Board and Staff

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 – Alison Martin

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 back ground 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. Alison is retiring to focus on volunteer work for not-for-profit organizations.The Conservancy’s missions are in line with Alison’s dedication to environmental causes. 

Helen O’Brian—Secretary and 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.

Communications Chair – 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.

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.

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.

Joan Sutherland

Joan has been on Mayne for 16 years after leaving Tsawwassen where she grew up.She has always had an interest in gardening, a passion inherited from her parents. Joan has designed and installed gardens in Tsawwassen, and here on Mayne Island after her move. well. Her years in Tsawwassen made her aware of Indigenous plants and over the years she has become more and more interested. She made contact with Rob Underhill a number of years ago and began donating seeds from native plants in her garden. She volunteers at the semi-annual plant sales and assists Rob at the Nursery as well. It was through this work that she was drawn closer to the Conservancy and its objectives. Having cut back substantially on her own business she now has the opportunity to donate more time to the Conservancy and has decided to put her name forward for the Board of Directors.

Nancy Gibson

Nancy has been on Mayne Island part time for the past 15 years and is in the process of moving over full time. She is interested in being part of the Conservancy Board because of all the organizations needing volunteers, this is the one that matters the most to her. Nancy has been an amateur bird watcher and naturalist for many years and wants to focus her volunteer time working alongside others with similar interests and values. Her work experience has been varied: she has owned and operated several small businesses, and was a school librarian for a period of time. She has good bookkeeping and organisational skills and is comfortable working with children. Nancy has recently joined the Program Committee and is looking forward to becoming a member of the Board of Directors.

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

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

Andrew Simon: Ecosystems Technician

Andrew is a naturalist with roots on British Columbia’s south coast, currently pursuing an MSc at the UVic School of Environmental Studies. His research is focused on the implications of seasonal drought for plant and pollinator communities in the southern Gulf Islands of BC. He is interested in our regional biodiversity, with a fascination for how local plant communities are affected by microclimate. In pursuit of these studies, he runs a biodiversity project on Galiano Island, and maintains a weather station network in partnership with the Ministry of Forests and the UVic School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Andrew feels relationships are fundamental to his practice as an ecologist, and is inspired by a commitment to place and respect for the people who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial. When he’s not peering through a microscope or pouring over life’s tangled bank, Andrew nurtures his passions for archery and guitar, and enjoys sharing those interests with those around him.

Jillian Westby: Ecosystems Technician (starting May 2019)

Jill is very excited to be joining the Mayne Island Conservancy from May to August 2019 as an Ecosystems Technician. Jill recently completed her B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Royal Roads University. Before that, she obtained a diploma in Environmental Technology from Camosun College. She was born and raised in Victoria BC, and some of her favourite childhood memories are of family camping trips exploring the Gulf Islands. Jill feels extremely lucky to call this beautiful part of the world home. She loves working with kids and is interested in environmental education.



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