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

Casey Bourque

Sales Clerk, UBC Bookstore

Congratulations, Casey, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Casey

“Casey joined the Bookstore in November 1997 as a “floater” on the retail floor, spending most of her time helping in clothing and departmental sales/stationery. By 1999, a full-time position opened up in departmental sales/stationery, so she worked on the shop floor for many years before moving up to the warehouse. Casey would like to thank all her colleagues past and present who have helped her along the way, many of whom feel like friends and family. She is honoured to live and work on the beautiful, unceded Musqueam territory that the UBC campus sits upon.”

— Rodolfo Calero, Operations Manager, UBC Bookstore and Campus Mail

Conrado Dela Cruz

Assistant Housekeeping Supervisor, Facilities and Building Services 

Congratulations, Conrado, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Conrado

“Conrad has been a friendly face to students and guests alike while contributing to Student Housing and Community Services. He takes pride in helping our residents and providing a personal touch in a place where many are away from home for the first time.

“Conrad spends his time outside of work with his two sons, Nick and Nathan, and his wife of 28 years, Veronica. He can often be found cycling in and around Pitt Meadows or boating on Alouette Lake.

“Conrad is a quiet leader who leads by doing. He is first person on site when there is something urgent, providing a calm presence for his co-workers.

“Conrad is so committed to his work at UBC that he leaves his home at 5:45 am for an 8 am start!”

— Johanna Webber, Associate Director, Building Services

Les Kupillas

Head Tradesperson, Facilities and Building Services

Congratulations, Les, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Les

“Les joined UBC in 1997 and transferred to SHCS in 1999 as a plasterer. He has been a tireless worker, colleague and leader for those 25 years. Other than his outstanding work within his trade, Les has also served his union, being a shop steward for CUPE 116 for two years.  Most recently, Les was promoted to the Head Trades position with SHCS, overseeing 35 Tradespeople—a job at which he has excelled. Other than his passion for spending time with his family and hunting, his dedication to SHCS is second to none and we are lucky to have him!

“Congratulations on 25 years Les. We hope you stay another 25!”

— Claudia Popa, Trades Manager, Facilities and Building Services

Alexi Peraza Martinez

Parking Compliance Officer, Parking Services

Congratulations, Alexi, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Alexi

“Alexi is simply loved by his friends and colleagues. He’s warm, kind and caring—all qualities that you want in a work buddy (especially in the kind of job where you frequently do NOT make someone’s day). He’s dedicated to his job, the Department and, most of all,  his many, many friends. It is such a pleasure and privilege to work with Alexi. We all congratulate and salute him on joining the 25 Year Club.”

— Brian Jones, Director, Parking Services

Mike Roth

Trade Book Buyer, UBC Bookstore

Congratulations, Mike, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Mike

“Michael Roth has had quite the arc in his UBC career trajectory. Starting as an hourly Sales Clerk in 1997, with incremental promotions every few years until finally a bittersweet promotion to Senior Trade Buyer in 2013.

“Mike’s laidback and diplomatic style of ‘massaging the message’ is admired immensely by all his coworkers at the Bookstore, but what inspires the most is his brave attempt at climbing Chomolungma (only stopping to meditate along the way and then having his ascent thwarted by a paper cut at base camp while reading the Bodhidharma).

“Mike’s zen devotion is only matched by his long flowing hair and his ambition to have the next best Home Improvement show on HGTV. His April 1, 2015 book release, Scandal at UBC Bookstore, while never having been available, is a mythical cult classic and widely sought after by only the most ridiculous book aficionados.

“We look forward to witnessing Mike’s continued success and diverse, some would say magical, book buying expertise for many more years, in whichever alternate reality he experiences in his work life.”

— Jennie Orpen, Merchandise Manager, Bookstore

Deb Thompson

Associate Director, Program Development, Child Care Services

Congratulations, Deb, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Deb

“Deb came to UBC Child Care Services on August 25, 1997. Over her 25 years at CCS, Deb has built enduring and strong relationships with this CCS community. You can often find an educator or a program manager sitting in her red chair, beside her wall of Fluevog shoes, seeking her advice, comfort, guidance or friendship.

“It is the early childhood educators themselves who inspire and invigorate Deb’s work. She reflects gratefully upon the time that has spent over the years visiting settings for children, recalling how the children often demanded to know why she was there and whose mom she was. She is slowly coming to terms with now being asked whose grandma she is!

“Deb is the most proud of her two daughters; the highlight of her career at UBC was establishing the mixed age programs. Deb’s hopes and dreams for the future of UBC Child Care is to ensure that a solid foundation of intentional pedagogical thinking is established before she rides off into the sunset—with a complicated book in her hand and a fancy pair of shoes on her feet.”

— Karen Vaughan, Director, Child Care Services

Melanie Walters

Associate Director, Program Development, Child Care Services

Congratulations, Melanie, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Melanie

“Melanie joined UBC Child Care Services on August 18, 1997 as an Early Childhood Educator. She journeyed through a variety of different CCS settings over the years, enhancing each one with her love of gardening, interior design and risky play before gracefully moving through to enrich another one. Mel completed both her BA and MA in Education while working full time, an accomplishment that she is very proud of. She is now a Program Manager and mentor to many of our early childhood educators.

“Mel loves to travel and prefers places that are hot, though she does spend time in Tofino every year with her mom, dad, sister and dog Lucy. The farthest away Mel has travelled was to Heron Island in Australia and she has an upcoming trip to Italy planned for 2023 where she plans to visit the world famous child care settings of Reggio Emilia.

“Mel loves pasta and fine wine, a good dark n’ stormy, and eats at least half a cucumber every day!

“One of Mel’s favourite work memories was co-creating the ritual of having a bonfire with the children, families and colleagues when she was the senior supervisor in Kittiwake. Provocative possibilities and hopes and dreams for children and their setting keeps Mel ignited and engaged in her work at UBC.”

— Karen Vaughan, Director, Child Care Services

Carol Young

Associate Director, Service Development and Operations, Residence Life and Administration

Congratulations, Carol, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Carol

“Carol joined the Student Housing team as the Front Desk Supervisor in 1997 and was promoted to a position as Residence Life Manager in 2002. Carol was promoted to her current role as the Associate Director, Service Development and Operations in 2012.

“Carol works tirelessly to manage 10 residence front desks serving 13,200 residence students. Carol knows the nooks and crannies of every residence front desk and could share the standard operating procedures in her sleep. Carol has many strengths, but one we’d be remiss to forget is her aptitude for reflection—and inspiring this in others. Reflection is a core aspect of Residence Life training that captivates the attention of 250 Residence Advisors annually, making it a gift that she has shared with thousands of staff at UBC. She has touched multiple young professionals’ lives through her mentorship and guidance.

“Carol loves spending time with her family, and her hobbies include cooking, reading, spiritual direction, and travelling.

“We are thankful that Carol is part of our team and continuing to be the voice of reason. Congratulations to Carol for her successful 25 years of service at UBC.”

— Lakshmi Sangaranarayanan, Director, Student Residence

Adam Proksa

Section Head (Custom Course Materials), UBC Bookstore

Congratulations, Adam, on your 25 years at UBC!

Learn more about Adam

“Adam joined the Bookstore in 1997. Working in the warehouse for the first few years, he then moved to the course materials department where he has remained a valuable team member for nearly two decades.

“Adam is reliable, hardworking and kind. He is usually fairly quiet, working away without complaint, but when he does talk it usually involves funny jokes and one liners that have the team laughing.

“Adam loves spending time with his two daughters, Sophia and Ruby, and going over to Vancouver Island to visit his mom. When not being a doting father and son, Adam enjoys reading, sports and watching movies.

“Adam is a valued member of the Bookstore, and we want to thank him for 25 years of dedicated service. Congratulations Adam!”

— Jennifer Stacey, Course Materials Manager, UBC Bookstore

35 Year Club

Dennis Jim

Storeperson, Food Services

Congratulations, Dennis, on your 35 years at UBC!

Learn more about Dennis

“Dennis continues to pursue his interest in martial arts and follows a regular training routine in his home garage/dojo.

“BC-born, Dennis has family throughout the lower mainland. As one of the “younger” siblings, he spends much time caring for and helping out family members.

“Family interests in real estate means Dennis never lacks for things to do on his days off. He has developed great handyman skills and uses them regularly both at work and at home.

“Thank you, Dennis, for your 35 years of excellent service to UBC.”

— Rene Atkinson, Residence Dining Manager

Aaron Khan

Sales Attendant, Food Services

Congratulations, Aaron, on your 35 years at UBC!

Learn more about Aaron

“Aaron started as a General Worker Heavy in Residence Dining and has always been an integral part of the team. Most recently he has become a Sales Attendant at Open Kitchen where he works diligently to make sure the dining room is ready when customers arrive. Aaron has a calm, patient and professional approach to his work.   “

— Jane Sunwoo, Residence Dining Manager

Anna Ziarek

Sales Attendant, Food Services

Congratulations, Anna, on your 35 years at UBC!

Learn more about Anna

“Anna immigrated from Poland to Canada and joined UBC in 1987. Since then, she has helped Food Services grow. In her early years, Anna worked as a commissary cook in the basement of the Pacific Spirit Place (PSP) building and at our Pacific Spirit Place Cafe.

“Anna’s talents expanded from there as she helped establish our offerings and food units in Totem Park and again when she came into the Retail Food Services department. Anna has no intention of slowing down. She continues to represent the values, vision and mission of SHCS every day—while at Mercante Pizzeria or Perugia Cafe or in the many other locations on campus.

“Anna is a valued part of the UBC experience and has made a lasting impact on students and staff, providing a home-like stability to those who need it. She is the first to say that she is “so blessed” to be living in Canada and that she has learned so very much by being a part of the UBC experience.

“Anna loves to come to campus early so she can get her walks in around campus—she will tell you there is not a more beautiful place. She has a passion for gardening and, of course, cooking. Most recently, Anna also took up fishing!”

— Connie Lay, Retail Food Services Manager

40 Year Club

Christina Choi

Sales Attendant, Food Services

Congratulations, Christina, on your 40 years at UBC!

Learn more about Christina

“Christina started working at our café in the old Student Union Building. She also worked at Vanier, Totem and every non-franchise location within the retail portfolio.

“Always willing to help, Christina’s passion and enthusiasm shows every day. She arrives at work early, and she takes responsibility for what she does. She’s also very generous to her colleagues and easy to work with. The pride she takes in her work is truly inspiring.

“Outside of work, Christina loves Opera; she sings and teaches with the Chinese Opera Association and also helps with costume designs for the big events.”

— Jody Ropas, Retail Food Services Manager

Rich McGrath

Rich McGrath

Sub-Head Mechanical, Facilities and Building Services

Congratulations, Rich, on your 40 years at UBC!

Learn more about Rich

“Rich joined SHCS as our Mechanical Subhead for Trades in 2012 after working at Building Operations for 30 years as a Steamfitter.

“In his 10 years with SHCS, Rich was a leader, a mentor, and an inspiration to the team. Never one to say no, he was always eager and available to lend a hand—to any trade—in order to help out or to get the job done. And he was constantly on the go.

“As much as he loved his job, his love for fishing and spending time with his family was a top priority; now, in his retirement, he can enjoy these and more. Rich will very much be missed within SHCS, and as sad as we are to see him go, we wish him absolutely the best in retirement.”

— Andrew Powter, Associate Director, Facilities