Hello! We're Team VICA. Nice to meet you.
Rory KulmalaChief Executive Officer
Rory has been working the construction scene throughout Canada for the last 25 years but primarily in the West as a general contractor and owner for both public and private sectors. With credentials out the wahzoo, he has accreditation as an Applied Science Technologist and a PMP, topped with an MBA. He retired after 28 years as a reserve officer with Canada’s Navy in early 2016 to spend more time with his family. His diverse background makes him an ideal candidate to lead VICA for years to come.
With his nautical bent, he would transform into a ship. Although the sea can be filled with peril, a ship that is able to weather the storm is a critical link to the world’s economy. Having been around the construction buoy (again with the nautical), he knows the ins and outs of the industry, who’s who in the zoo, and has established relationships that he leverages to enhance membership value. We just have to get him to relax on the morning inspections!
Rosie ManhasDirector of Operations
Rosie has been co-running the show since 2009. With a background in business administration and HR, she’s well-suited for her role as VICA's solution-providing director. She’s a powerhouse, one might say, so it’s understandable that given a choice between all the tools and machinery out there, she would morph into a compressor — the power within! Every once in awhile, powerhouses need vacations and Rosie certainly enjoys them. Notebook in hand, list on the go, she can be found abroad with husband Garry recharging...so she can return to take charge again.
Rosie’s favourite thing about construction is seeing how the pieces fit together from conception to completion. She likens the industry to a puzzle; each piece, or trade, contributes to the big picture by doing their bit, sharing their expertise, and moving on so the next trade can come in. Each acts as a separate unit, yet they are all interconnected.
Sarah BartfaiManager, Events & Administration
Sarah has been with VICA for nine years. If you haven’t already met her at the office or at one of our member events, she’s the woman with the unfaltering, genuine smile on her face. She’s a jack of all trades who claims to be the hammer of the world of tools: simple yet reliable.
When asked what song represents her life, her outlook, and/or her current state she replied, “Happy, by Pharrell”. For a woman who has a beautiful young boy, a loving boyfriend, and colleagues who would be lost without her, it makes sense. When asked what she’d be lost without, Sarah said spreadsheets...
Kelly MarionManager, Marketing & Communications
Kelly has been with VICA since October 2016 and, while she's a mover and a shaker, she promises she hasn't looked back. You may not have met her (yet) but you've most certainly seen her work — be it a web page, email, design, photo, or publication. Kelly's favourite thing about communications, especially with small companies, is the opportunity to have her hands in every pot. It makes sense then, that her w̶e̶a̶p̶o̶n̶ tool of choice would be the screwdriver: there's a unique bit for every head, just like there is a unique tone and vernacular for every "store," platform, and audience.
When Kelly decides to finally leave the office for the day, she's usually leaving for one of two reasons: to conquer a mountain, or to satiate her thirst with a bold red or a cold pint. She's not shy; come say hi!
Chenelle FalconerManager, Training & Education
If you've taken any of our courses, especially in Victoria, you have probably spoken to Chenelle! She's that inquisitive and helpful woman who gets a kick out of hearing your enthusiasm for growing within the industry. It makes sense then that training and education is her schtick as it's her business to help you grow your business through further learning. She's been with VICA since September 2015 and tells us she would be lost with Internet Cat Videos.
John EspleyManager, Member Engagement
John is a “people person” who has been lucky enough in his long career to connect his work in business to his passion for community. As the Past Chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and a member of several not-for-profit boards, he believes that a healthy business community—and a healthy construction industry—supports a healthy community.
When John has had enough of people, which can happen from time to time, he heads to the water with his kayak or to the woods with a backpack to enjoy the wonderful peace and quiet that mother nature provides.
Dawn CharityManager, Member Services (Nanaimo)
Dawn is a familiar face to many in the construction industry, as VICA’s longest staff member of 18 years. With her extensive knowledge and experience, she is always ready to assist members and future members alike.
Kendra RenaertsProject Services Coordinator (Nanaimo)
Kendra (aka Kenderella) is our purveyor of project updates. She knows the ins and outs of BidCentral and is in constant contact with planning departments throughout the Island on a hunt to find you prebid data for our weekly, exclusive-to-members PreBid Report that accompanies our Project Bulletin.
Like a few other VICA staff members she, too, enjoys a big ole glass of wine.
Nathania SwasisaAdministration and Communication Assistant
Nat helps us out in Victoria with administrative tasks and supports Kelly with communications work when she catches a break from signing stat decs, doing copy orders, etc. etc. etc.
Nat is in her fourth year at Camosun College in the Bachelors of Business and Administration program, with a Marketing Major. She also loves music.
Serena HuppeServices Assistant (Nanaimo)
That bubbly woman answering your phone calls and questions out of the Nanaimo office? That's Serena. If she hasn't proven to be helpful to you yet, then you haven't given her the proper chance. No problem is too big for her to solve and she'll walk you through the steps as if she wrote the guidebook herself.
Serena likes wine, big dogs, and Brie, and she's incredibly photogenic.