Board of Directors

About the Board of Directors

HIM’s Board of Directors is the governing body responsible for high-level oversight of HIM. We engage with HIM staff and the community to establish strategic direction and vision for the organization. We monitor HIM’s finances, hire and manage its Executive Director, and make sure that HIM adheres to all applicable regulations. 

Each of us is initially elected to a two-year term and, subsequently, can be re-elected two more times. Collectively, we are community volunteers who present from diverse backgrounds, identities, educational levels, skills, jobs, and lived experiences.  

The Board as a whole meets every month, and four working committees responsible for specific areas of governance get together as often as needed to complete our annual governance work plan. 


Members of the Board

Douglas Leavers, Chair 

Doug first moved to the West End in 1979, then lived and worked throughout the BC interior before coming out and returning to Vancouver during Gay Games III (1990). 

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Doug fully recognizes that many factors influence the wellness of gay men – most particularly, social relationships they are able to form, and physical health they are able to sustain. He’s worked in parks and recreation for over 30 years and filled key positions on several conservation and recreation non-profit boards. Doug is married to an animation artist and they have recently become grandfathers – which has introduced a whole new chapter to their lives as gay men. “Absolutely everything that HIM advocates aligns directly with the way that I live as a gay man, and that I encourage every day in the lives of my friends, family, and peers.”

 

Nic Jensen, Vice-Chair 

Nicolas Jensen is a graduate of Western Washington University, earning a BA in Political Science in 2016, with concentrations in American Government and US Health Policy. 

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After graduation, Nicolas became a non-profit leader, securing $1.2 million in funds for small charities in Washington State and British Columbia. Additionally, Nicolas managed the North Sound Regional Navigator Program under the Affordable Care Act from 2016-2018, assisting and overseeing the enrollment of over 20,000 residents of Western Washington into free or low-cost medical coverage. Nicolas is a current student in the Master of Public Policy & Global Affairs program* at the University of British Columbia, School of Public Policy & Global Affairs.

 

Ben Kazakov, Secretary 

Ben is a recent graduate of the UBC Sauder School of Business, and is currently working in Assurance at Ernst & Young while pursuing his Chartered Professional Accountant designation. 

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In addition to serving on the Board of HIM, he volunteers at The Corner, which is a partnership between HIM, VCH, and AIDS Vancouver to provide a drop-in program for folks involved with survival sex work. Ben joined the Board to help ensure HIM’s long-term financial sustainability to continue improving the overall wellbeing of our community.

 

Conner Copeman, Member 

 

Kevin Contzen, Member 

Kevin is a lawyer specializing in contract and administrative law, and currently works with the Legal Services Branch of the provincial government of British Columbia. 

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Before becoming a lawyer, Kevin pursued graduate studies in philosophy. Kevin began at HIM by volunteering legal advice to help HIM become a registered charity. Kevin is excited about the new developments in HIV prevention and other ways HIM can help gay men to take charge of their health.

 

Tribesty Nguyen, Member 

 Tribesty is currently completing an MD at UBC and is on a lifelong pursuit of furthering health and social equity. 

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Prior to his medical training, he worked in an array of policy development/analysis settings, including with the Ministry of Health and various global health and international development organizations. He continues to be involved in various community-based social, political, and health advocacy groups. He holds a BSc in microbiology and biology and an MA in health equity and policy. 

 

Mark Sutherland, Member 

Mark is a nurse who has worked in a multitude of settings including organ transplant, pediatrics and sexual health. 

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Since completing his Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Mark has also worked as a nurse educator and health care policy analyst. Mark hopes that his culmination of experiences ranging from direct patient care to navigating health systems will be valuable to HIM’s board of directors. Mark is a great admirer of HIM’s programming and is excited to be involved in an organization that has a positive presence in our community and continues to strengthen the overall health and well-being of gay men.