Congratulations to the following SHCS employees who were recently inducted into UBC’s 25 Year Club and to those who were also recognized for their 35 or 40 years of service to UBC.

25 Year Club

Alma Avila
Sales Associate, Food Services
Congratulations, Alma, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Alma
“Alma started her career here at UBC on July 22, 1998. By her current picture you would think she was 14 when she started. She works for Residence Dining and is a pillar and resource for all things Gather and Vanier.

“Very hard working and the epitome of dedication, Alma actually has two full time jobs. She is engaged, helpful and cheery, and she makes great suggestions, since she wants to take care of our students. Her great laugh can be heard across Gather, and it will always put a smile on your face when you hear it.

“She loves to travel with her husband, Arnel and grown children Arman and Andrea. Outside of work, you can find Alma checking out a new restaurants or going for dim sum with her many work friends.

“Thank you Alma for your commitment to excellence and for being a true delight to work with.”

— Kerensa Wotton, Residence Dining Manager, Food Services

Travis Bourque
Textbook Buyer, UBC Bookstore
Congratulations, Travis, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Travis
“Travis Bourque started his career at UBC Bookstore in 1998. As a lifelong learner he has completed 4 programs at UBC.

“In 2004 he moved to the marketing and communications team. If you have ever bought an item from the UBC Farm weekly market at the Bookstore, you can thank Travis—it was his proposal. In 2016 he joined the retail floor staff, where his favourite part was leading and mentoring the diverse UBC students brought in for our busy back to school times. Since 2022, he has worked as a course materials buyer.

“He is a fun-loving and dedicated co-worker and he enjoys pranking his co-workers. But not to worry; he always makes sure there are snacks around in case they get peckish. He enjoys travelling, cooking, cycling, contemporary art, volunteering, and attending music shows.

“Please join me in congratulating Travis on achieving 25 years of service at UBC.”

— Rodolfo Calero, Associate Director, Bookstore and Campus Mail

Alison Cole
Front Desk Service Representative, Residence Life and Administration
Congratulations, Alison, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Alison
“Alison has spent many years working at UBC, the last number of years with us at the residence front desks. She is kind and helpful with students and staff. Alison has always been there to listen to students, understand their situation and follow through with resources that will help them. She has helped many new staff in learning the ways of the front desk.

“As well as working part time at the desk, Alison is busy in her personal life in many other activities. She is a reservist musician with the Canadian Armed Forces. Alison has also been a radio producer and host with Vancouver Co-op Radio for many years, and ahe also runs her own business. A busy life indeed!

“Thank you for your many good years of service, Alison.”

— Carol Young, Associate Director, Service Development and Operations

Esperanza de Guzman
Sales Associate, Food Services
Congratulations, Esperanza, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Esperanza
“Esperanza works in our residence dining operations, where she provides service to many students, staff and summer conference guests.

“One of her hobbies is cooking. She often invites her friends and family members to her house and shares food with loved ones. She definitely chose the perfect career (working in Food Services) that aligns with her hobby.

“A lover of travel, she has travelled to many beautiful places and countries by bus, train and air. Esperanza is always active, and she especially enjoys hiking and going to the parks and beaches.”

— Jane Sunwoo, Residence Dining Manager, Food Services

Donald Harris
Service Worker, Facilities and Building Services
Congratulations, Donald, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Donald
“Donald is a true Vancouverite; he was born here and has lived here all his life. He’s thankful for all the opportunities he has had while working at UBC. One of his favourite experiences was working with the warehouse team for a few months, delivering supplies to all the student residences. He truly enjoys coming to work and spending time with his friends. He takes leisurely walks around campus during his free time and appreciates the beauty of campus.

“A dragon boating volunteer and participant, he has recently finished his fourth season supporting the races in Penticton, BC. The highlight of his participation in the sport was in 2014 when his team Eyes of the Dragon travelled to an area near Naples, Italy where his team won gold and a silver medals in their races. He points out that the difference between gold and silver was between one tenth and one hundredth of a second.

“Donald is one of the friendliest people you will meet, always ready with a little humorous banter and a great smile. Ask him about his 1,000 shares in the Pepsi company!”

— Mahara Silva, Building Service Manager, Facilities and Building Services

Steven Henkelman
Plumber, Facilities and Building Services
Congratulations, Steven, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Steven
“As a teenager in 1995, Steven began his career here with Student Housing on the night shift as a Service Worker. He quickly displayed a reliable and diligent attitude, which would carry through to his future role as utility worker and his current position as plumber. An integral member of our trades team, Steven brings his trademark professionalism and extensive campus knowledge to all of his repairs, troubleshooting efforts, and emergency resolutions. He has truly found his calling with a blow torch and pipe wrench.

“Steven has built lifelong friendships through his connections made in SHCS. In his personal life, Steven enjoys driving his classic cars, both original and dragster. An avid hunter and fisher, he can often be found cruising along the Fraser River in his boat fishing for salmon.

“Steven always represents the trades group and our larger facilities team with class and we are lucky to have him.”

— Claudia Popa, Trades Manager, Facilities and Building Services

David Kiloh, Director, Facilities and Building Services
David Kiloh
Director, Facilities and Building Services
Congratulations, David, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about David
“David began his career at UBC as a student employee in Shuswap House at Totem Park Residence. Since that time, he’s held four unique positions—all within Student Housing. David may be the only person in history who lived at Totem Park for 5 years of his life, as a student, a Residence Advisor and as a Residence Life Manager!

“David’s most significant impact at UBC has been as the Director of Facilities and Building Services, a role he has held for the past 14 years. He and his team are responsible for stewarding, maintaining and cleaning over $1.5 billion in assets and, in doing so, providing a high-quality living environment for over 13,800 students who reside at UBC Vancouver—an important role. David has also been instrumental in the development and opening of over 5,500 new student housing beds.

“David is a people person who knows the names of all his staff. He takes time to say hello to them on a daily basis and will walk in their shoes, assisting with litter pick up or observing maintenance issues as he travels through the residences.

“When away from work at UBC, David can be found surrounded by his wife and three daughters; and I think David would agree that the best thing that has happened to him while at UBC was meeting his wife, Kim!

“David, congratulations on and thank you for your 25 years of service to the students who reside in student housing; here’s to 20 more years!”

— Andrew Parr, Associate Vice-President, Student Housing and Community Services

Josie Midha
Senior Food Services Supervisor, Food Services
Congratulations, Josie, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Josie

“Josie has worked in every department within Food Services! Starting in 1998 at Totem Park, she later moved to Café Perugia in 2005 and served the Olympics in 2010. From May 2009, she worked at Triple O’s and in 2015 she moved to the retail business at Ike’s Café, Stir it Up and Law Café. In fall 2018, she moved to The Point where she worked as a Supervisor. During the summers of 2022 and 2023, Josie also worked at Sage Catering during.

“Over the years, Josie was also fortunate to work with her husband, Steve, who was the Sous Chef at Place Vanier and retired a few years ago. Her engaging sense of humor, care for others, and passion for food made her a great colleague to many. In October 2023, she made the decision to retire.

“Thank you Josie, for the legacy you leave at UBC—many thousands of meaningful employee and customer interactions. Wishing you a happy and healthy retirement!”

— Levi Semadeni, General Manager, Catering and Restaurants

Gordon Newitt
Second Cook, Food Services
Congratulations, Gordon, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Gordon

“Gordon is a long-time member of the Food Services culinary team. A popular cook, he brings a classic old school approach to kitchens. He loves to train new cooks and has a soft spot for anyone he thinks has an ounce of passion for cooking. In fact, he enjoys scouring secondhand book stores and garage sales for cook books and giving or sharing them with anyone he thinks will be interested. While he follows well-known chefs in the Vancouver scene, I don’t think he’s ever eaten in any of the “fancier” restaurants. A family-oriented person, Gordon lives in the family home with his mom.”

— David Speight, Executive Chef and Culinary Director

Ines Bisognin
Sales Associate, Food Services
Congratulations, Ines, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Ines

“Ines started at UBC in February 1998. During her time with Food Services, she has worked at Subway, Bread Garden and Tim Hortons. A hard working team member, Ines is always found smiling and often joking with her fellow team members. She also likes chatting with her regular customers and enjoys the busy times at Tim Hortons, where she is typically at the sandwich station making fresh, hot food. No matter which Tims location she is working at, she always digs in and gets the job done.”

— Jody Ropas, Retail Manager, Food Services

Ivone Ramirez
Food Services Supervisor, Food Services
Congratulations, Ivone, on your 25 years at UBC!
Learn more about Ivone

“Ivone grew up in Toronto with her parents and four siblings. After she graduated high school, she gained employment as a night auditor and front desk clerk at the Royal York Fairmont Hotel in downtown Toronto. Working there, her interest in pursuing a career in hospitality grew, which led her to study hotel management and food and beverage management.

“After living in Australia on a working holiday visa for a year, Ivone’s return flight stopped over in Vancouver. She immediately fell in love with the city and decided to move here—which she thinks was the best decision of her life. Upon moving to Vancouver, she worked in several hotels and then started part-time at UBC.

“She tells me, “working at UBC allows me the freedom to lead a well-balanced happy life style. Thank you UBC.”

“Outside of work, Ivone enjoys travel, the great outdoors, yoga and strength training. She also supports environmental and animal welfare organizations.”

— Jane Sunwoo, Residence Dining Manager, Food Services

35 Year Club

Inderpal (Paula) Khella
Sales Associate, Food Services
Congratulations, Paula, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about Paula

“Starting at UBC in October 1988, Paula has worked at several Food Services’ locations, including Bread Garden, Pacific Spirit Place and, most recently, Tim Hortons Forestry, where she brings her contagious smile and work ethic. An inspiration to her colleagues and UBC student workers and customers alike, Paula always goes above and beyond the expectation every day.

“She genuinely cares about her work, and her dedication and commitment is impressive to many.”

— Jody Ropas, Retail Manager, Food Services

Teresa Lam
Sales Associate, Food Services
Congratulations, Teresa, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about Teresa

“Teresa started working at UBC in July 1988, and since that time she has worked at Underground, The Barn, The Bus Stop Café (as a server!), IRC, Steamies, Subway and Café Perugia, where she has worked the last 18 years.

“When Teresa is working you always know you have no worries, the customer will get served quickly with a huge smile and everything in the back of house will be taken care of. She loves to laugh and always moves swiftly to ensure quick service.

“Her customers often ask for her by name and if she’s away—she loves to travel!—they are quick to ask when she’ll be back. No matter where Teresa works, the supervisors and staff love her dedication and commitment to the customers and the university.”

— Jody Ropas, Retail Manager, Food Services

Dick Madalena
Second Cook, Food Services
Congratulations, Dick, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about Dick

“Dick has been a core member of the UBC culinary team for 35 years. A well-liked member of the team, he is always willing to help a new face get settled at UBC. Having worked in almost every kitchen on campus, he continues to be a great team player.

“Outside of work, Dick’s true passion is fishing. It doesn’t matter the type of water, he’ll fish it! But when the weather gets too cold for fishing, he can be found indoors at the pool hall working on his billiards skills. His opponents fear him almost as much as the fish do!”

— David Speight, Executive Chef and Culinary Director

Shirley Mak
Payroll and Human Resources Clerk, Student Housing and Community Services
Congratulations, Shirley, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about Shirley

“In April 1988, Shirley started at UBC in Financial Services; in November 1990, she joined Student Housing as a Payroll Clerk. Since that time, she has tirelessly supported staff, supervisors and her colleagues by always being available to answer questions and ensuring their pay is accurate and on time—and, more recently, helping colleagues navigate the Workday Payroll system.

“In her spare time Shirley enjoys travelling with her husband Paul and spending time with her two children, Ashley and Ryan.

“Shirley, we are so glad you are a part of our team. Congratulations on achieving 35 years of service with SHCS!”

— Vicky Lau, Payroll Manager and Rob Wharton, Associate Director, Finance and Payroll

Andrew Parr, Associate Vice-President, Student Housing and Community Services
Andrew Parr
Associate Vice-President, Student Housing and Community Services
Congratulations, Andrew, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about Andrew

“Congratulations to Andrew Parr on achieving 35 years of service at UBC. From humbling beginnings, Andrew has worked his way up the leadership ladder to oversee the country’s largest auxiliary operation.

“UBC houses more than 15,000 students and serves more than 90,000 students, faculty and staff across Food Services, Parking, Child Care, Conferences and Accommodation, Student Housing and the Bookstore and Campus Mail. The growth and excellence in these areas can be directly attributed to Andrew’s leadership and vision. Under some of the most difficult conditions (e.g., COVID, rising costs, etc.), Andrew and his team continue to keep their operations at the head of the class.

“Thirty-five years of service is a testament to Andrew’s durability and commitment, but more importantly his lengthy term of service continues to be a gift to UBC. We would likely not be where we are today as a university and as a division were it not for his commitment to excellence. Thank you for your dedicated service.”

— Ainsley Carry, Vice-President, Students

Greg Ursic
Front Desk Service Coordinator, Residence Life and Administration
Congratulations, Greg, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about Greg

“Greg has been a recognized face at the front desks for the past 35 years, many of those years in a leadership role as a coordinator. He has spent significant time at Place Vanier, Acadia Park and Marine Drive as a supervisor and has been part of helping to shape the hundreds of staff that have worked at the front desks over all these years. Greg’s dedication and commitment to his work has been evident in all his years with UBC. He is always looking at ways to improve our processes to create a better experience for the students who live with us.

“Greg has been an avid film buff for most of his life and has written many print and online film reviews throughout the years.

“In June 2021, Greg received a shout-out from President Ono as an unsung hero for the support he provided students and staff during the pandemic. Congratulations, Greg, and many thanks for your years of service!”

— Carol Young, Associate Director, Service Development and Operations

David Wong
Truck Driver, Campus Mail
Congratulations, David, on your 35 years at UBC!
Learn more about David

“David has worked for Campus Mail for the last 35 years, and during that time he has been a big part of building our reputation for great service and  supporting the UBC community at large. In his role, he supports a network of mail routes that facilitate the delivery of mail to over 400 locations on and off-campus.

“Always willing to share his knowledge with new team members, his colleagues have benefited from his significant experience, not to mention his efforts to help keep the team safe through his ongoing participation on the health and safety committee.

“An avid sports fan, David loves to listen to the local sports channels. He also enjoys spending time with his two dogs, who he likes to take on long walks.

“Congratulations, David, and many thanks for your years of service!”

— Rodolfo Calero, Associate Director, Bookstore and Campus Mail

40 Year Club

Adrian Popple
Adrian Popple
Building Services Manager, Facilities and Building Services
Congratulations, Adrian, on your 40 years at UBC!
Learn more about Adrian

“Adrian Popple has just completed 40 years of employment with UBC. He tells us that the first time he came to this campus was with his grade eight English class. The teacher liked to bring students to Vancouver to introduce different life path choices. They walked through the Downtown Eastside, from the old bus depot, and then took a city bus out to UBC to check out the campus and classrooms.

“A few years later, in the fall of 1979, Adrian loaded up his Dad’s ’68 Dodge Dart and moved himself to the UBC campus. After two years living at Totem Park and two at Place Vanier, he graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

“Starting with the Housing department in the summer of 1983 as a summer Service Worker, he decided to stick around while he prepared to attend the VCC music program as an electric bass player. He later held positions as a Residence Attendant, a Conference Centre Night Auditor, the Cash Office clerk, and a Quality Assurance Manager. Since 2005, he has been a Building Services Manager, most recently for Orchard Commons, Ritsumeikan-UBC House and Thunderbird.

“When he is not at work, Adrian can be found playing tunes with three different musical combos or enjoying the wilds of BC.”

— Mahara Silva, Building Services Manager, Facilities and Building Services

Rich McGrath
Ashifa Sarai
Accounts Receivable Supervisor, UBC Bookstore
Congratulations, Ashifa, on your 40 years at UBC!
Learn more about Ashifa

“Ashifa joined the UBC Bookstore in August 1983—initially as a rush cashier, but quickly moving to more exciting and responsible roles in Accounts Payable and Receivable. In addition to her role, Ashifa also organizes all the social events and activities at the bookstore.

“Originally hailing from Tanzania, Africa, her family moved to London, England and then immigrated to Canada in the mid-’70s, where she grew up in Richmond, BC.

“Meeting her husband on the dance floor, they married in 1989 and are the proud parents of two children, Alisha, who is an educator, and Anthony, who is studying to be an osteopath.

“Ashifa enjoys reading, hiking and dancing—but not necessarily in that order! She also spends a lot of time with her extended family in Vancouver, including nieces and even grandnephews who keep her young and active.”

— Margaret Tough, Director, Finance

Jack Stein
Jack Stein

Locksmith, Facilities and Building Services

Congratulations, Jack, on your 40 years at UBC!
Learn more about Jack

“After a long career with Building Operations, Jack came to SHCS in 2015. Needless to say, he probably didn’t realize how much fun he was about to have!

“Over the last eight years, Jack has helped hundreds of students, faculty and staff at UBC, and he has done so with a jovial laugh and great smile. He  brings a keen attention to detail and pursuit of excellence to his work—but also his pastimes! An avid golfer and traveller, Jack loves to spend time with his family enjoying sporting events and sunny destinations as often as he can. There is a charm within Jack that truly comes to life on the first tee box under the Las Vegas sun.

“Always quick to compliment someone and to offer helpful assistance, Jack can be trusted for a quick key or lock cylinder change, early-morning conversation that somehow leaves everyone smiling and, on the links, a solid club recommendation. He is an integral part of our locksmith team here and we feel lucky to have his great personality, knowledge and experience to help us in our operations”

— Claudia Popa, Trades Manager, Facilities & Building Services