2012-2013 Team

Michael Darnel

Michael Darnel

After having a great experience as the first year representative of the committee last year, I am more than excited by the opportunity to be a Co-Director of this year’s CUS Sustainability committee. I was born and raised in Richmond, particularly Steveston, and attended McMath high school.

My background in sustainability reaches back to early high school when I entered and won first prize in a VANOC youth video contest on sustainability with a rap video titled “Hurtin’ our Planet.” This event indirectly opened up a whirlwind of opportunities, such as being sent to a UNEP global youth environment conference in South Korea where there were 200 youth attendees aged 16-23 from 100 different countries. Since then I have attended other sustainability conferences in places such as Berkeley, California as part of a UNEP Region of North America network of youth. I have taken my experiences from these conferences back to Richmond and Vancouver where I have delivered several presentations to elementary school students on the importance of sustainability.

Although sustainability and business are typically known as conflicting interests, I have come to understand that they have the potential to be a natural combination after reading Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce. I aim to aid in the inevitable shift from the current market system to a restorative economy, where resources are constantly recycled and never wasted.

Laura LamLaura Lam

Ask anyone on our team and you will get a different definition of what sustainability means to them. Sustainability is a never ending quest to seek ways to improve our daily habits and question ourselves on what can we do better.

As a third year marketing student, my experience at Sauder has been a riveting one, especially with my involvement with CUS Sustainability last year. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement. It was the interaction, ideas and involvement from students that showed me how important it was to keep pushing for a cause I genuinely care about. As co-director this year, I hope to work alongside my team to integrate sustainability in all areas of the CUS, vying for tangible solutions and improvements in all areas.

Sustainability is not – and should not –be a vague term we throw around in class. It should be integrated and promoted continuously, making it a term that is beyond rhetoric in our everyday lives.

Veronica WooVeronica Woo
Chasing Sustainability Chair

Hi there, my name is Veronica and I’m going into my third year at the Sauder School of Business. I intend on doing a double option with Business Technology Management and Human Resources and in the process learn as much sustainability as possible. This is my second year with CUS Sustainability and I am very excited to work with this wonderful committee of people!

I had my “aha!” moment in my first year at the Chasing Sustainability Conference and knew that I had to educate myself more about the facts of sustainability and everything to do with it. In my second year I was the internal for the committee and this year I’m excited about being the Chasing Sustainability Conference Co-Chair with Jennifer Challinor. Sustainability is one of those things that affect everyone’s life, whether they’d like to accept that or not. To me, sustainability is more than just about “tree hugging.” It’s about being able to maintain and cherish what we have, whether it’s our resources, our idea’s or even our relationships. There is an undeniable buzz about the sustainability movement and it definitely has an important niche within the business world if it isn’t integrated already.

Jennifer ChallJennifer Challinor
Chasing Sustainability Chair

Hello! My name is Jen and I am extremely excited to be co-chair of this year’s Chasing Sustainability conference. I am currently in the second year of my BCom and am looking forwards to helping CUS Sustainability promote the “Green” banner within Sauder.

Growing up in Vancouver, it is almost impossible to not have a thread of sustainability and the environment somewhere in your life story – for me, that story begins in Grade 4. As a young girl, I was saddened by the pollution I saw on our local beaches and in the ocean during family boat trips. Deciding to do something about it, I rallied my friends and we did a series of beach clean ups. It may have been small, but it was something we could do to help and it started a spark within me.

From those days my passion has only grown, and now here I am: with a love of hiking and swimming, I am pursuing a minor in Environmental Sciences during my time at UBC and will be spending my time promoting sustainability in UBC Residences and raising awareness through Chasing Sustainability. I look forwards to helping you to experience the joy in the natural environment that I find, and to helping demonstrate for you what those beach clean ups taught me: every little bit makes a difference.

Angelica CabreraAngelica Cabrera
Vice President, Internal

Hi, my name is Angelica Cabrera and I am in my second year at Sauder. My interest in sustainability comes from my past involvement with environmentally-minded non-profit initiatives and volunteer organizations, like the City of Richmond Green Ambassadors and Catching the Spirit Youth Society. I’ve always wanted to combine my interest in sustainability with my business education in a meaningful way, and I hope to accomplish this through my work with CUS Sustainability. This year, I hope to educate as many people as I can on the significance and urgency of sustainability. More than that, however, I wish to inspire others to take action to increase sustainability within their personal and professional lives.

The concept of sustainability intrigues me as not only is it beneficial to the environment, but it can also be advantageous for those who practice it, especially within the business world. I also see its potential as being limitless. Through the passage of time and with greater innovation we can always improve the meaning and impact of “sustainability”. This is why I believe sustainability is such an important concept to grasp, especially in this day and age. Doing so will not only make for a better present, but also a brighter tomorrow.

Nicholas PezarroNicholas Pezarro
Vice President, Academic

I’m Nicholas Pezarro and I am a fourth year student in the Sauder School of Business. I was born in Montreal but subsequently moved to Calgary and have been living in Vancouver for the past ten years. To me, sustainability means adopting an approach that considers the long term effects of our decisions and ensures prosperity for years to come – not just until all the resources have been stripped from the Earth and we’ve rendered our planet inhabitable.

Sustainability isn’t just about protecting the environment from undue harm and reducing emissions and energy use it’s also about reconsidering the way things have been done and thinking of better, less wasteful ways to reach the same objective. This approach is important to a Sauder student, and any business student in general, because it encourages a more long term view that may trigger some short term costs but serves to improve the functioning of an enterprise from that moment onwards leading to an eventual recouping, and overtaking, of those initial costs. This sort of perpetual operating advantage helps to ensure that a business can remain competitive and evolve as the demands on it shift.

Gurleen BhatiaGurleen Singh Bhatia
Vice President, Marketing

Hello everybody! My name is Gurleen Singh Bhatia and I am a third year student in the Sauder School of Business. To me sustainability is more than just responsible management of resources; it is about thinking in the right direction and helping others to think in the same way. It is about changing our habits and adopting efficient ways to do things. As VP Marketing my top priority will be to help CUS Suitability brand grow and in turn increase its presence in Sauder and make sure everyone at Sauder gets a chance to learn more about sustainability.

Sustainability is becoming vital part of our everyday life, which cannot be ignored. Sustainability is not limited to anyone; it can be applied to every club and every person in Sauder. My personal goal would be to work with executives from different clubs and help them run their club events more sustainably. I believe that this year’s committee has the potential to make difference not only in Sauder but also across UBC. I am very glad to be part of this fantastic team and hope to learn a lot from my team members. I look forward to meeting you all. Good Luck.

Nicola MacNaughtonNicola MacNaughton
Engagement Director

Hi there! My name is Nicola MacNaughton and I am going into my 3rd year at Sauder. My position within CUS Sustainability team is the Engagement Director. I am majoring in marketing with a concentration of sustainability. I was fortunate enough to have heard about this amazing club through a friend. I didn’t even think twice before I applied to be apart of the team. My goal is to make a difference in this world and what a better way then to make our school/businesses more sustainable.

Sustainability is becoming more relevant in today’s society each and every day, which makes me grateful to have the opportunity to be working with many different groups within Sauder. This year’s team will bring about many fun and innovating ideas not only to Sauder, but to UBC as well.



Elisabeth PiccoloElisabeth Piccolo
Engagement Director

Hi there! My name is Elisabeth, I love meeting new people so if you see me on campus please don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation! I’m entering my third year at the Sauder School of Business and I am pursuing a double option in Human Resources and Marketing, and a minor in English Literature.

As a Vancouver native I have grown up surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the lower mainland: the ocean, mountains, and forests. I feel it is our the responsibility as business students and CEO’s of the future to educate ourselves and thus ensure this magnificent landscape will be here for future generations. There are infinite ways we can welcome sustainability into our lives, and the knowledge of how to do so in a business context puts students at an incredible advantage. This is my first year with CUS Sustainability and I’m thrilled to be working with two amazing co-chairs and wonderful team!



James ShawJames Shaw
External Relations Director

Well I guess I’m technically a third year student now, going into marketing. I’m from a small town just outside Vancouver called Sechelt (it’s on the Sunshine Coast; just a 40 minute ferry ride away from West Van!). That’s actually where my interest in environmentalism began, as Sechelt is full of tree-hugging hippies who love all kinds of green things, and of course this way of life rubbed off on me.

So, what am I doing in business school? Good question. Essentially, I believe that business is not separate from society; it is human nature to want to exchange things for individual benefit, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I feel the real problem is our excessive consumerism; our never-ending desire for more.

That said, both sides of the equation need to change, consumers and producers. So my goal as an exec for CUS Sustainability is really twofold: educate Sauderites on how we can (and need to) be more environmentally responsible consumers, and change sustainability from being a possible option in Sauder to being integrated into all business classes, to ensure future business leaders care about more than just maximizing profit.


Connie ChenConnie Chen
External Relations Director

I am Connie Chen, a 2nd year student who has grown up loving the beautiful city of Vancouver. I spent most of my life in the suburb of Coquitlam, BC but I have been able to travel in China, America, South Africa and parts of Europe. Needless to say, seeing more of the world has made me appreciative of the wonders of nature at a very young age and I have always tried to make personal sustainability one of my pillars in life.

This is my first time working with a CUS club and I am extremely excited to use my passion for minimizing environmental damage and connections with other UBC resources to make 2012/13 a year of much activity. I can’t wait to help pitch for a Sustainability concentration in the Bachelor of Commerce program; to work with other sustainability groups on and off campus for conferences; and to use my experiences organizing the NOW! Sustainability Forum and participating in Common Energy for contributing to the creation of CUS Sustainability events.

When I’m not studying coffee shops, you may find me working on the latest Common Energy event, making/eating food at Sprouts, or getting my daily fresh air supply outdoors. I am privileged to be working with a group of very passionate and educated CUS Sustainability members for 2012/13; here’s to a great year at CUS Sustainability!


Kristine LiuKristine Liu
Corporate Relations Director

Hello! I am absolutely ecstatic to have the opportunity to be a part of the CUS Sustainability team this year as Corporate Relations Director! Sustainability is not a subject in which we can study and claim to know all about–the potential for innovation and new discoveries has no bounds and environmental awareness is something that is constantly changing, just like the world around us.

My knowledge about sustainability is nowhere near impressive, but I am learning more about sustainability everyday just by being conscious of the world around me. This year is going to be full of laughter, new experiences, learning opportunities and even new adventures that I absolutely cannot wait to embark upon, and hopefully I’ll see you right there with us!



JC TissierJean-Claude Tissier
Corporate Relations Director

Hey, my name is Jean Claude (JC) Tissier and I am a second year in Sauder. Honesty first, sustainability is a whole new concept for me, as a matter of fact it wasn’t in my vocabulary before coming to Vancouver. After living in Shanghai, one of the most polluted city in the world, for more then 7 years and coming to Vancouver, one of the greenest city in North America, it was a big shock. I was thrown into a world of recycling: paper, plastic, glass, garbage and so many more i didn’t know about. It shames me that I recycled for the first time in my life in September of 2012 as I moved into my dorm but I have done so ever since and even back in Shanghai.

Sustainability is a concept that has intrigued me ever since I arrived in this beautiful city. At first I asked around what people thought about sustainability and everyone’s first thought was “tree lover”. It may amuse you as it amused it at first but as my knowledge about “Green Businesses” grew over my first year at Sauder, I now understand that the environment and business are deeply intertwined and one cannot coexist without the other. I hope to learn a lot from my team members and peers throughout this year and look forward to this new experience!

Sara Shams
Committee Advisor and Events Coordinator

I am currently a third year student studying Transportation and Logistics and Sustainability. I am very excited to be joining the CUS Sustainability Team for another great year! When I entered university I was inspired by one of my Professors to explore the issues surrounding global climate change and delve deeper into the topic of sustainability. Part of my passion for sustainability has stemmed from my love for nature. I love being outdoors and in my spare time I enjoy hiking, canoeing, camping and exploring the beauty of Vancouver. As this year’s Events Coordinator  I am hoping to inspire, motivate or at least spark interest within fellow Sauderites. The best part about being a part of the Commerce Undergraduate Society’s Sustainability Team is that I get to work with a group of people that are just as passionate and dedicated as I am! I am looking forward to all of the great events and initiatives our team has planned for the upcoming year!


Katya SenKatya Sen
First Year Representative

Hi there! My name is Katya Sen, and I am in my first year at Sauder. I am thrilled to be joining the CUS Sustainability team this year.

I grew up in Singapore, where I was unaware of the concept of sustainability. When I moved to Vancouver three years ago, I received a crash course in recycling, reusing, composting, and urban gardening. It significantly changed my perspective, and I have become a better person as a result.

My experience in sustainability has come from working with groups such as Youth4Tap Churchill, the UBC Botanical Garden, and Get it Done! Through these experiences, I have come to believe that sustainability means that we realize the value our planet, and we strive to preserve it so that future generations can enjoy the same incredible world we have had the privilege to live in. I am looking forward to learning about sustainability and business from my team members, and I can’t wait to get started on our initiatives for the coming year!