Board of Directors

Malcolm Inglis – President

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.

Deb Foote – Vice President

Deb came to Mayne Island in 2007, initially as part-time seasonal resident. It was not long before island life got the better of her and she became a part-time Surrey resident, focusing her time on Mayne Island based initiatives.

Deb’s passion for community and for the health of the environment, made her a natural fit for the Conservancy Board of Directors, currently serving as Vice President, Chair of the Programs Committee, and Secretary of the Governance Committee.

Coming from a background in the Distribution and Retail Organic Food Sectors, Deb has brought with her a diversity of skills and a willingness to apply them where they best fit.

Alison Martin – Treasurer

Alison moved to Mayne Island from Vancouver in December 2017. She and her husband found the beauty of the Gulf Islands suited their love of the quiet outdoors. A committed environmentalist and animal rights advocate, Alison took an immediately interest in the work of the Conservancy. Alison’s background is varied, she began her career in public television, and went on to work in a variety of small organizations, often taking on the role of bookkeeper, as well as her other duties, before starting her own accounting and software training business. Conservancy’s missions are in line with Alison’s dedication to environmental causes

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 is the author of Fin’s Swim, a book about the Fraser River. Helen believes that through land conservation, mindful stewardship and education our planet will be a healthier place for all the life it supports.

Nancy Gibson – Secretary

Nancy lived on Mayne Island part time for 15 years before moving here full time in 2019. She joined the Conservancy board because protecting the ecology of the island is important to her, and she wanted to volunteer alongside others with similar values. Nancy has been an amateur bird watcher and nature-lover for many years.  Her work experience has been varied: she has owned and operated several small businesses, and was a school librarian for a period of time. As well as being on the Board, she contributes ideas and articles to the Oystercatcher and Mayneliner newsletters, regularly helps with Conservancy events, and enjoys meeting new members at the Saturday market booth.

Adrienne Brown – Director at Large

Adrienne Brown is a Landscape Architect, garden designer and Mayne Island resident who believes in the importance of reconciling the biophysical aspects of a site with programming that addresses social and cultural requirements. The climate crisis has prompted her to better understand changes already occurring in the distribution of plant species in BC and threats to the quality of our soils.  Adrienne’s goal as a Director with the Mayne Island Conservancy is to help strengthen the human community, establish respect for and reciprocity with the natural world in all its glorious complexity, and to take advantage of the unprecedented number of opportunities for societal change we see today.

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 beginning of April 2013 but has now undertaken the hands-on direction of the Society’s activities and will answer emails addressed to ed@mayneconservancy.ca

Rob Underhill BSc RPBio – 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 biologist@mayneconservancy.ca

Sofia Silverman – Outreach Specialist

Sofia is currently a student at the University of Victoria studying Physical Geography and Environmental Studies. Sofia grew up in Norway and on the West Coast of British Columbia, developing a passion for marine and terrestrial species. During her undergrad she has focused her studies on permaculture and how ecological communities can co-exist with humans, particularly in regards to growing food. Sofia has spent the past few years working in Norway, Vancouver Island, and Galiano in the permaculture and restoration fields. She is hopeful her work will inspire others to get outside and learn about their environments, as well as practice sustainability within their communities. She also loves whales!

Katie Kushneryk – Restoration Technician

Katie is an avid nature lover with a background in ecosystem monitoring and restoration. She has worked in public education and outreach in a variety of environments, from Galiano Island to Rwanda, and enjoys working with diverse groups of people. After graduating from the University of Victoria with a BSc in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies, she worked with Parks Canada to manage invasive species and document Species at Risk throughout the Southern Gulf Islands. Katie is passionate about environmental stewardship and is incredibly grateful to live and work in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish First Nations.

Maddy Litster – Restoration Technician

Maddy is passionate about our beautiful planet and all it does for us. She has a background in ecosystem restoration and invasive species management and hopes she can do her part in protecting our home. Following her graduation from the University of Victoria with a BSc in Geography, Maddy worked for the District of Saanich in their Natural Areas section. Her work involved restoration, urban forestry, and managing invasive species. Additionally, Maddy has experience working with school groups and volunteers, with one of her favourite memories being a class of Grade 3’s singing, “I Will Survive” during a Chum salmon fry release. When not working, you may find Maddy digging in the garden or frequenting the forest with sticks in her hair and seeds in her pockets.


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