Executive Board of Directors

Nicole Wiet

President:
Nicole Wiet

She/Her

Nicole Wiet is a journey level IUEC elevator constructor and only the fourth woman to achieve this distinction in her local, in which she served two terms on the IUEC Executive Board. She is a founding member and currently the President of the BC Tradeswomen Society, a partner in obtaining government funding to improve the culture and retention for tradeswomen. She sits on the governance board for the BCCWITT and was on the planning committee and attended as a speaker at the inaugural Women Build BC Conference for tradeswomen in 2021. She spends her free time adventuring with her partner and attending Whitecaps FC matches where she aided the creation of an inclusive and safe supporters group named the South Sisters.

Vice President:
Amandeep Beesla

She/Her

Amandeep Beesla was born and raised in Vancouver BC, Canada into an immigrant trucking family. She is a third generation, heavy equipment operator by trade with over 20 years of onsite field experience in heavy industrial construction, civil road building, pipeline, winter drilling, open-pit mining, earth works, live process plants, SAGD sites, infrastructure, transportation and trucking, petrochemical, and oil and gas field industry in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Washington State and has been on international projects as part of global teams.

Amandeep is a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 955 Fort McMurray Alberta Canada and has roots with Teamsters Vancouver. She is involved with various boards, committees, associations, and organizations highlighting her education and experience with women in the trades and construction, as well as being a visible minority. Amandeep is passionate about tradeswomen’s rights, equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion, mentoring new and young workers, and mental health. This has led her to pursue a career path in health and safety.

In her spare time, Amandeep loves to kickbox, ride motorcycles, read, cook, go camping, quading, 4x4ing, shooting, hiking, swimming, and enjoys going out to live sports events, games, concerts, and working out.

Kristine Byers

Treasurer:
Kristine Byers

She/Her

Kristine Byers is a Red Seal Journeyperson Carpenter, Union Representative and Instructor for the British Columbia Regional Council of Carpenters (BCRCC). She is passionate about diversifying the workforce through the inclusion and advancement of women, Indigenous workers and other underrepresented groups in the trades.   She is a governance member for the B.C. Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT), Secretary Treasurer of her local union’s executive, a director of BuildTogether BC, and Chair of the BCRCC’s Sisters in the Brotherhood committee for B.C. and the Yukon.

Kristine has worked in a variety of areas within the carpentry field, over the past 15 years, to make herself a well-rounded professional and carpenter. In the field she has held the position of foreperson and supervisor on several jobs. On every job she always encourages apprentices to diversify themselves within their trade by working for a variety of different contractors and in various industries. This not only makes apprentices better workers but it allows them to find their passion within their trade.

Despite loving the trade from a young age, Kristine took a different career path after high school and attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, on track to becoming a military officer, studying engineering. She soon realized it wasn’t the right career for her and enrolled herself in a six-month carpentry and joinery foundations program at Okanagan College in Kelowna.

Kristine quickly worked her way through her apprenticeship, attaining her Red Seal Certification in Carpentry. She worked in a variety of industries from heavy industrial concrete formwork, in the mining industry, to commercial renovations to even building spaceships in the film industry.

In her spare time Kristine enjoys giving back to her community and has been a frequent volunteer for such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and HeroWorks, radical renovations.  She also enjoys being active, doing arts and crafts and traveling with her husband and daughter.

Secretary:
Jelissa De Torres

She/Her

Jelissa is a second-year carpentry apprentice and entrepreneur. She was first introduced to the trades when she participated in an Intro to carpentry course directed to women with little to no experience in the trades. When she’s not at school or work, she runs a business designing and building a variety of custom wood pieces and displays for local event planners, decorators and businesses.

She serves as a regional representative for the BC Centre for Women in the Trades and is a board member for the non-profit Build a Dream. She has appeared in a variety of publications, has spoken at a number of trades events and has been a guest on several podcasts. Through these platforms, as well as through her online presence on Instagram, she has shared her experience of being a woman in the trades, has provided mentorship and guidance to new or prospective tradeswomen, and has been able to connect with tradeswomen from all over the world. She hopes to aid in changing the negative stigma of careers in the trades, help address the issue of retention of women in the trades and make pursuing a career in this industry more appealing and accessible to those who are underrepresented.

Her ultimate goal is to one day establish a summer camp for young girls where they can explore the skills one learns in the trades as well as learn interpersonal and leadership skills in a supportive environment. Her hope is to provide the opportunity for them to explore alternative careers, as well as gain the skills to be confident, assertive and successful in their future endeavours.

Director at Large:
Gabrielle Herle

She/Her

Gabrielle is a Journey Carpenter with a certificate in Occupational Health & Safety. She enjoys helping all under represented members in her community with ascertaining the skills and confidence to succeed and lead a joyful life.

Director at Large:
Raven Hillenbrand

My Name is Raven Hillenbrand of the Gitxaala Nation and member of UA Local 170. I moved from my community to the lower mainland to further my education and pursue my career goals. In 2006 I attended Stenberg College and received my Resident Care Attendance Certificate. I worked in health care for 1.5 years before joining the trades. I choose plumbing as my trade because my husband is a plumber and my father always told me it would be a great idea to have a trade or two under my belt. I am a RSE Plumber, Steamfitter and Gas B fitter. I worked in the field 11 years before taking on a role as an instructor with UA Piping Industry College. 

Starting out in the trades, I was a single mother of two children. Taking the Woman In Trades program offered at the UA Piping Industry College helped to overcome barriers as a single mother. The program assisted with supports so that I would not have to worry about such things as childcare and I was able focus on my studies. 

My children are now adults and members of UA Local 170 like me and are currently working in the field as a steamfitter and a plumber. I am ever so grateful for such a strong and compassionate union that has and continues to show huge support, both throughout my apprenticeship and now as I work in the very school that I attended, UA Piping Industry College.

Director at Large:
Barbara James

She/Her/They/Them
Ancestral name Malidzas

I belong to the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw people of Port Hardy, B.C. I am a fourth-year carpentry apprentice and advocate for women in the trades. I currently work for BCIT as an instructor in the school of construction and the environment. I volunteer my time with various committees including the BC Tradeswomen Society, Build TogetHer, and BCCWITT. I am a trustee for The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, local 1907 and a delegate to the BC regional council of carpenters. My hobbies include hiking with my dog, traveling and fishing. I aspire to become a Red Seal carpenter and to continue working within my community so that the trades may become a more welcoming and safer environment for everyone to pursue their passions. Gila’kasla

Director at Large:
Lana Love

She/Her

Lana Love is a journey level millwright and works as a maintenance supervisor in a sawmill. She has worked in the forest industry for 10 years where she completed her millwright apprenticeship in Vavenby, BC then moved to Prince George and worked as a journey millwright, then was promoted to Maintenance Supervisor. She was the first woman to complete a millwright apprenticeship and work in the role of maintenance supervisor with the Solid Wood Division of Canfor. Lana previously completed her ‘C’ Level welding and worked fabricating and welding Porsche Speedster replicas at Intermeccanica International Inc. in Vancouver.

She is an active member of Canfor’s Inclusion and Diversity Council, Women’s Engagement Group and Indigenous Engagement Group. Last year Lana was selected as a representative of the BC Center for Women In The Trades and joined the BC Tradeswomen Society. She is driven to help change the culture of industrial and trades workplaces to be more inclusive to women and other underrepresented groups so that anyone who wants to can enjoy the many advantages of a career in the trades.

When Lana is not working, she enjoys relaxing at home spending time with her husband and daughter, reading, knitting, gardening and going on adventures in the woods and mountains.

Director at Large:
Hilary Peach

Hilary Peach is a welding inspector and a boiler safety officer. As a travel-card pressure welder in the Boilermakers Union, she traversed the continent for two decades, from BC shipyards and pulp mills, through the Alberta tar sands and the Ontario steel belt, to the colossal power generating stations of the eastern seaboard of the United States. She is an advocate for diversity and equity in the trades, an avid bicyclist, a writer, and an event producer. Hilary has created three audio recordings, Poems Only Dogs Can HearSuitcase Local, and Dictionary of Snakes, and in 2018 released a collection of poetry, BOLT (Anvil Press). Her upcoming memoire, THICK SKIN: Field Notes From A Sister In The Brotherhood, will be out on Anvil Press in August of 2022.

Director at Large:
Lisa Scott

Bio coming soon

Thank you to all former Executive Board members.
Without your hard work, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Please visit our About Us page for more information regarding membership