Board of Directors
Peter Law, President. Peter recently retired from the BC Ministry of Environment, where he worked as an Ecosystem Biologist for 33 years on Vancouver Island. He has lived in the mid Island area since the early 1980’s with his family, and has volunteered his time in support of various not for profit organizations dedicated to the protection and conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats. In recent years, he has been active with organizations who are active in educating and restoring natural systems. Peter graduated with a BSc from the University of Victoria and completed a Diploma at UVic in Restoration of Natural Systems in 2005.
Barb Riordan, Vice President. Barb grew up in Southwestern Ontario and graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in Biology. She worked as a biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Timmins, Ontario and then as an Environmental Superintendent at Endako Mine in the central interior of BC. Having had her fill of Arctic-like winters and non-existent summers, she moved with her husband to Parksville in 2012 where she was immediately "pressed" into service with MVIHES. Barb can now be found wading through creeks in leaking waders or being entangled in seine nets, and loving every minute of it.
Shirley Hine, Treasurer. Shirley is originally from Manitoba and has lived in the Parksville area for many years. Her professional career in Administration with the City of Parksville spanned thirty years. During that time she was recognized for her service, professional contributions and dedication to local government issues from the Province of British Columbia, the Local Government Management Association of BC, the Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast Chapter of the LGMA, the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and the City of Parksville. Having a long time interest and concern for our lands and the environment, and finding retirement to be too slow a pace, Shirley joined MVIHES as Treasurer in 2009 and continues to be actively involved in various capacities with a number of other organizations in the area.
Shelley Goertzen, Secretary. Shelley is new to Vancouver Island, having just moved here in April 2015. For the two decades prior to her arrival on Paradise Island, Shelley worked for not for profit agencies in an administrative role. This contributed to her desire to get out in the field and get her hands (and, on occasion, her face) dirty. She has always been interested in the health of the natural environment, and looks forward to supporting MVIHES both by participating in field work and at the Board level.
Carl Rathburn, Past President. Carl first came to Parksville in 1968 and worked as a foreman for MacMillan Bloedel. He then worked as a logging manager in Duncan,Ucluelet and the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). In the early 70's he worked for Weldwood of Canada as the General Manager of Coast Logging and Forestry and later became the Vice President of Coastal Manufacturing (sawmills, logging, log supply and forestry). After the sale of Weldwood he ran Canadian Aircrane ( a heavylift helicopter and logging company) for a few years, and then did some consulting on a sporadic basis. He moved back to Parksville in 2000. He has worked in the woods all his working life and always had a love for the natural world.
Dave Hutchings, Director. Since the 1970s, Dave has had an increasing interest in the natural world and man's impact on the environment. For over 20 years, he has been active in the naturalist movement through local groups affiliated with the Federation of BC Naturalists. In 2004, Dave retired to Qualicum Beach from Chilliwack, after teaching in BC secondary schools for over 30 years. As an island resident, he has become acutely aware of the pressures of resource extraction and development on our ecosystems - in particular, upon our fresh water resources. For the past several years he has been involved in an ongoing stewardship project to protect and restore native habitat on the Englishman River estuary.
Bernd Keller, Director. After working many years as a research chemist and lecturer at various universities across Canada, Bernd moved to Vancouver Island in 2015, where he is still actively helping senior high school and university students with their chemistry courses. Bernd started volunteering with MVIHES in February of 2016 and was appointed a Director of the Board in September of 2016. Bernd is keen on continuing to learn more about the significance of our local watersheds and fish habitats and enjoys participating in the many MVIHES initiatives, especially the ones with outdoor activities.
Dick Dobler, Director. Dick grew up on the mean streets of Parkville in the fifties and sixties, playing a variety of sports and fishing, mostly in the Englishman River. He graduated from Qualicum high in 1969 and attended Malaspina College (now VIU) the first year it opened in 1970. He worked in land survey for a few years, and then pipe and road building construction with mostly local companies. As a result he has worked in most towns and cities on the island as well as six years in Whistler and stints on Haida Gwaii and other coastal communities. Now retired, he is passionate about preserving and restoring local habitat with hands on commitment with MVIHES.
Don McConnell, Director, Raised in Vancouver, he has tried his hand at a variety of jobs throughout the Province: logging, fishing, mining exploration, sawmills, grain elevators, and many more. Eventually becoming trained in electronics, he started working in the telecommunications industry. This led to a move to the Kamloops area where for many years, he traveled throughout the southern interior for the job. After eventually returning to the lower mainland, he had work in the paging business and eventually, the digital prepress industry. After retirement and a move to Parksville in 2010, he has had time to indulge his interests in playing music, hiking and helping various environmental groups in the area. Now happy to be working for fish habitat restoration in the area and a new level of excitement: counting bugs!
Elaine Lefebvre, Director. Elaine was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She returned there in 1999 from Ottawa, where she worked for 10 years as a Foreign Service Secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, with postings to New York, Singapore and Wellington. Upon her return to Edmonton, she worked as an Editorial Assistant for the Canadian Forest Service, part of Natural Resources Canada, until her retirement. She and her sister were thinking about where to retire when they visited the Island in 2012, and were so entranced with it that they bought a house in Parksville, then moved here with their beloved dogs after retirement in 2013. Elaine has always had concerns about the environment, wildlife and the human impact on both, particularly related to climate change. What she loves best about living here is being so close to nature, and every day she is out on forest paths and old logging roads with her enthusiastic walking companion, her dog, Shep. Getting to see the salmon migration and observing these tough, determined fish in their quest to get back to their spawning grounds was one of the reasons she joined MVIHES, as habitat means so much. For the last few years, in the summer and fall, she has been doing water sampling in the Englishman River and related creeks on behalf of the Regional District of Nanaimo.