Directors and Officers

GaLTT’s constitution allows from 5 to 15 Directors to serve for two-year terms. Our current Board of Directors was elected at the Society’s AGM on February 2, 2021 by Zoom webinar. The Society’s officers were elected at the new board’s first meeting on February 9, 2021. To read brief biographies scroll down this page.

2021 DIRECTORS 2021 OFFICERS
Rebecca Furnell

Libby Gunn

Lars Hulstein

Pat Jacobsen

Sarah Kopjar

Kerry Marcus

Barry Moerkerken

Allan Posthuma

Hugh Skinner

Tom Wojcik

President: Rob Brockley

Vice-president: Nola Johnston

Past President: Anne Landry

Treasurer: Frank Shoemaker

Secretary: Jenni Gehlbach

Board meetings + 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’ 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.

In 2020, due to public health restrictions, meetings moved online. If you wish to attend a Zoom meeting, please contact info@galtt.ca at least one day in advance of the scheduled meeting.

P3: policies, practices, planning

GaLTT’s board executes its business following agreed policies and practices, which are revised regularly to ensure compliance with societal best practices and legal requirements.

Periodically GaLTT’s Board joins with the Society’s members to focus on broader planning for the GaLTT’s future. You can download GaLTT’s current Strategic Plan (pdf) for 2020 to 2025.

Director biographies

Photo of Rob Brockley

Rob Brockley

Rob moved to Gabriola from Vernon in 2010 after a 30-year career as a research scientist with the BC Ministry of Forests. He continued working part-time as a consultant for several years, but recently decided it didn’t leave him enough time for his other interests. Rob grew up on the west coast, so is thrilled to return home 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 also believes that public support of environmental stewardship is enhanced when people are provided opportunities to explore and learn about the natural world. In 2012, Rob and his wife Susan were delighted to sign a trail licence agreement with GaLTT for a public access trail through their 5-acre forested property into Cox Community Park. Besides exploring Gabriola’s many trails, his other interests include sailing and kayaking with Susan and their border terrier Lukey.

Photo of Rebecca Furnell

Rebecca Furnell

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.

Photo of Jenni Gehlbach

Jenni Gehlbach

Jenni has enjoyed BC’s beaches, parks and wilderness on foot and by kayak since the late 1970s. In her various lives here and in England, Montreal, Toronto, and the USA, she has been a science and math high-school teacher, university tutor, lab demonstrator and research associate, computer programmer, technical writer, and local historian. She owned a kitchen store and cooking school for many years in White Rock, BC, where she raised her children and served on the boards of a professional theatre company and a community services group. She currently also serves on the Board of Gabriola Housing Society. She and her husband Nick Doe have lived on Gabriola since 1998.

Photo of Libby Gunn

Libby Gunn

Libby grew up on the west coast and has lived on Gabriola 3 years. She was drawn to Gabriola’s community spirit, extensive trail network and great shore access and believes that easy access to natural places is critical to human and community health. She loves to explore and has paddled extensively in Canada’s north and more recently done sea kayak and hiking trips on the west coast. She has a technical diploma in Wildland Recreation and a Master’s degree in Environment and Management. For more than 25 years she worked in national parks and historic sites, first developing and delivering education and interpretive programs, later doing conservation and public safety work. She was the first site manager for a large cultural landscape on Great Bear Lake that is cooperatively managed with the local First Nation. She also worked on cooperative management of national parks in Australia. She loves to write and has written feature articles and a natural history book.

Photo of Lars Hulstein

Lars Hulstein

Lars moved to Gabriola in 2016 to start a new chapter in his forest management career. Born in Halifax and raised in Nova Scotia, he considers Gabriola to be a wonderful blend of temperate forest and sea. Lars and his spouse Mary were delighted to discover their new Gabriola home came equipped with a public pathway. In addition to managing the blackberries and seasonal decorations along their own trail, Lars values his time contributing to the island trail network with the GaLTT trail crew. He considers forest stewardship, public education, and public access to be strongly interconnected. Nothing recharges our inner batteries like a walk in the woods. In their free time, Lars, Mary and their dog Lily can be found walking Gabriola’s shorelines and trails, gardening, contemplating backpacking adventures, and trips to visit family across the country.

Photo of Pat Jacobsen

Pat Jacobsen

Pat grew up in Ontario on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment where her love of the outdoors and forests started a life-long wanderlust for nature. Despite an active 40-year career in transportation and insurance she managed to walk many long-distance trails all over the world as well as hike much of BC when she moved here in 2001. Having visited many times to Gabriola, she bought her home here in 2016 for her retirement in 2020. A long believer in the mental and physical health benefits of walking, she has been active with two non-profit groups to foster adventure-based learning for youth at risk, including Take a Hike which has just opened a program in Nanaimo. Through her roles at Translink in Vancouver and the provincial MInistry of Transportation in Toronto, Pat was able to dedicate significant rights of ways for walkers and cyclists in many communities and to set aside lands for conservation purposes. She has often said the hidden jewel of Gabriola is its trail system and environmental stewardship. When COVID hit, she decided to do her own “Camino de Gabriola” — she has walked the 800 km of the Spanish Camino on the island trails and is now working on the 280 km of the Portuguese Camino.

Photo of Nola Johnston

Nola Johnston

Nola would almost always prefer be outdoors in nature than anywhere else, and is passionate about protecting natural places. She has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator specializing in developing educational materials, with a strong focus on interpretive design projects for provincial, territorial and national government agencies. She taught graphic design courses at Emily Carr University and BCIT for many years as a contract instructor. She has explored a good deal of BC while hiking, camping, canoeing and skiing, was a provincially certified canoeing instructor, and has served on the board of the Recreational Canoeing Association of BC (as Newsletter Editor and a member of the Environmental Committee). She and her partner moved to Gabriola in 2008. She loves spending time enjoying local trails, whether alone or with friends. (After getting hopelessly lost in the 707 on her first hike there, she set herself to learn every trail, official or otherwise, and might have succeeded if people didn’t keep making new ones.)

Photo of Anne Landry

Anne Landry

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.

Photo of Sarah Kojar

Sarah Kopjar

Sarah and her husband Randy bought their property on Gabriola in 2006. The trails on Gabriola are one of the many wonderful things that attracted her to the island and supporting GaLTT was an early contribution. Since moving to Gabriola full time in 2015, she has explored many trails and volunteered with GaLTT. Sarah has diverse work experience ranging from painting murals to managing the front store of a small pharmacy and volunteering on several education related committees. A love of cooking, gardening and walking makes Gabriola the perfect place to be.

Photo of Kerry Marcus, with her horse

Kerry Marcus

A founding member (2004) and past president of GaLTT, Kerry has lived on Gabriola since 1981, raised a family here, and has long enjoyed our parks, crown land access, and trails. Retired from a career with Fisheries and Oceans, she is now enjoying both more community time and more time on the trail, walking and on horseback. She is also member of the Gabriola Horse Group, and the BC Backcountry Horseman’s Association.

Photo of Barry Moerkerken

Barry Moerkerken

Barry grew up in North Vancouver and moved to Gabriola in 2004 from Maple Ridge. He enjoyed the many trails and the easy access to the outdoors that both those communities offered but living on Gabriola combines that with a much more relaxed life-style. He has worked in construction management for nearly 40 years all across this country and internationally, and enjoyed the feeling of coming home to Gabriola and walking the dogs on the many trails built and maintained by GaLTT and enjoying all that this island has to offer. Now retired, he wants to give back and help contribute to the great work that GaLTT does. He enjoys traveling and exploring the many fascinating parts of the world.

Photo of Allan Posthuma

Allan Posthuma

One of Gabriola Island’s newest citizens, Allan is a recently retired psychologist. Boy Scout camps on the coast, summer holidays on Galiano from childhood into his teens, as well as building a rustic cabin on a small island in Barkley Sound for his family as an adult, helped Allan to develop an awareness and appreciation of island life in all its beauty and fragility. As well, while pursuing his studies and career, recreational time spent kayaking, scuba diving and long-distance running helped to increase not only his enjoyment of, but also his concern for the environment. His life long interest in the outdoor life and the varied activities it could provide combined with the strong sense of community he has come to enjoy since moving here, make GaLTT’s goals and work a good fit for his desire to give back to the place that he now calls home.

Photo of Frank Shoemaker

Frank Shoemaker

A twenty-year resident of Gabriola, Frank has enjoyed many of the trails and walks on the island. After growing up in Vancouver and working for a major accounting firm there he has welcomed the change of pace Gabriola offers. He is a CPA CA and for the first five years here had an accounting practice. Following that in retirement he formed The Lunch Bunch that has purchased and maintained the ferry camera set up. He volunteered with PHC for several years including providing technical support to their bookkeeper. He is an active basket maker, woodworker and supporter of the arts.

Photo of Hugh Skinner

Hugh Skinner

Hugh and his wife Lou (a past GaLTT board member) first bought a recreational property on Gabriola in 2008 in the hope that their kids might want to visit them in such a beautiful setting. They moved to Gabriola full time in 2016. Walking, hiking, backpacking, bicycling, kayaking and gardening are favourite activities and they have been GaLTT members since 2016. Hugh is a GaLTT Trails Committee member and regularly participates in the construction and maintenance of Gabriola trails. Hugh also assists the Invasives Committee in the removal of invasives species individually, as well as in work parties. Hugh chaired GaLTT’s Public Shore Access Subcommittee in 2020, charged with the task of updating an RDN Public Open Space Advisory Committee 2004 database. The Subcommittee identified over 100 public shore developed or undeveloped accesses and developed an evaluation instrument used to assess each access. Hugh personally evaluated several of the individual public shore accesses. Hugh feels that Gabriola is a beautiful island that has a unique environment of parks, open spaces, and public shore accesses. He greatly values the access that we have to these spaces and seeks to preserve and/or enhance the value of this environment wherever possible.

Photo of Tom Wojcik

Tom Wojcik

Tom planted roots on Gabriola in 2002, when he and his wife Helen had their house built. They have lived here full-time since retiring from Vancouver in early 2017. Tom spent 28 years of his working life as a banker, then finished off his work career with 5 years at Mountain Equipment Co-op. He is an enthusiastic cyclist (road, gravel and mountain bike) and knows all the roads and most of the trails on Gabriola. Tom is keenly interested in making the trails on Gabriola as accessible to cyclists as possible. His other interests include working out at the gym, cross-country skiing, travelling, and reading.