Barb Riordan, 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.
Austin Peterson, Vice President. Austin moved to the Island and paradise in 2018 after enjoying more than 30 years in the Metro Vancouver region working in both the public and private sector as a landscaper, arborist and urban forestry practitioner. Along the way he was involved in a volunteer capacity with various organizations serving environmental and other needs in communities. A lifetime passion for the natural environment and outdoors was initiated as a young boy growing up in an outdoor orientated family living in a coastal community. In his spare time Austin’s will be found in the outdoors of BC, fishing rivers, lakes and the ocean or hiking a local mountain. Closer to home gardening and spending time with family and friends over a good home cooked meal round out activities.
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.
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!
Christopher Smith, Director. Opening his Glaskrafter Art Glass studio in Nanaimo in 1977, Chris has become a fixture in the Vancouver Island Arts and Craft scene. He has taught Stained Glass, Sandblasted Glass and Kiln Worked Glass at Malaspina College, North island College, NDSS and in his studio. With his partner Jane and various dog companions he has been walking the Englishman for years. Witnessing the river change and the different salmon runs has inspired him to create glass work about the river and the fish. His Kiln cast glass salmon are represented by 10 galleries, museums and resorts between Tofino and Whistler. In light of all the river has given, Chris wants to give back. MVIHES Mission statement says it all. We are dedicated to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon through the conservation and restoration of their habitat - watersheds, estuaries, and shorelines and to connect people to their landscape through partnerships that focus on field study, education and restoration.
Pat Ashton, Director, Pat grew up on a beach in Victoria BC. Early exposure to the marine environment through the enthusiasm of scuba diving parents kindled a lifelong passion to observe and learn from the natural environment. In 1982 Pat moved to Fort Nelson BC and attended Northern Lights College while raising a family. Pat returned to Vancouver Island in 1984 and spent the following four years living in Nootka Sound enjoying fishing and exploring as well as studying sciences at North Island College. In 1989 Pat returned to Victoria and completed the Registered Nurse Diploma Program at Camosun College. The following 25 years were spent working in acute care at Victoria General Hospital as well as in the Occupational Health and Safety Department for the Island Health Authority. Retirement for Pat means more time on the local beaches observing and learning and now contributing through the conservation activities of MVIHES.
Terry Baum, Director, Terry moved from Ontario to Vancouver Island in 1981 where he worked at Algoma Steel as a machinist. Since moving to the island, he has worked as a Hydraulic Technician in various communities, volunteered as a family counselor in Duncan, and was a member of the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue. He organized and participated in two fundraising climbs to Mt. McKinley for cancer research. Terry retired in 2019 which has allowed him to pursue his passion for fishing, hiking, mountain biking, camping and woodworking. He is passionate about preserving and restoring local habitat with MVIHES.
Maggie Estok, Director, Having grown up next to Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy, Maggie has always been a keen observer of marine habitats. Her education and work life followed an interest in language and communications (receiving a Master’s in English from NYU). However, taking her first dip in Englishman River three decades ago marked the beginning of a fascination with the rocks, trees, water and fish of Vancouver Island, an interest which has only intensified over the years, and recently grown to include a commitment to protect this precious environment. Working with MVIHES allows her to put values into action, give back to the environment that has given her and her family so much joy, and continue learning about this amazing ecosystem.