ELLEN KINSEL – Director since 2018

Ellen brings a long history of community involvement to the board table. “I have a strong commitment to my community,“ Ellen says, “and I see the Legacy Society as an organization that contributes to its resilience and sustainability.” She has served as a director of many organizations since moving to Hills in 1975. For 19 years she worked at Lucerne Elementary-Secondary School, first in the office, then co-founding the Facilitated Learning Centre where she worked with both school age students and adult learners. A background in education and technology led her to work from home since 2004, training and supporting school districts and corporations in the field of online learning which she continues to do even though theoretically she is retired. When not at her desk, she is out and about with her camera, in the kitchen cooking and baking, or sitting at the sewing machine.

BARBARA CURRY MULCAHY – Director since 2020

Barbara moved to Slocan in 2012. She writes for the Valley Voice. Barbara studied creative writing at UVic and UBC. In 1978, she and her family moved to northern Alberta. After some lean years, she and her husband got a series of part-time jobs. Barbara drove a school bus, delivered mail, ran a small-town library, and taught English as a Second Language and Adult Literacy. She worked as a teacher’s aide, a heath promotion facilitator, and as a contract writer and facilitator. Barbara’s creative writing has been broadcast on the CBC and published in books, magazines, and newspapers. Wherever she has lived, Barbara has been a member of local community boards. “I enjoy the comradery of the Legacy Society,” Barbara says. “It’s a pleasure to be part of such an enthusiastic, talented group working to help the Valley be the wonderful place that it is.”

MIKE LESNIK – Director since 2016

Michael came to the West Kootenay in 1972, before moving to UVic. After a one-year teacher training program, he taught in Saanich schools for five years before moving to principalships in the Arrow Lakes Southern Zone schools, New Denver’s Lucerne school and then Kamloops schools for 25 years. Michael has been an avid youth and high school sports coach, and a ukulele band aficionado. After retiring, Michael returned to Rosebery where he has continued working with children through youth sport coaching, and volunteering at the Lucerne school. Michael enjoys outdoor recreation and has participated in several trail and ecological organizations. Michael says, “What could be more satisfying and worthwhile than finding funds to support local organizations whose purposes are to enhance the quality of life of our Slocan Valley residents? Our Society board is a talented, diversely-skilled group that works purposefully and well. We enjoy each other’s company, although it’s usually all business.”

BRIAN EUERBY – Director since 2016

My love for the Slocan Valley dates to 1963 when my parents got to know Robert and Sarah McFerrin who travelled from Los Angeles to spend several summers in Nelson teaching music at Notre Dame University. (The McFerrin’s son, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Bobbie, therefore has a history in the Slocan Valley.) As does everyone, my parents fell in love with the Kootenays. They found a place of anyone’s dreams near the Lemon Creek look-out road. I have enjoyed the Slocan Valley ever since I was a boy, and continue to appreciate its beauty each and every day. The Slocan Valley Community Legacy Society provides the opportunity to give back to a community that has been so very good to me.

SONJA THOMA – Director since 2017

Having grown up in the Bavarian mountains, Sonja came to the Kootenays via a little 10-year detour in Vancouver where she completed her PhD in Linguistics, and more importantly, met her partner. He grew up in the Valley, which simplified the choice to move here with their three children. Sonja currently works for First Nations Education Steering committee as First Nations Language coach in schools across BC. Moving to Slocan, Sonja realized quickly that the work of the Slocan Valley Community Legacy Society and the grants from its Legacy Fund supports many organizations and services in the Valley. “I am really attracted to the Society’s mission to support a strong, resilient community. I believe that this Valley is a wonderful place to raise a family,” says Sonja, “and supporting the Legacy Society benefits everyone. I like that I can support a healthy place for all by volunteering with my wonderful Legacy Board colleagues.”

DAVE HILLARY – Director since 2019

Dave Hillary is Director, Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships at the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF). A former Director with the Nature Conservancy Canada, where he spent 12 years, Dave brings deep and meaningful conservation experience and relationships to his work. He is a champion for the idea of conservation outcomes through collaboration and was previously Chairperson of the East Kootenay Conservation Program (EKCP) and the Heart of the Rockies Initiative (HOTR). He has three degrees in natural and social sciences and is a recovering professor of Environmental Sciences. He lives in Silverton with his partner Lynette. Off the clock, Dave likes to explore, take very long short-cuts, paddle his kayak, travel in Mexico and spend time with his vagabond children and grandchildren who are all global travelers. Dave is also known for sayings like “shoot the puck” and “keep your eye on the prize and don’t blink”

EVELYN GOODELL – Director since 2014

Evelyn has lived in Hills since 1971 where she and her husband built their home and raised their daughter. In the 1970s she was a teacher at Goat Mountain School, a parent cooperative independent school, and was involved as a parent in the 1990s. Evelyn was the librarian at Nakusp Public Library for 30 years, a job she loved. She has volunteered with many groups including the Hidden Garden Gallery, Lucerne’s PAC, the Silverton Gallery, Hills Recreation Society, the community choir, and the contemplative Room to Breathe program at Lucerne School, and since she has retired she is now a volunteer at Nakusp Public Library. “When I joined the Legacy Society, I became a member of the Granting Committee and was impressed with the process and people involved. I didn’t know anything about community foundations, but I am now a dedicated fan.”

ALEX BERLAND – Director since 2012

Alex first came to the Slocan Valley in 1974, starting the small farm in Passmore where he still lives with his family. After graduating as a nurse from Selkirk College, he worked in Kootenay hospitals and taught at the Vallican Whole School. He moved to Vancouver to further his education and then worked in hospital management around BC before semi-retiring. Alex has volunteered with dozens of community organizations since 1970 and currently serves on the board of a community health centre in Vancouver as well as advising several non-government organizations in Bangladesh. “I enjoy my work with the Legacy Society, “says Alex. “We have a dedicated, talented Board with supportive members who help us do our job: raising money and giving it away. I like the Legacy Society’s values and its purpose. Anyone can participate; everyone benefits.”

SUSIE HAMMOND – Director since 2013

Susie has lived in Vallican since 1980. She and her husband own a consulting company that prepares nature-based plans with Indigenous and rural communities. In 1991 they formed a charitable organization to further this work. Susie has served as administrator for both organizations for more than 30 years. As part of her work, she has written too many grant applications to count. She brings this experience to her work as Co-Chair of the Granting Committee of the Society. Since 1980 she has served on numerous Boards in the south Valley. “Through the granting process, I enjoy learning about the many wonderful projects that groups are doing to make our Valley a vibrant place,” says Susie