Meet The Team

Bob De Wit

Chief Executive Officer

Bob de Wit is the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), based in Surrey, BC.

Bob has a passion for entrepreneurship and homeownership and brings those interests to his leadership role at GVHBA. Prior to joining the association, Bob was an investor, mentor, director and consultant to growth-stage technology companies, several of which are developing new technologies for the housing industry. As a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, Bob draws upon his executive experience in corporate development (M&A strategy and execution), corporate finance (raising equity capital) and competitive market intelligence to audiences ranging from entrepreneurial CEOs, angel investors to graduate students. Holding degrees in marketing (BBA) and economics (MA) from Simon Fraser University,

Bob is a happily married resident of South Surrey and is the proud father of one daughter. His personal interests include playing golf, recreational running and following professional sports, particularly hockey.

Wendy McNeil

Vice President of Marketing and Education

Wendy McNeil, the Vice President of Marketing and Education at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) is currently on mat leave, and will be returning September 2018. During her absence, Dawn Sondergaard will be overseeing the education portfolio and Ovation Awards program.

Wendy brings her passion for marketing and project management to this organization and as a self-described “people person,” she enjoys networking and collaborating with her team and members on the numerous award-winning events and marketing initiatives GVHBA offers.

Prior to joining the GVHBA in 2001, Wendy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from UBC and a Diploma of Technology in Marketing Management (with honours) from BCIT.

A born-and-bred Richmond resident, Wendy currently resides in Surrey with her husband and son. She loves travelling, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying all that Vancouver has to offer — from incredible eateries to the great outdoors.

Renée Auer

Senior Director Of Membership & Sales

Renée Auer is the Senior Director of Membership & Sales at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association. For more than 15 years, she and the Membership Committee have worked tenaciously to increase GVHBA’s membership and introduce new events, programs and services of value to members. She is also a Board Director for the Canadian Construction Women (CCW).

Prior to GVHBA, Renée worked at such international companies as J. Walter Thompson, Eveready and the American Marketing Association. (Toronto Chapter). She also owned and operated an award-winning tourism business and consulting company in the 1990’s in Toronto.

Renée loves film noir, classic movie musicals, visiting museums and art galleries and cooking at home. She also speaks three languages. Her natural curiosity makes her want to learn more from those around her. She is also a confident public speaker.

Mark Sakai

Director Of Government Relations

Mark Sakai joined the GVHBA in January of 2013, and brings a decade of experience in custom home building and seven years as a land development consultant to the role of Director of Government Relations. Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Urban Land Economics) from UBC, and has also spent eleven years working in the museums and heritage field, at a National Historic Site in Steveston and a Museum and Archives in Delta.

Mark grew up in Steveston, and still resides there with his wife of 27 years and two children. He spent much of the last two decades coaching youth softball and football, is a Lions’ season ticket holder, a member of the Richmond Museum Society Board, and also enjoys skiing.

Dawn Sondergaard

Director, Marketing Communications

A native Vancouverite, Dawn grew up on the North Shore, earning her Marketing and Advertising Diploma from BCIT. Not one to sit still, she has lived and worked in three countries, travelling to over 30 (using at least nine different modes of transportation, including two tour buses, both of which, she admits, were mistakes.)

Described as a natural people person, Dawn is passionate about communication. She brings with her 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, advertising and public relations. Working with international media firms BBDO, News Ltd. and Jupiter Images to local strategic communication firm Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. and as a retailer owner of Kuddel Muddel Kids, Dawn proclaims it’s all about the people.

Dawn is currently managing the education portfolio, and the Ovation Awards program during Wendy’s mat leave.

Carolyn Beale

Manager Of Membership & Sales

Carolyn Beale joined the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA) as Sales Development Coordinator in 2015. She brings her passion for outstanding customer service and care to the association, and enjoys the opportunity to connect with prospective and new members while contributing to exciting association events and initiatives.

Having previously spent 15 years living in the Fraser Valley, Carolyn recently returned to BC (from Ontario) to welcome her first grandchild into the world. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, live music, food and wine, and the adventure of exploring Vancouver’s many and varied attractions.

Vanessa Swanson

Manager Of Online Education & Marketing

Vanessa is the Manager of Online Education & Marketing, and has been with the GVHBA since 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) in Communication with a Minor in Business. She brings to the association a passion for creating beautiful visual designs and collaborating with team members on all things marketing. She enjoys competing in recreational volleyball leagues, traveling, and resides in Clayton Heights with her brand new husband.

Katrina Albert

Manager Of Event Services

Katrina Albert, Manager of Event Services joined the GVHBA in October 2017 and brings her passion in communications, event management, customer service and community relations. She enjoys every aspect of event planning and especially the variety of events the GVHBA puts on.

Katrina earned her Marketing Management – Communications Diploma and Fundraising Management Certificate from BCIT. Prior to joining the GVHBA, she worked in the non-profit sector for organizations such as the Surrey Food Bank and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Katrina was born in California but grew up in Manila, Philippines. She moved to Canada when she was 12 and has been loving living in the Tri-Cities/ Maple Ridge area. Her personal interests include volunteering for homeless shelters and the Canadian Cancer Society. She also loves anything fitness – catch her at the gym, hiking or running the streets training for the next marathon.

Amanda Camara

Manager of Marketing Communications

Amanda Camara has joined the GVHBA as Marketing Communications Manager, for the 2017/2018 term.

Amanda is an experienced Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working closely with associations and affinity partners. Hailing from the insurance and travel industry, Amanda is skilled in Marketing Communications, Brand Management, Online & Digital Marketing and Event Management.

With a Bachelor of Commerce focused in Marketing & Human Resources from the University of Manitoba, Amanda has devoted her career to learning and developing winning marketing strategies, boosting brand awareness, increasing sales and positively impacting businesses.

She looks forward to being challenged in this diverse role with the GVHBA.

As a North Delta resident, Amanda enjoys her proximity to Krispy Kreme and going on scenic hikes with her Akita Cross, Olive.  Originally from “Winterpeg”, Manitoba, Amanda has been enjoying the mountains, ocean, and warmer winters!

Justine Nadia

Marketing Coordinator

Justine joins the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association as a co-op student from Simon Fraser University (SFU), where she is completing the final year of her Communication degree with a minor in Publishing. She has previous work experience with the BC Lions Football Club and was an undergraduate researcher for SFU’s School of Communication. Currently, she leads primary market research towards the creation of a new program that will better connect the association with students and help get more young people in the trades. She enjoys finding creative solutions to problems, promoting an out-of-the-box approach to all that she does.

Born and raised in Indonesia, Justine now calls Surrey, BC home. When not in the office, you will find her working on DIY crafts, catching a varsity soccer game, scouring thrift stores for books, and watching way too much television.