“The importance of wilderness to the health of our community and the maintenance of Canadian culture, is why I feel that it is critical we should give to, and support regional parks.”
“I consider it a privilege and an amazing opportunity to contribute through the Pacific Parkland Foundation, to protect, and enhance the incredible diverse landscape that we live in.”
“Protecting, preserving, and increasing access to the incredible natural parks surrounding the communities we call home will be our generation’s legacy to pass on to our children.”
“Pacific Parklands Foundation’s funding and special projects create countless opportunities for outdoor experiences which enrich individual and community life. I find the potential fascinating.”
“Our regional parks are the crown jewel for what makes BC a special place to live and visit. Once you have immersed yourself in our wild and natural areas, the spirit of place will resonate.”
“Parks connect us with nature and one another, provide habitat and foster stewardship in our youth. By supporting Pacific Parklands Foundation we safeguard these valuable assets for future generations.”
“Parks provide so many essential services – they help keep our air and water clean, they provide habitat for plants and animals including fish and pollinators, and they give us a place to connect with nature. For people, playing outside – going for a walk or birdwatching – keeps us healthier and happier.”
With the advent of a new year, it’s timely for those of us who support and believe in the work of Pacific Parklands Foundation to step back and take stock of our accomplishments in 2015, look ahead to plans unfolding in 2016 and, most importantly, recognize the efforts of our amazing volunteers on behalf of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks.
As you may know 2015 marked this organization’s 15th anniversary. Appropriately, given this milestone, we wrapped up our largest capital campaign ever to build the Stewardship Centre at Kanaka Creek Regional Park Watershed. The Stewardship Centre, which includes the George Ross Learning Centre, will be completed this year. Pacific Parklands Foundation played a leadership role in this campaign with the help of Metro Vancouver, KEEPS (Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society), the Pacific Salmon Foundation, a legacy gift from Mr. George Ross and the support of many other individual and corporate donors.
A key goal in 2016 is to introduce a legacy giving program and to organize 100 monthly donors by year’s end. We believe monthly donors will allow us to better forecast our ability to provide financial support to worthwhile endeavours such as Catching The Spirit and other youth programs.
For more than a decade RBC Foundation has provided Catching The Spirit with financial support totalling more than $300,000. Through Catching the Spirit, hundreds of kids from 12 to 18 years of age volunteer to enhance our parks and environment through creative programs developed by peer leaders. These kids go on to become our community leaders.
I am proud to have served as President of the Pacific Parklands Foundation for almost half of its 15-year lifespan. I credit our dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, past and present, for achieving so many of our goals over the years and honouring the trust placed in the foundation by our donors and supporters. To our volunteer leadership team, our staff and our many loyal volunteers I offer the sincere gratitude of the entire Board. Together we are fulfilling the critical mission entrusted to us 15 years ago of enhancing and protecting one of our region’s most priceless assets, its regional parks.
David Pohl is Vice President, Commercial Markets for Royal Bank of Canada. He has held many positions within the bank over a career that has spanned 30 plus years. For most of this time he has been with Commercial Banking. He also has considerable experience within retail and international banking.
During most of the 90's, he headed the bank’s marketing efforts focused on Asian Banking during the major immigration flows from Hong Kong and Taiwan. He was also the General Manager for RBC in South Korea which gave him many business related experiences throughout Asia.
He is a registered member of the Certified Management Accountants Association of Canada. David is also immediate past national President of Hong Kong Canada Business Association.
He has held several executive positions within HKCBA and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1996. He is also an owner of a small business with his wife, Colleen and son, Jeff.
Kevin O'Callaghan is a partner at the law firm Fasken Martineau and the chair of the Aboriginal Law Practice Group. He is also a founding member of the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility Practice Group. He conducts a litigation practice that involves complex commercial litigation that focuses mainly on aboriginal, regulatory and environmental issues.
Kevin attended Queens University and attained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994 and then went on to the University of Western Ontario and attained an LL.B in 1999. He was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 2000.
His experience stretches throughout Western Canada, and north to the Northwest Territories. Kevin has appeared before courts in BC, Alberta, and the NWT, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.
Kevin provides ongoing advice to resource companies on obligations to First Nations and agreements with First Nations. He has also advised clients on a myriad of environmental matters including cost recovery actions, environmental assessment, off-site migration, ground water contamination, and regulatory offences.
Kevin lives in Vancouver with his wife and three children. Kevin and his family spend as much of their free time in the outdoors as possible – much of it running and walking in Capilano River Regional Park.
Joe is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the American Management Association (AMA). He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP).
Joe has over 20 years of experience in business development and marketing. For 11 years he was as a member of the senior management team at Canfor, Canada’s largest forest company. Joe was responsible for the domestic and international sales of Canfor’s wood fibre products and this allowed him to travel to many parts of the world.
After a long career in business, Joe wanted to use his business experience to help those who are less fortunate. In 2009 he entered the non-profit sector and joined the senior management team at Variety –the Children’s Charity. In 2012 Joe joined Ronald McDonald House as Development Director.. He developed a legacy giving program and was responsible for the capital campaign for the first Ronald McDonald Family Room in western Canada. Joe’s responsibilities expanded to include the wrap up of a $31 million capital campaign for the new 73 room House in Vancouver. The family room at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the new Ronald McDonald House opened successfully and on time in June 2014. Joe continues his relationship with the Ronald McDonald House as a volunteer.
Joe holds the Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE) designation. Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.
Joe was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast and he has always been an outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys hiking in the summer and snow shoeing in the winter. He brings his passion and expertise to protecting our green space and he believes strongly that parks are necessary to sustain a healthy community.
Anastase Maragos was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1964 and grew up in Gibsons, British Columbia. He attended the University of Windsor and attained his Bachelor of Commerce Degree and then went on to the University of British Columbia, attaining an LL.B. in 1990. After joining Watson Goepel Maledy in 1992, he became a partner in the firm in 1999.
The primary focus of Mr. Maragos' practice is representing claimants in personal injury litigation and disability insurance matters. He has been featured as a speaker at the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia on disability claims and has extensive experience in representing personal injury claimants in matters before the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Anastase is married and has two children. He is active in the Hellenic community, proudly serving as President of the Hellenic Community of Vancouver from 2003 to 2004 and as a director and member of Pacific Parklands Foundation.
Sarah Marsh is an Associate Partner in the Audit and Assurance Group with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Vancouver Assurance practice, bringing over 12 years of experience in the provision of external and internal audit services, as well as advisory projects. She currently leads a team of 100 people taking responsibility for the communication to staff around people, learning and education, resourcing and profitability.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) from York University, UK and a CA designation from England and Wales with specialization in the areas of external audit, internal audit and operational reviews.
She worked in the UK public sector practice for six years and now continues that specialization in the Government and Not-for-Profit practice in BC. In that capacity, she has served a wide variety of government and not-for-profit organizations. Sarah’s extensive professional experience in the not-for-profit area will be invaluable to the Foundation as well as her keen interest in community work. She is very enthusiastic about promoting the activities of the Pacific Parklands Foundation.
Metro and urban centres, that are considered great, are defined as much by the parks and green space they embrace, as to how they were shaped and where they place in history. Our region certainly deserves to be included but we are growing and encroaching at an incredible pace putting us at risk of losing what makes us great.
John Scott is the Chief Executive Officer at Scott Construction Group. The company built its first high rise in 1987 and has gone on to build many landmark commercial and high rise projects in the City. The Scott companies are known for personal service, integrity, top management and a Best Employer in Canada. Over the last decade, the company has expanded into health care, industrial and institutional buildings.
John is a leader in numerous industry and community organizations. He was a founding director of the Construction Round Table in British Columbia and was instrumental in establishing the Construction Chair at the University of British Columbia. He is currently involved with the Pacific Parklands Foundation as a director and Past President and sits on the cabinet for the Junior Achievement of British Columbia. In 2008, he was an Ernst & Young finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.
John is a keen golfer and is a Past President of Point Grey Golf & Country Club.
Steve is one of the founding directors of the Pacific Parklands Foundation. Immersed in private equity and venture capital for more than twenty-five years, Steve is an entrepreneur and investor with a career-long passion for building innovate private businesses and supporting industry and community endeavours.
Through his firm Lighthouse Equity Partners, Steve is focused on private equity investments in growth-oriented small and mid-sized businesses based in Western Canada operating across a diversity of industries. Previously, Steve co-founded Vancouver-based venture capital firm Yaletown Venture Partners, led TD Bank’s technology banking group on the west coast, was director of PricewaterhouseCoopers Technology Group, and began his career as a software engineer with Accenture designing systems for the energy and communications industries.
Active in industry and community, Steve has been on the boards of numerous private companies, one Crown Corporation, several private capital funds, industry associations and charitable organizations. He currently serves on the executive committee for BC’s Minister of Innovation and is a past executive committee member to the BC Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier. Steve is currently Editorial Board Chair for Canadian Private Capital Magazine, a director of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), is past Vice President of the board of directors for the Canadian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (CVCA) and past-Chair of the Canadian Private Equity & Venture Capital National Conference.
Steve is a graduate of UBC and BCIT, magna cum laude. He is proud husband and a father of four great kids. He is an avid waterskier, downhill skier, outdoorsman, and volunteer coach of youth sports teams - where he is rewarded by seeing confidence grow and constantly reminded how much can be accomplished through the power of encouragement and teamwork.
Richard Hankin has 35 years of experience in local and regional planning. Most notably, Rick was the Manager of Metro Vancouver Regional Parks for 25 years until his retirement in February, 2003. During his tenure, Rick spearheaded the expansion of Metro Vancouver regional parks from 5,500 acres to 28,600 acres, an increase from 4 to 25 parks and greenways.
Along with this growth, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks evolved from essentially a land acquisition agency to a full-fledged park and recreation operation with an enhanced conservation focus. Rick also oversaw the introduction of linear parks known as Greenways and the Parks Partnership Program designed to foster shared decision-making and park activities with community groups.
Mel Kositsky is a long-time Langley resident with extensive experience in local government and media. He returns to the Board of the Pacific Parklands Foundation as a voting Director after serving for many years as the non-voting representative of the Metro Vancouver Regional District Board of Directors. He also served on the regional parks committee for 15 years and then became part of the founding committee for Pacific Parklands Foundation. He has been involved with PPF since before its inception and brings to the position a great knowledge of land use planning, community development and intergovernmental relations and has a passion for parks and recreation. He is the president of Kositsky Consulting and a member of the Board of Directors of the BC Housing Management Commission, a Crown Corporation. He also served on the Board of Directors of the BC Recreation and Parks Association from 2011-2013.
Mel served as a Langley Township Councillor from 1993 to 2011 and was an editor and reporter at newspapers in BC and Alberta. During his years on Council, he was very involved with issues of community safety, affordable housing, municipal infrastructure, diversity awareness, First Nations treaty negotiations and aboriginal affairs. He was elected to Boards and Committees of municipal associations in BC and across Canada, and was the Canadian representative of a municipal development program in the Philippines. Mel received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to community and local government in Canada and internationally. In 2012, he was inducted into the Roll of Honour of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the equivalent of the local government hall of fame.
Mel was also once honoured by Horse Council BC with an award for promoting the horse industry through a weekly newspaper column and as the host and producer of an equine industry show on cable television. He was also a driver, trainer, and breeder of standard bred racehorses. He has been involved in the Langley Big Brothers Big Sisters program since 1986 as a Board member and matched volunteer, including being an in-school mentor at an elementary school. As a PPF Director, he will spearhead development and maintenance of the Spirit of the Horse Garden in Campbell Valley Regional Park.
On January 3, 2011, Tamara Taggart became part of the full time anchor team for CTV News at Six along with Mike Killeen.
Taggart is a third generation Vancouverite. Growing up, she worked hard at various part-time jobs (cleaning stables, selling shoes, developing x-rays, cashier) to put herself through school. It was at BCIT where the “broadcasting bug” bit her. After graduating in Broadcast Communications, Tamara’s jobs took her from radio to concert promoting. All that hard work paid off…in 1997 the world of television came knocking and life hasn’t been the same since. Many doors have opened for Tamara - and she's walked through every single one of them, never looking back. It was the CTV’s Community Calendar In Touch (now called Making A Difference) that started it all; from there she co-hosted the Vancouver Breakfast show and then entertainment during the evening news.
Tamara Taggart was chosen to represent CTV British Columbia on CTV's national news team broadcasting from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Tamara has been with CTV British Columbia for 13 years, including stints as co-host of Vancouver Breakfast as well as the weathercaster for CTV News at Five, CTV News at Six and CTV News at 11:30.
For two years Tamara spent weekends redecorating homes around Metro Vancouver as the host of the HGTV Canada's hit show Love It or Lose It. Homeowners took their chances with a mystery designer and Tamara's was there every step of the way, having the time of her life. It was the perfect way for this home reno fan to spend her free time!
Tamara has appeared as a journalist in feature films including AntiTrust, Josie and the Pussy Cats, Halloween 8, Along Came a Spider, and has appeared in several television series including Robson Arms, Cold Squad and Touching Evil.
The Georgia Straight annual readers’ choice poll has named Tamara as Best Local TV Weather Person and Best Local TV Personality from 2002 to 2009. In 2011, she was named as Best Local TV Anchors from The Georgia Straight “Best of Vancouver” readers’ choice poll along with anchor Mike Killeen. She was honoured as the "Woman of the Year" at the Consumer's Choice Awards in 2003 and has graced the cover of TV Week Magazine many times - she was also named one of B.C.'s Ten Most Beautiful People. Tamara's wedding in 2006 was featured on the cover of TV Week and Real Weddings Magazine. She was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Host, Lifestyles Series for Love It or Lose It in 2005 and 2006. The TV Week Readers' Choice Awards named Tamara their Favourite TV Personality (2006-2009), Favourite Weather Personality (2006-2007) and Favourite TV Special Features Reporter (2006-2009). The WestEnder Newspaper ‘Best in the City’ readers poll has voted Tamara "Best Local TV Weatherperson" (2006-2010) and "Best Local TV Personality" (2006-2009).
Tamara sits on the board at The Kettle Friendship Society, which provides support and services to mental health consumers in Vancouver -- she is also a board member for the Pacific Parkland Foundation, which raises funds for special projects in regional parks & fosters public awareness of the regional park system. For the past two years Tamara has been a board member for The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada. She also sits on the board for Rare Disease Foundation and Cures for Kids Foundation, which provides funding to pediatric health institutions who offer treatments for childhood illnesses, as well as information and community awareness for the children and families who are affected. Tamara also supports the Developmental Disabilities Association and The BC Centre for Ability and looks forward to making a positive difference.
On August 21, 2009 Tamara co-hosted with Regis Philbin of Live! With Regis and Kelly in New York City. Tamara was the only Canadian broadcaster picked out of thousands to co-host. An experience of a lifetime, Tamara sat beside Regis for an hour interviewing Renee Zellweger and Geraldo Rivera. That show received a whopping 52% increase in Canadian viewership.
During the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Tamara was the National Weathercaster for CTV.
Tamara and two close friends opened EiO: A Kids Store in Vancouver - yet another creative outlet for this busy mom who loves talking to other parents about what they find works for their own families. Tamara and her husband David welcomed their son Beckett into the world on August 2, 2007, daughter Zoë arrived on September 24, 2008 and daughter Poppy arrived on August 16, 2010. They also share their home with their Airedale terrier, Stanley. In her spare time Tamara enjoys gardening, shopping and playing outside with her family. Tamara's growing family has provided lots of great content for her Modern Mommy Blog which has proven to be a popular feature on ctvbc.ca.
Mark van der Zalm is the founding principal of van der Zalm + associates inc. He is a fully licensed Landscape Architect in several states and provinces within North America including BC, Ontario, Washington, Texas, Wisconsin, Oregon, Arizona and Minnesota. Mark is also a Member of the Green Building Council of BC and a LEED Accredited Professional.
He attended Simon Fraser University and attained a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1994. He then went on to Utah State University where he earned a Master of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning in 1997.
Mark is committed to the improvement of the natural and built environment through planning and design solutions that respect living things and protect natural resources. With extensive experience in the planning, design, and management of a variety of land-use and landscape architectural projects, he has completed projects both internationally and in Canada. Examples of his work include Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, BC and Haida Gwaii Community Park Master Plan in Queen Charlotte Islands, BC.
Mark is also a frequent speaker at recreation planning events and national symposiums related to park design and development. His personal interests include adventure racing, cross-country running and basketball.
A PhD in psychology, Dr. Mordehai Wosk has worked as a therapist and educator in California and Vancouver. For three years he served as the Executive Director of the Hillel Foundation of Vancouver as well as a campus chaplain at UBC and SFU.
Since the late 1980s Mordehai has been active in the real estate business. He is currently the President of MW Investments Ltd., a diversified investment company. Mordehai serves on numerous Boards across of wide spectrum of interests including education, community, music, Psychology and parklands. He has been a visitor to the parks in Vancouver and the regional district since the 1950's and is a lover of nature.
In today’s world Dr. Wosk feels we are subject to an unprecedented pace of global development and change. As a result, humanity is experiencing ever increasing levels of tension in the complexities of our social, economic, political, environmental and personal lives. He says it is essential to provide natural sanctuaries for the health and well being of ourselves and of future generations.
Dr. Wosk stated, "The Parks of British Columbia and the Metro Vancouver Regional District are among the most spectacular and pristine of any in the world. This rare natural resource must be preserved as a home for refreshment, balance and harmony. It is our responsibility to protect the fragile coexistence between humans, animals, plants and minerals. If not us—who? If not now—when?"
Lindsey would say it was her many hours spent by the Grand River and Elora Gorge while growing up in small town Ontario that fostered her love for landscapes and stewardship for the environment.
While pursuing her bachelor degree in Montreal she studied painting and drawing at Concordia University where she focused her practice on the relationship between people and landscapes. Following graduation and feeling restrained by the confines of the canvas, she began to look towards landscape architecture and urban design as a means for creative outlet. She headed westward, landing in British Columbia. Her background in fine art was well suited to her pursuit of landscape architecture and with it she brings a blend of hand drawing and technical abilities to her work.
Since graduating from the University of British Columbia Master of Landscape Architecture program in 2014 she has worked in many scales and typologies. She has participated in the visioning of neighborhood plans, downtown action plans and public realm master plans; and, she has designed playgrounds and residential landscapes from concept through to detail design.
As a master student she was recognized for her dedication to her practice and received the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant, the Sharp and Diamond Ecological Design Scholarship, Faculty of Applied Science Graduate Award, and Graduate Project Design Excellence Award. Since graduating, she was member of a team that was awarded a Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation Grant.
Lindsey is active in the local community, and can be seen volunteering on construction sites building playgrounds and demonstration gardens with Projects for Public Space, joining in on Vancouver Public Space Network events, and attending the SALA, SFU and AIBC lecture series. She is currently working towards full registration with the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architecture.
In all of her work is a reflection of her appreciation for ecology, experience of nature and vibrant public spaces.
Councillor Heather Deal was elected to the Vancouver Park Board in 2002 and Vancouver City Council in 2005. She served as the Deputy Mayor of Vancouver for 2016 and is the Chair of the City Finance and Services Committee.
Councillor Deal focuses on Vancouver's livability, bringing her passions for supporting arts and culture, animated public spaces, safe active transportation, and heritage to City Hall. She also spearheaded the food cart program and has served as a Vancouver Public Library trustee.
At the regional level, Councillor Deal chairs the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Committee and the Fraser Basin Council's Watersheds and Water Resources Committee.
Councillor Deal received her BA in biology from Oberlin College in 1982 and her M.SC. in immunology from UBC in 1988. She did cancer research before changing careers to focus on environmental issues and has a long history of working on healthy ecosystems. She has worked for UBC, the provincial government and most recently, the David Suzuki Foundation.
Councillor Deal is an avid cyclist, camper, hiker, and reader, and enjoys gardening on her Kitsilano balcony. She also loves to enjoy the great local arts and food that Vancouver has to offer.
Craig Hodge is a long-time Coquitlam resident and is currently serving his second term on city council. He chairs the city’s Riverview Lands Advisory Committee and the Coquitlam Sports Council. He is also a director of Metro Vancouver and serves on its regional park and zero waste committees.
A retired photojournalist, Craig began his career at the Columbian Newspaper in New Westminster when he was still in high school. He went on to become a staff photographer at the Vancouver Sun and The Tri-City News.
During his career, he covered some of the biggest stories of the past four decades including Expo 86 and the 2010 Olympic Games. He has also photographed the Stanley Cup playoffs, Grey Cup, NBA and Vancouver Whitecaps games as well as visits by U.S. presidents, the Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
In addition, Craig documented Terry Fox and every Canadian prime minister since Pierre Trudeau. His work with local newspapers earned him 42 international, national and provincial awards for photojournalism.
In his community, Craig has served as a director of the Coquitlam Foundation, president of the Tri-Cities’ Chamber of Commerce and president of the Coquitlam Heritage Society; he was also elected to three terms as director of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.
Craig and his wife, Darla, have three school-aged children — Robbie, Brandon and Dawson — and he volunteers as an assistant coach for their soccer and ball hockey teams as well as a Scout leader.
Mike has a passion for the outdoors and has had the privilege to work with many others to advance parks initiatives from concept to reality. Mike worked with the City of Richmond, British Columbia for 27 years, leading an award winning team of Parks professionals that planned, developed and protected parks and open spaces and natural areas. Mike is currently the Director of Regional Parks for Metro Vancouver with a mandate to protect and connect residents to the regional park system.