Solus Trust wishes to introduce you to…
OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Director, Chair of the Board of Directors
Ms. Chan brings a diverse experience in legal, corporate and philanthropic fields, as well as a unique perspective from her current position with Home to Home Advisory Services.
In 2007, Ms. Chan founded Home To Home Advisory Services, which is focused on helping seniors and their families with planning and facilitating transitions, navigating the public and private healthcare systems, and making informed choices. Home To Home’s care management services oversee and assist with matters on behalf of the adult children in caring for their parents.
Prior to starting Home To Home, Ms. Chan served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Ballard Power Systems, a global leader in the development of zero-emission fuel cell technology.
Ms. Chan is a member of the Board of Directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada (as well as BC and Yukon), the Museum of Vancouver, GOH Ballet Vancouver Society and the Caregivers Association of BC.
Ms. Chan has been a Director of Solus Trust since 2016.
Director, Chair of the Audit Committee
Captain Michael Beaulieu (United States Navy, Retired) is the former Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency, Aircraft Propulsion Operations for the United States Department of Defense.
Captain Beaulieu commanded five tertiary commands, overseeing acquisition contract execution at sixteen contractor plant facilities by staff of 300 military and civilian professionals with oversight of 8,500 defense acquisition contracts valued at USD6.4 billion.
Captain Beaulieu received his commission from the US Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School in July 1986 and served operationally all over the world, including tours in the US, Japan, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Captain Beaulieu is a Distinguished Graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington DC with a Master of Science degree National Resource Strategy with specialized studies in lean manufacturing and acquisition. Personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medals along with other individual service and unit awards.
Captain Beaulieu has served as a Director of Solus Trust since 2016.
Director, member of the Investment & Loan Committee
Ms. Bilsland brings decades of experience as an entrepreneur and business leader in the pension and benefits industry.
Ms. Bilsland is Co-Founder and President of Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators (“Bilsland Griffith” or “the Company”). Bilsland Griffith is a third-party benefits administration firm, exclusively servicing multi-employer negotiated-cost pension and benefit plans. The Company’s independence and focused service offering eliminates the conflicts of interest that their competitors, national and international pension and benefits consulting firms, have due to their multi-disciplinary service offerings.
Ms. Bilsland co-founded the Company in April 2010 with one client and eight employees. Bilsland Griffith has grown organically since. The Company now serves eleven provincial and national clients and employs 23 professionals. Bilsland Griffith is now one of Canada’s leading third-party pension and benefits administration firms. The Company is based in Burnaby, British Columbia and serves clients and their members across Canada.
Prior to co-founding the business, Ms. Bilsland was a Principal at the Vancouver office of a global pension and benefits consulting firm, where she led the outsourcing / administration practice.
Ms. Bilsland graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1988 and obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Technology from BCIT in 1991.
Ms. Bilsland is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute and sits on the BC Regional Council for the Association of Canadian Pension Management. She is frequently asked to speak at industry events and seminars on issues and trends in the pension and benefits administration field.
Ms. Bilsland has been a Director of Solus Trust since 2019.
Director, member of the Conduct Review Committee
Mr. Blackmer has worked in the taxation, trust and estate fields since 1982. His areas of specialization include managing complex and multi-jurisdictional estates and trusts.
Mr. Blackmer is frequently sought out to act as an expert witness in trust and estate matters before the courts. Mr. Blackmer is also frequently invited to speak at industry and professional advisor events about issues of administration and independence in the trust and estate areas.
Mr. Blackmer founded Solus Trust in 2005 having recognized a need for an independent trust company with no affiliation to big banks or investment firms. An independent, unbiased approach reduces the conflicts of interest traditional trust companies have when offering their own services and investment products.
Part of Mr. Blackmer’s experience prior to Solus Trust includes assisting with the launch of the fiduciary operations for two large banks in Canada. BMO (Toronto) and HSBC (Vancouver). Mr. Blackmer continued to lead HSBC’s private client trust operations in Canada until shortly before establishing Solus Trust.
Previously, Mr. Blackmer practiced law as in-house counsel for Royal Trust in Toronto. He worked at three of Canada’s leading law firms in both Calgary and Toronto, where he practiced exclusively in the areas of tax, trust and estate planning.
Mr. Blackmer has designed, advised, administered and overseen hundreds of substitute decision-maker arrangements, estate plans, agency arrangements and trust structures. In addition to this domestic experience, Mr. Blackmer has also worked with complex and multi-jurisdictional structures in the United States and offshore and in Europe.
Qualifications & Education
Mr. Blackmer has been called to the bar and is a member of the law societies of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
He graduated from Queens University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) in Political Studies and Economics.
Mr. Blackmer graduated from the joint MBA / LLB program at York University’s Schulich Business School and Osgoode Hall Law School, respectively, in 1984. His LLB was obtained with a concentration tax, trust and estate law. His MBA focused on accounting and finance.
Mr. Blackmer has served as a Director of Solus Trust since its inception in 2005.
Director, Chair of the Conduct Review Committee
Ms. Curran brings decades of experience practicing in law in the areas of wills, estates and adult guardianship.
Recently retired, Ms. Curran was a sole practitioner in Vancouver, BC, beginning in 2001. As part of her legal practice, Ms. Curran acted for both individual and institutional clients. Her practice included the drafting and execution of Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements, applications for grants of probate or administration of estates, assistance with the ensuing administration, and related litigation, including proceedings to determine or challenge the validity of Wills and applications to vary them.
Ms. Curran also practiced in the area of adult guardianship, and has extensive experience with applications to appoint legal representatives for adults who are no longer mentally capable, and, if the circumstances required it, applications to rescind such appointments.
Prior to opening her own practice, Ms. Curran articled with and practiced law as an associate at the law firm of Roberts & Griffin for 10 years, working on a wide range of complex civil litigation.
Ms. Curran has been a Director of Solus Trust since 2016.
Director, member of the Audit Committee
Mr. Gumprich is a passionate and successful leader, with 25 years of diverse and progressive experience in financial and executive leadership positions throughout all aspects of the business cycle.
Mr. Gumprich has years of hands-on experience with management, trustee and director fiduciary responsibility.
Previously, Mr. Gumprich served as the Chief Financial Officer of Sterling Shoes, a national footwear retailer which operated 160 stores and employed 1,200 employees across Canada. During his tenure at Sterling the organization grew from a regional, private company to a national, publicly listed company. He led the company’s transition from private company to public income trust to corporate entity and back to private ownership.
Mr. Gumprich also served as Chief Financial Officer of the Healthcare Benefit Trust (HBT), Canada’s largest health and welfare trust. HBT provides group health and welfare benefits for ~100,000 employees in the health care and social services sector in British Columbia and the Yukon. It has assets of ~$1.5 billion and annual revenues of $600 million.
In addition to these public company, private company and public-sector experiences, Mr. Gumprich spent 11 years at PwC in numerous roles in Canada, the US and Europe working in corporate finance, transaction and private company services, audit and tax services.
In 2013, Mr. Gumprich teamed up with a few other business and community leaders as a founding Director of Canada SCORES Vancouver (CSV), a charity that partners with inner-city schools to provide vulnerable children with complimentary after-school programs designed integrate academic, social, physical and emotional development through literacy, athletics and community service learning. Mr. Gumprich continues to serve as Treasurer of CSV.
Qualifications & Education
Mr. Gumprich is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1995 having completed his exams and articles at Price Waterhouse in Vancouver.
Mr. Gumprich is also qualified as a Chartered Business Valuator (2001) and a Certified Public Accountant in Illinois, USA (1999).
Mr. Gumprich graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1992 with a Bachelor of Commerce (with Distinction).
Mr. Gumprich has been a Director of Solus Trust since 2018.
Director, Chair of the Investment & Loan Committee, member of the Audit Committee, member of the Conduct Review Committee
Mr. Hinds currently serves as the CEO of News Media Canada, the industry voice of over 800 daily and community newspapers across Canada.
A lawyer by training, Mr. Hinds brings a diverse experience to his role at Solus Trust. He has worked in private practice providing advice and services to a wide range of clients. Mr. Hinds also spent a number of years in public service, including roles serving as an aide to senior political decision-makers in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
Mr. Hinds is active in the not for profit sector and has served in leadership roles on a number of Boards, including: Swimming Natation Canada, The United Way of Toronto, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canada’s National Ballet School, Harbourfront Centre, St Joseph’s Health Centre, and Casey House.
Mr. Hinds has served as a Director of Solus Trust since 2005.
Director, member of the Investment & Loan Committee
Mr. Oldham has over 25 years experience in the trust & estate, industrial relations & collective bargaining, public & private sector operations and human resources management.
Mr. Oldham joined Solus Trust as employee #2 in 2006. Mr. Oldham has served as a Trust Officer for dozens of former and current Trusts, Estates, Power of Attorney and Committee clients.
Mr. Oldham is currently Solus Trust’s VP, Operations. Mr. Oldham continues to serve Solus Trust’s clients working with numerous long-term and complex clients as well as backing up other trust Officers with their client work.
Mr. Oldham ensures that client work is balanced amongst the company’s Trust Officers and Trust Administrators to ensure the best experience possible for clients and stakeholders.
“Each client has their own story, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always unique. I strive to provide each person with a positive experience, while at the same time maintaining respectful boundaries. I have also had the good fortune of meeting a wide variety of dedicated industry professionals over the years.”
Qualifications & Education
Mr. Oldham earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University in Montreal, PQ.
Mr. Oldham has served as a Director of Solus Trust since its inception in 2005.
Mr. Oldham is an avid swimmer and runner. He has held numerous provincial and national records as a Masters swimmer and continues to enjoy swimming on a regular basis. He also enjoys running, having completed numerous marathons including the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon.
*combined Team experience working specifically in the field of trusts and estates