Leadership & Staff

Zajac Ranch for Children

Zajac Ranch Society Board of Directors

Linda Annis (Chairperson)

Executive Director, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers (director since 2004)

Pamela O'Sullivan

Health Care Consultant (director since 2015)

Gary Steeves

Senior Account Manager, Parissa Labs (director since 2010)

Tom Wong

TCW Associates Ltd. (director since June 2018)

Zajac Ranch for Children

The Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation Board of Directors

Mel Zajac (Chairman)

Founder, The Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation (director since 1997)

Dr. Mel Bruchet

Family Physician (director since 2013)

Carl Joosse

President, Black Dog Limited (director since 2010)

Jeffrey Uppal

President & Founder, Velox Partnerships (director since 2014)

Howard A. Blank

President & CEO, Point Blank Entertainment (director since 2018)

Tom Wong

TCW Associates Ltd (director since 2012)

Norman Stowe

Managing Partner

Pace Group Communications Inc. (director since 2018)

Byron Wilson

Founder, Azuro Concepts Inc. (director since 2010)

Rick Bourne

President, Langara Fishing Adventures (director since 2019)

Bradley Scharfe

President, Co-Chairman & CEO, Scharfe Group of Companies (director since 2019)

Wendy Hartley

Principal, Hartley PR (director since 2019)

Zajac Ranch for Children

The Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation Advisory Board

David Aisenstat

President & CEO, Keg Restaurants Ltd

John Devita

President, CT Control Temp

Honourable John Reynolds, P.C.

Senior Strategic Advisor, McMillan LLP

Zajac Ranch for Children

Ranch & Foundation Staff

Mel Zajac, Chairman

Mel’s present project, The Zajac Ranch for Children, is his most ambitious project yet. Mel’s drive, determination and devotion to his dream of creating a camp for children who otherwise would never have the opportunity to go to camp has become a reality. View a complete biography of Mel Zajac.

Carmen Zajac, President

Carmen has served as the President of The Zajac Foundation for over 15 years and as President of Zajac Ranch for Children for over 8 years. Part of Carmen’s role as President is to meet with government officials, voluntary health organizations, corporations and service groups to ensure the development of the Zajac Ranch, which provides a unique camping opportunity for children with life threatening and chronic illnesses and disabilities. She lives in North Vancouver with her husband and two sons.

Sheila Smith
Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Sheila joined The Zajac Foundation in 2008 as Executive Assistant / Office Manager with over 25 years of office administration experience in the private sector. Sheila is proud to be able to contribute to an organization which provides such a wonderful opportunity for children with medical needs to experience summer camp.

Graham George, CPA, CGA


Graham earned his accounting designation in 2008. Upon completing his academic goals, Graham volunteered for many events and finance-related positions in the non-profit sector in his spare time. He jumped at the opportunity to gain employment in a charity in 2015 and has enjoyed working in the sector ever since. Graham enjoys working with the Zajac Ranch because of the positive and inspirational experiences that children have at the Ranch. Aside from accounting, Graham enjoys the outdoors and regularly competes in running races (10km to full marathons).

Michelle Bernard

Director of Development

Michelle started her fundraising career at UBC’s Planned Giving Department in 2001 after working in both the financial and real estate sectors. She has dedicated her career to supporting fundraising activities in the educational and social services sectors.  Michelle is passionate about creating opportunities for all kids and youth, regardless of medical condition, to experience the lasting impact summer camp has on both campers and their families.

Guy Paetkau

Database & Donor Relations

Guy’s background includes Database Management, Donor Relations, Payroll, Accounting and Management. His passion and dedication for non-profit comes from making a difference in peoples’ lives. Working and being around children is a natural fit which stems from a large extended family of all ages.

Vera Pina

Camp Director

Vera spent her first summer off University working as a camp counsellor in the US; by the end of the summer she knew she wanted to devote her life to working in the summer camp industry. She worked at 4 different residential summer camps before combining her degree in Psychology with her camp experience and becoming the Iberian representative for one of the largest summer camp recruitment agencies. Her next adventure took her to NY where she worked as an assistant camp director at a top ranked summer camp. Upon returning to the UK, Vera implemented the North American summer camp model in a pioneer international summer camp where she spent the last 5 years as a Camp Director. Vera is incredibly excited to be part of Zajac Ranch camp and to help bring the magic of summer camps to those who need it the most.

Stephanie Richter

Assistant Camp Director

A fairly new addition to Canada, Stephanie joined Zajac Ranch in August 2019. Stephanie earned her degree in Sustainable Tourism Management in Germany and as an outdoor enthusiast is excited to help provide children and young adults with the opportunity to experience all the great activities summer camp has to offer.