The Naramata Centre Board of Directors is comprised of 11 skilled, dedicated and passionate people from Alberta and British Columbia - each connected and committed to the life and community of Naramata Centre and its Society.
Together, our board team brings a wealth of experience in leadership, finances, visioning, business planning, productivity, communication, human resources management, and more. Board members are honoured to be doing this work for Naramata Centre.
Barb Green, Communications Lead [Edmonton AB]
On her first trip to Naramata Centre, Barb felt she had found her spiritual home. That scheduled one-week visit became two, when both Barb and her son, Kevin, simply could not leave after just seven days! Joyful Naramata summer weeks followed yearly, leaving Barb feeling nurtured and renewed and Kevin inspired to grow and to serve as summer staff. Having witnessed the positive effect on her son, Barb wants Naramata Centre to be there for future generations and is working with the Board toward this objective. Following her nursing career, Barb pursued education in public relations that led to a senior communications position with a large organization. Recently retired, Barb enjoys life-long learning, time in nature, working in her garden and travel.
Barb has served as Communications Lead since she joined the Board in 2016.
Barbara Gregg [Surrey BC]
Barb has always found Naramata Centre to be a place of retreat, learning and spiritual nurture. It is a place where she has come to learn and to grow so that she can live out her faith in her everyday life.
Barb began her working life in the hospitality industry then took her degree in Occupational Therapy in the mental health field. A change in her life led her to change her work life, completing her CGA and from there she found a real niche as a personal financial planner, which she carried on for 25 years. It was about the same time that she began attending Naramata, and a number of years later served on the Board, both as a Board Member and on the Capital Campaign Team. She has also served in the financial field with BC Conference Finance Council as chair and on her local church council as Property and Finance Convenor and later as Council Chair.
Barb is really looking forward to helping to rebuild Naramata Centre into the vital, impactful centre that it can be in our world today.
Barb began her latest Board service in 2016, and served as treasurer from 2016-2018.
Bill Booth [Abbotsford BC]
Bill is an ordained minister of The United Church of Canada. He was raised in Maple Ridge, BC and has strong roots in the wilderness of the Fraser Valley. He moved from a career in electronics to ministry in the United Church in the mid-1990s, seeking a more meaningful activity for his life’s work. He began serving at Trinity Memorial United in downtown Abbotsford in 2012. Most recently at Trinity he has guided the development of a spiritual centre initiative to offer programming to the community outside the “normal” church structures. This work has used and developed his skills in program development, grant and funding development, and marketing. He is active on social media platforms and has learned their use to further goals of the spiritual centre and the congregation. He enjoys grant writing, infrastructure renewal, re-envisioning, project management.
Bill’s first experience of Naramata Centre was in 1966 at a very tender age and he has attended events and summer programs many times since. He is passionate about Naramata Centre and wants to see it thrive. Bill also spent time on the isle of Iona, living in community with the Iona community as a volunteer in 2009. From this experience he has imagined a vision of an intentional community, residential and dispersed, as part of the Centre’s potential.
Bill is passionate about long distance walks and pilgrimages, and the emotional, psychological and spiritual benefits of a long journey. He has walked the Camino Santiago twice, as well as the West Highlands Way in Scotland. Often you will find him on his bike on the dykes and trails of the Fraser Valley. He is a spiritual healer and uses the PureBioEnergy Method of energy healing. He enjoys the interface of spirituality and science. He has an interest and passion for mysticism for himself and in teaching others.
Bill joined the Board in 2018.
Clare O'Kelley, Secretary [Burnaby BC]
In 2016, Clare retired from her position as Manager of Volunteer Resources at Burnaby Hospital, a 312-bed community hospital in the Fraser Health region of the metro-Vancouver area, after working for more than 20 years. She has volunteered and actively contributed to the provincial and national associations for volunteer management professionals in many roles, including as president, and chaired provincial and national conferences.
Clare and her family were regular attendees of Naramata Centre’s summer programs for many years. She has taught children’s music for ten years, and, with her husband, has raised five children.
Clare joined the Board in 2018.
Doug Woollard, Chair [Delta BC]
Doug recently retired from a senior executive position with a BC Crown Corporation. Trained as a social worker Doug has worked most recently with people with developmental disabilities and their families. Doug has experience in human resources, financial management, contract negotiation and leadership. He is a skilled communicator having taught a course at the BC Justice Institute and having led many training courses. Doug has worked in government, the private sector and in the non-profit world.
Doug’s association with the Centre began as a child when he moved to the NCLTS (Naramata Christian Leadership Training School) in 1953 with his parents. Doug attended winter session, has led a summer program, worked as summer staff and attended many summer programs over the years. Doug was previously on the board from 2004-2010 and was board chair from 2006-2009. He has served as board chair since being elected in 2015.
Greg Best [Surrey BC]
Naramata Centre has always been a part of Greg’s life. As a child he attended the Centre every summer, and when he was 15, he moved to Naramata when his parents were both on Program Staff. Greg was on summer staff multiple years and met his wife Lori when they were on staff together. Greg and Lori have four sons, for whom the Centre has had a significant influence on who they are today. It is the strong desire to ensure that families continue to have opportunities to learn, play, care for each other, care for the earth, discover new relationships and experience the beauty of being in a truly sacred place that has Greg excited about contributing to the work of the Board.
In addition to his love for the Centre, Greg brings a business background to the board with 30+ years of experience in marketing, sales and executive sales management for large organizations in the technology sector. Greg joined the Board in 2018.
Jenne Newman, Vice-Chair [Calgary AB]
Jenne is a Creative Arts Psychotherapist in Calgary, where she collaborates with others in moments of vulnerability, accessing the strength of creativity to develop solutions and foster growth. Naramata Centre has been a core part of Jenne’s world for over 30 years. The Centre sparked a passion in Jenne for working with collaborative teams, creating visions, developing intergenerational programming, and finding creative ways to build community.
In Jenne’s toolbox you will find past non-profit board experience, community engagement projects, business management, and a resilient spirit. Her history at the Centre includes program participation, winter session, workshop leadership and six years on summer staff. Naramata is the home of her heart and she is honoured to be actively involved in this moment of change.
When taking a pause, Jenne finds joy in nature, quiet moments, and discovering the wonders of the world with her family. Jenne has served on the Naramata Centre Society Board of Directors since 2015, as co-chair of the Program Development Committee.
Jim Simpson, Treasurer [Naramata BC]
Jim Simpson possesses an extensive background in the finance and corporate areas of international commodity marketing, the creative industries, and oil field services. Over the last ten years, Jim has used his C-suite experiences to focus on supporting organizations in the not-for profit sectors to assist in maximizing their financial and organizational development areas to align with their mission and goals.
Active in the community, Jim is currently Vice-Chair of Vancouver School of Theology, was on the board of the Penticton Art Gallery, and is active in the Naramata Cittaslow group. Jim and his family have been involved with Centre in a variety of capacities over many years, and along with his partner Donna, he is part of the local Centre host community that volunteers year round at the Centre. Jim was previously on the board from 2005-2011 and was board chair from 2010-2011. He started his current service with the Board in 2017.
Kathy Hamilton [Naramata BC]
Kathy and her family relocated from Calgary to Naramata in 2015, and she now serves as the Director of Finance with OneSky Community Resources, a charitable, non-profit social services organization in Penticton. Kathy is a CPA and has over 25 years of experience in major areas of business responsibility, including finance, strategic planning, contract negotiation, risk management, insurance and human resources. She has several years’ previous experience as the treasurer at a united church in Calgary. Kathy and her family have been travelling to various programs at Naramata Centre for the past 20 years and are very passionate about the Centre and what it has to offer. Kathy previously served as board treasurer in 2015-2016, and has started a new term on the board in 2018.
Nathan Surkan [Vancouver, BC]
Nathan is a Judicial Law Clerk at the British Columbia Supreme Court, where he aids 6 judges in their various tasks. He dedicated much of his time at law school to learning about the ongoing impacts of a colonial legal system upon Indigenous nations in British Columbia. He has received a certificate in intercultural competency and strives to make societal reconciliation with Indigenous peoples central to his legal career.
Nathan has previously worked at a pro-poor non-governmental organization in Cape Town, South Africa, dedicated to aiding small-scale farmers achieve food sovereignty. He has also worked as the student coordinator of an international prize for anti-corruption and transparency during his time at law school.
Nathan has deep roots in the Okanagan, where he grew up attending Naramata Centre, eventually working on Summer Staff for a number of years. The Centre, and the village of Naramata, were formative communities in his early twenties, and a number of relationships formed during this time have evolved beyond the physical place.
During his free time, Nathan enjoys playing and listening to music, and climbing and cycling in the nature surrounding Vancouver, where he currently lives. Nathan joined the Naramata Centre Board in October, 2018.
Rob Black [Calgary AB]
Rob has been connected with music at Naramata for over 20 years. He first came to bring his young children to a safe place where they could enjoy music and meet friends. His family came almost every summer until they finished high school - it became their spiritual center. Rob also recently taught two programs, drawing new people to the Centre, and his participants all found the Centre be a very special place.
Rob has served on professional boards – regional, national and even international – while working in the public and private sector in education, psychology, and information processing. Having retired from his “day job” in 2014, Rob maintains a small private practice that some find transformational. Rob is honoured to be invited to this board and to work with such a powerful group of people. He joined the Naramata Centre Society Board in 2018.
Sarah Vollett [Vancouver BC]
Sarah combines her twin loves for technology and change management as a business analyst, project manager and process improvement expert working for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. She also has several years’ experience in non-profit operations, strategic planning and financial analysis, and actually enjoys reading financial statements (honest!).
Sarah's connection with Naramata is longstanding - she's a second-generation winter sessioner, worked on summer staff, and attended 18 years of summer programming with her family. Outside of work and Naramata, Sarah is a performer and assistant director with the Broadway Chorus of Vancouver musical theatre troupe. She's served on the Naramata Centre Society Board of Directors since 2015, and was Board Secretary from 2015-2017.