Board of Directors

President – Malcolm Inglis

A long-time visitor to Mayne Island, Malcolm retired here in 2010 from a long and varied career in information technology, having worked in the private sector and at all levels of government. On Mayne, Malcolm gets to indulge his love of the natural world by working on restoring the natural state of his own property as well as helping out with the Conservancy’s restoration and invasive-species removal projects. He also coordinates the production of the Conservancy’s annual newsletter.

Vice President: Deb Foote

Deb came to Mayne Island in 2007. After a few years of being a part-time seasonal resident, island life got the better of her. She is passionate about community and the health of the environment, so when an opportunity to sit on the board of directors for the Mayne Island Conservancy she jumped at the chance.
Deb’s work life has been focused in the area of Organic Foods and Natural Health, she & her husband own The Organic Grocer in Surrey. She was involved in the development of Organic Food Standards both in BC & in Canada and sat as President of The Certified Organic Associations of BC during the development of the Canada Organic Regime. She was a founding director for the Canadian Worker Coop Federation & sat as Co-Chair of CCEC Credit Union in the late ‘80s.

Treasurer – Alan Ryder

After nearly 30 + years working in an accounting and IT environment in Vancouver Alan retired to Mayne in 2006. His first contact with the Conservancy was with the Broom Action Team;soon after he joined the Board, becoming Treasurer early in his term. Alan also enjoys working on the web site, assisting with the design of office procedures and installing/maintaining the Society’s computer network.

Secretary – Don Enright

Don Enright is Past President of the Stanley Park Ecology Society. He works as a freelance planning consultant in the heritage tourism industry, working with parks, sanctuaries, historic sites and museums to help them plan, execute and develop their communications and visitor experience strategies.

Helen O’Brian—Fundraising Chair

Helen has lived on Mayne Island since 1998, a steward of one of the original Japanese farms and has been a director of MICS since year one. She has a MA in Children’s Literature, co-founded the Vancouver Storytelling Society and has recently published Fin’s Swim, a book on the Fraser River.

Maggi Cheetham- Membership Committee Chair

Maggi has been a weekender on Mayne Island since 1985 and a Conservancy board member, chair of the membership committee and coordinator of the annual May Day since 2005. She has a BA(Hons) Anthropology from UBC. The Mayne Island Conservancy with all its expertise is a great place for people, like Maggi, who love learning about the natural environment and the ways we can protect and preserve it.

Harold Kasinsky

Harold taught large undergraduate classes in cell biology and biochemistry for 34 years in the Zoology Department at UBC. He is now retired but continues to study DNA-protein patterning in developing sperm nuclei of animals and plants. He also helps remove Scotch broom from the national park on Mayne.

Robert Anthony

Robert Anthony retired from the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria where he was a professor specializing in science literacy and reasoning in science.  During that career he served in several administrative roles including Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, an elected member of Senate for 18 years and as Chair of several Senate and University committees. He has previously served on the Board of several not-for-profit food cooperatives. He is a long-time member of REEF, a marine environmental monitoring association. He enjoys engaging with the natural world as a gardener, outdoors enthusiast and scuba diver.  In recent years he has been an active volunteer refurbishing bicycles for Bikes for Africa and a Victoria service club that distributes free bicycles to school children.

Conservancy Staff

Michael Dunn: Executive Director

Michael worked for 30+ years for Environment Canada, retiring in 2007. His experience was varied ranging from coastal mapping to wildlife habitat conservation. As a life-long learner and avid naturalist, he has been engaged in learning about and communicating the wonder and lessons of nature for over 40 years.Michael had been president of the Conservancy up to the begining of April 2013 but has now undertaken the hands-on direction of the Society’s activities and will answer emails addressed to

Rob Underhill: Biologist

Rob joined the conservancy in September 2011. His previous work experience is varied and includes work in hospitality, landscaping, forestry, and resource conservation. Rob has an educational background in tourism, horticulture, and botany. He completed a certificate of Travel and Tourism at Kwantlen University in 2002, a certificate in Landscape Horticulture at Capilano University in 2004, and a B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2010. Before coming to Mayne Island, Rob managed an ecosystem restoration project for Parks Canada at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. He can trace his love of plants and nature to family vacations on Pender Island, and entering a plant collection in the Pender Island Fall fair when he was nine, in which he placed 2nd due to an incorrect spelling of “Arbutes menziesii”. Contact Rob at

Lauren Underhill: Contractor

Lauren joined us to work on our Stewardship Program. Lauren is already familiar with many of MICS initiatives through her volunteer work with us in 2011-2012. Her education was focused in Criminology and Anthropology, while her work experience has been primarily within the environmental sector. Before her term with the Conservancy, which was completed at the end of March 2013 Lauren worked for the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in both environmental assessment and maintenance, and for the CRD, also in the area of maintenance. Her interests in native plant propagation, food preservation, volunteering, outdoor activities were a good fit with what is needed in the stewardship arena. Lauren completed her formal engagement as Stewardship Coordinator in May 2014 in response to the demands of a then oncoming “happy event.” Lauren continues to be available foe specific assignments, notably in creating and managing the Conservancy’s Annual Nature Photo Contest.

Eleanor Willson: Ecosystems Technician 2018

Eleanor is an aspiring conservationist from Tsawwassen, Vancouver. She is a recent Natural Resources Conservation graduate from the University of British Columbia and is excited to share her love for wildlife and ecology with the community of Mayne. In the past Eleanor has spent her time working in biological consulting and forestry, and hopes to spend this summer utilizing all of the wonderful beaches and forests that Mayne has to offer. In her down time you can find her playing music, swimming, taking photos, painting and staying active. She is extremely grateful to be staying in such a warm, welcoming community this summer!

Kelly Fretwell: Ecosystems Technician 2018

Kelly has a BSc in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, and recently finished the Master of Marine Management program at Dalhousie University. Prior to this brief stint on the east coast Kelly worked as a research assistant in an Environmental Studies lab at UVic. She is enthusiastic about biodiversity, being creative, and exploring the outdoors (and especially beaches!) Kelly grew up on the Saanich Peninsula and has spent time visiting her grandparents’ vacation property on Mayne Island since she was a kid, so she is excited to spend more time here and be part of the Conservancy.


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