Michael Heeney, Architect AIBC, FRAIC, RI (BC) President & CEO

A nationally and internationally recognized city builder, architect and urban strategist with over 30 years experience guiding organizations and leading diverse projects, Michael Heeney joined SCDC as President and CEO in 2017.  Michael has led local and international projects, often ones without precedent and in highly complex situations and jurisdictions. With a long-term and deep commitment to Surrey, some of his project experience prior to SCDC includes Surrey Central City, the City Centre Library, the Guildford Aquatic Centre and most recently the new SFU Surrey Engineering complex. Michael is passionate about enhancing communities through innovative urban design and architecture and sees the importance of creativity and culture in contributing to the health and vitality of urban centers.

Michael is a Member of both the Architectural Institute of BC and the Real Estate Institute of BC; a Fellow of both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Real Estate Institute of Canada; and a LEED accredited professional.  He holds degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.



Emily Taylor, CPA, CA, ICD.D CFO

Emily is a senior executive with over 20 years of management experience in the real estate development and hospitality sectors. Her focus has been on providing financial and strategic leadership to support acquisition, development and divestiture decisions and creating strong relationships with the business community and with shareholders. Emily joined SCDC in 2012 and is responsible for financial management, governance, human resources and information technology functions for the corporation.

Emily sits on the Economic Development Committee of the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. She began her career with KPMG where she received her Chartered Accountancy designation in 1995. Emily has completed the Directors Education Program though the Institute of Corporate Directors.


Barry Gilbert Managing Director, Real Estate & Investments

Barry brings depth and experience in the areas of acquisition, development and partnerships in residential, commercial, retail and industrial. Prior to joining SCDC, Barry spent over 30 years in real estate development including senior positions in the private sector with several high profile developers including Bentall, Ledcor and Bosa Properties as well as operating his own consulting business.

Barry received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of BC majoring in urban land economics and finance.


Ross Yamaguchi Senior Development Manager

Ross Yamaguchi has over 18 years’ experience in real estate development, construction, and infrastructure. Ross’ educational background includes a degree in Business/Economics from the University of California Riverside, a Masters in Intercultural Studies at Biola University and certificate programs of Light Construction and Land Development and Project Management at University of California Irvine. Ross is committed to the positive growth of Surrey and is professionally driven by the creation of a community that shares opportunity for both public and private realm benefits.


Erika Ulinder Bell Senior Development Manager

Erika has extensive experience in property acquisitions, pre-development, design and all phases of development through construction. She has worked across BC and the Lower Mainland with both commercial and residential developers, and was most recently with BC Housing Management Commission before joining SCDC. In addition to her work at SCDC, Erika is a member of the Board of Directors of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. Erika received her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, and a Diploma of Urban Land Economics from the University of BC.


Amanda Zizek, CPA, CGA Senior Manager, Accounting

Working closely with the CFO, Amanda focuses on the preparation of SCDC’s quarterly and annual financial statements. She oversees accounting for asset acquisitions and disposals, and ensures that project budgets are on track. Prior to completing her CPA, CGA designation in 2014, Amanda graduated with distinction from both the Bachelor of Technology in Accounting and Financial Management Diploma programs through BCIT.


Effie Chen, CPA, CGA Senior Manager, Accounting

A seasoned professional accountant with expertise in financial management and tax planning, Effie brings significant prior experience in property development, construction and property management to her role at SCDC. She has been involved extensively on the project accounting side on multiple mixed-use developments in the Lower Mainland.  Effie completed her CPA, CGA designation in 2015. She received her Bachelor of Economics in Accountancy from Guangdong University of Technology, and a diploma in Financial Management from BCIT.


Monica Niles, CPHR Manager, Human Resources & Administration

Having worked in the Human Resources field for more than 15 years, Monica enjoys using her expertise to provide HR oversight to SCDC. Monica manages the implementation of Human Resource programs, oversees governance and risk management, manages SCDC board activities and ensures that policies and procedures  align with SCDC’s strategic direction. Monica received her Chartered Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008.


Jayme Krause Accountant

A key member of the accounting team, Jayme brings several years of accounting experience within the real estate industry to her role. Jayme supports the development team and corporate accounting through full cycle accounting activities. Jayme received her Bachelor of Technology in Accounting after completing the Accounting Diploma program through BCIT.


Thomas Rowe Junior Development Manager

Working on the development team, Thomas brings his prior experience with community based real estate projects to SCDC. Thomas has various project responsibilities including coordinating with consultants, the City, assisting with the management of project budgets, RFP/RFQs, as well as engagement of stakeholders. Thomas provides support to market research and financial analysis in SCDC’s decision making. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC’s Sauder School of Business.


Jessalyn Tahimic Administrative Assistant

Jessalyn comes to SCDC from a BC based accounting firm. Jessalyn provides general administration to the SCDC team and brings a variety of experience to the role from clerical, managerial support to customer service. Jessalyn holds a Diploma in Travel and Tourism, and is currently working towards her Certificate in Business Management at Simon Fraser University.