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Board of Directors

If you would like more information or wish to contact a member please see below for each members email.

Mike Cook

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Burn Survivor & Chair of the Board of DirectorsBritish Columbia

Michael Cook sustained burns to 17% of his body from the waist up while lighting a charcoal barbeque in May 1998. He required skin graphs to his upper body and spent 17 days in the Burn Unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC. In 1999/2000 the Firefighters Burn Fund of Victoria sponsored Michael and his wife Sandy to attend the World Burn Conference hosted by the Phoenix Society. In 2003, he played a lead role in the formation of the Peer Support Group as sponsored by the Firefighters Burn Fund of Victoria. Eventually, they were SOAR Trained (Survivors Offering Assistance to Recovery) and have been providing peer support to survivors and family members ever since. Michael continues to be a part of the Firefighters Burn Fund of Victoria Peer Support Group and was elected to CBSC board in 2010 and elected Chair of the Board in June 2022. 



Kyle Hynes

Burn Survivor & Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, Alberta


Kyle Hynes has been a Burn Survivor since 1998. Kyle was in a house fire at the age of 5 years old, caused by an electrical fire. 89% of this his body was burned. Over the years Kyle had been back-and-forth to the Shriners Hospital in Boston to get skin graphs and reconstruction surgery. His journey helping other Burn Survivors started a year after his accident, while in the hospital Kyle had a little office set up in the hospital playroom to welcome other children to help them overcome their burns.

Kyle is a very positive person and eager to help other Burn Survivors with their new begging as a Burn Survivor.  

SOAR certified (Peer Support) 


Deborah Ward


Burn Survivor & Secretary/Treasurer, Nova Scotia

Deborah Ward burned at the age of 7 years old, 70 % body coverage, 3rd degree burns. Deborah spent 6 1/2 months in hospital at first, out for a month and back in for 5 1/2 months, at a time when induced comas’ were not heard of. Over the years she has had so many grafts and releases, it is impossible to count. Deborah has 54 years experience as a burn survivor. Deborah is President of the Nova Scotia Burn Support Group as well as Secretary/Treasurer for the Canadian Burn Survivors Conference Steering Committee. Deborah is a new published author of her biography “Silently Weeping” Deborah is President of the Avon Boat Club and a foster parent of 4 boys with special needs. Deborah is active in visiting patients in the Burn Unit at the QE11 Health Sciences Centre (Halifax Infirmary) and an active participant in the Burn Camp (Camp Connect) for burned children and adults sponsored by the Nova Scotia Firefighters Burn Treatment Society.


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Heather Lynn Beveridge

Member of the Board of Directors, British Columbia

Heather Lynn Beveridge is a medical Social Worker.  She has worked with burn survivors and their families for the past 20 years in both a pediatric hospital, and pediatric burn camps.  She began her career on the burn unit at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  In 2009, she relocated to British Columbia to pursue a PhD at the University of British Columbia.  She works full time as the patient services coordinator for the BC Professional Firefighters’ (BCPFF) burn fund.  She continues to be the camp social worker at Camp BUCKO in Ontario as well as burn camp in BC.  She is part of the organizing committee for the Canadian Burn Survivors Conference being hosted by the BCPFF Burn Fund in May 2020.


Sandy Cook

Member of the Board of Directors, British Columbia

Sandy Cook was born in Halifax Nova Scotia and moved to Victoria British Columbia as a young child. She grew up in the Victoria and met Michael Cook in 1981 and they married in 1982. They have two boys, and the family became involved in scouting in the mid 90’s. Michael was burned at their year-end scout camp in Sooke on Vancouver Island on May 31, 1998. After attending two World Burn conferences, she assisted Michael when the peer support group began in Victoria BC and became involved with the CBSC 2012. 


Victoria Vass

Burn Survivor & Member of the Board of Directors, Ontario

Victoria is a burn survivor and the founder of Life After Burns, an Ontario based community for those impacted by the trauma of burns. In 2002, at 9 years old, she sustained third degree burns to 20% of her body. 18 years after her accident, she found support for herself and that is how she came to understand and appreciate the strength, resilience and endurance of those affected by a similar traumatic experience. Through helping herself, she realized that she could help others who have had similar life-changing experiences by creating connections, finding resources, and bringing people together.

Victoria's focus is connecting survivors and their loved ones to resources, as well as building a strong community. She is passionate about community work, self awareness and development. She will continue to raise awareness and advocate for burn survivors, and develop more resources and avenues towards healing.


Daniel Nguyen

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Member of the Board of Directors, Quebec

Daniel Nguyen is an international executive with a keen ability to successfully building inclusive and high-functioning teams, developing customer partnerships, creating global scale, and identifying opportunities for innovation. With over 20 years of experience with Fortune Global 500 companies such as L’Oréal, COTY and Danone, as well as start-ups and medium-sized businesses, Daniel has held leadership roles in sales, marketing and corporate strategy spanning the healthcare and technology industries, with a successful track record in enabling high employee engagement, customer outcomes, and delivering investor and stakeholder value.  He also serves on several boards of non-profits, including the CBSC which supports a cause very dear to his heart.


Catherine Liao

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Member of the Board of Directors, British Columbia

Catherine Liao (she/her) is an experienced registered nurse, health leader, and nursing educator with a strong background in critical care nursing. With over two decades of experience in the field, she has worked in diverse roles across the United Kingdom, Sierra Leone, and Canada. Currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, Catherine's research is focused on burn injuries in underserved communities, motivated by her dedication to social justice. In addition to her academic pursuits, Catherine serves as the director of ReSurge Africa, a global organization committed to improving burns care in Sierra Leone and Ghana. Catherine strives to enhance equity-oriented burns care and promote equal access to high-quality care by addressing structural and systemic barriers through her research and global health equity projects.  


Hakiem Alier


Burn Survivor & Member of the Board of Directors, Alberta

Hakiem Alier was burnt in a workplace accident in March of 2022. He was burnt to 45% of his body from a vapour gasoline explosion and fire. He has 3rd degree burns to both legs from boots lines to hips, and 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face. Hakiem advises that CBSC has been a huge help to his recovery. He has learned a lot about burn treatment and recovery from the experiences of many survivors. He stated that his recovery journey has been cut short by years because of the CBSC. Hakiem has had the opportunity to share his story and experience with others. He continues to be a volunteer peer supporter at the burn unit at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.  


Rob Sandhu

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Member of the Board of Directors, British Columbia

Rob Sandhu is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a comprehensive background in financial reporting, audit, tax, and complex accounting. He has experience working with and advising organizations in various industries, including mining, manufacturing, real estate, nonprofit, and financial services. He has a history of driving organizational excellence through inclusive leadership and a commitment to integrity. His dedication extends beyond financial realms and to serving the community as well. Rob is excited to leverage his skills and experiences to support CBSC.



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