Board of Directors

The Council’s Board of Directors are selected by our membership at the Annual General Meeting. Directors on the Board represent one of three Chambers; government, community or business and industry. Within each Chamber the Board strives to have representation of a diverse range of background interest areas. 

Special thank you to recently departing Directors, recognized during INVASIVES 2016 by Barry Gibbs (past-chair and active board member). 
Photo (L-R): Carolyn Richman (vice-chair, local government), Jamie Richardson (federal government), Tom Wells (past chair, utilities), David Borth (treasurer, provincial government), and Barry Gibbs (past chair, agriculture).

Current Board of Directors (listed in alphabetical order):

Harold Aljam - Governments (Indigenous) 
Harold Aljam is a member and past chief of the Coldwater Indian Band, and cattle rancher in the South Central Interior. He is a First Nations Agriculture Association representative and Director for the Aboriginal Community Futures for the South Central Interior.

Dave Bennett - Secretary; Business & Industry (Transportation & Utilities)
[Bio to come]

Kari Bondaroff - Community
[Bio to come]

Laurie Carr - Community
Laurie is chair of the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee based in Nelson, BC. While Laurie’s current work is focused on research for environmental non-profits, her background is in conservation biology and landscape ecology.

Crystal Chadburn - Business & Industry
Crystal is the Environmental Roadside Manager for the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and an active member of the Provincial Government Inter-ministry Invasive Species Working Group. She has been working with invasive species for over 10 years in a variety of regions throughout BC, including the West Kootenay, Cariboo-Chilcotin and Vancouver Island.

Nadia Chan - Governments (Local)
[Bio to come]

Lesley Douglas - Community (Environment/Conservation)
[Bio to come]

Fernie May Garbitt - Governments (Indigenous) 
Fernie May Garbitt is the O&G Referral Technician for the Saulteau First Nations' Treaty and Lands Department, with a passion in preservation and protection of untouched lands within Treaty 8 Traditional Territory in Northeast BC. Fernie is a long-time resident of Moberly Lake BC, where she lives her husband and two children. 

Barry Gibbs (Past Chair)
Barry Gibbs has been a Professional Agrologist since 1984. He has extensive experience in agri-business (with Dow AgroSciences) and farming. Barry is Co-chair of the Canadian Council of Invasive Species and Executive Director of the Alberta Invasive Plant Council.

Jude Grass - Community (Environment/Conservation)
Jude has had a lifelong interest in natural history. In 2004, she retired from her work as a park naturalist for both BC Parks and the Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks. She currently serves as Chair of the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver, Lower Mainland Regional Coordinator for BC Nature, is a Nature Vancouver Board Member, and Chair of the Birding Section Committee. She is Past President of the BC Field Ornithologists and serves on the boards of the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies, Langley Field Naturalists, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club, and Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society.

Bill Grutzmacher - Treasurer; Business & Industry (Natural Resources)
Bill Grutzmacher is a Registered Professional Forester and has worked for nearly 35 years in the Coastal forest industry. He currently works for TimberWest Forest Corp. as the Operations Forester based out of Campbell River, BC. Operating on both Crown tenured and private timberlands, his work responsibilities include all aspects of silviculture in addition to managing for invasive species.

Brian Heise - Chair; Community (Research & Education)
Brian Heise is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops BC. Brian teaches courses in aquatic ecology and fisheries, and conducts research on the effects of various land use practices on freshwater ecosystems. He and his grad students are conducting research that involves an examination of the feeding ecology of invasive yellow perch in Okanagan lakes, and the effects of rock snot on aquatic invertebrates in streams.

Dave Holden - Governments (Federal)
Dave Holden is a survey biologist with the Plant Health Surveillance unit of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. For regulated plant pests like Gypsy moth, he is responsible for survey design, coordination with outside partners, training and outreach for plant health surveys conducted from BC to Manitoba. Dave has been passionately trying to keep out unwanted invaders in Canada for the last 17 years. 

Eda Koot - Community (Recreation & Tourism)
[Bio to come]

Val Miller - Governments (Provincial)
[Bio to come]

Ralph Nevill - Community
[Bio to come]

Eric Nijboer - Business & Industry (Natural Resources)
[Bio to come]

Ken Schwaerzle - Business & Industry (Agriculture)
[Bio to come]

Dominique Sigg - Deputy Officer; Governments (Provincial)
[Bio to come]

Emily Sonntag - Vice Chair; Community
Emily Sonntag is the Invasive Plant Management Coordinator for the Cariboo Regional District’s Invasive Plant Management Program based out of Williams Lake, and Chair of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee. While she has been managing invasive plants in some capacity for the last nine years, her background is in horticulture.

Heike Stippler - Business & Industry (Trade & Retail)
Heike Stippler is a Landscape Designer, active Landscaper and president of Heike Designs Inc., established in Whistler since 2005. Offering Landscape Design, Installation and Maintenance, Heike Designs is passionate about the environment, use green practices, and create awareness by educating clients and contractors to do the same. Heike Designs is ‘invasive-free’ certified since the 2011 pilot program. Heike has built strong relationships with contractors and suppliers, and is actively involved in the community and various associations, including as horticulture advisor with the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, and BCLNA environmental committee.

Dan Tisseur - Business & Industry (Transportation & Utilities)
Dan Tisseur is a registered Professional Biologist supporting the Spectra Energy Natural Gas Transmission line running from Ft. Nelson to Abbotsford BC.  Dan is the lead specialist for the vegetation management program in Spectra Energy, and coordinates with a number of regional committees throughout the province.  Dan has been involved with invasive species efforts in BC for the past 5 years.

Megan Willems - Governments (Federal)
Megan Willems is a Regional Pesticide Officer with Health Canada, based out of Burnaby, BC. Her background is in integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture.

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Williams Lake, BC V2G 1Z5

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