Director Profile

Ellen Pekeles

Board Value Proposition: 

A seasoned senior executive with deep strategic and operational experience in the financials, health care and consumer discretionary sectors.

Board Governance and HR Committee Chair Experience

  • As Chair, Human Resource Committee at Mountain Equipment Coop, governed the creation and implementation of a CEO long-term incentive plan, a human resource strategy with metrics, and a CEO succession plan.

Organizational Transformation and Improvements

  • Led the operational changes and HR information system and payroll innovations that resulted in an increase in Vancity’s  engagement scores in IT from 62% to 73%, and in HR from 40% to 65% in a single year
  • Executive sponsor for Vancity living wage certification and carbon neutrality.
  • Led the diversity and inclusion strategy at Vancity to exceed the local labour rates for people with disabilities, aboriginal descent and visible minorities.

Change Management, Cost Reductions and Improved Efficiency

  • As COO Vancouver Coastal Health, developed and implemented the strategy for reducing costs by 10% while maintaining service levels from 2002 to 2004.
  • At Misericordia Hospital, implemented downsizing of a full-service acute care hospital by 130 beds and 350 positions, on time and on budget. While Chair of the Regional Surgery Program Council reduced costs by 14% out of an $89 million budget.
  • When Vice President, Programs, North Shore Health Region, excelled in several key program performance indicators resulting in the Region’s being rated #1 Health Region in Canada by Maclean’s magazine in 2000, 2001, and 2002. 

Industry Experience: 

  • Banks
  • Diversified Banks
  • Diversified Financials
  • Health Care Equipment & Services
  • Health Care Facilities
  • Health Care Services
  • Retailing
  • Catalog Retail
  • Internet Retail
  • Specialty Stores

Board Experience:

Corporate Boards:

Mountain Equipment Coop 2013 to Present
Chair, Human Resources Committee
Finance & Audit Committee
Governance Committee (Past)
Nominations & Elections Committee (Past)

Additional Boards:

UBC, Centre for Hip Health & Mobility 2010 to 2013
SHARE (Stakeholder Association for Research & Education) 2009 to 2013
CMEC (Cooperative Management Education Cooperative), St. Mary’s University 2009 to 2013
Vancity Community Foundation 2007 to 2012
Chair, Human Resources Committee
Credit Union Foundation of BC 2008 to 2011
Chair, Grants Committee
Lion’s Gate Hospital Foundation 2002 to 2006
BC Health Care Risk Management Society 2000 to 2004


Vancity Credit Union 2006 to 2017 to Present
Senior Vice President, Operations
Vice President, Human Resources
Senior Vice President, Strategy
Vice President, Community Leadership
Vancouver Coastal Health 2002 to 2006
Chief Operating Officer, North Shore/Sea to Sky/Sunshine Coast/Powell River
North Shore Health Region 1991 to 2001
Vice President, Programs
Capital Health (Edmonton) 1998 to 1999
Administrator, Child Health
Misericordia Community Hospital 1995 to 1998
Site Administrator
Various Health Care Organizations 1979 to 1995
Held several roles including physiotherapist, Manager Rehabilitation, Director Ambulatory Care, and Program Director, Surgery


The Directors College, 2015–Present (completion in 2017)
MHA, University of Ottawa, 1987
BSc (Physical Therapy), University of Toronto, 1979
Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, 1975
Diploma of Collegial Studies in Science, McGill University, 1972