GaLTT's current Board of Directors was elected at the society's AGM on Tuesday February 3, 2016 in Phoenix Auditorium at the Haven. (Our Constitution allows from 5 to 15 Directors). To read their brief biographies scroll down this page.
Officers were approved at the board's first meeting on February 9, 2016. President: Norm Harburn Vice-president: Anne Landry Past President: John Peirce Treasurer*: Heather Kay
Secretary: Jenni Gehlbach Directors at large:
*Our advising accountant who assists the Treasurer is Maureen O’Rourke.
**Chris Hills represents the Streamkeepers on GaLTT's board.
***Kerry Marcus also served as a GaLTT board member in earlier years and was our first President.
GaLTT board meetings and minutes
Regular board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 7pm. They are usually held at the Gabriola Arts Councils' WI Hall next door to the Post Office on South Road. Members are invited to attend and join our discussions, though they cannot vote on Motions. (Members may vote at the AGM.)
Click on the year to read the minutes of our board meetings for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. (Minutes for 2004 to 2009 are archived in print format only.)
GaLTT's board policies and practices
GaLTT's board executes its business following agreed policies and practices. These include our core values, board member orientation and guidance, conflict of interest, fund raising and acquisitions, financial and asset management, membership, communications, landownership, and advertising.
GaLTT's strategic planning
Periodically GaLTT's Board joins with the Society's members to focus on broader planning for the GaLTT's future. This was most recently done during 2014 and the developed plan was presented to our members at the AGM on February 3, 2015. You can download a copy (pdf) of GaLTT's Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2020 here.
GaLTT board committees
Several committees do GaLTT's routine work between board meetings and all board members belong to at least one such committee according to their personal skills and interests. In general, the chairperson of each committee is empowered to act and communicate on behalf of the Society based on pre-approved projects and within the existing policy framework of GaLTT.
This committee is composed of the Table Officers and Past Presidents of GaLTT, and has responsibilities related to strategic planning, planning for succession, and the day-to-day operation of the Society. It is also responsible for liaison with all levels of Government including local Islands Trust committee, Regional District of Nanaimo, Provincial Government departments and agencies, Federal Government departments and agencies, and Snunéymuxw First Nation.
Its Chairperson is GaLTT's President, Norm Harburn.
Members: Vice President, Anne Landry; Past President, John Peirce; Treasurer, Heather Kay; Secretary, Jenni Gehlbach.
Kerry Marcus is consulted as a "sage" with longterm history in the Society.
This committee manages the routine financial affairs of GaLTT, including record-keeping and financial duties pertaining to our members and donors, timely payment of invoices for approved expenditures, GaLTT memberships in other organizations, rental arrangements, insurance matters, traditional and digital banking procedures, investment matters including Foundations, reviews of accounting categories and project/committee accounting, and annual accounting and reporting at the AGM and to BC Societies Registration and Revenue Canada.
It is chaired by GaLTT's Treasurer Heather Kay, and includes the other three signatories of the Society, Tom Cameron, David Boehm, and Jenni Gehlbach. It consults with book-keeping acountant Maureen O'Rourke.
Trail Operations Committee
This committee is literally where the heavy lifting occurs. Based on monitoring and requests, the committee plans and executes regular work bees to build and maintain trails on public land, through road right-of-ways, and on other legal, approved routes, including trails legally licensed for public use across private land. It also works to eradicate or contain invasive plants on parks and trails. It helps to plan new trail projects, and supports the RDN and Provincial parks departments with park management plan implementation.
Its Chairperson is Rob Brockley, who manages twice-monthly work parties of volunteers to build and maintain Gabriola's trails, construct boardwalks, and remove invasive plants. David Boehm also helps to organize the control of invasive plants on public land. There are currently two sub-committees: for Elder Cedar Reserve management (co-chaired by Kerry Marcus and David Boehm); and for Cox Park Projects (chaired by Tom Cameron, assisted by Rob Brockley).
Acquisitions, Covenants, and Trail Licences Committee
This committee reviews all matters relating to the acquisition of land for public use and/or for environmental protection. "Acquisition" is interpreted in the broadest sense to include obtaining titles, leases, licences and other instruments such as covenants. A major goal of GaLTT is to have a connected trail system throughout the island, and this committee analyzes and prioritizes the individual project segments, recording progress in Project Summary Reports.
Its Chairperson and covenant co-ordinator is Anne Landry. Members: Madeleine Ani, Ron Bilquist, Rob Brockley, Tom Cameron, Norm Harburn.
Community Engagement Committee
This committee interacts directly with Gabriola's community, providing information and activities relevant to our mandate and strategic plans. The committee does this by:
maintaining a public presence with our tables at the Gabriola Farmers' Market and other community events, to offer information about our activities and goals, take memberships and other donations, to distribute brochures and newsletters, and raise funds through sales of books, GaLTT vests and bags, and trail maps.
organizing guided walks, including orienteering
presenting adult and youth workshops on topics such as mushroom foraging, invasive-plant management, and the nature of Gabriola's ecology.
organizing youth activities such as geocaching, stream monitoring, and a big tree registry.
This committee works with related organizations (such as the Commons and the Hope Centre) in pursuit of common goals.
The Chairperson of the Community Engagement Committee is Kerry Marcus, who manages tables at the summer Farmers' Market and other events, and liaison with other committees about publicity. Committee members are: non-board member Lisa Carter (helping to manage and store display materials), Christopher Hill (streamkeepers), Rebecca Furnell (youth programs), Ron Bilquist and David Boehm (Big Tree Registry), and non-board member Bob Weenk (guided walks and geocaching).
This committee manages print and electronic communication with GaLTT's membership and volunteers, and with the general public. It does this through managing our membership lists, publication and distribution of printed materials (such as trail maps, brochures, self-guided walk pamphlets, and GaLTT's newsletter); through direct mail or email announcements and requests to members; and by public communication through the local newspapers, the island's internet distribution lists, and GaLTT's website and Facebook page.
Communication Committee is chaired by Jenni Gehlbach. Jenni manages print materials, advertising, emails to members and volunteers, and electronic media, including website design and maintenance. The committee's other members are Heather Kay (membership records), Tom Cameron (print materials, including maps), and Rebecca Furnell (assisting with electronic media). GaLTT member Cameron Murray (Topographics) created and updates our beautiful trail maps, and member Judy Preston helps with graphic design and layout of the map brochure.
The Communications Committee works closely with the Community Engagement Committee and with Trail Operations Committee to publicize events and activities; disseminate information through maps, brochures and direct communication; stay in touch with our volunteers, members, and donors; and to help raise funds through membership and donation drives and through raffles and product sales.
Ad hoc Fundraising Committee
This committee is convened when fundraising for specific projects and acquisitions. It consists of the chairpersons of all other committees and is chaired by the President.
Gabriola Streamkeepers engage the community in monitoring and protecting our fresh water bodies. They operate as a semi-independent committee under GaLTT's umbrella, sharing GaLTT resources such as hall rental and insurance for volunteers. The group is chaired by Deb Ferens and is represented on GaLTT's board by Chris Hills.
FIDO—(fenced-in, dogs off-leash)
FIDO is working to achieve a fenced-in off-leash dog park on Gabriola. This independently established group is included as a temporary ad hoc committee under GaLTT's umbrella for the purposes of accounting, administration, and insurance. It is represented on GaLTT's Board by Heather Kay. FIDO is negotiating with the RDN to establish an approved location for the park (most likely within Rollo McClay Park) and services such as fencing, shelter, water stations, and waste disposal.
Board member biographies:
Madeleine practises law at Gabriola's Madrona Law Office. She uses trails to walk to work & contributes her technical abilities to furthering GaLTT’s mandate. She acts in locally-produced theatre, gardens, and enjoys outdoor adventures.
Ron grew up in a rural area of the central Okanagan during the late 1940s to the mid 1960s, when he moved to the coast. He has been a prospector since 1969 and is still active in that field. Ron has been intimately connected with nature his entire life and feels quite at home in a tent, whether it be in the wilds of the Yukon, British Columbia, Mexico or high in the Andes of Argentina. He understands the fine balance between humankind and nature and believes that an active involvement in protecting and preserving nature where possible is invaluable. Ron and his wife Kelly moved to Gabriola in 1979 and have immensely enjoyed the diversity of this little island—the people and beaches as well as the forests and forest trails. The island has given and it is time to give back.
David moved to Gabriola in 1976. He worked as a silvicultural contractor and tree planter from 1972 until 1988, and since then has been a chimney sweep, inspector, and installer on Gabriola. He served on the APC for six years during discussions of the controversial Weldwood deal. He’s a tree hugger with Friends of Cathedral Grove and has been on the Board of the BC Environmental Network (BCEN) for six years, and is their Treasurer. He also serves on the Toxics Caucus of the National Council of the Canadian Environmental Network.
Rob moved to Gabriola from Vernon in 2010 after a 30-year career as a research scientist with the BC Ministry of Forests. He continues to work part-time as a silviculture research consultant. Rob grew up on the west coast, so is thrilled to return to his natural environment. After having happily worked and played in forests his entire life, he passionately believes in the restorative powers of “forest bathing” for human health and wellbeing. He and his wife, Susan, have enjoyed exploring the vast network of trails on Gabriola. Rob’s participation with GaLTT’s trail work parties has introduced him to many previously undiscovered gems. In 2012, Rob and his wife were delighted to sign a trail licence with GaLTT for a public access trail through their property to Cox Community Park. Rob’s other interests include kayaking, sailing, and hiking.
Tom Cameron has lived on Gabriola for a decade, and has served terms as Treasurer and President with GaLTT. As a plant ecologist with a background in municipal, provincial and national parks, he is passionate about parks, public access and conservation issues on the island. Prior to retirement, he managed a Crown land trust with the Alberta Government. He spent many years working with Alberta TrailNet Society towards a multi-use provincial trail system and was an early supporter of the TransCanada Trail. He is now working with the diverse Gabriola cycling community in support of safer, easier and better cycling on our island roads and trails.
Rebecca was raised on Gabriola and has fond childhood memories of forest walks and tide pool explorations. She left the island to attend university in Nanaimo and Ontario, and moved back in 2009 after three years of “when we move back to the West coast” conversations with her other half, Alex. Since then Rebecca has lived in a “yome”; built a unique house using many local materials; grown food at the Commons, at home, and at other people’s houses; enjoyed swimming in the ocean; worked at a variety of jobs on the island; and been a trustee for the Gabriola Commons Foundation. She has deeply enjoyed many forest adventures using the great trails on Gabriola. As a GaLTT board member Rebecca hopes to help preserve what we have for future generations and engage with the community in building fascination and respect for our local natural world
Jenni has enjoyed BC’s parks and wilderness areas on foot and by kayak since the late 1970s. She is married to Nick Doe and they have lived on Gabriola since 1998. On arrival she joined the walking group and soon became interested in helping to establish a public trail system the length of the island. In her previous lives elsewhere in BC and in England, Montreal, Toronto, and the USA, she has been a highschool and college teacher, a research assistant, a computer programmer, and a technical writer and editor. She also owned and operated a kitchen store and cooking school in White Rock, BC where she brought up her two children and served on the boards of a professional theatre company and a large community services group.
Norm has been a seasonal user of Gabriola Island for 26 years, a landowner here for 7 years, and a full-time resident for the last 3 years. He is retired now after close to 40 years work experience in environmental related jobs with industry (mainly in the arctic) and as CEO of the Parks Foundation Calgary. His masters degree was in Natural Resources Management and he did research for Parks Canada, Interpretive Use Management Plan, Peace Athabasca Delta, WBNP. He served for 12 years on the Provincial Board of Lougheed House, 7 years on Rotary Challenger Park Board (special needs Olympic facility), and has extensive experience in fund development. He likes to travel, hike, golf, and garden with his wife Beth and their two sons.
Passionate about all things earthy and sustainable, Chris loves time outdoors, be it working on developing the family's permaculture garden or hunting for eggs from their chickens. He has lived on Gabriola for 9 years, happily beachcombing, mushroom hunting, or foraging/wild crafting. While on paternity leave with his daughter, he had time to explore most of the island's wonderful trail network. He joined Streamkeepers with the hope of contributing something positive to the community and being able to share his love for the outdoors with his family. He is a firm believer in the healing power of nature and the need for humanity to be deeply rooted in, and willing to protect our increasingly at-risk natural habitat. Chris has worked in the natural health field for the past 18 years and now manages Gabriola's Nature Spirit Earth Market.
Heather moved to Gabriola in 2009 after retiring from a management position in the Claims Department of a major insurer. A lifelong lover of the outdoors, she packed up her car and drove across the country camping all the way in the wonderful Parks of Canada and various US States. She has been a teacher, a stay-at-home mom, a volunteer in various organizations, and an insurance adjuster. Currently she enjoys life on Gabriola walking trails with her dog, Skeena, and just generally living the good life that retirement allows. She can often be counted on to come up with creative solutions to problems and enjoys working with people.
With a life-long love of nature, working as an interpreter in national parks from the Maritimes to Saskatchewan to the Rockies gave Anne an appreciation for the rejuvenating power of wild places and the importance of their protection. Most recently she was a management planner in the Yukon, working collaboratively with First Nations, local communities and visitors to shape the future management of national parks and national historic sites in the Yukon. Now retired, she and her partner moved to Gabriola in 2011. Anne enjoys walking and biking Gabriola’s many trails while out with her dog, as well as kayaking, hiking and skiing farther afield. She is impressed with the generosity of Gabriolans who sign trail licences with GaLTT, and sees conservation covenants as a valuable long-term conservation strategy for landowners.
A founding member (2004) and past president of GaLTT, Kerry has lived on Gabriola since 1981, has raised a family here, and long enjoyed our parks, crown land access, and trails, walking with dogs, kids, friends and more recently on horseback. She was a member of the first RDN Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, where she found others with interests in our disappearing trail access and GaLTT evolved from their association. After commuting to town to work with Fisheries and Oceans for many years she is now enjoying more trail time in retirement. She is a member of the Gabriola Horse Group, and the BC Backcountry Horseman’s Association.
John is a retired geophysicist who grew up in eastern Massachusetts, where his father started two land trust organizations that together have protected some 40,000 acres over the last fifty years. John and his wife Nancy moved to Calgary from Halifax in 1978 on a five-year plan to get to the west coast. They finally realized their dream 30 years later as they moved into their new, 22-sided, geothermally heated house on Gabriola in 2009. John was heavily involved in the mid-80s in the creation of Nose Hill Park in Calgary, was on the Board of the Gabriola Land Conservancy for many years, and joined the GaLTT Board in 2008, serving as President 2011-2015. John is also a small time farmer, Treasurer for the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of the American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts, and President of Nanaimo CarShare Cooperative.