President & Founder
After being diagnosed in 2008 with an ultra rare disease called acromegaly and realizing there was no support system in Western Canada, I moved to Chilliwack, BC and decided to start a support group for acromegaly patients. The support group is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and services most of Western Canada and maintains close relations with patients across North America and Europe.
My focus is to support newly diagnosed patients, run and have a fall and spring meeting every year. That also involves bringing professionals of all degrees that treat acromegaly patients to the meetings to present, so we may understand our disease better. This will also give us the opportunity to take better care of ourselves and improve our quality of life.
But most importantly it is to bring acromegaly people together, so we may not feel alone and to support each other, to realize that we suffer and deal with similar issues. Our mission is to bring awareness and knowledge to the general public in Canada and beyond.
I have had many different careers through out my fifty years. From working in reinforced concrete, to being second in command for running a restaurant kitchen, to becoming a Resident Care Attendant (my area of expertise was in working with Complex Care in the area of Geriatrics and Dementia) and also as a Medical Office Assistant.
But I truly believe my destiny was to be where I am now: to run the Vancouver Acromegaly Support Group. To share knowledge and awareness and work on making acromegaly known and bringing us all together for better care and knowledge sharing between the doctors and patients.
When I am not working on projects for Acromegaly, I like to step out and spend time with my husband fishing and trying to learn how to golf, pretty hard when your hubby was a pro golfer. I enjoy going and taking lots of pictures of waterfalls and walking the Vedder River in Chilliwack. In the fall and winter I spend my time making flannel rag quilts and spending as much time with my parents and children and grandkids as I can.
In early 2013 the Vancouver-based endocrinologist Dr. Michelle Johnson introduced me to Deanna and I decided to help her build out her vision to bring awareness around this rare disease called acromegaly. We have accomplished a lot with the Vancouver Acromegaly Support Group with the help of numerous sponsors and a group of active and dedicated members.
In my daily I am an active advisor, investor and mentor working with early stage technology companies through my own firm Redpeaks Management Inc. I have taken on numerous interim management roles at a number of Canadian tech companies and am also CFO and one of the directors of E-Fund, a Vancouver-based angel investment fund. In 2017, I launched Igetis, an executive search and consulting firm focused on the technology and finance sectors in the Pacific Northwest.
Prior to relocating to Vancouver, I held a number of senior positions in the project and corporate finance divisions of UBS in Hong Kong where I was responsible for financial advisory, arranging and restructuring mandates in Asia. Prior to joining UBS, I worked for Barclays Bank in Hong Kong and London. I live in West Vancouver, British Columbia where I have been an active community member and where I was elected as a Trustee to the West Vancouver School Board in 2014.
Originally I am from The Netherlands, where I graduated with a Master’s degree in Economic and Social History from the Erasmus Universiteit in Rotterdam where I also studied law.
In my spare time I like to travel, ski, hike and read political biographies. In 2013, I summited Mount Kilimanjaro with the Summits of Hope team and came close to do the same in early 2016 when trying to scale Aconcagua in Argentina. I also spend quite a bit of time with my family and write on my own blog about politics and current affairs.