Barbara Insley – Chair and Executive Director
Barbara and her two daughters created their family through international adoption. Both girls were born in Ethiopia. Her eldest was diagnosed with AGU and Barbara is dedicated to changing this disease’s outcome for her daughter. Barbara has extensive volunteer experience. She is a past Board member of Public Dreams Society as well as a past Member and Chair of the CFA Institute Disciplinary Review Committee. She also volunteers with Rare Trait Hope Fund, a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the same mission as Rare Trait Hope Society.
Barbara has spent her career in the financial services industry. She studied finance and economics at Simon Fraser University before completing her law degree at the University of British Columbia in 1993. She was called to the BC Bar in 1994. In 2003 she became a CFA charterholder and in 2019, she obtained her Certified Information Privacy Professional (Canada) certification. She is currently Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Operating Officer at a private investment dealer.
Dr. Colin Ross – Director
Dr. Colin Ross is a Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia and scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Ross joined the Rare Trait Hope Society because of a shared mission to treat childhood genetic diseases. Dr. Ross helped establish the first pilot clinical genome sequencing program at BC Children’s Hospital to diagnose patients with unknown genetic diseases. Dr. Ross has successfully developed a new gene therapy for the treatment of a genetic disease called LPL Deficiency, which completely and permanently cleared the severe disease symptoms. The drug he created became the first gene therapy to receive formal FDA or EMA regulatory approval and helped revitalize the field of gene therapy.
Peter Law – Director
Peter has over 20 years experience leading business and technology strategy and transformation programs. Working in the UK and Canada, Peter has been responsible for shaping and managing the end-to-end delivery of large-scale transformation projects across industries including public sector, healthcare, media and gaming, retail and telecoms. Peter is currently a Partner in the Consulting business at Ernst & Young LLP.
Based on the North Shore, Peter can be found hiking and biking the trails, playing soccer, or standing in the rain watching his kids play. He is privileged to be able to support the Rare Trait Hope Society, and focused to help accelerate and scale fundraising for a cure to AGU.
Judy Rudin – Director
Judy Rudin is a communications management professional with 25 years experience providing media and public relations expertise to corporate, governmental and social business clientele.
Judy has overseen, directed or authored winning communications projects in Canada and the United States. She is a past Vice President of the Western Magazine Awards, and a former member of the International Association of Business Communicators.
A native of Vancouver, BC, Judy has volunteered her time on a number of boards, including the Canadian Institute for the Blind, BC/Yukon Division. She sat on the organization’s finance and governance subcommittees and chaired several high profile fundraising events. Judy is a life-long learner currently exploring the impact on cognition and behaviour of rare diseases which are genetically based.
Marie-Noelle Savoie – Director and Secretary
Marie-Noelle is a lawyer who spent most of her career in the financial industry. She became a lawyer in the province of Quebec in 2009 and in B.C in 2022. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) and Canadian Risk Manager (CRM). She currently works in the gambling industry as the VP Legal, Compliance, Security and Chief Compliance Officer at BCLC.
She is passionate about giving back to the community. She has served on many non-for-profit boards through the years in Montreal and Vancouver. She joined the Rare Trait Hope Society because she believes in helping families with children with ultra-rare diseases. Having children herself, she is aware of the great blessing of having healthy children.
Wade Cox – Director
Wade is honored to be part of the passionate and dedicated team at the Rare Trait Hope Society. He has enjoyed a 25 year career within the investment industry serving in leadership roles on both the dealer and regulatory sides of the business. Wade is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and began his career at the Vancouver Stock Exchange in the mid 1990’s.
Away from the office Wade is a father and husband who enjoys hiking, skiing, and the occasional high scoring golf game. He spent years coaching youth soccer on the North Shore and along with his family, has been a long-time supporter of Vancouver charitable organizations including the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Svetlana Iakusheva – Director and Treasurer
Svetlana is a CPA accountant with multi-industry budgeting, financial reporting, analysis and cash flow management experience. She currently leads the accounting department for a national, private investment and mortgage company based in Vancouver. Previously, she was a medical doctor specializing in infectious diseases and related illnesses, earning a PhD in Russia.
Svetlana is honored to help Rare Trait Hope achieve its vision and goals and is excited to bring both her financial and medical insights to the team.
Sanyin Bekrich – Head of IT
Sanyin Bekrich is a technology consultant with over 20 years of experience. He founded Metier Consulting Inc., a Vancouver-based full-service web development studio specializing in custom solutions. Sanyin provides the IT vision to enable business strategies, working with a number of new ventures in e-commerce, real estate, online education and geographic information systems. His hands-on style of management spans all aspects of a project, from ideation to business development, from seed funding to resourcing.
Prior to Metier, Sanyin has held positions as senior developer with Bayleaf Software, Radiant Communications, and Devlin, leading the architecture design, technical development, and implementation for clients such as the British Columbia government, St. Jude Hospital, Capital Direct, Vancouver General Hospital, Ayotte Drums, TomLeeMusic, Steve Nash Fitness Club, etc.
In his spare time, he is writing and producing music at his recording studio.