MEET THE BOARD!
Our Board of Directors come from a variety of professional backgrounds from across the SEA Watershed Management Region. They are a group of dedicated volunteers who graciously contribute their time to making PEI’s communities and environment a better place to live, work and visit.
Profiles of the SEA Board of Directors
Chantale Ansems is currently employed as the Client Information Officer at CBDC-East in Montague, PE. Her role as the CIO is fast-paced with a number of responsibilities, but isn’t anything compared to her fast-paced life at home with four growing children.
Living in the country allows her children to play and explore nature on a daily basis, which is one of the reasons why she is dedicated to helping make the environment the best it can be for her children. Being a member of the Southeast Environment Associations Board gives her, and her children, an opportunity to keep in the know about what is happening in Eastern PEI with regards to environment and to take part in many of SEA’s activities.
Chantale believes in giving back to the community which is why she is also an honorary board member of Families First and devotes some of her spare time to volunteering where needed.
Growing up Lawrence was fortunate to have access to forests, woodlands and retired farmlands to roam around and play in. As a child and youth, he was able to observe how nature worked which sparked a life-long interest that eventually led him to study Agriculture at the post-secondary level. His employment with the Dairy Division of BC Ministry of Agriculture involved helping farmers reduce their impact on the environment and work with nature, rather than fight against it. He also spent 2 years as an agricultural consultant in three colleges in Kenya, Africa where he was able to see how local subsistence farmers managed to use their surroundings to their best advantage while learning valuable lessons about how they maintained a healthy environment.
When Lawrence retired and moved back to his wife’s home province of PEI, he felt fortunate to have been able to connect with the Southeast Environmental Association to gain some insights into streamwork that had been done on the section of the Valleyfield River bordering his property. From those early contacts, he wanted to become more involved with what SEA was doing and subsequently joined the Board in 2012 – where he sat as Chair for several years. He enjoys and appreciates what the PEI environment has to offer and continues to serve the community by continuing to volunteer his time.
Ian is a well-known Island resident who has been living in Iona, PE since 1980. He hasn’t always lived on the Island, as he attended his post-secondary studies at Bishop’s University, Quebec where he graduated in 1971. After graduating, Ian taught for two years in New Brunswick, then worked as an Environmental Studies sessional lecturer at Carleton University, also for two years. His life and work then brought him into the journalism world where he worked for CBC in both radio and television from 1979 until 2009. After having retired from CBC, he returned to his teaching background and taught Broadcast Journalism at Holland College for six years. He is still very active in the field of writing/reporting and currently writes for two publications: the Island Farmer, and RED Magazine, and is working on two video documentaries. Even though Ian keeps himself pretty busy, he finds time to give back to his community and currently volunteers with the Belfast Development Corporation, Festival of Small Halls, the PEI Adapt Council, and the Southeast Environmental Association.
Jim is a California native who spent much of his life in Pennsylvania. He now calls Murray Harbour home. Jim is a self-taught Silversmith with a passion for protecting the environment. When he is not in the studio Jim can be found walking the beaches, fishing, kayaking, bird watching, hiking, gardening and raising chickens. Jim does not like to be indoors.
Jim’s love affair with nature began at a very young age. He became a member of his local 4-H club when he was eight years old and progressed through the ranks to assume a leadership position when in his teens. As he got older Jim became a member and volunteer with the Sierra Club, The National Audubon Society, The National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy in both Pennsylvania and California. Jim also spent time as a volunteer for the Pennsylvania State University Raptor Centre and is currently an active volunteer with The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Island Nature Trust. Jim has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to garbage strewn beaches and has made it known loud and clear. He is also a very passionate advocate for bird habitat preservation.
Jim can be reached by e-mail at vitaminseastudio.ca and on his personal FB page, as well as, his studio page-Vitamin Sea Studio.
Heather was born in Toronto, Ontario and lived in Barrie until she was nine years old. Her family then moved to Montague, PEI in 1979 where she grew up and eventually graduated from the Montague Regional High School in 1989. After high school, Heather was accepted to Holland College where she pursued a career in Hairdressing. She worked at a local business, Mary Ann’s Beauty Salon, for 18 years until it ended up closing after that time. She then decided to become an entrepreneur, and started her own hairdressing shop called Beautangles Hair Design where she is the sole owner/operator. She currently lives in Lower Montague and is the mother of three children and wife of a local fisherman. Heather has always had a love of nature, animals, and gets out to experience all the beauty that PEI’s environment has to offer. She is an avid beach-goer and commits to doing what she can to keep PEI beautiful, clean and healthy.
Jim Evans was born in the UK, where he worked in telecommunications and raced motorcycles for fun. After moving to Ontario in 1974, he worked as a nuclear research technician and in marketing and sales, and enjoyed the open air as a keen cross-country skier and sailor. After retirement, he indulged his passion for sailing by travelling around the North Atlantic for a year, singlehanded, in a 24-foot sailboat.
Since settling in Murray Harbour in 2003, Jim has served in local government for much of that time, taking a particular interest in the value of good planning in protecting the environment. Jim and his wife Anna recently and proudly celebrated their 50th anniversary, and enjoy maintaining their property as a bird and nature-friendly space.
A keen yachtsman and editor of a cruising guide to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Jim is constantly reminded of the downstream effects of pollution in our estuaries and has seen these effects firsthand from the Caribbean to Labrador, and from France to Norway. Environmental degradation is a worldwide problem, but one that we can start tackling right here on PEI, starting from the tiniest stream.
Donna was born in Halifax, NS and moved to PEI when she was around 4 years of age. She grew up in Little Sands then moved to Montague and attended Montague Regional High where she graduated in 1989. After high school, she moved to Charlottetown and spent several years working in retail, but moved back to Montague where she met her husband and together they raised 6 children. Donna graduated from Holland College in 2006 where she earned diplomas in Retail Business Management and Business Administration. She also spent two wonderful summers working at Mooney’s Pond in Peakes, PE where she was able to explore her love and appreciation of nature. This tied very well into her other love – photography!! Donna has had in interest and passion for photography from a very early age and her time spent outdoors has allowed her to explore PEI’s environment through the lens of a camera. The appreciation and love that she has for wildlife and animals makes her especially concerned about environmental pollution, degradation and her pet peeve is littering, so don’t be surprised if you see her picking up garbage that has been thrown on the ground. She is a diligent Waste Watch sorter!!