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Team Members

Solus Trust is proud to introduce our Team Members

Our people, the team behind the company…

OUR TEAM MEMBERS
JOHN BLACKMER
John Blackmer
President & CEO
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June Stark
Senior Manager, Client Services
BRENDA FEE
Brenda Fee
Senior Trust Administrator
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Dan Parlee
Senior Trust Officer
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Ethel Obispo
Trust Accountant
MARK OLDHAM
Mark Oldham
Vice-President, Operations and Corporate Secretary
JACKIE SEWELL
Jackie Sewell
Senior Trust Officer
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Jessica Y. Lo
Manager, Estate Planning
ANNIE CHAN
Annie Chan
Executive Assistant
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MoYan (Louis) Yu
Trust Administrator
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Andrea Mottu
Trust Administrator
DANIEL S. GUMPRICH
Daniel Gumprich
Vice-President, Corporate Development
KRISTINE LOVE
Kristine Love
Senior Trust Officer
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Jeremy Wong
Trust Officer, Compliance Officer
DIANNA OSWALD
Dianna Oswald
Database and Trust Administrator
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Samira Jafari
Front-end Coordinator
JOHN BLACKMER
JOHN BLACKMER
BA (Hons), MBA, LLB, TEP

President & CEO

Experience

John has worked in the taxation, trust and estate fields since 1984. His areas of specialization include managing complex and multi-jurisdictional estates and trusts.

John is frequently sought out to act as an expert witness in trust and estate matters before the courts. John is also frequently invited to speak at industry and professional advisor events about issues of administration and independence in the trust and estate areas.

John founded Solus Trust in 2005 having recognized a need for an independent trust company not affiliated with any financial institution. An independent, unbiased approach eliminates the inherent conflict of interest other trust companies may have when offering their own services along with the financial services of their affiliates.

Part of John’s experience prior to Solus Trust includes working internationally in the trust industry (with Bermuda Trust Company in Bermuda and Harris Bank in Chicago) and assisting with the launch of the fiduciary operations for two large banks in Canada: BMO (in Toronto) and HSBC (in Vancouver).  John also worked for a period of time in the charitable sector (with Vancouver Foundation) and the investment industry (with Royal Trust in Amsterdam and with Real Assets in Vancouver).

Previously John practiced law as in-house counsel for Royal Trust in Toronto. He has also 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.

John 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, John has also worked with complex and multi-jurisdictional structures in the United States and offshore and in Europe.

Qualifications & Education

John has been called to the bar and is a member of the law societies of British Columbia, Alberta and Upper Canada (Ontario).

He graduated from Queens University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) in Political Studies and Economics.

John 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.

MARK OLDHAM
MARK OLDHAM
BA

Vice-President, Operations and Corporate Secretary

Experience

Mark has over 25 years experience in the trust & estate, industrial relations & collective bargaining, public & private sector operations and human resources management.

Mark joined Solus Trust as employee #2 in 2006. Mark has served as a Trust Officer for dozens of former and current Trusts, Estates, Power of Attorney and Committee clients.

Mark is currently Solus Trust’s VP, Operations. Mark 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.

Mark ensures that client work is balance amongst Solus Trust’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. The wide variety of industry professionals that I have had the good fortune to meet over the years has also made my job extremely enjoyable!”

Qualifications & Education

Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations from McGill University in Montreal, PQ.

Other Interests

Mark 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.

DANIEL S. GUMPRICH
DANIEL S. GUMPRICH
CA, CBV, CPA (Illinois), BComm

Vice-President, Corporate Development

Experience

Daniel 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.

Daniel has years of hands-on experience with management, trustee and director fiduciary responsibility.

Previously, Daniel 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 Daniel’s tenure at Sterling the organization grew from a regional, private company to a national, publicly listed company. Daniel led the company’s transition from private company to public income trust to corporate entity and back to private ownership.

Daniel 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, Daniel 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 Daniel 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. Daniel continues to serve as Treasurer of CSV.

Qualifications & Education

Daniel 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.

He is also qualified as a Chartered Business Valuator (2001) and a Certified Public Accountant in Illinois, USA (1999).

He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1992 with a Bachelor of Commerce (with Distinction).

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JESSICA Y. LO
BSc, JD, TEP

Manager, Estate Planning

Experience

Jessica is a designated Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) with 10 years of experience in the legal industry.  Her previous practice experience gives her a deep understanding of estate planning tools and strategies, as she has assisted numerous clients to implement their planning goals through the creation of well-considered, customized estate plans.

At Solus Trust, Jessica provides our prospective clients with information on the full range of personal fiduciary services that we offer. She further facilitates the process for individuals seeking to appoint Solus Trust in such fiduciary roles. Additionally, Jessica serves as the primary point of contact in liaising with external referral sources such as law firms, investment-advisory firms, accounting firms, charitable organizations, and seniors’ organizations.

Jessica is passionate about estate planning because it allows people to care for their loved ones and achieve peace of mind.  She is always happy to discuss and explore with prospective clients their planning intentions and needs, in order to help them navigate their next steps.

Prior to joining Solus Trust, Jessica practiced at a regional full-service law firm in the areas of estate and incapacity planning, as well as estate administration. With respect to Jessica’s previous estate planning practice, she assisted clients of diverse backgrounds to help identify their objectives and concerns, and created estate plans tailored for their unique circumstances. To implement this planning, she regularly prepared a variety of supporting documents as may be needed in each case – these included wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements, advance directives, trust documents, and various others.  Regarding estate administration matters, she advised and guided executors and other personal representatives in administering estates of various sizes and complexities.

Jessica was born and raised in Vancouver. In addition to fluency in English, she is also proficient in both Cantonese and Mandarin.

Qualifications & Education

Jessica was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2011.  She holds a law degree from the University of Victoria, and a Bachelor of Science in cell biology and genetics with a minor in Commerce from the University of British Columbia.

She earned her Trust and Estate Practitioner designation in 2017 from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Jessica was granted the designation following completion of all required examinations under the STEP Canada Diploma Program and achieving the requisite practice experience.

Other Interests

When not at the office, Jessica likes to spend her time gardening, trying out new recipes, entertaining family and friends, and creating a variety of crafts. She also enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and golf, and practicing yoga.

Contact Information

You can contact Jessica directly by phone at 604.683.5949 ext. 2118, or by email at jlo@solustrust.com

JACKIE SEWELL
JACKIE SEWELL
BA, TEP

Senior Trust Officer

Experience

Jackie has been a Senior Trust Officer with Solus Trust since 2010.  Jackie has worked in the trust and estate fields for 28 years.

Prior to joining Solus Trust, Jackie was a Paralegal in the business department of one of Vancouver’s largest law firms where she practiced for 20 years.

Jackie assists Solus Trust in fulfilling its fiduciary duties and responsibilities as Executor, Trustee, Power of Attorney and Committee.

Jackie specializes in the administration of estates and trusts and has extensive
experience in these areas, especially with estates and trusts involving complex and sensitive issues.

Administering an estate can be time consuming and difficult, especially when one is dealing with the loss of a loved one.  Jackie helps beneficiaries and stakeholders navigate through this challenging environment and time.

Jackie has administered and overseen hundreds of substitute decision-maker
arrangements, estate plans, agency arrangements and trust structures during her career.

Qualifications & Education

Jackie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University.
She received a Paralegal Certificate from Capilano University and is a member of the BC Paralegal Association.

Jackie is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), with a TEP designation.

KRISTINE LOVE
KRISTINE LOVE
Dip.Ad.Ed

Senior Trust Officer

Experience

Kris has worked in the trust and estate fields for 35 years. Her areas of specialization include estate and trust tax compliance and payroll.

During her career, Kris worked as a trust officer in numerous jurisdictions outside British Columbia, including Ontario and the Caribbean.

Kris also has deep experience managing complex and multi-jurisdictional estates and trusts from both a beneficiary and property perspective. She has administered estates with beneficiaries or real or moveable property in jurisdictions outside BC including: the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Ireland, the Caribbean, and most of the other Canadian provinces.

At Solus Trust, Kris also focuses on estate administration involving litigation amongst beneficiaries and Intervivos and testamentary trusts, including trusts established by personal injury lawsuits and for Power of Attorney clients.

Prior to working at Solus, Kris worked at RBC / Royal Trust for nearly 20 years as a Trust Officer and as a Tax Officer in their trust and estate department.

Kris also has a lot of experience in the charitable giving sector, having spent 10 years working for the BC Cancer Foundation as a Planned Giving Officer responsible for estate gift administration, including bequests, designated funds, insurance and registered funds.

A large part of Kris’ client base at Solus includes estates that are going to charity. Many of Solus’ clients include individuals with no surviving relatives or who provide for charitable gifts under their wills. “It is one of the things that I love about my job. It is very satisfying to present large distribution cheques to charities and learn of the positive impact of the gift”.

Kris is actively involved in industry associations and is the Treasurer of the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) and has presented at CAGP professional development events.

Qualifications & Education

Kris received her Trust Officer designation from the Royal Trust Corporation of Canada in 1982.

She graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 2001 with a diploma in Adult Education.

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JEREMY WONG
BA, Dipl. Acct, LLB (First Class Honours), LLM

Trust Officer, Compliance Officer

Experience

Jeremy has practiced law exclusively in the area of estate administration and planning since mid-2017.  At Solus Trust Jeremy will be responsible for working with a range of our clients to manage and administer their complex plans and wishes.  He will also be acting as corporate Compliance Officer.

Jeremy was born and raised in Vancouver. He is fluent in English and conversationally fluent in Cantonese.  Prior to his legal career, Jeremy worked at two financial institutions where he developed his customer service skills and an underlying knowledge of banking.  During law school, Jeremy volunteered with a disability advising center in England and provided practical advice regarding mobility, health services and benefits applications to those with both sensory and physical disabilities.

Qualifications & Education

Jeremy graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in Accounting from the University of British Columbia. He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Sussex in England in 2015.  After completing a Master of Laws (Common Law) at the Peter A. Allard School of Law (University of British Columbia) in 2016, he was called to the Bar in British Columbia.

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JUNE STARK

Senior Manager, Client Services

Experience

June has worked at Solus Trust since 2010. June specializes in working with Solus Trust’s Power of Attorney and Committee clients.

June has over 25 years of experience in a variety of client service / customer service roles.

June appreciates the individuality of each of her clients and the confidentiality of their financial affairs. She tailors her approach to fit the needs of each of Solus Trust’s clients, and their financial affairs. This often means full personalized service of Solus Trust assuming responsibility for the administration of a client’s legal and financial matters.

Solus Trust’s personalized Power of Attorney services includes working with the client’s circle of professional advisors, many of which have been developed over a lifetime.

June works closely with each client’s family and health-care representative to ensure that all the client’s health care needs are met, while maintaining each client’s privacy and confidentiality of information.

June has worked with many clients living in the community through to placement into full care environments. She understands the importance of maintaining client
independence in a time of great change and decreasing physical and diminished
cognitive ability. She utilizes her experience and empathy of aging to ensure a smooth transition for her clients.

June is passionate about providing best service and care for her clients and considers herself lucky to be working for an organization that supports an independent and personalized philosophy.

June is committed to upholding her client’s wishes, beliefs and values, while exercising care and diligence in carrying out decision making on their behalf. June is very personable and adept at developing relationships through her strong listening, questioning and observation skills.

Prior to working at Solus Trust, June worked as a programmer for seniors with the City of Surrey and as a recreation therapist at the Hawthorne Seniors Community Centre.

Qualifications & Education

June has completed numerous workplace seminars to ensure the safety and well-being of her clients, such as: emergency first aid and dealing with violence in the workplace.

June received a Diploma in Recreation Therapy from Douglas College in 2009.

BRENDA FEE
BRENDA FEE
BComm

Senior Trust Administrator

Experience

Brenda has 29 years’ experience in the financial services industry with the last 19 years, working in Estates and Trusts area.

Brenda provides ongoing administrative support to the Trust Officers, clients and stakeholders of estate, trust, agency and power of attorney accounts. She also, acts as the designated point of contact for clients and stakeholders.

Prior to joining Solus Trust, Brenda spent 17 years working with one of the 5 big banks, primarily in Estates and Trusts. She worked closely with the Executive Trust Officers and their assigned group of accounts, varying in size and complexity. Brenda would communicate with the internal and external parties, gathering information and implementing action plans to ensure exceptional service standards were met.

“Solus Trust is a fantastic organization. I love my job and the people I work with. They care about their peers and especially the clients they work for, which makes for a great work environment”.

Qualifications & Education

Brenda graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Finance Major).

ANNIE CHAN
ANNIE CHAN

Executive Assistant

Experience

Annie has worked exclusively in the trust and estate fields for over 30 years.

Annie joined Solus Trust as employee #3 in October 2008 and has supported the business in all aspects since that time, including roles in trust administration, business development, office administration, regulatory reporting, client payments and deposits just to name a few.

Prior to joining Solus Trust, Annie had over 20 years of experience working for HSBC Trust Company and HSBC Bank in Canada and Hong Kong.

In addition to keeping Solus Trust’s administration running smoothly, Annie frequently liaises with clients, stakeholders and their professional advisors to ensure service expectations are achieved and exceeded whenever possible.

In the past, Annie has volunteered with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. in the employment counseling area.

DIANNA OSWALD
DIANNA OSWALD
TEP

Database and Trust Administrator

Experience

Dianna has nearly 25 years’ experience with the design, implementation and maintenance of databases. Dianna manages Solus Trust’s customer relationship management database to ensure it meets internal and external requirements.

Dianna also works with the Company’s clients and investment advisors to ensure accurate and timely compliance of investment reporting. Dianna works with Solus Trust’s Trust Officers to prepare and reconcile estate accounting for respective stakeholders.

Dianna loves her peers and working for Solus Trust. “I love my job. We are a family at Solus Trust. That feeling translates into action. It is how we treat all our clients and stakeholders, too”.

Qualifications & Education

Dianna is an active member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), with a Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) designation through the STEP diploma program.

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DAN PARLEE
MBA, BSc

Senior Trust Officer

Experience

Dan started in the trust industry in 1985 as a trust officer at Canada’s largest trust company. He progressed through various trust officer levels ending with the role of Senior Trust Officer when he left that organization in 2000.

Dan worked at the trust arm of one of the World’s largest financial institutions as a Senior Trust Account Manager from 2001 until his initial retirement in 2017. Dan was lured out of retirement at the prospect of working with one of Canada’s leading independent trust companies. He joined Solus Trust in July 2018.

During his career in the Trust industry Dan has been responsible for the administration of a wide range of account types including: Immediately distributable assets, testamentary trusts, administration pendente lite, agent for executor, inter vivos trusts, qualifying environmental trusts, retirement compensation arrangements (custodian), committee of estate, power of attorney, agency, custodian, alter-ego trusts.

Dan has considerable experience managing complex and multi-jurisdictional estates and trusts from both a beneficiary and property perspective. He brings a wealth of experience and insights to Solus Trust and has been a great addition to the team.

Qualifications & Education

Dan received an MBA from the University of British Columbia in 1984. In 1979 he received a B.A.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.

Until 2017, Dan was a member of the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners and held a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. He also relinquished his Trust & Estate Practitioner (TEP) designation at that time.

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MOYAN (LOUIS) YU
JD, BSc (honours with high distinction)

Trust Administrator

Experience

Louis joined Solus Trust in September 2018.

As a Trust Administrator, Louis works with the Company’s Trust Officers to ensure that the estates she works with are administered in strict accordance with the law and the directions set out by the client who set his / her will.

Likewise, Louis works diligently to ensure that the trusts she works with are administered accurately in accordance with the language set out in the trust documents.

Louis enjoys the feedback from beneficiaries, stakeholders and her colleagues in dealing with her client’s trusts and estates in a timely and efficient manner to ensure that beneficiaries’ needs are addressed and the proceeds of estates are distributed to the beneficiaries as soon as possible.

Areas of administration that Louis typically works on include: Preparing and maintaining a complete listing and valuation of trust or estate assets, securing physical custody and ensuring safekeeping of trust or estate assets and documents, completing the settlement of outstanding estate liabilities, ensuring suitable cash management processes are in place for trust and estate clients, ensuring complete and accurate recordkeeping and accounting for her trust and estate clients.

Qualifications & Education

Louis graduated from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia in May 2018.

In 2015, Louis graduated from Innis College at the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science (Honours, with high distinction), specializing in Psychology.

Louis is an active student member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), currently working towards a Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) designation through the STEP diploma program.

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SAMIRA JAFARI

Front-end Coordinator

Experience

Samira joined Solus in August 2018. Samira brings a wide range of local and international experience.

As Front-end Coordinator at Solus Trust, Samira is responsible for office administration duties, updating client information in the customer relationship management database, record-keeping and supporting business development activities.

Prior to joining Solus Trust, Samira worked at local law firm providing reception and administrative support to the lawyers, including in the area of trusts and estates. Samira spent her first few years in Canada excelling in customer service at a local retailer. Before coming to Canada, Samira worked as an English Lecturer at a private university in Iran.

Samira brings a positive and confident attitude to her work every day.

Qualifications & Education

Samira is currently enrolled in the STEP diploma program to obtain her Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP) designation.  She is also a part-time student in Human Resource Management at BCIT in Vancouver.

Samira obtained her Masters of Art in English Literature from Azad University in Karaj, Iran in 2005.  She also has her certificate in TESOL in teaching English as a second language.

Samira is currently enrolled in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Certificate in Estate and Trust Administration (CETA) program.

ETHEL OBISPO
ETHEL OBISPO

Trust Accountant

Experience

Ethel joined Solus Trust in September 2018. Prior to working at Solus Trust she spent over 25 years working in the various accounting roles in the financial services and hospitality sectors.

As a Trust Accountant, Ethel works with the Company’s Trust Officers to ensure that the estates she works with are administered in strict accordance with the law and the directions set out by the client who set his / her will.

Likewise, Ethel works diligently to all trust accounts are accurately maintained and recorded, in a timely manner. Ethel is a great addition to the Solus Trust team as she brings a very positive attitude to work every day. Ethel enjoys working in a supportive team environment and has already contributed to a constructive office culture.

Areas of administration that Ethel typically works on include: Preparing and analyzing monthly and quarterly financial statements, as well as power of attorney, trust and estate accounts. Assisting with the preparation of materials for completion of client income tax returns, trust returns and corporate tax returns. Working with external service providers to ensure timely delivery of services to Solus’ clients and beneficiaries.

Qualifications & Education

Ethel is currently pursuing her CPA designation.

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ANDREA MOTTU

Trust Administrator

Experience

Andrea has close to 20 years of experience in the legal industry. Prior to joining Solus, Andrea worked as a Paralegal for most of the past 15 years, as well as in other roles within the law firm environment such as law firm account management, trust accounting, wills and estates and conveyancing.

Andrea provides ongoing administrative support to the Trust Officers, clients and stakeholders of estate, trust, agency and power of attorney accounts. She also, acts as the designated point of contact for clients and stakeholders.

“Being a part of an organization that helps people at their most vulnerable – the loss of a loved one, someone unable to manage their own affairs due to age, mental illness or otherwise – is so fulfilling. If I can help in some small way to make someone’s day a little brighter, I am all in! We all need help in life – none of us can do it alone.”

Qualifications & Education

Andrea has taken numerous continuing education courses through the British Columbia Legal Management Association and Legal Education Society of British Columbia focused on legal office management, trust accounting and legal procedures.

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ACTIVE CLIENTS
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> $300 MILLION OF ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT
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WILLS IN WILLS BANK
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YEARS OF EXPERIENCE*

*combined Team experience working specifically in the field of trusts and estates

MORE TEAM

Solus Trust has a dedicated team of experienced practitioners able to handle situations from the simple to the most challenging administrations.

BOARD MEMBERS

CAREERS

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