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Rendering of the new St. Paul's Hospital
Building for the Future

St. Paul’s Foundation leadership named among BC’s most influential business leaders

by St. Paul's Foundation


We are thrilled to share that a number of St. Paul’s Foundation and Providence Health Care leaders have been recognized as some of BC’s most influential business leaders on this year’s BC500 list, created by Business in Vancouver (BIV).

The leaders recognized on BIV’s BC500 list are visionaries, innovators, connectors, and trailblazers who have had a notable impact on BC’s communities, industries, and economy. They embody the values of modern leadership, including engagement, trust, corporate citizenship, and inclusion.

From our current president and CEO to past board members, the list includes several business leaders whose collective impact have played a key role in making the new St. Paul’s Hospital on the Jim Pattison Medical Campus a reality.

Dick Vollet, president and CEO, St. Paul’s Foundation

Dick Vollet has more than 30 years of executive experience in the not-for-profit and corporate sectors. His past in the private sector included vice president of operations at London Drugs, vice president of mountain operations for VANOC and president and CEO of StreetoHome Foundation. Vollet is a member of Imagine Canada’s Advisory Council. His contributions to non-profit work and philanthropy have been recognized with a BC CEO of the Year Award. He is helping the St. Paul’s Foundation raise more than $225 million for the new hospital, and is supporting BC’s first public, non-profit, long-term care home to be modelled after the “dementia village.”

Board of Directors

Fiona Dalton, president and CEO, Providence Health Care

Fiona Dalton became president and CEO of Providence Health Care in April 2018. She has 23 years of health care experience, most recently as CEO of University Hospital Southampton National Health Service Foundation Trust in the UK, which had 10,000 employees and an annual budget of around $1.2 billion. She is responsible for guiding an organization that provides health services across 17 sites and employs approximately 8,000 staff, 1,500 medical staff and physicians, 200 researchers, and 1,600 volunteers.

Karimah Es Sabar, founding CEO, Quark Venture

Karimah Es Sabar is the founding CEO and partner of global venture capital firm Quark Venture LP, chair of Canada’s Health & Biosciences Economic Strategy Table and board chair of Triumf Innovations and Glyconet. Previously, she was president and CEO of the Centre for Drug Research and Development. Es Sabar is a global life science leader who has contributed significantly to the growth and maturity of BC and Canada’s life sciences sector.

Maria Pacella, managing partner, Pender Ventures, Penderfund Capital Management

Maria Pacella has more than 23 years of investing and operational experience in emerging growth companies. She is the founding partner of Pender Ventures, the private technology investing arm of Pender. Previously, she spent 11 years with one of Canada’s largest venture capital firms. Pacella’s success was recognized this year when she received the Association of Women in Finance 2023 PEAK Award Honouree for Excellence in industry. She has dedicated time to serve on a number of non-profit and industry boards.

Past Board Members

John Montalbano, past board chair and principal, Tower Beach Capital

John Montalbano is the retired CEO of RBC Global Asset Management. He currently serves as a director with organizations including AbCellera Biologics Inc., the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Aritzia Inc. He is the former chair of the St. Paul’s Foundation Board of Directors and co-founder of Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation. Montalbano has an extensive career in asset management that began in 1988 with Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. He was appointed its president in 2005. He was instrumental in driving double-digit annual growth over seven years as CEO of RBC Global Asset Management, making it one of the 50 largest asset managers in the world.

Brandt Louie, OBC, FCPA, FCA, governor, London Drugs

Brandt Louie is one of Canada’s most respected entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Under his stewardship, London Drugs has become one of the country’s most trusted retail brands. In 2021, Louie was inducted into the Grocery Business Hall of Fame and received SFU’s President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award. As chair and CEO of H.Y. Louie Co. Ltd., Louie oversees one of BC’s largest private companies. He and his wife have also dedicated their lives to advancing education, health and wellness, medical research, and the arts through philanthropy.

Governor’s Council

Hari Varshney, FCA, founder, Varshney Capital Corp

Hari Varshney has been in the venture capital business since 1985. He is a long-time supporter of UBC and many important charitable causes in BC. Varshney is the former chair of the St. Paul’s Foundation Board of Directors, and is currently a director of the Canada India Village Aid Association (CIVA), the College of Denturists of BC, and the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (BC). Varshney has been involved in raising over $150 million for various venture capital projects globally. He has also served as a director or officer of many North American public companies – playing a pivotal role in BC’s dynamic and growing economy.

Michael Audain, OBC, OC, chairman, Polygon Homes Ltd

Michael Audain is chair of the Audain Foundation, the Audain Art Museum Foundation, and the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation. He is a director of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, and a governor of the Business Council of British Columbia. Audain established Polygon Homes Ltd., one of BC’s leading homebuilders. Audain is a widely recognized business leader, philanthropist, and supporter of the arts. The Audain Foundation supports visual arts in BC and wildlife preservation.

Sue Paish, KC, CEO, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

Sue Paish is chair of Corix and Imagia Canexia Health and a director of Own the Podium, TELUS International and the Northland Group of Cos. She is a past chair of the Business Council of British Columbia and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Paish is co-chair of Canada’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel. Paish is leading Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for digital technologies, which includes more than 1,100 companies.

Jake Kerr, OBC, OC, principal owner & managing general partner, Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club

Jake Kerr became chair of the Vancouver Canadians in 2023, after selling the franchise to Diamond Baseball Holdings. He was the team’s majority owner for 15 years. Previously, Kerr was chair and CEO of Lignum Ltd., one of Canada’s largest privately held forest product companies, and later owned and managed Lignum Forest Products, LLP. Kerr will remain engaged with the Vancouver Canadians, a team he helped revive alongside Jeff Mooney and Andy Dunn. Kerr serves on the board for Rogers Communications and is chair of Mosaic Forest Management.

Gary Segal, OC, vice president, Kingswood Capital Corporation

Gary Segal is a principal and executive of the family business, Kingswood Group of Cos. Widely known as a philanthropist, he was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2022 for his commitment to humanitarian work, philanthropy, and service to the community. In 2012, Segal received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his community service and philanthropy. He is the past chair of the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation and chaired its $32 million capital campaign to build the new Ronald McDonald House at BC Children’s Hospital.

For more information about BIV’s 2023 BC500 list and to see the leaders, visit