Board of Directors

Join the Board of Directors at HIM

The Board of Directors at HIM is going through new and exciting changes, and we would like to invite you to explore community leadership and becoming a member of the Board. 

The Board structure is comprised of three parts: Health Advisory, Program Advisory, and Governance. By joining one of the three Portfolios of the Board of Directors, each Board Member will get the opportunity to share their skills, knowledge, and experience where it is most applicable and helpful. 

Watch the video below to learn more about HIM’s Board of Directors:


Application Form

Hi there! Currently the form for applying to the board has closed, but if you are still interested in applying, please contact either the current Chair of the board, Tribesty Nguyen ( or the Executive Director, Aaron Purdie (

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

Dr. Tribesty Nguyen (Chair)

Tribesty (he/him) is a resident physician currently completing specialty medical training in public health and preventive medicine.

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He has worked in an array of policy development and analysis settings, including with the BC Ministry of Health and in various global health, international development, and community organizations. In addition to his MD, he has completed BScs in microbiology and biology, an MA in health equity and policy, and a master of public health. He is on a lifelong pursuit of furthering social justice and equity. In his spare time, he enjoys cuddling with his dog, going for walks (usually to a bubble tea shop), and tending to his 80+ indoor plants that he has somehow miraculously squeezed into a tiny west end apartment.


Kevin Truong (Treasurer)

Kevin Truong works in finance, accounting, and strategy, and currently supports credit unions across the country in their technology space.

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His recent professional background includes management consulting and audit & assurance, while completing his Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst designations. Kevin also been involved in other local non-profit groups focused on sexual health, harm reduction, and stigma.

He loves the west coast for its nature and outdoors. You may have seen him around in the community, playing in the various queer sports leagues around the city or taking a walk in the West End. He’s always open to a friendly hello!


Sahil Kumar

Sahil Kumar (they/he) is an M.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia.

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Sahil joined HIM in 2017 as a volunteer at The Corner, a space for male, trans, Two-Spirit, and gender-diverse folks, who are currently or previously engaged in sex work. You can usually find Sahil cooking/baking up a storm in the kitchen, on an outdoor patio with a hazy IPA, or tending to the balcony veggie garden. They have interests in 2SLGBTQ+ healthcare and in becoming a gender-affirming surgical care provider.


Ben Kazakov, Secretary

Ben (he/him) is a CPA who currently works in the airline industry on route development and capacity planning.

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Before moving to the airline industry, Ben worked in audit and assurance while pursuing his Chartered Professional Accountant designation. In addition to serving on the Board of HIM, he volunteers at The Corner, 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. His free time is spent travelling and taking his beagle pup on adventures.


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. 


Conner Copeman, Member 

Conner Copeman (He/They) is a quadriplegic ex-city councillor who’s proud to bring more than his own chair to the table.

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Conner brings a wealth of policy experience, bureaucracy and political connections from his time as a city councillor in the village of Cumberland on Vancouver Island. As part of his daily living, he actively manages a team of care aides. After moving to Vancouver he sought ways to ensure that the experience of living as a disabled gay man is considered during decisions being made for the queer community in the city.

Conner was a victim of a homophobic hate crime that left him paralyzed when he was just 18 years old. Now  wheelchair bound, with limited use of his hands, he deals with some mental health challenges and advocates for the disabled community to ensure that all have full access to services. These life experiences allow him to look at issues from a perspective that is often not at the table on other boards, as he’s been known to bring forward difficult questions for consideration.