Meet the Board

Ken Barton – Director Emeritus

August 18, 1940- January 10, 2019

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ken Barton on Thursday January 10, 2019. Ken was an active and avid supporter of Allan Brooks Nature Centre and he will be greatly missed.

Originally from England, Ken Barton planted his roots in Canada over 50 years ago. In 1995 after retiring from an extensive 37 year career in commercial banking and heavy involvement in a variety of non-profit organizations in Kitimat, Quesnel and Vernon, Ken was asked to become a founding member of Allan Brooks NatureCentre Society. Ken’s financial savvy, political connections and passion for nature have been a driving force behind the success, growth and sustainability of ABNC ever since. Ken’s skills and expertise have been well utilized to obtain grants, political support, raise awareness for environmental stewardship, acquire a 20 year land lease in 2000 for ABNC as well as maintain continued and increased financial support and commitments from the City of Vernon and the community as a whole. Since 2000 Ken has initiated several projects including a Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory and Mapping of the 18,000 acre Bella Vista-Goose Lake Range) which among others, led to a positive partnership and ‘working relationship agreement’ with the Okanagan Indian Band to combine areas of interest for both ABNC and OKIB. Ken has remained heavily committed to ABNC since its inception more than 20 years ago, through his involvement on the Board holding a variety of roles including President, Director, Past-President, Director at Large. Now Chair Emeritus since June 2016. When not devoting his time to ABNC, Ken and his wife Joanne enjoy travelling as part of their retirement.

Jim Popowich – Chair of the Board

Jim was born and raised on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan. Following graduation as a Mining Engineer from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon Jim worked in a number of communities across western Canada and the Northwest Territories. Community involvement became an important part of his life. Jim and his wife moved to Predator Ridge in 2004 after a lengthy career in the industry. Jim has continued to be involved within the industry as a director and adviser to mining companies and mentoring students at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. As a miner understanding nature was essential to a successful mining and reclamation process. The same is true for farming activities. It is here where Jim developed a love for nature. Living at the Predator Ridge Golf Resort also brings one very close to the outdoors. It was then a natural fit for Jim to become involved with the Allan Brooks Nature Center. He looks forward to utilizing his operational and management skills for the betterment of the Center and its contribution to the Okanagan community.

Heather Power – Treasurer, Director of Finance

Heather is a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP based in Vernon, BC. She enjoys working with private companies in various industries and provides accounting and assurance services, as well as general business advice. Heather is originally from St. Albert, AB and obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. She lived in Vancouver, BC for 10 years where she worked as a Senior Associate at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and as the Controller of Mountain Equipment Co-op. Heather relocated to Vernon in 2015 and joined KPMG. Heather has always loved being outside and spends most of her spare time in the mountains skiing, camping, biking, and hiking. She joined the Board of the Allan Brooks Nature Centre to bring together her passion for the outdoors, her love of learning, and her belief in the importance of environmental education for youth.

Colleen Lindsay – Education Director

Colleen Lindsay is a graduate of the University of Alberta born and raised in Edmonton. Colleen and her husband moved to Vernon B.C. in 1997 drawn here by the magnificent natural beauty of the Okanagan. Colleen has had a varied background in the field of Education recently working as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and a School Psychologist for the Vernon School District. In 2016 Colleen won the Educator of the Year Award in British Columbia for her work in designing post secondary education programs.  Prior to coming to Vernon Colleen worked at the University of Alberta in partnership with the Edmonton Public School District. Colleen worked as a Curriculum Consultant in Science Education to design and implement Science Inquiry experiences for students K-12 throughout the Edmonton area. Two of her favorite projects were working on developing Science Unit instruction using the Alberta Museum Bat Exhibit and the Muttart Conservatory orchard garden. These experiences combined with a love of learning in the natural environment made joining the Allan Brooks Board of Directors an exciting opportunity.

Sarah Bowers – Director

Sarah was born and raised in Vernon, B.C. and has always loved spending time in nature. Her hobbies include staying active with her boyfriend Chad, spending time with their dogs, snowboarding, enjoying delicious food, and being with family and friends. She has a degree in Event Management and Hospitality Management from The Art Institute and is excited to use her skills towards many new and exciting things for Allan Brooks Nature Centre. Being the newest board member Sarah looks forward to learning as much as she can and being a big part of the ABNC community.

Rob Shaw – Director of Buildings and Grounds

Appointed to the Allan Brooks board in January 2017 and elected for a two year term in June of 2017, Rob is new and welcome addition to the Allan Brooks board of directors. He has an extensive background in Real Estate showcasing roles such as President of the Creekside Estates Strata Corporation since 2002, Director & President of the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board from 2003-2015 and Past Regional Ambassador for the Real Estate Foundation. Rob is a long-term member of ABNC and since his recent retirement finally has the time to get involved and support and Society. Rob is thrilled to be able to pursue and engage in his appreciation and enjoyment of nature. He looks forward to continuing to build learning resources and conservation with ABNC.

David Guscott – Director, Governance

David has degrees in environmental studies and public administration and a lifelong passion for the out-of-doors. After a career in the Ontario Government, the last 9 years as a Deputy Minister, David was recruited to join the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games where he was Executive Vice-President responsible for the Games opening and closing ceremonies, the Cultural Olympiad and for developing partnerships with governments in BC and across the country. After the Olympics, David was the President and CEO of E-Comm 9-1-1, a company that handles emergency communications including 9-1- 1 calls throughout BC and call-taking and dispatch for many police and fire agencies.

When David and his wife decided to live in Vernon, the first thing that he looked up was where he would have the opportunity to pursue his passion for bird and wildlife photography. Minutes later, through Google , he was introduced to Allan Books Nature Centre. And as soon as he arrived he became a member.

David is a seasoned board member who has contributed on eight boards of directors in BC and Ontario. Besides nature photography, David is a keen sailor, camper and hiker.

Derek Powers – Legal Director

Derek is currently practicing law with Nixon Wenger LLP in Vernon. Prior to joining Nixon Wenger, Derek was a partner in the Toronto office of a large national law firm. He has a broad solicitor’s practice advising a variety of corporate and individual clients across a multitude of industries.

Derek has always had a love of nature and a strong interest in environmental conservation. Before embarking on a career in law, Derek studied civil engineering (environmental) at Queen’s University and worked as an environmental engineer in Syracuse, NY.

This love of the outdoors led Derek, his wife Pamela, and their two young children to move from Toronto to Vernon in the spring of 2017. The whole family is very active and typically spends their spare time enjoying all that the Okanagan has to offer.

Derek is thrilled by the opportunity to contribute to the Allan Brooks Nature Centre and the incredible Okanagan environment and community.

Sue Beaudry – Director

Sue has been a resident of Vernon since she moved here from the Ottawa Valley in late 2006. Starting her work life as a Science, Physical and Outdoor Education junior high and high school teacher, she changes career directions after her two daughters were born. Sue took on new challenges in community development and program management. She is now a seasoned professional who has held senior positions including Executive Director for not-for-profit / charitable organizations that provide services for elderly persons and intellectually disabled people in Ontario. In the fall of 2017 Sue retired from her position at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation where she worked with the Board of Directors to help meet the financial needs for health care in the North Okanagan. Most notably Sue participated in the raising of funds to support the building and completion of the Polson Tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Sue has had extensive experience as a director on many not-for-profit Board of Directors over her long career. Sue is a lifelong lover of nature and outdoor activities. Joining the Board of the Allan Brooks Nature Centre has brought Sue back to her roots and she is committed to work hard to strengthen this precious organization.

Caroline Fraser – Director

After graduating from SFU with a degree in communications, Caroline moved to the North Okanagan because of a love of the outdoors. Her passions include: being environmentally responsible; listening to podcasts; mountains biking, cross country skiing, and being in nature. Caroline looks forward to her role as a board member and is delighted to be learning more, contributing her time and connecting with the community.