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 Board of Directors, UDI Membership and Education Committee, 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

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).

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.

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.

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

“It’s great to be part of a team that shares the same aspirations for city-building.” Kara joined the firm in 2013 with a background in legal and communications. She is responsible for project coordination, community engagement initiatives, and production of 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.

Maureen Solmundson

Planning Analyst

“I am proud to be a part of the city-building process that is contributing to creating more vibrant, sustainable, inclusive and livable cities.” Prior to joining the firm, Maureen completed a Master of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. While at UBC, she worked on community partnerships with local governments studying affordable housing and creative employment districts and conducted research related to sustainable communities, public engagement and urban development. She brings with her a passion for public engagement, a strong research background and enthusiasm for collaborating with others to create better cities. Maureen has worked in the non-profit sector where she worked on projects related to placemaking, economic development and sustainability. Maureen holds a Master of Community and Regional Planning, a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and an Urban Studies Certificate from Simon Fraser University.

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.

Caitlin Jennings

Director, Brook Pooni Non-Profit Group

With a passion for both the non-profit and sports sectors, Caitlin brings a strong background in both to Brook Pooni Associates.  A life-long philanthropist, she knows how impactful charitable giving and donations of time can be and is incredibly proud to represent Brook Pooni Associates across a variety of incredible causes.  Having grown up as a competitive athlete and worked in professional sport across a variety of capacities, most recently with the Vancouver Whitecaps, in addition to Brook Pooni’s non-profit initiatives, Caitlin is also helping develop David Villa’s youth soccer academy, DV7 Soccer, across Canada to ensure all youth have an opportunity to play the beautiful game.

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.

Sarah Kanakos

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.