Board of Trustees
The Library Board sets strategic priorities, develops policies, and advocates for Library services. The Board also provides governance and financial oversight to the Library.
Interested in the role of a Library Trustee or want to apply? See the Information for Prospective Library Trustees
Contact the Library Board of Trustees
Meet the Trustees
Dulce Amba Cuenca
Dulce Amba Cuenca works in labour relations in the largest multi-professional national labour union in Canada, representing public service employees mostly in the federal sector. She has a Master of Laws degree from UBC and was called as a lawyer to both the Philippine and British Columbia bars. Dulce has worked in the field of human rights, employment, and labour law since 2006 and has travelled across BC, Yukon, and Ottawa representing workers and human rights complainants. A grateful immigrant who got her first job in Canada in 1996 by volunteering, Dulce is passionate about civic engagement and in contributing her knowledge and skills to the community. She served as Trustee of the Richmond Public Library Board for eight years. She believes that volunteerism completes any immigrant's integration in the community and unites people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal.
Kiran Dhesa is a newly called lawyer and was born and raised in Surrey. Kiran lived in Kamloops for three years while she attended Thompson Rivers University for her Juris Doctorate Degree. Prior to moving to Kamloops Kiran was part of the Social Policy Advisory Committee with the City of Surrey which focuses on social policies for the well-being of Surrey residents. She was also an active member of the Young Women Civic Leaders Committee which focused on getting young women involved in their community socially, politically, and civically. With her move back to Surrey, Kiran is looking forward to getting involved in the community again. She believes libraries have a strong influence on community life and are an important tool in connecting people to each other and to important resources.
John Gillies retired as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) after a 33-year career. He has previously served as a board member of numerous organizations including the Board of Governors for Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures, the National Capital CHRO Forum, and the Conference Board of Canada’s Strategic Human Resource Management Council. John has also been a member of the BC Provincial Committee on Cultural Diversity in Policing and is a past associate member of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Patriot One Technologies where he also serves on a number of committees. John is a passionate supporter of the power of literacy and the value and importance that a vibrant public library system plays in making this a reality. He looks forward to serving as a trustee for Surrey Public Library.
Dr. Balbir Gurm (Vice Chair)
Balbir Gurm is a registered nurse with a doctorate degree in Education (Leadership & Policy, UBC) and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing who has resided in Surrey for over 30 years. She is a professor of nursing at KPU and consultant on strategic planning and cultural safety (JEDI). Balbir has provided extensive leadership on multiple community boards including Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR), Canadian Cancer Society, Virsa, Canada India Education Society, and currently serves as Chair of the Museum of Surrey’s Community Advisory Board. She has been honoured with numerous awards including Canadian Cancer Society’s Volunteer Leadership award, the BC Achievement Community Award, YWCA Women of Distinction Award, NNPBC Excellence in Nursing: Innovation, Darpan’s Community Crusader Award, Drishti’s Excellence in Community Engagement Award, Teaching Excellence Awards (CRNBC & NISODS), and Soroptimist’s Ruby Award.
Louise Hearty retired as the Director of Access Transit Service Delivery at Coast Mountain Bus Company, where she was employed for 28 years. Louise held various roles throughout her time with the organization including being responsible for overseeing the operations of HandyDART including customer feedback, eligibility, and implementing many new initiatives. In addition to the Library Board, Louise also serves on the boards of the BC Library Trustees Association and Surrey Crime Prevention Society and volunteers her time with community organizations assisting new Canadians. She is a homeowner and resident of Surrey, living in the Fraser Heights area.
Marilyn Herrmann (Chair)
Marilyn Herrmann retired as Executive Director of the Surrey Food Bank where she spent fourteen years supporting the community and tirelessly advocating for low-income residents in Surrey. She has extensive governance experience having served for ten years on the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Board as well as numerous local, provincial, and national boards and committees, all focused on improving the quality of the lives of others. Marilyn has been a resident of Surrey for 33 years and is the proud recipient of the 2017 City of Surrey Community Service Recognition Award as well as the "Heart of the City" Lifetime Achievement Award. She is an avid user of the Surrey Libraries’ services and truly believes in its value to connect community and to inspire life-long learning.
Bio to come.
Darius Maze is the Executive Director of the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall and an advocate for community initiatives that promote accessibility and inclusion. He brings over 8 years of non-profit leadership experience at both the board and management levels and has his Certified Fund Raising Executive and Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Consultant designations. Darius has experience leading and contributing to national and international boards and is currently pursuing his ICD.D designation. He has served as Board Chair for the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC and the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library, Vice Chair of the Community Living Society, and as Treasurer for the Vancouver Pride Society and the Sierra Club of BC. Darius has also served on advisory committees for Catalyst Community Developments, Imagine Canada, the City of Vancouver, the Canadian Volunteer Awards, the Vancouver Foundation, and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.
Gordon Powell has spent over 34 years in K-12 education, recently retiring as district principal for Aboriginal Education with Surrey Schools. He has taught courses in Library Administration as well as Aboriginal Issues for UBC and has a Masters in Educational Technology and Learning Design. He has a particular interest in literacy, technology in education, and Indigenous identity and he is proud to claim his Mi'kmaq heritage. As an outspoken advocate of reading and libraries, Gordon looks forward to serving as a public library trustee for Surrey Public Library.
Dupinder Kaur Saran
Dupinder Kaur Saran is a Registered Nurse with 23 years of varied nursing experience, including working with Fraser Health, Provincial Health Services Authority, and BC Emergency Health Services under the operations of the Ministry of Health. She was CEO of Nurse On the Go Home and Healthcare Services in 2018, a company which she founded. Dupinder was raised in Surrey and has a passion for community service and advocacy. She is the Founder of One Voice Canada Foundation which helps support, create awareness, and advocate for International Students. She is a Director with a few non-profit organizations and devotes her time volunteering in the community with seniors, children, and those in need.
Rachel lives and works in Surrey City Centre and is committed to seeing the area live up to its potential. She holds a Diploma in Library and Information Services as well as early childhood education qualifications and strongly believes in the importance of libraries in the community from birth onwards. She arrived in Canada in 2017 with four young children and found the local library an invaluable resource. Rachel had a history of community volunteering before living in Surrey and is excited to continue that by supporting the work of the library team in this role. Rachel is currently enrolled in an Accounting Technician Diploma at Thompson Rivers University and works in the personal insolvency sector.
Tanveer Sohal is a practicing lawyer in British Columbia and Australia, with a background in public health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences, a Master of Public Health, and a Juris Doctor. Tanveer has attended several writing programs and conferences and completed a Writer in Residency in Australia and a Writing for Animation program in Vancouver. Tanveer contributed a short story called “A Memorable Birthday” in Emerge 15 published by the Writer’s Studio Anthology. She published a children’s book called Twin Adventures, which has received numerous awards and is included in library systems across British Columbia and Ontario. Her ability to engage and inspire young readers exemplifies her commitment to education through literature.
Lisa Werring is a senior non-profit executive with 30 years of experience in the sector. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Surrey Christmas Bureau, a position she has held for the past six years. Prior to Christmas Bureau, Lisa was the Executive Director of Learning Buddies Network, a non-profit that provides free literacy and numeracy tutoring to elementary students across the Lower Mainland. Lisa also serves on the Board of Glasshouse Capacity Services Society and was a long-time volunteer with Surrey Schools and Surrey Minor Hockey. Lisa applies a consultative management style to her work, is an experienced strategic planner and fundraiser, and enjoys extrapolating the underlying story out of data and using it to find solutions and create opportunity. Lisa has been a Surrey resident and avid library user for 31 years.