Meet The Team
Richard PlowensAfter completing College and enjoying his adolescent years in Parksville-Qualicum Beach, Richard ventured east to new horizons. With a passion for discovering all that is different, and a keen interest in learning languages, he embarked on a journey to Montreal. There, he completed his University degree in Business Administration. What turned out to be a relatively quick 3-year educational program turned into a 30 year residence!
Richard's passion for people and his outgoing nature directed him to the Hotel Industry where he applied his skills in Sales and Customer Service with both Four Seasons and Fairmont Hotels. With a desire to be challenged and to 'change things up', he ventured into the Bio-Pharmaceutical Vaccines Industry with Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, and Pfizer. He conducted positions of increasing responsibility in sales, business development and team leadership over the past 18 years.
During this time, he met and married his wife and had a family. This partnership has influenced his appreciation of art, great foods and all that is nature. They occupy a busy home with Ella, Spencer and London - three lively English Setters.
Richard loves to connect with people and brings forward the responsiveness, persistence and discipline needed to assist clients in one of life's most important transactions - that of selling or buying a new home. He has built a reputation as a connector who forges and maintains partnerships founded on integrity; combining a customer-centric approach with high ethical standards and a commitment to delivering the best experience to his clients.
Richard is thrilled to be back in Oceanside working as a partner with his sister, Susan, and their talented team and through his solid experience has made a positive impact on all our clients.
Jody MooreBorn in Nanaimo and raised in Qualicum Beach, Jody has deep roots in the Mid-Island area!
Coming from a family of real estate agents, Jody grew up understanding the importance of commitment and self-discipline. After graduation, she moved to Vancouver in the 90's to further her education. Working as a Family Counselor and Coach for many years provided an excellent opportunity to support her community while developing the strong communication skills, ethics, and integrity for which she is known. Though Jody's parents were both local REALTORS, she could never have predicted how much she would love the industry. "I have the best job in the world! I get to show and sell homes in the most beautiful community in Canada while building lifelong relationships with the most amazing people...my clients."
Asked about using her expertise to benefit her community through a career with Royal LePage, Jody has this to say: "My knowledge gives me an opportunity each day to make a big impact in someone's life. I'm honored to be trusted with this responsibility."
She likes to win for her clients, and does so with a calm demeanor and a smile.
Treena ArmitageTreena was born and raised in Saskatchewan and started moving west after training in Architectural Design. She and her hubby made the West Coast their home in 1992.
Eager to see more of the coast, they lived in Victoria, Central Island, as well as a two year stay in Haida Gwaii. Eventually the couple relocated back to Oceanside in 2000. Where they've been happily settled in Nanoose Bay with two gorgeous kids, a home, a yard full of animals, dear friends, and a community they adore.
With a passion for photography as well as training and experience in architectural design and graphic arts, Treena brings a unique skill set to Team Susan Forrest.
"I've worked with Team Susan Forrest for a number of years, and now I'm thrilled to be finally working with such a fantastic team as a Licensed Realtor! It was a natural transition to embark on this career in Real Estate. I love working with people and providing a service that is above and beyond their expectations. It has always been a part of who I am!" In her spare time, you'll find Treena riding her horse, hanging out with family and friends, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Peter ColesPeter hails originally from Ontario where he resided until his move to the West Coast and sunny Parksville in 2010. He quickly settled into the local community and made great strides in connecting with people from all corners of Oceanside. Peter's strengths lies in his ability to strike up a conversation and connect with people.
After his formative years in Ontario, Peter joined his family business in the Art Trade. His first roles were focused on administrative and general tasks which later evolved into business development and co-ownership of the Company. Peter understands the value of relations and their importance in conducting Real Estate transactions.
Peter spends much of his spare time invested in singing where he is a long-time member of the Tidesman Barbershop Chorus in Nanaimo. He also manages a Quartet, "Charisma Bypass" and has won various recognitions for his participation as a member. The most significant being Barbershopper of the Year in 2016. He enjoys performing and has had the opportunity to motivate crowds at special events such as the Nanaimo Clipper hockey games and various group meetings and conventions.
A father of three wonderful daughters and now a recent Grandfather, Peter is extremely motivated and grateful for the opportunity to be working with Team Susan Forrest. His skillset, networking abilities and pleasureful manner serves him well. Peter works from the Heart - you will thoroughly enjoy being represented by him in your next Real Estate transaction.
Leah YochimLeah was born and raised in the Oceanside area. After spending her younger years traveling and working abroad, she returned home to Parksville to settle and raise a family.
As her family grew in size, so did the projects to which she dedicated much of her time. Leah and her husband built and sold several homes in various neighborhoods in our community. Her interest transacting in Real Estate grew as she and her husband sold and moved from the homes they lived in. As her family became more self-sufficient, Leah completed her education to become a licensed Realtor and joined our Team.
Land speculation and researching homes has always come easy to Leah. She is at ease in finding homes that suit everyone's budget and has the ability to think strategically to find different and creative ways to live on Vancouver Island. Leah's experience in building and selling homes has contributed to her understanding of the local market, neighborhoods and the necessary amenities to help her find her clients their perfect location. She is a natural with whom one will enjoy working to find the right home for our discerning clients.
Leah has a great sense of community and supports many local organizations. She volunteers managing her son's hockey teams, sits on community boards, and in developing fundraisers. Leah appreciates connecting with the community, and through her work contributes and invests in 'giving back' to her community. Leah is a dedicated woman who successfully navigates managing her family, her home, and new housing projects along with her real estate clientele. She has a love of horses, hockey, hiking and great food.
Leah's is an outgoing member of the Team and her ambition is to provide friendly, efficient, professional and knowledgeable service to the clients with whom she works. Her focus is to excel in facilitating the home buying and selling process for our clients.
"I love working with this Team and I look forward to helping you find a place on Vancouver Island that suits all your family's needs!"
Sherry BernesSherry hails from Oceanside and loves her career as a seasoned Realtor. It started simply with a plan to build a home with her husband and life partner in 1995 and from there, it grew into a passion and enjoyable business venture.
She gained solid experience in new Construction and Land Development through the family business. She also managed a few "top to bottom" renovation projects which helped refine her skills and lead her to the Real Estate Industry. She started her role as a Realtor on Vancouver Island in 2013 and after 2 short years and a phenomenal debut, quickly rose to the top 5% sales producers with her brokerage Nationally.
Sherry joined Team Susan Forrest in 2015 and enjoyed continued success in connecting clients to their ideal homes. Change knocked on Sherry's door in 2019 when, along with her spouse Colby and cat Maggie, ventured to New Brunswick to build a new home and discover the Maritimes. After an action packed, yet short period on the East Coast, Sherry decided that Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the surrounding area was where she wanted to be!
Sherry picked up where she left off working in Real Estate and rejoined our Team in January 2023. Her premise in coming back to collaborate with Team Susan Forrest was all about connection and working in a stimulating environment where she continues to assist clients in linking the right home choice to their specific needs and dreams. Sherry's effervescent personality, diligence, and honest and sincere approach along with her intimate experience in Construction allows her to connect quickly with clients. Whether buying, selling, building, renovating or relocating, Sherry is ready and excited to guide you through the process of successful home ownership! We are all excited to have Sherry back on the Team!
Glenda GellnerGlenda is originally from the lower mainland where she had worked for many years in accounting for the natural resources industry. She moved to the Island and settled in French Creek with her husband and their two daughters. As empty-nesters they moved to Coombs for more space for her husband's hobbies. She is Susan and Richards aunt, and since she had followed Susan in her hospitality career, it was only natural for her to join in real estate as Susan's assistant from the beginning.
Glenda enjoys the administrative side of this business, as well as meeting all of the wonderful people we deal with on a daily basis. She says, "Since Susan talked me into getting my real estate license, I am happy to be able to help the other realtors on our team as needed and also work with prospective buyers."
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and her four grandchildren, gardening, biking, going for walks, Qigong and especially vacationing at their cabin on the lake. Her yellow lab (Sandi) is an often visitor at the office and her two cats Mo & Morris are always waiting at the door to greet her when she gets home.
Kerry VothOriginally born in Winnipeg, Kerry spent his first few years in the northern town of Thompson, Manitoba.
"The rugged northern region of Manitoba is where I first developed a love of nature and the outdoors. My father worked in remote bush camps as a mechanic, and he would often bring me along. In those days there were few paved roads that far north, and most supplies were brought in by float plane, so we were always close to beautiful lakes. Being surrounded by nature left a deep spiritual imprint on me, and to this day I still feel more at home in the country than in the city".
At the age of 5, Kerry's family moved to Calgary, Alberta where he grew up. After completing a course at SAIT, he started earning a living as a freelance Graphic Arts Designer before moving to the courier and transportation industry as a Customer Service Rep.
After the turn of the century, he began a life-journey that saw him move to Vancouver for several years, and then to the Greater Victoria Area after meeting his life partner in 2003. Once they had purchased a home and settled in, they started camping around the island. Eventually they ended up camping at Horne Lake and fell in love with the Oceanside area, prompting a move to Nanoose Bay. It was while looking for a new home that Kerry first met Susan Forrest.
"Susan was my realtor at first, but quickly became a great friend. In 2008 a position opened up on Team Susan Forrest and she asked me to join. I'm a naturally creative person, and over time I gravitated away from the clerical side towards the media side of real estate. Being the "Team Media Guru" is a perfect fit for me and I enjoy it very much".
When he's not working, Kerry enjoys life's simple pleasures: camping and hiking, reading good books, sunny afternoons of relaxation, and pursuing various artistic interests.
Bianca FilserBianca hails from the Allgäu region of Bavaria in Southern Germany. She spent her youth in this popular European year-round holiday destination which is well known for its dramatic landscape, unique regional cuisine and natural beauty. Many know it as home to the infamous "Neuschwanstein Castle" which was made popular through Disney programming and films.
In the mid-nineties, Bianca ventured to Long Island, New York to work as an AuPair and to perfect her English. After a year of scurrying after children and mastering the language of Shakespeare, she returned to school in Germany to complete an Office Assistant Management program.
Eager to speak English on a regular basis and to see new places, Bianca travelled through Western Canada for 5 months where she was intrigued by the difference and beauty of the landscape compared to her home country. Her interest in imagery and creativity lead her to a Photography program in Victoria. She temporarily anchored there, completing school for a couple of years before moving permanently to Nanoose Bay.
Bianca joined Susan in both life and as a Team member in 2004. She occupies the role of Lead Photographer and Imaging Guru for our property listings. She successfully manages several key administrative projects and through her salient attention to detail and meticulous photography plays a key role on the Team. Her optimism and positive attitude greatly contribute to our success. Bianca's favorite pastime is spending time with their Golden Retriever, Zinfandel.
April QuigleyBorn in Vancouver and raised in Winnipeg, April studied and worked in the healthcare field before eventually retiring and moving to Vancouver Island in 2009. Practically since the day she arrived in Oceanside, she has worked as a real estate administrator and is excited to continue to work in the industry.
"Being a part of Team Susan Forrest is a dream job for me! My team-mates are fantastic, I really enjoy helping our clients, and I love the fast-paced work environment... there's never a dull moment!"
Among the many talents that April brings to Team Susan Forrest is a consistent determination to get the job done right! Though she may seem quiet and reserved, don't be fooled...beneath the unflappable, focused exterior lies an amazing sense of humour, sincerity and warmth.
April loves to call Oceanside home. When she's not working she enjoys travelling, spending time with family and friends, and exploring our beautiful island!
Claire GundersonClaire is originally an East Coast girl from Toronto. When she was a young girl, her family moved west to White Rock, BC for seaside living and have never looked back.
Claire spent much of her career in the dental and orthodontic professions, but when she and her husband Kris became empty-nesters after raising their 3 children in Delta, they decided to relocate to Vancouver Island and fell in love with the Nanoose Bay area.
She started a new career path working at the Fairwinds Wellness Club doing administration, accounting, marketing, and communications. Learning about real estate developments happening in the area renewed a lifelong interest, which she adopted from her parents who were always involved in buying or investing in the market. When an opportunity came up to work with Team Susan Forrest, she eagerly jumped on board and is excited to contribute. She takes great pride in engaging customers with sincerity and a smile and making them feel taken care of.
In the fall of 2020, Claire and her husband became grandparents for the first time to a beautiful little girl. They currently have 5 chickens and also have adopted a very mushy and loving golden retriever "Rusty" who is living his best life ever on the island!
In her down time you will find Claire curling, biking, exploring all the local trails, and her favorite pastimes...fishing and being on the water with her paddle board or kayak.
Ashley BowlesAshley grew up in the small tourist town of Gananoque, Ontario on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Real estate was somewhat of a hobby for her family as they were always on the lookout for their next dream home, and many weekends were spent going to open houses. Her love of homes grew as she did, and soon she was off to College in Ottawa where she graduated from the Architecture program at Algonquin College. Soon after graduation, Ashley knew a career in Real Estate was the perfect fit-combining her love of homes and her ease with people. In 2005 Ashley began her Real Estate career with "The McCann Team" at Royal LePage Ottawa.
Searching for a better family life, better weather, and also just for the sake of adventure, she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island in 2013 with their young daughter and big energetic rescue dog. Since arriving in Oceanside the family has grown by 2 more daughters, just adding to the fun!
Ashley's knowledge of house construction provides her with the insight to see beyond the mere cosmetics of a building, to see the structural details beneath. She has a great ability to connect with people from all walks of life with understanding and enthusiasm. She always treated her clients as friends and has established many close long-term relationships along the way.
A dedicated dog-lover, she has served on the board of directors for a dog rescue group. In her spare time, Ashley and her family can be found enjoying Vancouver Islands great outdoors via land or sea. Ashley has recently retired from Real Estate to spend more time with her husband and 3 growing children. She still works with our Team as a Consultant.