The Invasive Species Council of BC’s Board of Directors is 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 the representation of a diverse range of background interest areas.
Photo of Board at INVASIVES 2019 Forum & AGM (from back, L-R): Ralph Nevill - Community; Lesley Douglas - Vice-Chair; Community (Environment/Conservation); Fernie May Garbitt - Governments (Indigenous); Dan Tisseur - Business & Industry (Transportation & Utilities), Heike Stippler - Business & Industry (Trade & Retail); Ursula Viney - Governments (Provincial); Eric Nijboer - Business & Industry (Natural Resources); Jude Grass (departing Director); Bill Grutzmacher - Treasurer: Business & Industry (Natural Resources); Dave Holden - Governments (Federal); Dave Bennett - Chair; Business & Industry (Transportation & Utilities); Gail Wallin - Executive Director, ISCBC; Crystal Chadburn - Business & Industry; Laurie Carr - Community; Val Miller - Governments (Provincial); Jodi Romyn - Senrio Manager, ISCBC; Brian Heise - Past Chair; Community (Research & Education); Nadia Chan - Secretary; Governments (Local); Douglas Fossen - Business & Industry (Agriculture); Ken Schwaerzle - Business & Industry (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 - Chair; 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 Chadburn is a Professional Agrologist and has worked in the field of invasive plant management in British Columbia for over 12 years. She first began working with invasive plants as consultant in the West Kootenays, then in 2007, she joined the BC Provincial Government as a Range Agrologist in the Chilcotin region. Crystal has been in her current role as the Environmental Roadside Manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for the past eight years where she provides guidance and expertise on roadside vegetation management across the Province, including managing the Ministry’s Invasive Species Management Program. Crystal is co-chair of the British Columbia Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group.
Nadia Chan - Secretary; Governments (Local)
Nadia Chan has a B.S.F., Forest Operations from the University of British Columbia, is a Forester-in – training with the Association of BC Forest Professionals, an ISA Certified Arborist and an ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. With over 15 years of experience working in urban forestry, Nadia is currently the Manager, Trees and Landscapes with the City of Surrey’s Planning and Development Department. She is the Director of Public Outreach for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and sits on BCIT’s Forest and Natural Areas Management Program Advisory Committee.
Lesley Douglas - Vice-Chair; Community (Environment/Conservation)
Lesley Douglas is the General Manager of Environment and Parks for the City of Port Moody. Her work experience includes fish and wildlife field biology and environmental consulting experience from Ontario. Upon her return to the Lower Mainland, Lesley has maintained a career track as an environmental professional at various levels in municipal and regional government. Invasive species identification, management, funding, communications, education and strategy implementation are integral aspects of her portfolio.
Douglas Fossen - Business & Industry (Agriculture)
Together with his family, Doug Fossen ranches in Rock Creek, BC. Doug has also carried out regional district weed control contracts in the area as a side business. Doug's understanding of weeds and weed control comes from a love of land and lots of on the ground experience. Doug has a diploma in Agriculture Business and has been actively involved in the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association.
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.
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 - Past Chair; Community (Research & Education)
Brian Heise is a faculty member in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops BC., where he teaches courses in fisheries, limnology and ecosystem reclamation. His research looks at the effects of various land use practices on freshwater ecosystems. He and his students are currently looking at migration cues for Arctic grayling, groundwater refugia for Chinook salmon, and the ecology and control of invasive northern pike and goldfish. Brian is also the Chair of the Invasive Species Council of BC.
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.
Val Miller - Governments (Provincial)
Val Miller is the Provincial Invasive Plant Officer for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the chair of the BC Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group. Based in Nelson, she works with a team of Invasive Plant Specialists and technicians to address invasive plant challenges on Crown land. A registered professional agrologist with a B.Sc. in Range Management from the University of Idaho, Val has been actively working in invasive plant management and biological control projects in British Columbia for over 30 years.
Ralph Nevill - Community
[Bio to come]
Eric Nijboer - Business & Industry (Natural Resources)
[Bio to come]
Ken Schwaerzle - Business & Industry (Agriculture)
Ken Schwaerzle graduated with a degree in Finance and proceeded to work with 4-H for 57 years. Ken has been a dairy farmer for 46 years. Ken loves animals and people.
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, as second vice chair of the BC Landscape & Nursery Association and on BCLNA's 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.
Ursula Viney - Governments (Provincial)
Ursula Viney, CPA, CGA is the Director of Operations with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Plant and Animal Health Branch which supports the sustainability of animal and plant agriculture, while serving to protect the well-being of the people of the province through surveillance, regulatory compliance, risk assessment and the development of strategies to address identified risks. Ms Viney provides leadership and oversight to the Plant Health Unit and was heavily involved on the Steering Committee for the 2018 Response to Eradicate Japanese Beetle.