Candidate: Nick Santorelli

Nominator: Mary Santorelli

Position: President

Bio:  I’m seeking re-election for President. I believe my 40 plus years in minor hockey as a C and Rep coach, former ice allocator, former coach coordinator, former program coordinator, former Rep Tryout coordinator, and VP1 has given me the skills and ability to work with other volunteer board members and members abroad to ensure that we provide the best possible experience for players. Besides having my High-Performance Advance Coaching 1, my experiences provided the necessary tools to successfully help guide our association thru covid, working with a new transitioning board and overseeing the training center. Having experience with discipline and complaints will help VMHA in aligning with the new ITS (Independent Third Party / Safe Sport) complaint process that Hockey Canada has introduced in the past season. As a business owner, I am also financially responsible while believing to operate well within our means.


Candidate: Jeff Cathera

Nominator: Cheryl Duval

Position: Coach Coordinator

Bio: I bring a wealth of coaching and competition experience in elite level athletics to this position. After competing as an athlete for the program, I was a head coach of the Simon Fraser University men’s field lacrosse program for 7 years and for 5 of these years, founded and ran an elite touring, recruiting and development program (Burnaby Mountain Selects) focussed on providing over 300 local athletes (and families) the opportunity for post secondary US and Canadian athletic scholarship opportunities.

In addition to my lacrosse background, I grew up playing AAA rep hockey in the Nanaimo Minor Hockey association, which led to getting drafted by the Victoria Cougars (WHL) and playing briefly in the BCHL, before an injury ended my competitive hockey career. During my time in the NMHA, I was a volunteer assistant coach at the Atom AAA level before attending SFU to begin post-secondary career.

After graduating SFU with a degree in Kinesiology, I began a career in the health and wellness sector as a strength coach and exercise rehab specialist which ultimately led to me running my own private healthcare practice, Forge Health, serving the North Burnaby community since 2015. I routinely rely on the traits and skills that athletics has taught me over the past 30+ years to run my business and lead my team of 30 employees.

During my tenure in this industry, I have also had the privilege to work with many elite athletes, Olympians, and professional athletes, all of whom have been a great resource to me in how to lead, coach, and better understand the mindset of a high performing athlete.

I have a deep passion for coaching and athlete development, and I strongly believe that my extensive 30+ years of experience provide a unique perspective that would greatly benefit the VMHA board as the Coaching Coordinator. I am genuinely excited to collaborate with other dedicated volunteers who share our common goal of elevating VMHA athletes, coaches, and programs to the highest standards. Thank you for considering my application, and I eagerly look forward to the opportunity to contribute my skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm to the VMHA


Candidate: John Lavery

Nominator: Jim Russell

Position: Coach Coordinator

Bio:  Volunteer Sports Experience:

  • Vancouver Minor Hockey
    • Volunteer Coach – 6 years spanning H2 through U11
    • Team Manager – multiple years
    • Team Safety/HCSP – Multiple years
    • Division Manager – U15/18 A (2022-2023)
    • Disciplinary Committee – 4 years
    • Ad hoc Committees (various)
  • Rotorua Association of Triathletes
    • President – 4 years (2004-2008)
  • Triathlon NZ (2004-2009)
    • UCI rated Official having officiated dozens of UCI competitions.
    • Officiating highlight: Ironman New Zealand Chief of Race
    • Officiated at World Cup and World Championship levels.

Overarching Minor Hockey Philosophy:

Great Players, Exceptional People Our goal is to use hockey as an experiential tool to raise outstanding global citizens.  Hockey provides great learning experiences:

  • Develop Fitness
  • Develop Competitiveness – Strive for Excellence
  • Grow Communication and Teamwork skillsets.
  • Learn through experience – learn to make mistakes and correct them.
  • Learn dependence on others.
  • Respect through sport
  • Learn strategic thinking and both slow and fast decision making.
  • Through our humanitarian efforts, learn philanthropy and how to give back to our communities.

Why Coach Coordinator?

A great hockey experience for our players begins with great staff.  My goal is to ensure that our coaches are well supported, motivated, and have the tools and resources to succeed and to do their part in applying our overarching philosophies to their team development.  I’ll bring the communication skills to ensure that our coaches know that they have a champion and know who to call when they need advice or support.

I’m fortunate to have worked directly with most of our rep-level stipend coaches.  Having strong relationships with our coaches is the first step to ensuring that we get the most out of our seasons.  Having been a house hockey coach for many seasons, I’m also aware of the needs of our House coaches, and I’ve been involved in the interplay between house and rep hockey.  These experiences have helped form my opinions on how these groups need to work together to achieve an environment where our players can strive for success, whatever their benchmark for that success may be.

I want to see our teams grow great coaching from within.  We have a great cohort of young, enthusiastic coaches and players interested in developing their coaching capabilities.  I’d like to see our experienced coaches mentor young coaches to help with their development and growth.

I want to see our coaching extend beyond our teams into a well administered skills program available to all players and goalies.  This includes strong development opportunities in power skating, skills, shooting, goaltending and strategy.  I’m looking forward to working with our board and our skills providers to develop long-term relationships and strong core curricula to improve skills.


Candidate: Sara Ward

Nominator: Won Nam

Position: Secretary

Bio:  As a hockey mom and local entrepreneur, I bring valuable qualities to the role of secretary. With a focus on communication, transparency, and fostering relationships, I prioritize creating an inclusive environment where everyone's voice is heard. As an acupuncturist and clinic owner, I excel in active listening, understanding diverse perspectives, and finding effective solutions.


Candidate: Sharlene Steele

Nominator: Michelle Young

Position: Referee Assignor

Bio:  I am excited to apply for the board position of Referee Allocator as I have been an integral part of the VMHA (Vancouver Minor Hockey Association) for the past seven years. As a parent of two boys who have been actively involved in hockey, I understand the significance of the referee's role in enhancing their experience on the ice. Being a parent of two referees, it has allowed me to see how important it is for our youth to take on this positive leadership role and how it builds confidence and the development of fair play within our hockey community. By taking on the responsibility of Referee Allocator, I aim to further support the growth of the sport and continue the excellent work our previous Referee Allocator has done. I am also looking forward to working closely with the VP 3 and Referee-In-Chief ensuring that every game is officiated effectively, giving all players a positive and enjoyable hockey experience.


Candidate: Cheryl Duval

Nominator: Jeff Cathera

Position: Fundraising Coordinator

Bio:  I am a dedicated individual seeking election to the board as the fundraising coordinator at VMHA. With a degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems from UBC, and relevant work experience at Motorola, BDO Canada, and The Arts Connection, I bring a robust skill set that suits this position. As the Marketing and Communications Director at The Arts Connection, I worked closely with families and children, spearheading multiple successful fundraising initiatives. With our business, Forge Health, I continue to apply my expertise and business knowledge. As a passionate hockey parent, I am genuinely dedicated to advancing VMHA's mission to make hockey accessible to all, to grow development opportunities and love for the game in East Vancouver while amplifying the voices within our hockey community.


Candidate: Ryan Berner

Nominator: Won Nam

Position: Equipment Manager

Bio:  Hockey related experience:

  • Head coach with VTMHA H2 (U7) – H4 (U9).
  • Assistant coach with the BC Kodiaks Spring hockey program 2021 – present.
  • Assistant coach with the Van Minor U11 A1 team 2022 – 2023 season.
  • Organizing high performance skills sessions (renting ice, hiring skills coaches, etc…).
  • COACH 2 – COACH LEVEL (completed)

Volunteer position related experience:

I have worked in the wholesale clothing business for 20+ years, and own a wholesale sales/distribution company that supplies various clothing brands to retail stores across Canada. I am well versed with creating purchase orders, managing inventory, and allocating the distribution of products. I feel that my extensive experience in this field would be greatly beneficial to the role of Equipment manager. Over the past 5 years the rink has practically been my second home and I truly enjoy helping out in any way I can! I look forward to working with all the amazing volunteers at VMHA!