Treasurer - Nabeel Anjum
My professional journey follows 2 parallel tracks. For 10 years, I spent the majority of my evenings and weekends as a mentor and organizer in the debating communities of Pakistan and Hong Kong. Over the same decade, I switched careers, going from finance to teaching, curriculum design, and program development in STEM and Debate/Public speaking.
In the 7 years since, I’ve worked with learners aged 4 – 44, from over 30 nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds ranging from urban slums in Karachi to palatial mansions in Hong Kong. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to earn a Master of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Hong Kong and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) here at UBC.
My love for the arts comes from my broader love of the humanities. Arts education doesn’t just engage children’s creativity, it provides a developmental space where they explore their own agency and tolerance of failure and discomfort. It provides them with communities of shared passions, and an avenue for life-long neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.
As a child from a lower-income background in Pakistan, it was pure luck when I stumbled into my first debating session 16 years ago. And I’m excited to work towards a world where every child has the opportunity to “luck out” and discover their creative passions, and the support needed to turn it into a life-long creative practice.
Board Member - Kartik Bharadwa
My name is Kartik Bharadwa (he, him, his) and I am currently the Vice President of People, Culture and Diversity at Capilano University. My role previous to joining CapU was as the Director of HR & Operations and Chief Privacy Officer at the BC Dental Association in Vancouver. I received my MBA with a specialization in HR Management from Royal Roads in 2014. I also held a short contract role at Arts Umbrella during the pandemic as the Director of HR.
I hold a CPHR designation, am proficient in the Proscii change management methodology and I am also a certified DiSC facilitator. Before my current role I was the Director of Organizational Development & HR at Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited. I’ve worked with organizations in public practice to private and now in not-for-profit industries.
I hold a strong track record of developing leading people programs and creating engaged and high performing organizations. I am passionate about creating ways of working that inspire people, teams and organizations to realize their full potential. Fostering high performance and people-centered organizations is a personal and professional passion and is what inspired me to take the MBA at Royal Roads in the first place.
When I am not at work I am busy volunteering on various committees with the CPHR and Royal Roads University as a Mentor for new MBA students or riding my motorcycle, playing guitar. While I attempt to busy myself with various pursuits, I also tend to think about my golf game far too much. I wish I spent more time journaling.
Board Member - Tina Lai
Tina Lai is the Chief People Officer of Kabam Games, Inc. and leads a team of talented individuals with oversight for all People aspects including people business partnerships, talent acquisition, communications, training & development, and total rewards. Tina is part of the executive leadership team accountable for developing and directing the organizational strategy, operating principles and cultural imperatives at Kabam. As a mom of two, she has seen the powerful impact that art has on unleashing creativity and accelerating learning and enrichment in not only her children but others as well. Further, she believes that creativity is essential to success in all occupations.
Vice President - Pilar Wong Navabi
Pilar Wong Navabi is an informal educator approaching arts and culture with an anti-oppression focus. As a lifelong learner, Pilar is currently decolonizing her views on parenting norms and how children “should” learn and behave. Pilar’s career in arts institutions includes the Cantor Arts Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Polygon Gallery, and Museum of Anthropology.
Pilar’s work in education and community engagement has been in support of broader accessibility to art and cultural wealth.
President - Mishel Quaal
Mishel grew up in a small northern Saskatchewan town enjoying the beauty of nature. A life filled with berry picking, hunting and learning from her beautiful Cree grandmother instilled a love of the outdoors, arts and community.
In 1996, Mishel completed her B.Ed. with Saskatchewan Urban Native Teachers Association through University of Saskatchewan. While raising two children she taught a variety of grade levels and subject in both urban and rural settings. Then in 2013, Mishel completed her Master’s Degree at University of Saskatchewan in Educational Foundations. While teaching in Saskatchewan, Mishel embraced many opportunities to bring Arts into the schools.
Mishel is currently District Principal of Indigenous Education in School District No. 83. She looks forward to fostering the opportunities ArtStarts provides in building relationships with artists, students, educators, families, and community.
Board Member - Malik Ali
Malik s a radio host, dj, and music lover living in Vancouver. As a Junior Financial Analyst at WELL Health, Malik hopes to contribute his knowledge of finance, accounting, and compliance practices to ArtStarts. Malik is keen to create positive experiences.
Board Member - Marielle Kho
Marielle has been a digital artist in both the film and video games industries for 13 years, and also enjoys pursuing creativity through the art of costume and prop making. Over the last few years, she has had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at several Game Design classes at Vancouver Film School. She has also volunteered time to serve as a Visual Arts Jury member ofthe Independent Game Festival. Serving on the IGF jury has been an amazing honor and she is proud to influence the industry by supporting and championing independent an underrepresented voices. Recently, Marielle has started volunteering to provide mutual aid in Vancouver's downtown Eastside, by distributing food, water, and supplies to its residents.
Board Member - Paisley Smith
Paisley leads the Unity for Humanity Program at Unity Technologies and has built a supportive community of over 500 impact-driven XR and digital media creators. Paisley is an XR filmmaker and creates projects with real-world impact, including “Unceded Territories” and “Homestay.”