Board of Directors

We would like to introduce our Members of the Board who continue to make the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society a reality.

Bob Smith

RJ (Bob) Smith, BCom., MBA, FCCHL


Bob Smith joined VCDS in 2017 and has served as a driver and President of the Board. As the organization has grown rapidly from its start in 2016 he has continued to enjoy working with the dedicated members of the Board and volunteer Dispatchers, Drivers and Support members who serve the cancer patient in need.

Bob’s career includes an extensive background in health care management, governance, teaching and consulting across the public and private sectors.

Gord Locke

Gord Locke

Vice President / Director Dispatch Operations

Gord joined the Board in 2021 and assumed responsibility for our external communications. In 2023 he became vice president and took on responsibility for our dispatcher operations.

Gord is a Senior Consultant with a broad and diverse background in business and IT consulting. He has held executive and managerial positions in global and local corporations. Gord has worked with public and private sector clients to develop and implement strategies and solutions that deliver business value and position the organization to evolve, compete and thrive.

Tom Akam

Tom Akam, CPA, CA


Tom Akam joined VCDS as a Director in 2017. He plays an important role in managing all aspects of the society’s financials and works closely with the Board of Directors to safeguard the organization’s finances, ensuring a long future for the society.

As a Chartered Accountant he worked both in industry and public practice in the fields of accounting, taxation, and business valuations. Retired since 2007, he has served on councils and boards over the years, volunteered in the community and is a member in a community service club.

Mac Petrie

Mac Petrie


Mac’s involvement with VCDS started in 2019 as a volunteer driver and a relief dispatcher. He then shifted his efforts over to helping with grant applications and the implementation of VCDS’s Donor Management System. In 2021 he joined the Board and coordinated our Dispatch services.

Mac’s career was in in the B.C. Education sector where he held senior management positions with responsibilities for operations and business services.

Ken Askew

Ken Askew

Director Quality Assurance / Technology

Ken joined VCDS as a driver in the Tri-Cities region in 2019. In 2021 he assumed responsibility for the management of VCDS’s license plate registration process and became the VCDS Registrar soon after. In April of 2022 Ken joined the Board where he accepted the role of Director Driver Operations. Early in 2023 Ken changed roles to Director Quality Assurance and Technology.

His collaborative approach and work-ethic for all the various teams he has worked with in his professional IT career and volunteer life brings tremendous value to the Society.

Tom Balabanov

Director Driver Operations

Tom was formally a driver for the Freemasons Cancer Car Program and joined VCDS as a driver in 2021. He became a Board member in 2022 and after a term as a Director at Large he assumed responsibility for VCDS Drivers.

Tom spent most of his working career with Central 1 Credit Union as a business improvement specialist. His experience included project management, team management, finance as well as staff management and training.

Larry Coleman

Larry Coleman

Director at Large

Larry started with VCDS before there was a Society. As a volunteer driver, he has driven more patients to and from appointments than anyone else within the Society––all while fulfilling his Director at Large position. Additionally, Larry helps with driving training and working fundraising events, frequently appearing as a spokesperson for the VCDS with local media, including Global Television and many local newspapers. It was during a Global TV interview when Larry was asked why he works with the VCDS and he said: "Because its the right thing to do".

Larry has been an active volunteer in numerous charitable organizations and spent his career as superintendent for a general contractor in BC and Washington State.

Gail Kaufmann

Gail Kaufmann

Director at Large

Gail Kaufmann joined VCDS in early 2023 to support the VCDS mission. With cancer impacting 1 in 2 Canadians the services of the volunteer Dispatchers, Drivers, Support members and the Board provides is ever more imperative in supporting cancer patients.

Gail’s career includes an extensive background in strategic operational review and implementation, operational leadership. She is a relationship builder and connector across the public and private sectors.

Danielle Richards

Danielle Richards, RN, BSCN, CTCM&H, MA

Special Advisor To The Board

Danielle Richards provides the VCDS with her counsel and guidance as we continue to ensure our infection control procedures and patient transfer processes are as safe as they can be. Danielle holds a BScN from UBC, is a registered nurse and has a Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding. She has worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Angola and for the Public Health Agency of Canada in its Quarantine Program during the pH1N1 outbreak. She is an Infection Control Practitioner with Providence Health Care. Danielle is the Coordinator of Education, Orientation and Special Events. Beyond her education and training responsibilities with Providence Health Care, Danielle’s skills include surveillance, outbreak management and response. She has a number of certifications, significant international experience and numerous awards for her contributions.

Support Team


Gary Galloway

Donor Recognition

Gary has joined the team and works with Kelly, helping to maintain our relationships with the many individuals who support VCDS. He makes personal thank-you phone calls on our behalf to the donors. When unable to connect with the donor, he sends them a handwritten note which is well-appreciated.


Sandy Tsui


Sandy has been a volunteer since 2022. As the Registrar, he is responsible for receiving and processing new volunteer driver applications, while ensuring that applicants meet all the VCDS requirements. Once new applicants become members, he hands them over to the Regional Dispatchers to begin driving.

Liesa Billings

Liesa Billings

Online Communications Officer

Liesa became a member of VCDS in 2017. She applies her knowledge in communication design, branding, and marketing to her role. She takes charge of distributing newsletters, managing the social media presence, ensuring the continued growth of our website, and taking on various projects as they arise.


Kelly Galloway

Donor Recognition

Kelly plays a crucial role in managing our donor recognition program. She maintains our software system, tracks and enters any donations we receive, and arranges for others to send thank-you letters or make phone calls to our donors.

Kathy Smee

Recording Secretary

Kathy has volunteered as a driver for three years. Her administrative background is also invaluable in her role to assist the Board Secretary, where she takes minutes at every Board meeting.


Rick Janssen

Information Analyst

Rick has been a volunteer driver for VCDS for four years. He also plays an important role in gathering VCDS' monthly expense reports. Rick is retired after a career in the information technology sector.