Board of Directors


Mike Olson  |  President  |

Mike Olson is the Director of Finance for the District of Hope.  He has worked over 20 years within the accounting industry.   Mike believes that the support provided by the Chilliwack Hospice Society to people when they are at their most vulnerable is essential and joined the Board in 2020.  Mike is married to Julie, and they have two daughters.  In their spare time, they enjoy getting outside as much as possible, which includes yard work, golf and running.


Benjamin Lorimer  |  Past President  |

Benjamin Lorimer joined the Board of Directors for the Chilliwack Hospice Society in April 2017. He is currently serving his first term as President. Benjamin chose to volunteer his time to the Society to be part of the vital services provided to bereaved families in our community. In his everyday life Benjamin is an associate lawyer practicing as a litigator at Baker Newby LLP in Chilliwack. When he’s not working or volunteering, he enjoys reading and enjoying the natural beauty of the Fraser Valley with his wife, Mary.

Melanie Green  |  Vice-President  |

Melanie was born and raised in Chilliwack. After school, she returned home to work for the local radio station.  She has been working with STAR 98.3 and Rogers Sports & Media for over 25yrs and is currently the General Sales Manager.  Melanie has been married to her husband Greg, whom she met on holidays in Mexico since 1992. They have 3 grown children and she is an avid curler.  Melanie is committed to giving back in the community she was raised in and joined the Board of the Chilliwack Hospice Society in 2020. The Hospice is a such a wonderful organization that touches and supports so many in our community.

Jacqueline Penner |  Treasurer  |

Jacqueline was raised in Chilliwack and joins the Hospice board in 2023. As an accountant and business owner, Jacqueline knows the value in having accurate and up-to-date financials. As a wife and mother of two, she knows the value of family. It is with ease & gratitude she accepts this position, and endeavours to provide the same quality care to her position as the Hospice Society provided her mother-in-law and their family. In tribute to Mom, she is grateful to be able to give back to such an amazing volunteer led organization.

Matthew Peacock |  Secretary  |

Matthew moved to Chilliwack in 2001, developing corporate IT systems and helping to develop operational efficiency with three national organizations based out of Canada. He developed customer focused teams and technologies to push them to success. Since then, Matthew has started, grown, and exited two successful businesses of his own, and is currently working on his third.
As a proud dad of 2, Matthew shares his free time with non-profit organizations in the community and loves to enjoy the amazing BC outdoors with his family hiking, kayaking, and skiing.


Bob Besner  |  Director  |

Bob Besner joined the Hospice board in June 2022. Bob is retired after a 30-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was also a member of the National Parole Board following his military service. He has enjoyed other volunteer roles, notably with Chilliwack Community Services as a member of their board and with Community Policing. Bob is married to Wendy; they share 5 children and 7 grandchildren.


Chantal Chris  |  Director  |

Chantal Chris is the Palliative Care Physician for BC Cancer, Abbotsford.  She works in the Pain and Symptom Management and Palliative Care Clinic there, helping improve the quality of life for those living with cancer and their caregivers. Chantal joined the board in 2018.  She believes the free grief and bereavement support provided by the Chilliwack Hospice Society is invaluable to our community.  Chantal hopes to be able to bring the occasional medical perspective to the board as well as some of the stories and experiences from the patients she helps care for.  Chantal is married with a son and a daughter.  They love to camp and hike, and the winter is spent mostly cheering her kids on at Ringette and Hockey.

Kim Gemmell  |  Director  |

Kim Gemmell is an author, public speaker, TEDx speaker, judge, and coach. As well she works part time at Rejuva Medical Aesthetic clinic as patient consultant. Her roots to Chilliwack run deep with her Great-Grandfather being Stephen Chadsey. She has two incredible children, Jesse and Avery, and has been married since 1991 to her wonderful husband Cameron Gemmell.  Working with the Heart & Stroke Foundation, as well as the United Way, Kim feels public service and working with nonprofits are something we all should do to support our community and give back when possible. As she says, “It’s a win-win”. Kim joined the Chilliwack Hospice Society Board in 2020 and is excited to be a part of the Hospice Team and contributing to the wonderful services and support it provides.

Chris Emery  |  Director  |

Chris Emery is the Managing Partner of the Murray Honda and Murray Mazda car dealerships in Chilliwack. Originally from South Africa, Chris lived and worked in Lethbridge, Alberta, for many years before moving to beautiful Chilliwack in 2018.  Chris and his wife Amanda have three young children, a dog and two cats, and love being part of the Chilliwack community. Chris views serving on the Board of Directors for the Chilliwack Hospice Society as just one small way that he can continue to give back to this wonderful community, while working with an organization offering an important service to the people of Chilliwack.

Gordon Penner  |  Director  |

Gordon Penner grew up in Chilliwack, moving away once when he was young to Barrie Ontario and again for school to the University of Calgary for Kinesiology. His wife of 11 years, Cheryl Penner (Harmsen) grew up in Chilliwack as well and they have 2 girls, Georgia and Everlee. He worked at Ascend Fitness for 6 years and upon starting a family took a position at HUB International as an Account Executive, Employee Benefits. He has worked at HUB International for the past 7 years and is currently the Employee Benefits Practice Leader for HUB Canada West. Gordon is currently a Rotarian in the Mt. Cheam Rotary Club and Hospice is something that is near to his heart with his grandmother (who his oldest daughter is named after) spent considerable time at hospice before her passing. Gordon has spent time fundraising and organizing for the Bowls of Hope Mike Csoka Memorial Golf Tournament for the past 3 years. He is also on the Lobster Dinner Committee with the Mt. Cheam Rotary Club. In his spare time, he spends time hiking with his daughters, cycling, golfing, and skiing.