Leigh Elliot (she/her) – Executive Director

Bio to come soon!

Annalee Lepp – Co-chair

Annalee teaches in Gender Studies at the University of Victoria. Her passionate support for Peers comes out of her commitment to social and economic justice. Her research focuses on the negative impact of anti-trafficking policies and interventions on sex workers rights both nationally and internationally.

Megan Ross (she/they) – Co-chair

Megan is a human rights lawyer working with people who have experienced carcerality. She has taught feminist and queer legal theory since 2016 and practices prison law at PATH Legal in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Peers is an organization that she is very proud to be a part of. Sex work organizations have been at the forefront of innovating public health and housing policy since the 1970s. Our staff and partners with QomQem are on the ground, developing industry leading solutions to some of societies most intractable problems. By staying connected to Peers Megan hopes to help strengthen the sex worker rights movement nationally.

Janine Theobald (she/her) – Board Director

Janine previously served as the Buddhist representative on the Board of the Victoria Multifaith Society and currently sits on the Restorative Justice Victoria Board of Directors. She has experience working in mental health and substance use in an administrative capacity with the health authority, and for many years has served frontline and leadership roles in emergency shelters and homelessness response. Janine is currently the executive director of a community-based mental health not-for-profit. She is a person with lived experience herself and is honoured to join the Peers Board of Directors in support of the innovative and integral work they do in our community.

Stephanie Gruhlke (she/her) – Secretary 

Stephanie is a Project Lead (events) at the University of Alberta with experience in event planning, program management, grant administration, partner relations, and knowledge mobilization. She holds and MA in Political Science from the University of Victoria and her research focused on a critical re-examination of international trafficking laws highlighting the negative impacts of current approaches. During her graduate studies she was introduced to Peers Victoria and her interest in social justice issues – particularly gender-based violence, the rights of migrants and food shelter insecurity, which drove her to become more involved in the organization.

Sean S. Dillon (he/him) – Treasurer 

Sean S. Dhillon joined PEERS in 2019. Sean has been a POC social justice warrior since 6 years of age; from raising community awareness, fundraising, developing non-profit programing and serving on several high-impact non-profit and government Boards today. Sean has lived experience with homelessness and domestic violence. Sean has a visible and invisible disability, using both to continue to be an advocate for others. Sean brings the following experience from Governance, to Finance, to EDIA, to Audit & Risk to the PEERS Board and organization. Sean is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and has held several Board executive roles including the Chair of a Board. Sean is a nationally recognized Finance and Real Estate professional.

Jill Van Gyn-Carr

Jill is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of Fatso Peanut Butter. She has a demonstrated track record of business development, executive management, and strategic branding and marketing. Jill joined the board of Peers in 2019 and has, throughout her career, engaged with a range of issues related to social and environmental justice with a focus on sex worker rights. Jill has been a strong advocate for harm reduction and mental health issues, having spent over 15 years in active addiction, entering recovery in 2010. She lives in the Blenkinsop Valley with her husband and two young children.

Miranda Liebel (she/her)

Bio to come soon!

Please note that this section is under construction…more information to come soon! 


Former Board Members

Rachel Phillips (Former Executive Directoris a health sociologist with a passion for the non-profit sector, evidence based service delivery, and health and social equity. For over a decade Rachel has been involved in community-based research addressing social determinants of health among people in the sex industry, women who use substances during pregnancy and early parenting, social welfare policy, and occupational health among health and social service providers working with marginalized populations. Rachel has worked in child and family services, residential services for persons with disabilities, and non-profit governance. Rachel is passionate about Peers Victoria and its unique role in the region raising public awareness and providing support to people who are (or have been) in the sex industry.

Sarah Harris  is passionate about social justice and education, having worked and volunteered for organizations supporting women’s health, correctional education and arts.

Sadie Robin  first began fundraising for Peers in 2012. Since then she has helped organize numerous Peers events, which led to her role on the Board of Directors. She is interested in theatre, culture, and community building, with a special interest in seeing a more accurate and diverse representation of sex work in popular media.

Bradley Weldon is a lawyer who specializes in public and administrative law. His support for Peers is grounded in a strong commitment to social justice issues. He is a practicing member of the BC Law Society and a senior policy analyst with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC.

Susan Strega sat on the board of Peers for more than 10 years. She is a long-time feminist activist who teaches in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria.

Bonnie Sawyer has written on the history of social services for sex workers in Canada and dominant discourses surrounding the industry. She has also worked as a research assistant for a national community-based research project on health and safety in the sex trade.

Carolyn Showler is a recently retired RN who has been a Peers supporter for many years. While she no longer sits on the board she continues to volunteer for the organization in various capacities. She has worked in both provincial and federal corrections and most recently in Victoria’s downtown core as part of the island health street nurse program and as a Cool Aid community health center nurse.

Kate Vallance has been a huge fan of Peers since her time as a support worker at the Sandy Merriman Emergency Shelter. The focus of her Master’s thesis was on the health and well-being of sex workers and she is now a research associate at the Centre for Addiction Research of BC with a special interest in harm reduction strategies and substance use among marginalized populations.

Candace McKivett (secretary) has worked and volunteered for several feminist and anti-poverty organizations over the years and has been a long-time supporter of Peers. She currently works as an analyst for an Indigenous agency that trains front line workers in wise practices for child welfare. She is also completing an undergraduate degree in health and community services.

Flora Pagan (co-chair) has come to Peers through her work with several community service agencies, working primarily with clients living in cycles of homelessness. She has an interest in developing and providing person-centered, anti-oppressive, and feminist social services.

Natasha Potvin (member at large) brings to the Peers board 15 years of experience working in the sex industry. She is also a long-time activist in the area of human rights and sex work. In recent years Natasha has spent much of her time focusing on HIV prevention and harm reduction, as well as prostitution law reform.

Leah Shumka (member at large) has come to Peers through her research background in women’s health, sex work, and social justice. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, recently completed a post-doc at the Centre for Addiction Research of BC, and is an instructor in Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria.