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Board of Directors

ArtStarts in Schools' Board of Directors is made up of members representing the education, artistic and business communities. We strive to include members with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.

Thara Vayali

Thara Vayali

Board President

Principal, Vayali Health, Vancouver

Thara Vayali is a health educator. For a decade, she practiced as a naturopathic doctor focused on gastrointestinal and hormonal health. She has since focused her skillset on health education, research, and patient centered health technology. She speaks internationally and writes about wellness, stress, resilience, empathy, and mindfulness. Her creative practices are essential to her wellbeing. She is passionate about ensuring that arts-based processes are an integral part of education.
Gary Wang

Gary Wang

Co-Vice Chair

Senior HR Business Partner, Fortinet Technologies

Gary currently works as a Senior HR Business Partner at Fortinet Technologies. He partners with leaders to fuel the potential of teams and then align the company's culture and people practices to drive organizational success. Gary is passionate about holistic and integrative approaches to education, and believes that meaningful learning happens as a result of building deep relationships and innovating change through those relationships.
Theodora Lamb

Theodora Lamb

Co-Vice Chair


Executive Director, Strathcona Business Improvement Association, Vancouver

Theo is Executive Director of the Strathcona Business Improvement Association where she works to support over 900 businesses and social enterprises. She upholds and promotes the SBIA vision in which its members are operating and thriving in a mixed-use, inclusive, resilient and prosperous local economy. Theo, in her capacity as a Strathcona community leader, also serves on the Spaces Committee for the Eastside Culture Crawl where she advocates for artists in East Vancouver. She is a Board Director with Vancity, BC’s largest credit union and Canada’s 10th largest financial institution. A post secondary education in fine arts paired with a life-time passion for arts is what brought Theo to ArtStarts where, through governance, she works to support efforts to inspire children across the province through their own, innate artistic ability and vision.
Edwin Yau

Edwin Yau

Treasurer

Senior Manager, Risk Advisory, Vancouver

Edwin is a senior manager in the Risk Advisory practice at Deloitte LLP. Over the past 13 years at Deloitte, he has advised and provided assurance to businesses and public sector organizations on matters related to financial reporting and technology risks, with a view to improving their management and governance practices. Edwin is a Chartered Professional Accountant. Apart from his professional work, Edwin delivers financial literacy courses at schools in his belief that education should encompass important life skills. At the same time, recognizing that the skills required tomorrow will be different from those required today given the pace of technological change, he believes that arts and creativity in education provide an essential foundation for both personal and professional fulfillment.
Mary Blais

Mary Blais

Secretary

Arts and Culture Consultant, Victoria

Mary Blais is an accomplished senior executive well known for cultivating and nurturing productive relationships with strategic partners and for empowering others through her energetic and passionate leadership style. Her 25 plus year career as an administrator and consultant has spanned the arts, post-secondary education and healthcare sectors and taken her across Canada. Mary continues her work as an independent arts and culture consultant, focusing primarily on audience engagement, executive coaching and the identification and development of strategies to enhance organizational capacity. She is passionate about arts integration in the classroom and the power of the arts to nourish critical thinking and innovation in children and youth.