You can communicate with the Board by sending an email to

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 March 4, 2023. The Society’s officers were elected at the new board’s first meeting on March 8, 2022. To read brief biographies scroll down this page.



Rob Brockley

Rebecca Furnell

Nola Johnston

Barry Moerkerken

Steve Struthers

Alison Thomas

Tom Wojcik

President: Hugh Skinner

Vice President: vacant

Treasurer: Peter Danenhower

Secretary: Sarah Kopjar

Board meetings

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 via Zoom. More recently meetings have been face to face, but this is subject to change if public health conditions change. If you wish to attend a meeting, please contact at least one day in advance of the scheduled meeting to confirm location.

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.

A grinning man sits at the top of a slide.

Peter Danenhower

Peter and his wife Laurie first bought property on Gabriola in 1994. After spending six years building their house, while living in Vancouver, they finally moved to Gabriola in 2013. Peter retired from teaching mathematics at a Vancouver college, and has not looked back. He loves the idea of hiking, but seldom does it. He rides his e-bike on trails a little more often. In spite of Peter’s paltry, actual contact with nature, he has a deep understanding of the need for conservation and protection of the environment, hence his willingness to serve on the GaLTT board. Peter has already served two terms in various capacities, including a short stint as Trail Committee chair. He hates gardening, but does it anyway (to contribute to local food production), and loves to write. He is currently serving on GaLTT’s conservation and accessibility committees., attends trail and invasives work parties when available, helps with Gabriola Players productions, and serves on Sustainable Gabriola’s transportation committee. Peter’s academic training is in mathematics and physics, which he realizes will not help at all on the GaLTT board, but he nonetheless feels qualified to serve based on sheer determination to improve accessibility and environmental protection on Gabriola.

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; been a trustee for the Gabriola Commons Foundation and board member of GaLTT, and most recently opened a café & catering business with Alex and her childhood best friend and her partner. Rebecca is an avid walker of the many trails of Gabriola (and beyond, when time permits). 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.

A smiling woman sitting on a beach log.

Nola Johnston

Nola would almost always prefer be outdoors in nature than anywhere else, and is passionate about protecting natural places. She worked as a graphic designer and illustrator with a strong focus on interpretive/educational 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 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 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 Hugh Skinner

Hugh Skinner

Hugh Skinner and his wife Lou, bought property on Gabriola Island in 2008 and moved here full-time in 2016 upon retirement. He feels that our island has a unique ecology and geology that benefits from a compatible trail system, enabling a rich variety of exploration opportunities. Upon moving to Gabriola, Hugh quickly came to realize that the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) most closely matched his values and retirement goals. He initially became involved with Trails work, including vegetation trimming and trail building. This evolved into beginning to realize the necessity of invasives species control and joining GaLTT’s invasives removal efforts. These volunteer efforts matured into being elected by the GaLTT membership to become a Board director in 2021. Over the past few years he has been an active member on several of GaLTT’s committees and subcommittees including: Accessibility, Conservation, Executive, Finance, Invasives, and Trails. Hugh is currently GaLTT’s President. He feels that frequent education and communication with the whole Gabriola community will enable us all to retain an enhanced natural environment for the future.

A smiling man in a hawaiian shirt.

Steve Struthers

“…a more or less authentic version of my biography….”

M.Sc. (Biology) from Carleton, LL.B.(Common Law) from U of Ottawa, 3 ½ yrs criminal + civil litigation. Escape – 2 ½ years backpacking along with partner Alison Douglas through Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Next, Faculty of Extension (Legal Resource Centre) for U of Alberta: community legal outreach providing services to groups including Native Counselling Services of Alberta (Training of First Nation court workers), John Howard Society, Elizabeth Fry Society, to name some. After that, member of the legal team for Alberta School Boards Association, primarily dealing with collective agreement dispute litigation, human rights cases, and some civil litigation.

Now retired and living on Gabriola Island (for almost 23 years, with many absences to enjoy further travels). Member of GaLTT board for 6 years in the early days of the organization. Have also served as a board member for GROWLS (still volunteer as rescuer of injured wildlife) and Gertie.

Photo of Alison Thomas

Alison Thomas

Alison came to BC from the UK in the 1990s, teaching sociology for 25 years first at the University of Victoria and then at Douglas College in the Lower Mainland. In 2010 she and her husband Nigel started exploring the idea of retiring to one of the Gulf Islands and once they discovered Gabriola and its wonderful network of walking trails the decision to settle here was an easy one. Though they bought their Gabriola home in 2013 they didn’t move here until 2018 and Alison spent several years commuting back to the Lower Mainland weekly to teach part-time, before retiring at the end of 2020. Having already started taking part in invasives work parties, in 2021 she joined both the Invasives Species and Community Engagement committees, becoming Chair of the former in 2022. Her decision to commit time to GaLTT reflects her lifelong passion for the great outdoors and her awareness of the need to protect and preserve the natural environment of this beautiful island.

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.