Keynote Speaker Michael Van Pelt

Michael Van Pelt, President of Cardus, a public policy think tank, has more than twenty years of experience in public life, including advocacy with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Chamber of Commerce and serving as a municipal Councillor. Michael is also a principal partner of Big Road Partners, a public square consulting firm. He continues to consult widely, helping institutions strategically connect their beliefs with their behaviours.


A graduate of McMaster University, Michael has authored and co-authored numerous articles ranging from religion and public life to economics and government policy. In 2009, he was appointed by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Board of Directors of Rights & Democracy. Recently, he was appointed by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to her Advisory Council for Social Partnerships to advise on possible social innovations and programs that can better leverage the resources of the federal government and strengthen our commitment to Canada’s social challenges.


Michael is a vibrant ideas generator and sought after collaborator. Founder of both the Stained Glass Urbanism Project, a unique initiative project studying the impact of religious faith in urban centres, and of the Trade Corridors Initiative, a venture examining the movement of goods and services across the Canadian/American border, he has most recently initiated the largest North American study on independent religious schooling in partnership with the University of Notre Dame. Among his various civic and social contributions, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the William Voortman Fund, a granting organization to national and international causes.


Don Van Maanen

Don is a graduate of Dordt College and received his Masters in Education from the University of Northern Iowa. He has been at Lynden Christian School since 1992. He taught 5th grade for six years and then moved to the Central Office where he served as the school's Development Director. In 2007, he decided to return to the 5th grade classroom but also continues as the Lynden Christian School Endowment Fund Director.


Howard Van Mersbergen

Howard is the Vice President of Employee Benefits at Christian Schools International. He holds certification as a Certified Investment Management Analyst and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist.


Ken Volkenant

Ken is a partner in the law firm of De Jager Volkenant & Company. Admitted to the British Columbia Bar in 1987, he carries on a solicitor’s practice in the areas of corporate and commercial law, wills and estates and real estate development. Ken specializes in the area of charity law and particularly with incorporating non-profit organizations, charities and foundations and in assisting organizations through restructuring, mergers, cooperative ventures, property transactions and development programs. Ken also advises charities regarding legal risk management and asset protection and the legal aspects of planned giving and fundraising programs. Ken is a frequent presenter on topics related to charities and planned giving and serves on the advisory committees and boards of several non-profit and charitable organizations.


Maynard Wiersma

Maynard was appointed as the CSS Executive Director in February 2012. Previously he served CSS clients and partners as South Western Ontario Representative, a position he held since 2007. Maynard has worked in the financial industry since 1993, including six years with AIC Ltd as a Client Services Representative. While there he was one of the founding members of the Client Services Tax and Estate planning team and later served in that capacity as team supervisor. He felt that his move to CSS was a natural progression to better utilize the gifts God gave him for service in His kingdom. He is a keen proponent of planned giving and biblical stewardship.


Tim Williams

Tim is SCSBC’s Director of Finance. He has extensive professional experience both as an accountant and with not-for-profit organizations. He started his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Chartered Accountants, and has held senior roles in a variety of companies and organizations both in Australia and Canada. He has served on several boards including Christian not-for-profit organizations, and has done consulting work for Christian schools. Tim is an experienced presenter who has taught a variety of seminars as well as giving lectures at universities. His educational accomplishments comprise of a Masters of Business Administration, Bachelor of Economics in Accounting, Graduate Diploma Tax Law, and Certified Practising Accountant (CPA). Tim’s responsibilities at SCSBC include financial management consultation with business administrators, finance committees, and school treasurers, SCSBC Business Administrators Forum facilitator, Financial Health Review facilitator, SCSBC School Budget Template, SCSBC Framework for the Issuance of Charitable Tax Receipts, and SCSBC advisor to the SCSBC Compensation Committee and Policy Development Committee.





Chris Berghuis

Meeting his future wife at Urbana, an IVCF student missions conference, helped set Chris up for a life of adventure. Catharine, Chris and their three teenaged sons moved to Victoria in 2012 when Chris joined the team at Pacific Christian School as the Development Director. A former science and middle school teacher in Langley and Maple Ridge, between the two West Coast experiences he had the opportunity to serve as the National Manager of Church Relations for World Vision Canada, the Campaign and Development Director at Redeemer University College and the Executive Director of Manitoba Pioneer Camp, part of Inter-Varsity’s national camping movement. Chris’ varied work experience and education position him well for the current community at PCS.


Henry Contant

As SCSBC’s Executive Director, Henry works with school boards, committees and administrators in the area of school leadership, governance, strategic visioning, development, and government relations. Henry has been seconded by the BC Ministry of Education to inspect over sixty independent schools in BC and China. He serves as an instuctor in the M.Ed. Leadership program at Trinity Western University and at CSI’s Educator Leadership Development Institute. He is chair of the board of Christian Schools Canada, vice chair of the board of Christian Schools International and vice president of the board of the Federation of Independent School Associations in BC.


Sam Kirk

Sam Kirk has worked for more than fifteen years in marketing and communications in both the business and non-profit sectors. He is currently the Director of Communications for International China Concern, responsible for resourcing a network of fundraising offices around the world on a very limited marketing and promotions budget.


Cathy Kits

Cathy has served as the Director of Development at Langley Christian School since 2001. Her role includes responsibility for major fundraising: capital campaigns, the LCS Annual Fund, special events, the Langley Christian School Foundation, marketing and recruitment, registrations, integration of new families and volunteer coordination. She has been a speaker at a number of conferences, presenting on topics from community building and working with volunteers, to fundraising, and development strategies in Christian schools. Cathy also begun working in a part time capacity as Development Consultant for SCSBC. Under Cathy’s leadership, SCSBC intends to move forward on some development initiatives among our growing number of development staff within our schools.


Michael Loewen

Michael is a partner with the firm Loewen Kruse, Chartered Accountants, and the managing partner for the firm’s charities and not-for-profit clients. He is the auditor, accountant and/or financial consultant for over one hundred charities and not-for-profit organizations across Canada. Michael assists his clients with a wide array of services, including Canada Revenue Agency compliance, bookkeeping, interim controllership, and other financial issues unique to charities and not-for-profit organizations. Michael is a speaker at various charities conferences. He is a past board member and Treasurer for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. He also served on the organization’s audit committee.


Audrey Roorda

Audrey, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools Financial Services Coordinator, has been working in the OACS finance department since 1995. Currently she is coordinating the Financial Accountability Framework services that the OACS provides for the schools which involves the cost per pupil calculation as well as the completion of the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return. Audrey also co-authors Focus on Finance which deals with the issues (HST, Public Service Bodies Rebate, T4As, Fundraising, volunteers, Related businesses, etc.) which are all part of running a school charity.






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