2017-18 Board of Directors

MIKE HAYES - President

Mike is married, the father of four, and delighted grandfather of three little girls and two little boys.

After a long career as a classroom teacher, librarian, vice-principal, and itinerant French teacher at the elementary school level, as well as being President of the Teachers’ Associations in both the Gulf Islands and Saanich, he now considers himself seriously retired.

He has been a political and community activist for all of his adult life, and volunteers as a goods and services auctioneer for dozens of non-profit groups. He enjoys travelling, gardening, fishing, acting, song writing, playing guitar, and hanging out at the beach with wife Maggie and the grandkids.

He has had bilateral hearing loss since his late 40’s. Having been on the Executive of a number of community and work-related organizations over the years, he now has an obvious very personal interest in contributing to IDHHC. He is in his eighth year on the Board.


Richard joined the IDHHC Board in 2013. Prior to his retirement in 2005, Richard worked in the post-secondary administrative environment for 25 years, including 19 years at Bow Valley College and 6 years at SAIT Polytechnic, in Calgary.

He has served as Chair for the following organizations: XII World Winter Games for the Deaf; Alberta Association for Adult Literacy Provincial Conference; World Literacy Day – Calgary; Alberta Provincial Employees’ United Way Campaign; Calgary Committee for Adult Basic Education; and the Bow Valley College Faculty Association. While in Calgary, he served as Condo Board (Strata Council) President, and sat on the Board of the Churchill Park Child Development Centre. He is also a founder and Past President of local and provincial (Alberta) sign language interpreter’s associations as well as a founder and Past President of the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada.

Richard has many years of volunteer experience, including the 1988 Winter Olympics, the 1991 World Winter Games for the Deaf, 1997 World Police Fire Games and the 2013 World Men’s Curling Championships. He was an active volunteer with the Calgary Stampede’s Western Showcase Committee for several years. Richard has a passion for photography and loves exploring Vancouver Island. He has a strong belief in life-long education and in the value of giving back to one’s community.

MARK GILLIS - Vice President

Mark’s 30 year career with the British Columbia Provincial Government included positions with a variety of ministries and agencies with a range of mandates. This provided a wide array of experience including, policy development and implementation, project management, strategic planning, human resource development, and working closely with stakeholders.

Since retiring from the Provincial Government in September 2011 Mark has dedicated more time towards his passion for running and swimming as well as consulting on a part-time basis.

Mark joined the IDHHC Board in Fall 2012 and has worked with staff and the Board to develop a strategic plan to advance the agency’s priorities over the coming years. Mark and Diana, both born and raised in Victoria, have been married for 26 wonderful years.


Robert Lemmon is a retired CA/CPA with forty years of professional experience in public practice (audit partner) and industry (CFO for public and private companies) and fifteen years’ experience as an officer/director/committee member of NGO’s in the fields of health care (Victorian Order of Nurses at the local, provincial and national level), the arts (Muttart Art Gallery, Calgary) and recreation (Calgary Winter Club).

In his life-long pursuit of photography, he has developed a passion for the art of photography and the telling of stories through a photograph.

For the Island Deaf + Hard of Hearing Centre, Robert brings his passion for storytelling through photography and his experience as a CA/CPA and as an officer/director/committee member of NGOs to assist the Board of Directors in its role within the organization.

HELEN PARKER - Secretary

Originally from England, Helen moved to Canada in 1980 where she accepted a position with the Western Institute of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH) as a Rehab Counsellor. Part of her job was to act as liaison with CNIB regarding services for Deaf Blind persons. In the late 90’s she worked for Occupation Health and Safety for Capital Regional Health (now VIHA).

While in the UK, she worked for a non-profit after leaving school and gaining her professional qualification. She also worked for a County Council and led a team of social workers, as well as advising the Director of Social Services on matters related to hearing loss.

She was a team member on a 3-year project, with the British Deaf Association, focused on public education regarding hearing loss and sign language, and developing assessment tools which led to the Registry of Skilled Interpreters.

Helen has served as a board member for the Canadian Deaf Blind Rubella Association.

She has been an active volunteer for most of her adult life and is looking forward to contributing to the work of the IDHHC board.

JILL BATES-SMITH - Member at Large

Jill has been on the board of IDHHC for 15 years. Over her years on the board, she has been chair of Fundraising, Board Development and Sound and Silence Run committees. Now retired, Jill was a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in various school districts on the mainland and in Victoria, both as a programme and itinerant teacher working in a variety of settings, with many different students and methodologies. She retired from Victoria School District in 2005.

She is married to Wayne and they have two daughters and one grandson. In both her working and volunteer life, she has organized professional workshops and served many years as hospitality coordinator for the Sun Run, Times Colonist 10km, and at major track events.

MARK DUNN - Member at Large

Mark served on the IDHHC Board from 1996-98 and rejoined in November 2014.

He is a very active leader in the Deaf community and has served in a variety of roles. Since 2000, he has served as the Treasurer for the South Vancouver Island Association of the Deaf.

He has worked with the British Columbia Deaf Scholarship Trust since 2006, first as a Trustee, then Co-Chair, Treasurer and now Administrator for the organization. His role is specific to scholarships and bursaries to Deaf people in BC.

From 2008-2012, he served as Vice President of the Canadian Deaf Sports Association (CDSA), communicating regularly with the Executive Director, developing policies, and attending Sports Reform Congresses in Bratislava, Taipei and Rome.

At the present time he is serving as President of the Canadian Deaf Ice Hockey Federation. He enjoyed acting as a delegate for Team Canada at the 2nd World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship in Helsinki in March 2013. Mark is current bid chair for the 2021 World Deaf Ice Hockey championships to be held in Vancouver.

DANIEL PAGAN - Member at Large

Daniel was born and raised in Muscat, Oman and has been in Canada for almost 18 years!

He spent parts of his childhood on the West Coast. He did his undergrad (in Classical Studies) at University of Calgary, then first year of law school at University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law in Saskatoon, before completing his Juris Doctor degree at University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

Daniel joined the IDHHC Board in the Spring of 2017 and is looking forward to working with the board of directors and with the Deaf Community in Victoria.




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