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IOFF Team-members volunteer their time.


Karen Hunter, Founder & Canadian Liaison

Karen is the daughter of the late Gilbert Hunter, who served as a Lieutenant with the 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft battalion in the Netherlands. Gilbert’s war memoir provided the inspiration for In Our Fathers’ Footsteps.

Karen is a writer, adventurer, and social entrepreneur known for her energy, passion, project management, and communication skills. Her interest in social advocacy and purposeful living has taken her to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the path of the Camino, a monastery in the Himalayas and, now, to the historic route taken by her father—and his Canadian comrades—as they liberated
the Netherlands. Karen is also the Founder of the registered charity,
The Canadian Remembrance Torch.

Karen and her husband live in Guelph, Ontario.


Peter van der Meij, Program Development, Logistics & Operations

Ans van der Meij, Program Support

Peter and Ans hosted Gilbert Hunter and his wife, Carol, when they attended the 40th and 50th liberation anniversaries in the Netherlands in 1985 and 1995. Over a period of 30 years, Ans became their “4th daughter.”

Peter served as an Officer with the Dutch military and has significant background in the logistics and travel industries, including involvement with Veterans’ trips to the Netherlands. In addition to his significant business credentials, he has been involved in social, educational and economic activities at local, regional and governmental levels. Peter researched and created the programs for IOFF 2022 and 2025.

Ans studied tourism at the University of Applied Sciences in Breda, where she met Peter. Ans provides program support, coordinating much of IOFF’s “behind-the-scenes” needs.

​Peter and Ans live in Uden, The Netherlands. 


Cyril Driessen, Operations Lead 

Jacqueline Driessen, Event Photographer

Cyril met Peter van der Meij during their logistics careers. Over the years, they’ve become close friends and golf buddies. Cyril played a key role in IOFF 2022’s logistics and operations. He again brings his strong business credentials and enthusiasm to IOFF 2025.

What began as a hobby for Jacqueline has become her passion. As IOFF 2022’s official photographer, she returns for IOFF 2025 to share her beautiful photos that tell the story of our journey and capture participants’ heartfelt emotions.

Cyril and Jacqueline live in Velp, The Netherlands.


Frank Thijssen, Operations Support

Frank and Peter met at the Dutch Royal Military Academy and became lifelong friends. Frank’s impressive business career spanned Dutch ambassadorship roles in close to fifteen countries on four continents. Frank, an IOFF 2022 guide, has a special bond with Canada where he and his wife, Stella, make regular visits to visit their children and grandchildren.

Frank and Stella live in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.

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