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Strait of Georgia

Board of Directors

Melinda Skeels (President) is an associate with Ratcliff & Co LLP, a North Shore law firm, where she represents First Nations governments and tribal councils, with a particular focus on litigation, governance and environmental legal issues. While at law school, Melinda was a founding director of UVic's Indigenous Law Club and a founding member and student coordinator with the UVic chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada. She also has a long history with the UVic's Environmental Law Centre, where she took a class as a law student, articled before becoming a lawyer and now participates in its Associates Program. Having grown up on Bowen Island, spent her university years in Victoria and now living in Vancouver, Melinda has a lifelong connection to Georgia Strait. As an avid sea kayaker and hiker, she spends much of her leisure time in and around its waters.

 Melinda Skeels

Rachel S. Forbes (Vice-President) is the principal of Sharp Six Services, an agency that provides capacity building services such as grant writing, proposal development and meeting coordination services to community based businesses and not for profits. Rachel's family has roots in commercial fishing and she was raised in a small community on the Sunshine Coast that is dependent upon the health and sustainability of the marine environment. She has over 15 years of experience working with different types of organizations, including serving as a board and committee member for various charities, not for profits and corporations.Rachel has a bachelor of arts in geography and communications from Simon Fraser University and a certificate in urban studies. Her law degree from the University of Victoria focused on environmental and Aboriginal law, both of which she gained experience in while working with legal environmental NGOs and a law firm that focuses on Aboriginal law. Rachel also spent two years working for various local governments in BC doing environmental, land use, and First Nations relations work. She has worked in sustainable community planning, in particular with the UniverCity project at SFU, and is currently a non corporate member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia and a director of the Whistler Centre for Sustainability.

 Rachel S. Forbes

Jacqueline McGuire (Treasurer) is a Chartered Accountant with a mid-sized accounting firm where she provides assurance and accounting services to private companies and not for profit organizations. Originally interested in a career in science, she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology from UBC, which was where she became interested in preserving the marine environment. Jacqueline enjoys travelling, taking advantage of everything British Columbia has to offer, spending time with friends and family and curling up with a good book on rainy days. Jacqueline grew up in the Okanagan Valley and now lives in Vancouver.

 Jacqueline McGuire

Kathy Fletcher (Secretary) founded and was for 20 years executive director of People For Puget Sound, a citizens’ organization formed to protect and restore the southern portion of our Salish Sea—a role that saw her working closely with GSA over many years. She retired in 2011. Kathy lives in Seattle and has a second home in Vancouver. She has a long-standing connection with BC and passion for our marine waters: for decades she has spent much of her time at her family’s cabin in Desolation Sound and sailed the waters of Georgia Strait and beyond.  Prior to People for Puget Sound Kathy chaired Washington State’s Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, served on the White House Staff, handling environmental and natural resource issues, has taught environmental policy and non-profit management at the University of Washington, worked for the Environmental Defense Fund and other environmental organizations, and headed up environmental, energy conservation and other programs at Seattle City Light, along with serving on many non-profit organization boards.  Among her many honours, Kathy has been named a “Hero of the Seas” by the Blue Frontier Campaign, and has received a lifetime achievement award from Restore America’s Estuaries.

 Kathy Fletcher

Lesli Boldt is President of Boldt Communications Inc., a Vancouver-based marketing communications firm. She’s a seasoned marketing communications and public affairs professional with over 17 years of experience in the industry and a decade of experience in consulting with clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Lesli was born and raised in North Vancouver, B.C. After eight years in Victoria, B.C., Lesli returned to Vancouver in 2000 and lives in South Granville. 

Lesli Boldt

Karen Cooling has recently retired from the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. She was invited to participate on the steering committee of Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team in 2009 and also represents CEP on the Climate Justice Project of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Karen is the labour representative on the Board of National Institute for Disability Management and Rehabilitation as well as the Pacific Coast University.  Karen is a past President of Dogwood Initiative as well as having spent 3 years as the Chair of SCOE, the provincial NDP's Standing Committee on the Environment for an Ecologically and Economically Sustainable Future.  Karen has more than 30 years of labour and community activism.  She and her partner Wally have 2 adult daughters and one grandson and divide their time between Vancouver and Saltair, BC.    

 

Virginia (Ginnie) Mathers is an associate at Janes Freedman Kyle Law Corporation. Ginnie practices aboriginal law and environmental law and has experience advising clients on issues related to consultation processes, treaty and aboriginal rights, environmental regulation, administrative law, employment law and human resources, and civil litigation. Ginnie grew up in North Vancouver and has been in love with Canada's west coast ever since. She spends as much time as she can on the coast, either through camping and hiking or biking around Vancouver's seawall. Ginnie's goal is to use her legal education and love of the coast to promote greater environmental protection and sustainability for ecosystems and communities on the coast. Ginnie lives in the West End of Vancouver.

 Virginia Mathers

Ken Coach is president of the communications firm Media Coach Inc. He is a Vancouver native whose first career as a journalist took him across North America before it brought him back home. He spent 20 years working in virtually all aspects of
news and current affairs in print and broadcast journalism. After starting out
as a reporter for a small Vancouver Island newspaper he worked his way up to
senior news management positions at CBC and CTV National News. Ken then
"switched sides" to become a media trainer, presentation coach and outrage
manager. He has provided presentation and media training to corporate and
academic leaders, politicians, celebrities and many not-for-profit organizations. Ken is skilled and experienced in messaging, communications strategy, issues management and media relations. He has developed effective strategies for contentious issues and crisis situations affecting a wide variety of
clients.

 

Ken Coach

Kate Storey's involvement on the board of the Georgia Strait Alliance stems from her love of sailing and the ocean.  Kate works at Renewal Funds, a Vancouver based, social venture capital fund focused on investing capital in early-growth stage companies that deliver strong social, environmental and financial performance. Renewal Funds focuses on underfunded sectors of organic and natural food, green products and environmental innovation; sectors critical to a sustainable economy where we can support meaningful shifts in consumer behaviour. Prior to Renewal Funds, Kate worked for a large Canadian investment bank in the equity and debt capital markets, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada. Kate is also passionate about supporting female executive leadership as well as women's' basic rights and sits on an advisory committee for the Aboriginal Mother Centre in Vancouver's Downtown East Side.  She holds an MBA (Finance) from Dalhousie University, a B.Sc. (Honours, Biology) from Mount Allison University and a Certificate in Carbon Finance from the University of Toronto. 

 Kate Storey

Dave Macdonald (on leave) is a Certified Management Accountant and Principal Consultant of Yupana Consulting, which he founded in 2010 to help small businesses and entrepreneurs build sustainable practices inside their organizations. He has administered a forward-thinking CSR Program that included sustainability and volunteer initiatives and has been a founding partner of a local electric bicycle company. He is on the Board of the Passion Foundation, working with young women ages 11-24 to foster education, self-worth and inner beauty. When not at work, Dave can be found at cafes in Gastown or on Commercial Drive, cycling around the seawall or any of Vancouver's awesome bike routes, or getting his hands dirty on his friend's Vancouver Island goat farm.

 Dave MacDonald