2013 VCLA Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Leadership

United Way Greater Victoria Award for Community Collaboration & Partnership

Robert (Bob) Harman, Volunteer

Jean McRae, Inter-Cultural Association

Bob was born and raised in Victoria, attending Monterey school, Shawnigan Lake School, Victoria College and the University of British Columbia. Bob completed his law degree, articled in Vancouver and returned to Victoria to serve with the Harman, McKenzie, and Murphy law firm. When Bob retired, he focused his energy on interests close to his heart and those interests include the Boys & Girls Clubs Services in Victoria. He gave advice and support to a group that was near demise. Jean is the Executive Director of the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. She has worked in the field of immigration services since 1982 in BC and Central America. She currently serves on the Vancouver Foundation’s Health and Social Development Community, is co-chair of the National Working Group on Small Centre Strategies for the Attraction and Retention of Immigrants and sits on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council for Refugees.  

UVic Award for Community Leadership 


Dr. David Lai, UVic

Ana Maria Peredo, UVic

Dr. David Chuenyan Lai is Professor Emeritus with UVIC and a research affiliate with UVIC’s Centre on Aging. His research interests and passion for preserving local heritage have greatly benefitted our community and his efforts led to the City of Victoria’s Chinatown Rehabilitation Program in addition to its designation as a National Historic Site. Dr. Lai continues to work with UVIC and the Royal BC Museum on the Centre for Arrivals exhibit.  Ana Maria is a professor in the Gustavson School of Business and Director of the Centre for Co-operative and Community Based Economy. Her research has reclaimed the ecological, social and cultural dimensions of economics. In doing so, she has motivated businesses and programs to address these dimensions.

Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria Award for Community Service


Colin Smith, Victoria Airport Authority

Gordon Harper, Activist

Colin’s career includes operations and corporate management, private counseling, entrepreneurship, a lifetime of community service and over fifteen years of public service. He currently is an active member of the Harbourside Rotarian, Victoria Airport Authority director, Chair of Engineering Institute of Canada (VI Branch), and a UVIC Engineering Associate.  Gordon is a long-time social activist with an interest in addictions, mental health, and homelessness. He is fueled by his personal experience of recovery and provides his knowledge, compassion, kindness and time to people struggling with addictions and mental health issues in our community.  

Victoria Foundation Award for Community Capacity and Change

Coast Capital Award for Children & Youth Leadership 

Victoria Cool Aid Society 

Rupinder Prihar, United Now

The Victoria Cool Aid Society has been building homes, lives and community in the Capital Region since 1968, through a wide range of programs including supportive housing, community health and dental services, emergency shelter, mental health and employment services. Cool Aid focuses its services for adults who are homeless or in need of help.   Rupinder was born and raised on Vancouver Island. Rupinder completed a degree in political science at UVIC and pursued a career in the public sector. Rupinder’s passion for being actively engaged in her community began during her volunteer work in high school at the Cowichan District Hospital. She has founded a young adult group called United Now and is a partnership with United Way of Greater Victoria. She continues to provide a strong youth voice to local community issues.  

Royal Roads University Award for Leadership Excellence through Coaching and Mentoring

Leadership Victoria Award for Accomplished Alumni 

Dianne de Champlain, Victoria Women's Transition House

Shawn Steele, Prodigy Group 

Dianne is an adult educator and lifelong learner. Dianne has developed a mentorship certification program, facilitated hundreds of educational sessions on topics of leadership, communication and public speaking. As Education Coordinator at Victoria Women’s Transition House, Dianne uses innovative approaches to assist women who have experienced abuse to envision a new future.   Shawn was born and raised in Victoria and he is passionate about positive community development. Shawn has founded the Prodigy Group, an emerging professionals group affiliated with the Chamber. Shawn has lead fundraising events for Leadership Victoria and many other charities. Shawn is also the General Manager at Prospect Lake Golf Course. 

From us at Leadership Victoria, congratulations to the individuals recognized and celebrated for their acts of leadership in our community.