The Capilano University Alumni (CUAA) is a global network committed to providing our graduates with life-long learning, support and inspiration.

The Capilano University Alumni Association (CUAA) board is led by a group of dedicated volunteers who make up our Board of Directors and ensure that alumni voices are represented throughout the university.

Alumni Awards event with speaker and recipients

Learn more about our Board members and our vision below.

Capilano University Alumni Board Chair Brittany Barnes.

Brittany Barnes has been involved with the CapU community for over 10 years, earning her Associate of Arts (Global Stewardship) and her Bachelor of Communication Studies.

During her time as a student, she served as student union president and class valedictorian. After graduating, she remained involved with the University through alumni relations and went on to serve as Chair of the CUAA in November 2019.

In her professional life, Barnes works at Cassie + Friends Society for Juvenile Arthritis and is passionate about the intersection between non-for-profits and corporate social responsibility.

In her spare time, you can find her on a hiking trail with her dog-son Obi, talking politics, or tasting beer at a local brewery.

A landscape image of alumni Joel Wollenberg

Joel Wollenberg, a graduate of CapU's Advanced Wilderness Leadership Program, teaches at an alternative education program in Vancouver that fosters student success through a unique adventure-based learning framework embedded with clinical counselling support.

His passion for mentorship and community development also exists outside the classroom, where he has coached a variety of youth basketball programs for over a decade.

As an alumnus of a CapU satellite campus, Wollenberg hopes his educational experience in Squamish will bring a unique perspective to the CUAA Board and better represent member voices from all Capilano campuses.

Capilano University Alumni Board member Alvaro Calderon.

Alvaro Calderon is a creator and a creative professional at heart. He defines himself as an entrepreneur, author, musician, producer, and marketer. He has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and a Post Baccalaureate in North American Business Management from Capilano University.

His professional experience consists of more than 25 years of producing content for television, events, and shows and operating businesses related to advertising and production.

Calderon is the co-founder of the Mexican company Nacion de Ideas, established in 2010 and Alive Creative, an advertising and communications company based in Vancouver.

Calderon is keen to apply artistic concepts to communication strategies to provide a holistic, fresh, and unique approach to the way people and markets interact.

A landscape image of alumni Chris Carnovale

Chris Carnovale is a graduate of, and presently an educator in Capilano University's School of Tourism Management.

At CapU, Carnovale also coordinates and leads the Cambodia/Vietnam Field Schools.

He has a breadth of experience in the education, marketing and communications, hotel and accommodation, food and beverage, and adventure tourism sectors.

Carnovale has been involved in a variety of international community-based and tourism-related projects in Vietnam, China, Tanzania, Paraguay, as well as in Canada's Arctic; all in some way in partnership with CapU. These experiences and projects are testament to his passion for tourism, community, international development travel and, of course, the university.

Carnovale is a new dad, and is eager to develop how he contributes to the North Vancouver community he and his family are a part of.

Savannah’s passion and specialization is in the application of organizational psychology and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace. In recent years, she has worked in the nonprofit sector, leading organizational change and positive growth.

Duggan’s interest in psychology and supporting communities in need has led her to working with the BC Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services, SFU’s Culture & Development lab, and co-producing and delivering a youth mental health outreach and education campaign with Family Services of the North Shore. Her original research on empathy in modern society was presented at the Capilano University’s Research Symposium and SFU’s Researching the Globe symposium.

Duggan’s MSc in Organizational Psychology from the University of London (UK) focused on the impact of the modern work week and built upon her BSc Communications andBA Psychology. Her current postgraduate research focuses on the intersectional experiences of neurodivergent individuals, women, and the LGBTQ2S+ community in relation to modern working environments and shifting societal norms surrounding work philosophy.

In addition to her academic and applied experience in psychology and communications, Duggan is also well-versed in DEI initiatives, nonprofit management, talent development, organizational change, and project management. Currently, she is working in talent management within the tech sector.

Capilano University Alumni Board member Amina El Mantari.

Amina El Mantari is a community change maker. Making the difference is one of her top core values.

El Mantari's professional focus is human resources and people engagement. With 14 years of experience on Human Resources. El Mantari has extensive leadership, student governance and administration experience.

She currently hold a role of People & Culture Specialist at Neptune Bulk Terminals. Over the course of her career she has led Policy and Governance Committee, Employee issues management, and diversity and inclusion functions.

In addition to being a Capilano University alumna, El Mantari is an ICF certified Coach and continuing her professional development with plans to pursue her Master Engagement Strategist Coach. When she was a CapU student, she served on the CapU student union executive.

El Mantari has continued serving her community. She currently sits on SHARP Workplaces Advisory Committee for Ending Violence association of BC, and volunteered for both the North Shore Crisis Services Society and the Parkgate Community Services Society.

El Mantari was first place Winner of Soroptimist International Award of the North Shore in 2016, an organization working to improve the lives of girls and women in the North Shore, and later she was awarded the Capilano University Alumni Association Unified Award of Excellence in 2018.

She is always delighted to talk about coaching, law, cross-culture, supporting mental health, and feminism.

Shan Hall is a woodcarver, musician, writer and academic from Vancouver. Her work has been acquired by the Yukon Government's Permanent public collection, showcased at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and scored for an award winning short film. Currently she is employed a professional writer and actor.

Hall says attending CapU was the best time in her life and the education she received stood out as the best after among the other Universities she attended to complete her degree.

She applied her learnings from the CSU to her future work with non-profit organizations and her experience there also played an important role in shaping a much broader and wiser world view. Hall is excited to be a part of the school community again and be surrounded by intelligent, forward thinking, progressive, altruistic people.

Capilano University Alumni Board member Jamil Kara.

Jamil Kara has over 15 years of experience specializing in Human Resources and Strategic Management in varying sectors across Canada including Retail, Accommodations/Food Services and Financial Services.

In his current role, Kara is leading the organizational response to the pandemic while developing the strategy for the future of work for CWB Financial Group. Prior to this role, Kara lead various teams across the Bank within Sales Effectiveness and Human Resources.

These roles have been closely tied to the organization's growth objectives as it continues to develop the boutique banking experience for business owners in Canada, and develop an unrivalled employee experience.

Before joining CWB Financial Group in 2017, Kara spent the previous ten years leading HR and Labour Relations teams within Aramark and Walmart Canada.

A graduate of Capilano University's Bachelor of Business Administration degree program in 2006, Kara continued his learning journey by obtaining professional certifications in workforce planning and completing the Certified Human Resources Professional designation (CPHR) in 2011.

He is currently in the process of obtaining the Certified Leadership Coach (CLC) and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designations.

Capilano University Alumni Board member Ritika Rana.

Leadership, mentorship, and entrepreneurship are three core values that have intrigued Ritika Rana since childhood.

Inspired by her family, where both her parents and siblings have their own independent businesses, Rana pursed an education in the School of Business at CapU and graduated from North American Business Management Post Baccalaureate program in 2020. She is now working as a Management Analyst.

As an international student new to Canada, Capilano University provided a wonderful study abroad experience for Rana. She is thrilled to be part of the CUAA Board to help reciprocate the love, caring and advancement efforts that the university provided her as a student, to now support our alumni community.

Rana enjoys art, nature and people. She spends her leisure time learning more about different people and perspectives, painting canvases and being active in nature.

Capilano University Alumni Board member Matthew Smith.

Matthew Smith is the National Sales Manger at W3 Solutions/IA Service Plan, a division under the umbrella of the IA Financial Group – Canada’s fourth largest insurance company.

As a CapU Business Administration grad, Smith is very excited to now be a part of the CUAA Board, and to have the opportunity to connect and serve other alumni and students.

Smith enjoys a very active lifestyle and loves to hike, ski, snowboard and backpack in the mountains of BC.

Capilano University Alumni Board member Milla Zaenker.

Milla Zaenker is an accomplished human resources and organizational development professional with a business-based perspective, who is passionate about creating a work environment that supports growth to enhance organizational effectiveness through people.

Having worked with government organizations and international business, her expertise lies in human resources and organizational development, leadership development, coaching, relationship management, and change management.

She is currently working as a Manager of Learning and Organizational Development at the Legal Services Society of BC where she is responsible for the development and delivery of strategies, programs and initiatives aimed at developing LSS and its people in support of the mission, vision, values and key goals.

Building trusting relationships and inspiring people to collectively build organizations where they can use their talents to create meaningful work leading to success is at the heart of Zaenker's philosophy.

Zaenker holds a Masters of Business Administration, and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution. She is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), ProSci certified change practitioner, and a Certified Insights Discovery practitioner.

About the Board of Directors

The Alumni Association inspires to support and develop our members, foster student success and celebrate achievements within our communities.

Alumni Pride
Lifelong Relationships
Support and Engagement
Community Stewardship and Service
Authentic and Quality Student Experience

The alumni representative to the Senate ensures that alumni have a voice at the table when discussing educational policies and producers. Pardis Daneshyar currently sits on the Senate as our alumni representative.

The Senate is established in conformity with the University Act of British Columbia and is responsible for policies concerning student evaluation, withdrawal, academic standing, appeals, grading, awards for excellence and curriculum content.

The Board of Governors obtains advice from Senate on a variety of matters.

The alumni representative to the Board of Governors ensures that alumni have a voice at the table when discussing and directing affairs of the university, and when setting policies in accordance with the University Act of British Columbia. Cherian Itty and Duncan Brown currently sit on the Board of Governors as our alumni representatives.

The Board is responsible for the management, administration and control of property revenue, business and affairs of the University.

If you are interested in getting involved with the CUAA please review the governing documents and information package below and submit your CV and Expression of Interest to alumni@capilanou.ca.

Join the CUAA Board

Board Chair – Call for Applications

Are you interested in joining the CUAA Board of Directors as Board Chair and leading a group of passionate and dedicated Board members? If so, please complete the online form below by August 31, 2023 to express your interest.

As the Board Chair, you will play a pivotal role in shaping the future direction of the CUAA and ensuring its continued growth and long-term success while fostering a strong relationship between the alumni community and the University.

Your visionary leadership and strategic guidance will be instrumental in fostering a strong and cohesive board that works collaboratively to achieve the Alumni Association’s mission and goals.

Interviews will be held during the week of September 4, 2023. Successful candidates will need to be available to attend the CUAA Annual General Meeting on September 21, 2023 from 7–9:30 p.m. PST

Please reach out to alumni@capilanou.ca if you have any questions on the role or selection process.

To learn more about the Board Chair position, download the CUAA Board of Directors - Board Chair Role description (pdf). 


CUAA board application


Have questions?

Capilano University Alumni Association

Development and Alumni Relations
604 984 4983
604 990 7880 (fax)
Birch Building