BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We have decades of experience in Canada, with strategic and operational leaders who are renowned as top management executives in the industry.
- Michael Diao
- John H.V. Gilbert
- Stanley Kwok
- Candy Ho
- Don Ho
Chief Executive Officer
Michael is an entrepreneurial talent with ten years running a highly successful media company as President and Founding Director. He has a special talent for multicultural management and communication. His educational background is in business administration and business management, with degrees from Beijing, China as well as Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.
In the past 10 years, Michael has held various senior management roles, including Vice President, President, and CEO, of media and business consulting companies, as well as universities and colleges, both in Canada and in China. His defining qualities are his passion for community service, leadership skills, strategic vision, and his ambitious drive and energy.
John H.V. Gilbert
Independent Director; Professor Emeritus, C.M., Ph.D., FCAHS
Dr. John Gilbert has been a seminal leader in the education of health professionals in British Columbia, Canada and internationally. In the early part of his career he pioneered linguistics and psychology as the basis of practice for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. In the latter part of his career it was his vision and leadership that led to the concept of interprofessional education being developed as a central tenet of team-based collaborative patient-centred practice and care.
Dr. John Gilbert is founding Principal & Professor Emeritus, College of Health Disciplines, University of British Columbia where he was also founding Director of the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, and Director of the School of Rehabilitation Sciences.
At Dalhousie University, he is Senior Scholar, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research, and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Graduate Studies. He has served as a visiting Adjunct Professor at the National University of Malaysia; as an advisor to the International Institute for Leadership in Interprofessional Education at Manipal University, India; was Co-Chair of the WHO Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee on social determinants of health at the WHO.
He was elected a Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, in 2008. He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in April 2012, and in October 2013 received the Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to International Allied Health Development Award from the International Chief Health Professions Officers Organization.
Dr. Gilbert was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, in July 2011 for his leadership in the development of interprofessional education as a central tenet in team-based collaborative patient-centered practice and care, nationally and globally. At the Convocation of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia in May 2016 he received the honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa in recognition of his work.
Independent Director; A. A. Dip. (London, England), B. Sc. (Arch) (Shanghai, China)
Stanley Kwok is an architect and urban planner by profession, with visionary and strategic business leadership experience spanning over more than 50 years, in roles of President, CEO, Deputy Chairman, Principal and Director of various companies. Currently he serves as Director of numerous corporations and associations, including but not limited to Husky Energy (since year 2000), CTBC Bank of Canada, and CK Hutchison Limited Hong Kong. A few of his past significant directorships have included Bank of Montreal, BC Hydro, Bannister Foundation Construction Limited, BC Place, Pacific Rim Council on Urban Development, and Urban Development Institute of which he was also Founding Director. To name just two of his notable contributions to Canadian development and urban planning, he was Director of Expo ’86 Vancouver, and Deputy Chairman of Concord Pacific Developments Ltd.
He has been keynote speaker and panelist at many international governmental, business and academic conferences on urban planning and development, through numerous countries across the world.
He is a Member of Royal Institute of British Architects and Royal Institute of Canadian Architects.
Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Relations
Candy holds a Bachelor of Sciences, majoring in Integrated Health Sciences, from the University of British Columbia. She also has a Certificate in Project Management and a Real Estate Trading Services License.
During university, she volunteered at all of CPAC’s retirement communities and upon graduation she joined CPAC’s marketing team. After the sale of CPAC to Chartwell in 2005, she continued to provide consulting expertise in the development of retirement housing to local and international companies, developing business plans and growth strategies. In 2005, she also joined the development of an exclusive island waterfront community located on 620 acres. This project afforded her the opportunity to take on multiple roles including: visioning; strategic and development planning; partnership negotiations; municipal relations and project management, with core focuses on community relations, and sales and marketing.
It has always been Candy’s ideal and passion to contribute to society through her work, and she feels grateful for the opportunity for deep fulfillment through Element. She is determined to continually adapt and improve the company’s model in response to the evolution of demographics and seniors’ needs. She is particularly excited to take Canada’s best practices in health care delivery overseas.
Mr. Ho moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong in 1983. He is recognized as an innovative, visionary pioneer and leader in both the general real estate development industry, and the specialized area of retirement residence development and operations. He has a reputation for his fairness, honesty and integrity in his approach with the community, residents, employees and partners.
From 1987 to 1995, he undertook general real estate development in Vancouver as investor, financier, developer, general contractor, and registered builder.
In 1993, after 10 years of personal frustration in his attempts to seek appropriate accommodation for his parents and in-laws, Don Ho recognized that beyond his own immediate experience, retirement living was a socio-demographic issue. There was a significant immediate and growing need for more desirable, dignifying and empowering living options for seniors. (Also see Company History)
The innovative Aging in Place concept has come to be viewed as an exemplary model in the industry. Don is widely accepted as the pioneering leader in the development and operation of retirement communities. In recognizing his contribution to the seniors care industry, Don received the honour of National “Entrepreneur of the Year” Finalist Award from Ernst and Young in 2002. Also in 2002, Don and other community leaders founded British Columbia Retirement Community Association. Don was elected as a founding director. Today, the organization is a vibrant association with over 130 organizations. (See www.bcsla.ca)
By profession, Mr. Ho is a Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer and Architect.
Don H.C. Ho, B.Sc. (Eng). C.Eng., M.I.C.E., M.I.Struct.E
- Founder, President and CEO of Trans City Group of Companies, 1987 to present. Specializing in financing, planning and development of multi-family residential projects in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia.
- Founder, President and CEO of CPAC (Care) Holdings Ltd., 1995 to 2005. A group of companies specialized in the operation of Continuum-of-Care senior retirement communities that provided Independent Living, Assisted Living and Licenced Care in British Columbia.
- Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in charge of undergraduate studies in Structural Engineering as well as creating curriculum for post graduate students to undertake professional qualifications to be Chartered Structural Engineers of the Institution of Structural Engineers, United Kingdom, 1973 to 1977. During the same period, also served as the Honorary Secretary for the Hong Kong Branch of the Institution of Structural Engineers of the United kingdom.
- Founder and Principal Partner of Associated Architects and Engineers, 1977 to 1986. A partnership of professional architects and Civil and Structural Engineers in Hong Kong, specialized in professional consulting services to Building and Development Projects in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- Engineer with Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners Consulting Engineers, United Kingdom, 1966-1973. Responsible for design and construction of major Civil and Structural Engineering Projects in Hong Kong, including the Plover Cove Water Scheme, Cross Harbour Tunnel, Hong Kong Airport Runway Extension and various highways and road interchanges in Hong Kong.
Main Qualifications, Professional Memberships and Appointments
- Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Honors), University of Hong Kong, 1966.
- Member, Institution of Civil Engineers, United Kingdom, since 1971.
- Gazetted and Licenced Architect, Hong Kong, 1973 – 1986.
- Member, Institute of Structural Engineers, United Kingdom, since 1974.
- Founding Director and Member, British Columbia Retirement Communities Association (BCRCA), 2002. A non-profit organization of owners and operators of senior accommodations in BC.
Industry and Academic Experiences
- Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering in Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 1973-1977. Lectured to graduate and post-graduate students and preparing them for the Institution of Structural Engineers’ Professional Examination.
- Member of the Steering Committee on the Formation of the Registrar of Assisted Living, a governing body for Assisted Living in British Columbia, Spring and Summer of 2003.
- Industry and Academic Experiences
- Delivered lectures on the topic of retirement community development and operations, including:
- BC Pricare 2001 Annual General Meeting & Conference, “Community Care, Soaring to New Heights”, June 3-5, 2001
- Canada Forum, “Building a New Retirement Community”, May 1, 2001
- Athabasca University, Centre for Innovative Management, “Visionary and Entrepreneurial Thinking”, November 2001
- The Phoenix Group, “The Concept of Aging in Place”, October 2001
- inSIGHT, Conference on Emerging Opportunities in Seniors’ Housing, “Beyond Housing: Building Healthy Communities”, February 29, 2000
- Entrepreneur of the Year, Finalist 2002. Nominated by Ernst & Young, recognized among Canada’s top business founders.
- Licenced Builder, Homeowners Protection Office, British Columbia, 2003.
- Licenced Care Provider, Community Care Facilities Act, British Columbia, 1997.
- Licenced Real estate Agent, British Columbia. 1989.
Major Project Achievements
- Independent Consultant to Swire Properties Limited, of the Swire Group, a publicly listed company. Advised on a proposed Retirement Community project to be developed in Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Currently working on the feasibility study for the business viability of the project. Submission of final report in December 2010.
- Co-owner and developer of The Cape on Bowen, a 618-acre master planned waterfront estate community on Bowen Island. 2004-present.
- As President and CEO of CPAC (Care) Holdings and CPAC (Care) Management Inc., financed, planned, developed, marketed and operated eight Continuum-of-Care retirement communities across British Columbia. 1995-2005.
- Founded BC Retirement Communities Association, with the vision to enhance collaborative relationships; promote, enhance and monitor service delivery standards; educate the public on options for support services and retirement living, and advocate for resident choice of these options. 2002.
- Conceived of and pioneered the Continuum-of-Care model of retirement communities. 1995.
- Developed and marketed Tsatsu Shores, a waterfront residential development project in Tsawwassen. Partnered with Tsawwassen First Nations. Created desalination plant and sewage treatment plant on the reserve, and made these facilities available to other Tsawwassen First Nation members’ developments on the reserve at no cost to them. 1995.
- Financed, planned, developed and marketed City Crest, one of the first residential towers in Yaletown, downtown Vancouver. 1993.
- Financed, developed and marketed Riverside Business Park, a project of 70,000 ft2 of industrial warehouses. 1991.
- Financed, developed and marketed St.Albans Court, a condominium development. 1990.
- Financed, developed and marketed Marquis Estates, a condominium development. 1989.
- Chief architect and engineer of various multi-family highrise residential projects, total volume in excess of 5000 units over 10 multi-phased projects. 1975-1986.
- Chief planner and architect of an office tower in Taiwan. 1975.
- Chief Architect and Engineer of a Japanese Junior Secondary School. 1974.
- Design and construction of Hong Kong Cross Harbour Tunnel. 1969-1972.
- Led site investigation of Plover Cove Water Scheme, the largest fresh water reservoire in Hong Kong reclaimed from the sea. 1971.
- Engineer participating in the design of Hong Kong international Airport runway extension 1970.
- Rotarian. The Rotary Club is an international organization for community services. Twice honored Paul Harris Fellow, recognition as the highest service contributor in 1972 (Hong Kong) and 1984 (Vancouver).