Dynamic, experienced, and rooted in the community – BPA has assembled a team of urban planning and communications professionals committed to the idea that our cities can be even better.

Gary Pooni - President

Gary Pooni

President

“I love the creative side of planning, but what I enjoy most is bringing positive change to communities.”

In his role as president and senior planner, Gary drives the firm’s growth and manages major client projects. With over twenty years of planning-related experience, he has spearheaded projects throughout the Lower Mainland, the Sea to Sky corridor and throughout BC, Alberta and most recently Ontario. His expertise includes policy planning, public consultation and advanced negotiation and facilitation. After being appointed President in 2008, Gary was honoured as one of Business in Vancouver’s “Top Forty under 40” within a year.

Passionate about supporting the community, Gary chairs the Urban Development Institute Membership Committee, is an annual instructor for the UDI School of Development, and serves on the board of Provincial Health Services Authority. He also serves as Director of the Indo-Canadian Friendship Society, which provides funding and resources for infrastructure and community development in Punjab, India.

Gary holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Design (Planning) from the University of Calgary and a B.A. in Geography from Simon Fraser University, and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Memberships:

Member, Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP)

Chair, UDI Membership Committee

Chair, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association

Director, Indo-Canadian Friendship Society

Board Member, Provincial Health Services Authority

 

 

Blaire Chisholm - Chief Operating Officer

Blaire Chisholm

Chief Operating Officer

“The work that we do at the firm is so diverse. It spans disciplines and geography and involves people from all walks of life working on projects across BC. It’s great getting to know people and the issues that are important to them in their hometowns. Our goal is for our clients’ projects to be the best they can be in the communities they build. As planning manager, I am also privileged to work with a superb staff, each so unique and bringing a strong skill set to our office.”

Blaire manages many of the firm’s key projects, specializing in sustainability issues and project management. In 2008, she was instrumental in the successful approval of Fraser Mills. As sustainability moves to the forefront of the entitlement process, Blaire’s expertise and experience make her an indispensable resource for clients looking to integrate all components of sustainability into their projects.

Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Blaire amassed ten years of experience with non-governmental organizations, research and policy consultancies, and architectural and planning firms across Canada.

Blaire holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from McGill University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation and Resource Management from the University of Alberta.

Memberships:

Member, Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) (MCIP)

Member, UDI Liaison Committee – Coquitlam

Member, UDI Liaison Committee – Richmond

Community Advisor to the Bloom Group

Board Apointee to the Real Estate Council of BC

Sophie Perndl

Senior Associate

“My role allows me to be a planner, politician, social worker and poet often on the same day, because we work with stakeholders, planning documents, and communications material. As we are involved in a variety of projects in all local jurisdictions, I feel privileged to learn about each municipality, along with its priorities, ambitions and stakeholders.”

Sophie’s experience in the municipal permits and zoning processes, her ability to merge creative ideas with technical expertise, and her personal warmth allow her to excel in her multi-disciplinary role at Brook Pooni Associates.

Prior to joining the firm, Sophie contributed to the development and operation of Austria Passive House during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Sophie holds a BA in Political Science from the University of BC, a Graduate Diploma in Urban Studies from SFU, and a Certificate in Erosion and Sediment Control from Vancouver Island University.

Laura Beveridge

Associate

“Our work allows me to interact with and learn from communities in the lower mainland, BC, and Canada on a daily basis. Working with groups from diverse backgrounds and with varying interests allows me to think outside the box and collaborate with others to reach innovative solutions. The breadth and variety of our projects creates a dynamic and exciting work environment.”

Passionate about city planning and sustainability, Laura focuses primarily on public and stakeholder engagement processes, as well as policy analysis and research at municipal, provincial, and federal levels.

Additionally, Laura’s background in LEED analysis, documentation, and consulting equips her to advise clients on sustainable design strategy on a variety of scales.

Laura holds a Master of Urban Studies degree from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Development and Spanish from Dalhousie University.

Sarah Kanakos

Associate Consultant - Government Relations

Urban planning and local politics should work together since planning affects everything that builds our cities. Change is always political. Understanding the issues in local neighbourhoods and engaging with the community is key to successful project approvals and building better cities.

Sarah’s interest in local governance began early in her career, when she ran as a school trustee candidate in her hometown of Delta, as part of a youth coalition. Born into a family of politicians, Sarah grew up working on campaigns and developed an extensive network of government contacts at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels. As a Senior Associate at BPA, Sarah leads the Toronto office with a focus on government relations and strategic communications at the municipal government level. Sarah works with industry clients to develop engagement strategies that communicate the merits of development projects and build positive momentum throughout the approval process.

Sarah holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science, a Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts and is a member of the Government Relations Institute of Canada.

 

Judy Fang

Chief Financial Officer

With over 15 years of experience in financial management, Judy handles all aspects of Brook Pooni Associate’s financial management, accounting, human resources, and payroll.

Judy is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA, CGA), she holds a Financial Management Diploma (Honours) from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), she also has a Bachelor of Architecture from the Anhui Architecture and Industry Institute in China and a Master of Urban Planning from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).

Chi Chi Cai

Senior Planner

“I am excited to be a part of a team of passionate planners who go beyond putting a project through its paces, and are dedicated to producing results that are respectful and beneficial to a larger community.”

With her experience in planning and development in both the private and public sectors, Chi Chi contributes to planning research projects and manages development applications of various scales.

Chi Chi holds a Masters of Planning from Ryerson University, a certificate in Urban Design from Simon Fraser University, and a Bachelors of Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Dan Watson

Planner

“It’s exciting to be a part of the process that shapes where we all live and work, and allows us to aspire toward a more creative, sustainable, and inclusive future—all while advancing the unique needs and aspirations of each community and jurisdiction. When I look at the work we do in BC and across Canada, it makes me so optimistic about the future of our cities.”

With a background in urban design (in both the public and private sectors), planning policy, public consultation, and heritage research, Dan’s comprehensive experience makes him highly effective at planning analysis.

Dan holds a Master of Planning degree from the University of Calgary, where he earned the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) Danny Makale Silver Medallion and the Andrei Nicolai Sustainable Design Prize from the Faculty of Environmental Design. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta, where he studied history and political science.

Aliya Tejani

Planner

Aliya has a wide range of Toronto-based planning experience in municipal planning law, development, and public consultation. She views planning as a unique opportunity to positively impact city and community building.

Aliya holds an MES in Planning from York University and a Bachelor of Science from McGill University.

Memberships:

Member, Plan Canada/Peer Review Formal Referee Panel for the Canadian Institute of Planners

Member, Board – GreenHere

 

 

Samantha Potter

Project Manager

“I love working for a passionate team that fosters creativity and finds solutions. At Brook Pooni, there is a strong sense of collaboration; whether it be with a client or with a community, the process of reaching mutual objectives is always educational and rewarding. I feel fortunate to get to work on such a wide array of projects within multiple jurisdictions, as each project brings new challenges and offers new perspectives.”

Samantha joined the firm with a background in consulting and development. Her skill set allows her to manage multiple projects at once, as well as ensure all client needs are met throughout the development process. This includes her involvement in public engagement, policy analysis and research, and zoning processes.

Samantha holds a BA in Geography from the University of British Columbia, and a Certificate in Environmental Monitoring for Construction Projects from Vancouver Island University.

Kara Matheson

Project Coordinator

“To have the opportunity to connect with people from different communities in the work we do brings new perspectives and helps shape the projects we are a part of. I am fortunate to be a part of a collaborate team that shares the same aspirations for city-building.”

Kara joined the firm in 2013 and is responsible for the firms social media, coordination of community engagement initiatives, and producing outreach material for each project.

 

Allison Millar

Planning Analyst

“There are many complex issues facing Vancouver residents so it’s inspiring to work for a company that is dedicated to creating and supporting communities.”

Allison is passionate about Vancouver and planning for its rapidly growing and diverse population. As a graduate from Simon Fraser University with a BA in Geography, she enjoys working in the evolving industry that she studied.

Nicole Beuglet

Planning Assistant

“Community members should be actively involved in the planning process and I love that the work I do takes planning out of the office and into the unique communities of Toronto.  I have the privilege of working closely with community members so they can influence the future of their neighbourhoods.”
Nicole coordinates community outreach and engagement initiatives in the Toronto office. She provides community feedback analysis as well as contextual research and planning analysis for Toronto neighbourhoods and Planning Policies. Nicole is passionate about working closely with community members to ensure that development has a positive impact within their neighbourhood.
Nicole brings significant planning, facilitation and engagement experience to the Toronto Brook Pooni Team. She holds a Master Degree in Urban Planning from York University, with a specialization in community engagement and environmental planning and design.  She also holds a Master Degree in Gender Studies.

Katy McLean

Office Manager & Executive Assistant to the President

“It feels great to be part of a team that is facilitating positive community growth, believes in sustainability and is dedicated to creating solutions. I love learning about the political process and getting to see the projects evolve. The multifaceted work we do aligns with my passion for advocating on behalf of social issues and for community needs.”

Katy manages the Vancouver and Toronto offices and is Executive Assistant to the President. Previously she has worked in the film industry, event production, restaurant management and administration.

Charlotte Wayara

Administrative Assistant Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer

“The opportunity to play a dynamic role in providing greater access to various demographics who are largely marginalized and who maintain narratives which are often times dismissed with respect to their specific community needs and ideas is enriching, fulfilling and impassioning. Particularly, when these may serve to ensure the neighbourhood is a less triggering and more nurturing environment for residents of all positionalities.”

Charlotte’s passion to address systemic problems faced by marginalized communities is what brought her to Brook Pooni. She wishes to pursue a career in planning to attempt to provide a platform for underrepresented lived experiences to be prioritized. Charlotte has completed a BA in Sociology from UBC and has plans to commence her Masters in urban planning in Fall 2019.

Kirk McLean

Community Relations

“As part of Brook Pooni, I am able to engage with the community on a wide range of projects. I love hearing what people in the community think, and am ecstatic to be part of the process.”

Kirk’s genuine passion for community-building, his background as a public figure and professional athlete, and his understanding of real estate development uniquely equip him to excel at community relations.

Prior to joining Brook Pooni Associates in 2013, Kirk played hockey professionally for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. He was inducted into the Canuck’s Ring of Honor in 2010, and currently is an active member of the Vancouver Canuck Alumni, a charitable organization.