Board Directors and Staff

To contact the BCLTA Board please email Laura Vilness, the BCLTA President of the Board, at

Board of Directors

Laura Vilness

President 2023-2025
Pender Island Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2021

Laura is a retired educator with 37 years of experience as a teacher, consultant and administrator in Saskatchewan school divisions. Her personal and professional education includes: B.A., B.Ed,. M.Ed., and Ed.D. Laura has extensive experience with local, regional and provincial boards in public and post-secondary education.

Laura moved to Pender Island in 2018 and has dived into community activities such as the Pender Island Arts Society, the Ptarmigan Gallery, quilting, knitting, photography and whatever else engages her interest. She loves living on the coast of the Salish Sea and the traditional lands of the W’sáneć peoples.

Laura has been on the Pender Island Public Library Board since 2019 and is in her second year as board chair. When she moved to Pender Island one of the first things she did was go into the local library and get a library card. Then she applied to be a volunteer and, finally, a board member. Libraries have always been her happy place, a place of calm, reflection and engagement and she is honoured to be on the Pender Island Public Library Board and the Board of the BCLTA.

Jennifer Amell

Director 2022-2024
Prince George Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2022

Head shot of Rob Bennie.

Rob Bennie

Director 2023-2025
Gibsons and District Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2023

Rob joined the Gibsons and District Public Library Board in 2018 and became Vice-Chair in 2019. His focus was in updating the governance manual and policies and revising the election procedures. He was involved in creating the latest strategic plan and in chairing the Facility Committee which developed a blueprint for future library expansion. He was the library’s representative on a Town of Gibsons initiative to created an integrated land use plan for the area encompassing the library, museum and town offices. He became GDPL chair in 2023 and plans on working toward restoring proper funding for libraries instead of them having to over rely on grants in aid. His outside interests include long distance cycle touring, sailing, home renovations and building wooden toys for his grandchildren.

Head shot of Mike Gagel

Mike Gagel

Director 2023-2025
Prince George Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2016

Mike earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing at the University of British Columbia and worked as a nurse for almost 20 years at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Coastal Health, and as a sole proprietor consultant. In the second half of his nursing career Mike progressively focused on staff education through the use of technology. Next, he worked at the BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) where he was responsible for all of the Association’s technology needs and also supported various trustee committees. Mike currently works for Northern Health as their Regional Manager, Communicable Disease.

As a volunteer, Mike has been on the BCLTA board since 2016, and serves as Chair of the Prince George Public Library Board and its Policy and Governance Committee, and sits on its Local History Committee. Mike is active in other areas of his community as well. He volunteered with Parent Advisory Councils at the school and district levels, and has been a Scouter with Scouts Canada since 2011. As a Scouter, Mike has been successful with grant applications totaling over $12,000 to support Scouting initiatives in and around Prince George.

As an avid reader, Mike’s interests include medieval European history, and science fiction and murder-mystery novels. He takes full advantage of his Hoopla and OverDrive accounts, and has downloaded many, many audio and ebooks. Some of his other interests include Maker initiatives, birding, backyard astronomy, and travel.

Headshot of Darra Hofman.

Darra Hofman

Director 2022-2024, Vice President, 2023-2024
Tumbler Ridge Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2022

Dr. Darra Hofman is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator (Master of Archives and Records Administration) in the School of Information at San José State University, San José California, USA. Dr. Hofman received her Ph.D. in library, archival, and information science from The University of British Columbia in 2020. She completed her M.L.I.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. and B.A. (honors) from Arizona State University. Her research examines the intersection of archives, technology, and law, exploring how records support human rights and human thriving.

Darius Maze

Director 2022-2024, Treasurer 2023-2024
Surrey Public Library Board
On the BCLTA board since 2022


Vea Coronado

Executive Director

She has over 10 years of experience in strategic leadership, communications, and operations within the non-profit, educational, and the charitable sector. Outside of BCLTA, she provides relational support and consultation to executives, leaders, and entrepreneurs going through life and career transitions.

Photo of Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas


Jan has served as the administrative assistant for Heritage BC for more than 25 years, ably supporting this not-for-profit organization to deliver annual and regional conferences, annual general meetings, newsletters, website, and government advocacy activities to a province-wide membership.  BCLTA is lucky to have her in-depth knowledge of association management at work for BC public libraries.