Lee Ann Johnson, Chair
Lee Ann Johnson brings a lifelong commitment to the preservation of wild places and to sustainable human settlement practices to the SCCA. She has several decades of experience in land use planning, first as a developer of non-profit co-op and rental housing in Victoria and the BC Lower Mainland for 25 years and then as a Municipal Councillor in Gibsons for three terms and an Alternate Director at the SCRD. She has served on the Executive of the many non-profit Boards, developed and taught workshops on various non-profit organizational topics and was a Library trustee for eight years. Since climbing Mt. Olympus in Washington at the age of 15, she has persistently worked in many volunteer capacities to encourage and support both individuals and groups in honoring relationships with the natural world and a sustainable human presence in it.
Mary Louise Hendry, Secretary
In December 2015, after 20 years on Vancouver Island, Mary Louise Hendry retired and moved back to the Sunshine Coast where she has joined SCCA as a Board member and volunteer coordinator. On the Island Mary Louise lived in Elizabeth May’s riding and volunteered on her election campaigns and between campaigns drafted correspondence and helped track donations. Mary Louise brings decades of office experience and worked closely with volunteers in her last job at a residence for adults with disabilities in Victoria.
Suzanne Senger, Treasurer
Dan Bouman, Director
Bill Wareham, Director
Bill holds a B.Sc. in Zoology and an MBA and has worked in the environmental non-profit sector for thirty years. He has worked with the David Suzuki Foundation since 2002. He was a founding member of the SeaChoice program, established to promote sustainable seafood procurement in the Canadian marketplace. Bill previously worked as Executive Director of the Sierra Club of BC and has over seventeen years of experience working on terrestrial and marine conservation issues, aquaculture and fisheries management issues. Bill played an active role in promoting improvement to a wide range of environmental policies, and has represented the environmental sector in many multi-stakeholder processes. Bill has worked with many coalitions and community groups to support local activism for the environment. Bill has lived in Gibsons for the past twenty-five years with his wife Karen and his two daughters.
Lois Thomson, Interim Director
Jason Herz, Past Co-Chair
Jason Herz was born and raised in the South Okanagan area of B.C. During the first 25 years of his life, he worked in commercial fruit production and other aspects of agriculture. At that time it was widely believed that organic production might be best, but was not possible to do at a large commercial scale.
After operating a small health food/deli in the small town of Keremeos, Jason moved to Sechelt in 1989. He became involved in the local residents association and has been active in volunteering in the community. He chaired a group of eight community associations for several terms, chaired the Natural Resource Advisory Committee of the SCRD, and presently sits on the Sechelt Electors Association board and the Snake Bay Sailing Club board.
Gayle Neilson, Past Co-Chair
Originally from Ontario, Gayle Neilson, B.A. (Carleton U), B.Ed (UBC), Post Baccalaureate Diploma (SFU), M.Ed (SFU) taught at Elphinstone Secondary for years. After moving to B.C. and living in Powell River for two years, she moved with her husband to Gibsons in 1982 where she worked first as a Social Worker, then as a teacher and raised her two sons. Gayle has always been active in the community; from serving on the Community Futures the Gibsons Library Boards to coaching junior paddling teams in the outrigger races. Passionate about the environment, she helped initiate the Gibsons Green Team, which showed environmental films for 6 years, which has now morphed into the SC Community Solar Association. Gayle is especially concerned about climate change and species extinction and feels we all need to be doing our bit to ensure a liveable world for future generations. What else could be more important?
Richard Carton, Past Co-Chair
Richard’s love of nature was triggered by childhood visits to Parry Sound, Ontario, where he experienced the beauty of Georgian Bay and the Canadian Shield. His preoccupation with athletics eventually led him to the University of Western Ontario (BA, Physical Education) and the University of British Columbia (MPE, Sport Sciences). After working in the role of fitness consultant, Richard landed on the Sunshine Coast in 1983 as a group leader for the national youth program, Katimavik. Following a thirty month backpacking trip around the world he completed a Bachelor of Education degree and spent the next two decades teaching elementary school. Richard works for the SCCA as the member group coordinator and newsletter editor. He also volunteers at the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre and seasonally for the Salvation Army.
Cindy has spent her life learning about and celebrating nature. As a child she explored the local forests, creeks, wetlands and ocean on Vancouver Island and through these experiences she developed a passion for the environment
This passion gave her a career in resource management. She worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada for 32 years. During this time she gained a broad knowledge and experience in numerous areas such as salmon enhancement, fish management, habitat protection, environmental legislation, community stewardship, collaboration and facilitation. Cindy went on to achieve a Masters degree in Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University.
Today Cindy believes that each of us can make a difference in our world and she chooses to spend her time protecting local biodiversity and to ensure resilient ecosystems through education and stewardship.
Melissa Rayfield is really excited to be volunteering for an organization that has been so committed to the place she has been grateful to call home for the past 15 years. She credits her amazing mother in-law, Patricia, for introducing her to the people on the Coast who dedicate so much to ensuring that our diverse environment is highlighted and protected. She has had a long personal commitment to respecting our natural world and hopes to see great things to come by working with the SCCA on the crucial and very diverse issues our Coast is facing.
Linda's extensive historical research and advocacy efforts on community watershed issues have been enormously influential here and around the province.
She is a founding member of the SCCA, the Sunshine Coast Water First Society and the Tetrahedron Alliance.