctorate in planning from the University of British Columbia, and has continued to publish in peer-reviewed planning journals on effectively using evidence and qualitative research.  She has co-edited two other books: Planning for AuthentiCITIES (Routledge, New York, 2018), with Brettany Shannon; and Actor Networks of Planning (Routledge, London, 2016), with Yvonne Rydin.

Kent Verge: Director at large

Kent has been a Vic West resident since 2017 and really enjoys all the community has to offer, given its vibrancy, opportunity and continued growth. He became involved with VWCA as a volunteer on the Governance Committee and joined the board in late 2020. In his professional life, Kent is a consultant focused on stakeholder and government relations. He volunteers with a number of local organizations and currently serves as Vice-Chair of a non-profit affordable housing society.

Join the board

Click here to join the VWCA Board of Directors.

President: Justine Semmens

Vice President: 

Secretary: Dar Purewall

Treasurer: Mike Medland

Chair, Land Use: 

Director At Large: Kent Verge

Liason, Parks & Environment: Laura Tate & Jack Meredith

Chair, Transporation: Amanda Allan 

Chair, Projects and Events: Veronique Plante

Chair, Food Security: Patti Parkhouse

Director At Large: Laura Tate

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