Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Board of Directors

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Board of Directors 2016-12-13T10:36:00+00:00
John Borst
Ashley Hilliard
Susan Higginbotham
Lionel Johnson

Click here to read our Constitution and Bylaws.

Brian Lawson

Brian Lawson has enjoyed a lifelong interest in the outdoors, including hiking, camping, canoeing and bird watching. Previously a member of the Hamilton Nature Club and Greenpeace, Brian practiced law in Ontario for many years before retiring to Salt Spring Island. His career in law focused on civil litigation, employment and labour law. In his professional capacity he provided legal and strategic advice to the boards of directors of a number of associations. He has also served on a variety of community boards, such as the boards of the Hamilton Public Library Daycare, the Dundas Foundation and most recently Viva Chorale! Society. Since moving to Salt Spring Island, he continues to enjoy hiking, bird watching and singing. He is committed to community involvement.

Derek Melton

I am very pleased to serve on the Board of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. I am an ecologist, including receiving a M.Sc. under Prof. Ian McT. Cowan at UBC a few years ago. That degree was for a study in Uganda and most of my subsequent ecology-based work has been in tropical areas, apart from seven years based in Yellowknife with the GNWT Wildlife Department. My focus for the last 15 years has been overseas impact assessment projects. My wife Carol and I moved to Salt Spring in 2012 and while we have been enjoying the island’s natural areas, I have only recently started to appreciate the scope and importance of SSI Conservancy activities. I would use a Board membership as an incentive to learn more of SSI ecology and bring a broad perspective to discussions of local conservation priorities.

Kees Ruurs

Even as a young boy growing up in The Netherlands, Kees knew that he wanted to work in nature, helping people enjoy and appreciate their natural surroundings. Since receiving a Masters degree in Park Management, Kees has had an extensive career, which has led him to Alberta, the Yukon, to Oregon, and now to Salt Spring. Before retiring in the summer of 2013, Kees served as Parks and Recreation Manager with PARC and CRD Senior Manager. Together with his author wife and their extended family, he lives on an acreage where they run a booklovers’ bed & breakfast, Between the Covers. Ever since his teenage years, Kees has been involved in volunteer organizations. Kees is excited about applying his passion for bringing people and nature together, while serving on the board of the Conservancy.

Dave Secord

Dave Secord moved to Salt Spring in 2015, where he operates a small consultancy, Barnacle Strategies. An intertidal ecologist by training, he has divided his career between academia and foundation philanthropy. At Tides Canada, he founded and led a strategic grantmaking team focused on environmental and social solutions in several regions of Canada. Before that, he oversaw conservation granting in Alaska and BC for the Wilburforce Foundation. He has been active in affinity groups including the Arctic Funders Collaborative, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and Consultative Group on Biological Diversity. Prior to that, as a professor and university administrator for 12 years, he guided diverse environmental research and educational partnerships. He has been a Fellow of the International Canadian Studies Institute and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and retains faculty appointments at Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington. He lives in the south end of Salt Spring with his spouse Amy Adams and cats Eleanor and Franklin.

Bob Weeden

Bob Weeden, New Englander by birth, finished his school years in 1959 with a Doctorate in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. That summer he and his bride, Judy Stenger Weeden, drove to Alaska to begin family and professional lives. Bob studied alpine birds as a biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for a decade. After a year as conservation representative for the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society he joined the wildlife and natural resources faculties at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He developed courses incorporating fields as diverse as land use planning, resource economics, environmental law, federal and state natural resource policies, and environmental ethics. Retiring in 1990, he and Judy – now a master potter – moved far enough south to raise apples. Their active lives on an island in the Salish Sea revolve around a potter’s wheel, orchard, garden, canoe, hiking boots, books and a land conservancy.

Debby Wetmore

Debby Wetmore is a chartered accountant with many years of experience in the financial industry and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia. She is currently Branch Manager at CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) on Salt Spring. Debby also served on the Investment Committee of the Salt Spring Island Foundation from 2011 to 2014. She has extensive public speaking and teaching experience and has authored and published more than 30 investment and financial planning articles. Debby has a keen interest in the outdoors and is eager to apply her financial management experience to support the Conservancy’s long-term sustainability.