Lyda believes inviting people into nature, engaging them in meaningful fun hands-on action will instills an environmental ethic which will lead to responsible environmental behaviour. She has worked and volunteered at non-profit sector for 20 years. Her background is in organizing, fundraising and outreach. In Feb 2011 she founded the Lower Mainland Green Team on social media. It is through this work that Lyda has received a BC Achievement Foundation Community Award in 2019, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2014 and was presented with the Frank Sanford Award for Community Service from Nature Vancouver in 2013.
Director of Programs and Partnerships
Amanda has always been passionate about the environment; at age 10 she started a recycling program and during high school became the President of the Environment Club. During University, she co-founded the Ecological Restoration Volunteer Network, a student run club that connects students to local ecological restoration work parties. Amanda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, as well as a Diploma in Restoration of Natural Systems. Since August 2014, Amanda has been awarded the Vancity Social Innovation Award in February 2016, Volunteer Victoria Volunteer Engagement Award in July 2016 and Volunteer Program award for the GVGT from Environmental Services of the District of Saanich in 2017.
Lower Mainland Green Team Program Manager
Ashton is passionate about environmental education and community engagement, and is particularly interested in addressing climate change.
Ashton believes strongly in the mission of Green Teams of Canada (GTC). She has served on its board and has volunteered with the Lower Mainland Green Team. Having completed a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences at UBC, she has extensive knowledge on environmental processes and how humans perceive and interact with their lived environments. Throughout university she was involved in various sustainability initiatives and has experience in interdisciplinary research, waste management and operations. Ashton strives to inspire and nurture young leaders to take action for the environment and reach their full potential.
Greater Victoria Green Team Program Manager
Karlis was first humbled by the power of nature as a child, when witnessing the vast seasonal changes of a floodplain along the Nottawasaga River, close to his family’s cottage in Southern Ontario. Growing up in a bilingual family, among the many diaspora communities of downtown Toronto inspired him to complete a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto and spend significant time abroad in South America and the Baltic region. He has worked as a fundraiser for various ENGOs, been an advocate for better access to healthy, local food for under-served urban communities and toured as a drummer in a number of bands. Since moving to Vancouver Island, he has focused on studying restoration ecology and building community resilience to climate change. Karlis believes that engaging people in stewardship of local parks and protected areas is one of the best ways to expand environmental consciousness
Board of Directors
Jessica Daniel is a geologist working in exploration for battery metals, currently as a consultant and prospector. She is a member of APEGBC with a B.Sc. in Geological Sciences from the University of British Columbia and an M.Sc. in Geology from Laurentian University.
Jessica is passionate about the outdoors and volunteerism. She has a great interest in exploring nature, hiking and looks forward to playing a role in building a strong sustainable charity.
Kristen Beattie has been a Green Team volunteer since the very beginning in 2011. She is an environmental scientist, and has a degree in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC. She is currently a Permitting and Enforcement Officer at Metro Vancouver.
Kristen loves being a mom of two. She is passionate about giving back to the community and really enjoys getting outdoors and getting her hands dirty. She is excited to be part of building Green Teams of Canada up and positioning it to scale up and grow!
Michele Chong CPA, CGA, is an accountant with experience in the corporate and charitable sector. She loves spending time with her 2 year old son and whenever possible being out in nature. She is keen to give back and help more people get connected to each other and nature.
Laura Dohan is a PR and marketing professional specializing in the tourism and sustainability sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a diploma in hospitality management and is involved with various causes and volunteer organizations.
Growing up on Vancouver Island surrounded by an abundance of nature, she recognizes the importance of being connected to the environment that surrounds us and how this connection shapes our lives. She believes that in order to make a difference on a global scale, it’s important to act locally and create a positive impact on animals and the environment through education and hands-on participation.
Brian So is an independent insurance agent who helps individuals and businesses provide a comprehensive risk management plan. He wants to help connect people to nature, preserve habitats and biodiversity, and raise awareness about the impact of climate change.
He is happily married and has a daughter. He stays active by taking his daughter out for walks and playing hockey. He is excited to help grow Green Teams of Canada!
Kathleen Belton’s dedication to environmental advocacy was nurtured by her upbringing in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. Through her work and volunteering Kathleen is focused on environmental education and changing the way people interact with the natural world. She believes it’s important for people to connect with nature to understand the role they play in protecting it because everyone can make a difference. In her spare time, you can find Kathleen cycling, hiking and exploring B.C.’s wilderness.
Steven Evans practices environmental law, and insurance law. He also has a background in journalism and marketing. In 2013, he co-authored a research paper on climate change adaptation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Steven also really cares about health and well-being. For 10 years, he volunteered with the BC Lions Society for children with disabilities and Easter Seals BC. He has been an advocate with Access Pro Bono Mental Health Program. Steven has lived in Japan and Singapore and loves to travel. In his spare time, you can find him hiking and cycling.
Bill Young is the founder of Social Capital Partners (SCP), an innovative non-profit, social finance company started in 2001. Throughout its history SCP has facilitated thousands of jobs for people who face employment barriers through social enterprise and the private sector by linking community hiring to attractive financing. Before founding SCP, Bill worked in the private sector, primarily as CEO of Hamilton Computers – later sold to GE Capital – and Optel Communications Corp. He began his career as a Chartered Accountant and holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Harvard. He sits on numerous boards and advisory boards involved in social finance and social innovation and is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Doug Appleby is a highly creative, problem solving and results oriented manager with experience in Human Resources, Marketing and Public Relations. He has been on the Board of Directors for Volunteer Canada and spends much of his time volunteering for a wide variety of organizations such as the United Way, Youth Without Shelter, Habitat for Humanity, BC Games 55+ (an annual multi-sport event) and the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. He’s an avid motorcyclist, skier, kayaker and sailor. He loves spending time with his grandchildren, is getting back into golf and enjoys taking care of green spaces removing invasive plants and planting native species!
Sarah Fitzpatrick is a lawyer who specializes in charities, not-for-profits, estate planning and business law. She is an associate at Miller Thomson LLP in its Social Impact Group.
Sarah loves to travel and lived in Japan teaching English. She has a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria, and a Bachelors of Arts specializing in history from the University of Toronto. Sarah is passionate about giving back to the community and is excited to be part of the Green Teams of Canada advisors
Shannon Okun is an HR professional with 15 years of experience supporting leaders in a variety of sectors. She understands the challenges and opportunities organizations face while leveraging talent and maintaining a culture of high performance.
She enjoys spending time outdoors and has enrolled her son in a program that connects him with nature. She believes in the value of hands-on experiential education!
Connie Larochelle has been a Greater Victoria Green Team volunteer since 2015 and is a strong believer in many hands make light work. With a Masters from Royal Roads University and an undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Sciences, she brings a passion for linking social and mental health to biodiversity and environmental health. She is a business intelligence practitioner with an innate curiosity of linking unlikely datasets to discover hidden stories within open source data.
She is a member of the Beaver Clan of the Haisla Nation on the north coast of BC and currently works as a Senior Research Advisor for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.