Board Bios

Stuart Thomas


Stuart, our President, is a founding partner of TPM and Terra Housing and has worked in social housing and community development for over 35 years. Stuart has been a leader in Canada’s co-operative housing movement since 1979. Among his firsts, Stuart was the first British Columbia regional director on the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada board and its first elected treasurer. He was a founding trustee of the Federal Co-operative Housing Stabilization Fund, where he served as both president and chair of the portfolio management committee and was appointed to the first board of the Agency for Co-operative Housing.

Stuart has extensive post-graduate training in research design and data analysis, and has held several contract positions as a program evaluation research director. He completed his Mortgage Brokers course and in 1999, Stuart also completed the International Housing Finance Program at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. Stuart is a member of the Canadian Association of Business Economists and the International Union for Housing Finance.

Internationally, Stuart has worked with Rooftops Canada Foundation and the Canadian Co-operative Association on consulting assignments in Zimbabwe and the Philippines, and has served as a consultant to community organizations and government departments in South Africa, Australia and India.

In 2013, Stuart was named an Honorary Lifetime Associate by CHF Canada.

Jim O’Dea


A founding partner of Terra Housing, Jim has been involved in the housing and community sector for more than four decades. His employment portfolio has included several prominent positions. Jim was the first full-time Chairman of the BC Housing Management Commission (BCHMC) and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Community Development, which oversaw the Vancouver Agreement. He was the President of the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation, Director of the Homeowner Protection Office and Manager of Housing Programs and Operating Agreements in Vancouver at Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Jim was the keynote speaker at the National Housing Conferences in Australia in 2001 and 2008 and was a guest speaker at Realizing Our Potential: A Symposium on Human Rights for People with Mental Illness in 2007.

Jim’s numerous board positions have included: Board Director of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. (since 2012), Board Director of MPA (Motivation, Power, & Achievement Society), Board Director of the Portland Hotel Society, President of the Option Youth Society and Commissioner of the Board of the Vancouver Civic Theatres.

In 2012, Jim was the recipient of the CMHC Award for outstanding contribution to affordable housing.

Riitta Gunning

Vice President

Riitta, our Vice President, is a founding partner of TPM who also acted as a licensed property manager for the company. Riitta played an important role while working with her partners to establish and grow the success of TPM.

Riitta joined Terra Housing in 1991 and in 2014 became the Director of Capital Finance. Riitta works to maximize financial assets of the company by working with the partners to establish financial policies, procedures, controls and reporting systems. She is responsible for providing solid financial information about company activities to assist the partners in making educated economic decisions about Terra’s future. In addition, she works to ensure compliance for all accounting and financial reporting functions.

Riitta completed the Real Estate Salesperson and Sub-Mortgage Broker’s course, and the Property Management Pre Licensing Course at UBC. Previously, Riitta worked in criminal justice and social services.

Simon Davie

PMP, Director

One of our newest Directors, Simon, brings in a wealth of experience and knowledge in the real estate sector. As the Chief Operating Officer of Terra Housing, he works with his two partners to shape the future direction of the company, to pursue opportunities and partnerships for the firm, and to guide the day to day workings of a staff of experienced professionals.

Simon has been a certified Project Management Professional since 2003, with specialized expertise in deal origination of social purpose real estate. Simon has succeeded in completing more than 5200 units and has project managed many complex multi-funder projects, including the redevelopment of the Mole Hill site in Vancouver, an award winning affordable housing project which includes 26 heritage homes.

Simon is also Director of Development of Terra Lumina Life Lease Inc., which works with non-profit societies to develop life lease projects for seniors, including projects in Mission and Vernon.

Prior to joining Terra, Simon worked in construction management, property management and marketing. Simon has experience with major developers as a construction safety officer, including the City Lights Equity Housing Cooperative, where he was also assistant superintendent and a founding member.

Simon graduated from Queens University with a BA in Urban Geography, holds a Certificate in Real Estate Appraisal from Langara College in Vancouver and has completed Professional development courses at UBC and MIT.