EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Chair – SALLY McINTYRE

Sally has been a core volunteer and photographer for Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island since moving from to the Island from Toronto in early 2017. Ever since she stepped foot in her first SFVI chapter meeting, she has felt completely at home surrounded by an active community that is passionate about the health of our oceans. She has never felt more whole and happy as an individual than having a sense of place and community in Victoria.

Sally recently became our Chair in early 2020 and is excited to empower our Southern Vancouver Island community with much enthusiasm through education, support, leading by example and enacting change at a municipal level. Outside of SFVI, you’ll find Sally either getting grounded by the water, dancing to quality beats, cycling along the trails, hiking some terrain, laughing to a good joke, or making a solid meal!

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Vice Chair – LYNN WHARRAM

Lynn has been involved with Surfrider since 2013. She was the Beach Cleanups coordinator from 2015 to 2017 and helped develop the program into what it is today. She has recently returned to fill the role of Vice Chair. She is passionate about the environment in all aspects from cleaning beaches to choosing to walk or ride her bike to refusing single-use plastics. She believes the easiest way to protect the environment is to slow down and enjoy it. Lynn has two daughters that are just as passionate about the environment and together they do their best to be a part of the solution. Lynn’s other fun activities include hiking, biking, walking along the beach, and educating herself on environmental issues.

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Secretary – KAITLYN DEWEERD

Born and raised in Ontario, Kaitlyn moved to Victoria in 2017 and fell in love with the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. She holds a B.A. in History and Global Development Studies, with a specialization in environmental history, from the University of Victoria and is passionate about grassroots organization and coastal preservation. Kaitlyn joined Surfrider in November, 2021 as the Chapter Secretary and is stoked to be a part of a community of passionate individuals who are striving for environmental change.

In her free time, you can find Kaitlyn photographing and exploring the breathtaking scenery of Vancouver Island, enjoying quality time with friends, or reading a good book.

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Treasurer – COLETTE LAPIERRE

Colette joined Surfrider Vancouver Island in 2021 and volunteers at the monthly beach cleanups. She uses her expertise in Leadership and Finance to help support sustainable business practices. While passionate about accounting and everything financial, you’ll find Colette hiking or at a remote beach when she’s not on her computer. Meeting family and friends at the waterfront is a regular habit she enjoys all year long.

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Volunteer Coordinator – ANTOINE

Currently a candidate in the MBA Program in Sustainable Innovations at UVic, Antoine loves bringing people together and contributing to the betterment of the local community. Based in Sooke, you may catch Antoine at your local beach searching for seaweeds or chasing waves. His strong volunteering background from countries around the world has helped him become aware of how human activities have impacted the environment. He believes that in order to protect the coastline, we must first strive as a community and work together in creative and exciting ways.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Antoine for any inquiries regarding volunteering opportunities.

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Membership Coordinator – CRYSTAL TOUHEY

Born and raised on Vancouver Island, nothing excites Crystal more than being on a secluded hike, strolling along the beach, paddle boarding, and cycling along the the beautiful Island coastline. Crystal has been helping with beach clean ups over the years and wants to take her volunteer skills to the next level and give back to the community. Crystal holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Leadership, A diploma in Health Sciences, and a Diploma in Tourism and Recreation. Crystal is very passionate about the environment and is excited to meet new members!

Events Coordinator – CHELSEA PARKINSON

I have lived all over the island, mainly Port Hardy and Victoria. I trained my dog to pick up things on cue and he's been a huge help being able to grab floating trash from our coasts (I'm scared of water so I don't swim haha). I started volunteering/learning at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea about two years ago. I am vegetarian for environmental reasons and have a bit of a green thumb. I spend my weekends, hiking, camping, beachcombing and volunteering. I believe in educating and leading by example to encourage others to make environmentally friendly choices.


Core Leadership Team

Beach Cleanups – KATIE KEATS

Katie has been a member and beach clean-up volunteer with Surfrider since 2017. Katie moved to the west coast from Manitoba to be closer to the things she loves; whales, beaches and the ocean. She recently completed her Master’s in Geography at Uvic, where her studies focused on using citizen science as a way to reduce the amount of plastic litter in coastal communities.

When not advocating for a plastic free lifestyle, Katie can be found walking a beach with her dog Daisy or tending to her plant babies.

Beach Cleanups – KAYLA JONES

Kayla initially got involved with Surfrider VI as a volunteer on the Blue Water Task Force. As a lover of marine life and cold-water dips, she takes the health of our oceans and coastlines very seriously; this eventually led her to taking on the role of one of Surfrider’s Beach Cleanup Program Co-Leads!

In her spare time you might find her exploring the wild beaches, forests and mountains of Vancouver Island, cooking a hearty meal with friends, or taking care of her ever-growing plant collection.

Rise Above Plastics - ELLA MINICOLA

Ella joined Surfrider in 2021 as the Rise Against Plastics (RAP) co-lead. Having grown up in South-East Asia, she discovered her passion for ocean conservation at a young age while exploring the local reefs and participating in mangrove cleanups. Happy to be living on an island again, Ella is looking forwards to getting involved in the community through local Surfrider campaigns and programs. She believes the best way to reduce plastic pollution is by advocating for science-based policy change, and is thrilled to be part of an organization committed to this mission.

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Hold On To Your Butt - ALI RUDDY

Happiest being on the water, Ali loves exploring Vancouver Islands beaches on her paddleboard. Being a member since 2015 and helping with the beach cleanups, created a desire to do more. Ali took on being the lead for the Straws Suck campaign, in January of 2018, raising awareness and encouraging businesses, and people, to stop using plastic straws and also discovering the true facts of compostable plastics. Then in January 2019 tookon the role of the Rise Above Plastics lead for 2.5 years which, with her desire to curb single use plastics and their effects on the environment which has led her to the HOTYB role now. With Ali’s business background, her love of research, the environment, mentoring and overcoming challenges; this has led to many amazing opportunities for making a difference in what she is passionate about!

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Blue Water Task Force – LYNN WHARRAM

Lynn has been involved with Surfrider since 2013. She was the Beach Cleanups coordinator from 2015 to 2017 and helped develop the program into what it is today. She has recently returned to fill the role of Vice Chair. She is passionate about the environment in all aspects from cleaning beaches to choosing to walk or ride her bike to refusing single-use plastics. She believes the easiest way to protect the environment is to slow down and enjoy it. Lynn has two daughters that are just as passionate about the environment and together they do their best to be a part of the solution. Lynn’s other fun activities include hiking, biking, walking along the beach, and educating herself on environmental issues.

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Plastic Pellet Research – DAVID BOUDINOT

David has been involved with Surfrider since 2016 when he found plastic pellets (nurdles) at a Willows Beach Cleanup. He has been tracking plastic pellets ever since and worked with colleagues at the University of Victoria to create a map of where they are washing up on the shores of the Salish Sea. He is currently researching the plastics industry and documenting how pellets are made, transported, and spilled around the world.

David holds Master of Library and Information Studies and likes to research environmental topics and collaborate with others on big projects. Outside of research and Surfrider volunteering, he enjoys camping, picking up trash on beaches, and hiking.

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Beyond Bioplastics - NOAH SNELL

Noah was born in the seaside town of White Rock, B.C. Experiencing the landscapes of the B.C. coast and beyond from an early age, it didn’t take long for him to develop a fascination with the natural world. Now located in Victoria, B.C., Noah is passionate about supporting the goals of non-profit organizations. He has always felt at home near the coast and is committed to the Surfrider Foundation's vision of coastal preservation and pollution-free beaches. Noah holds a B.A. in Human Geography from the University of Victoria with a specialization in urban, health and development studies. In his spare time, Noah enjoys photography (noahsnell.com), hiking, and locally-roasted coffee.

Plastic Free Schools – MARGARET MCCULLOUGH

Margaret leads our Plastic Free Schools program. She taught for Biology and science for 39 years in the Victoria area, received the Prime Minister’s award for teaching excellence in 2015, and a UNEP Certificate for expertise in Marine Litter in 2017. Margaret led her students at GNS in activist work for Fin Free and banning trophy hunting of Grizzly bears for over 15 years, and her GNS students were instrumental in helping to pass the single-use plastic bag ban in Victoria. Margaret has the most experience in activist work within our chapter and we are excited to have her on the team!

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Webmaster/Graphic Designer – JESSICA WEBER

Jessica has been volunteering with beach cleanups for years, but has now further committed to put her professional skills to use helping the Surfrider team with graphic design, web development and marketing. She designed the straws suck campaign materials, helps to keep the website running and creates posters and social media images when needed. Originally from Winnipeg, Jessica is passionate about making the most of West Coast living by camping and exploring, and encouraging her young kids to get outdoors and get involved in the community.

Social Media Coordinator – RHIA DAVIES-WILLSON

Rhia is an artist, designer, and photographer based in Victoria BC. As the daughter of an artist, she was raised immersed in Victoria’s art community. She's played with traditional mediums such as painting with watercolour and acrylics from a young age but shifted her focus more towards digital media as an adult. With a passion for social media & graphic design, Rhia has taken on the role of Social Media Coordinator. Her goal is to help Surfrider VI create meaningful connections with their community through digital media. She wants to use Surfrider's amazing online presence to encourage people to preserve and protect our oceans. In her spare time, Rhia can be found behind a camera, embroidering tiny scenes into fabric, or being a full-time cat mom to her needy fur son Finn. She promises you'll never see her with the same hair colour twice.

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MERCH

Merch Lead - SYDNIE WALTERS

Sydnie has been a Surfrider VI volunteer for over two years and looks forward to each monthly beach clean up. Born on this little island, Sydnie finds a deep connection to our serene, breathtaking coast. In her spare time she enjoys taking long walks to the fridge, painting, photography, being active and seeking wilderness therapy in the great outdoors. She is excited to bring her passion and creativity, and humor to the table. Having a Bachelors in Business Administration – Human Resources & Leadership, she loves to meet new people and carries her passionate personality with her wherever she goes. Feel free to say hello to her at the next Surfrider event!

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CHAPTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE

ZOË MELANIE MINNAARD

Zoë has been an active volunteer with Surfrider Vancouver Island since 2017. She has been an Islander since 2014 and is originally from The Netherlands. Holding an MA in Maritime Anthropology and BA in Economics & PR specialized in not-for-profit organizations, Zoë is very knowledgeable about issues related to people and the sea and how to run not-for-profit organizations. She is active as an environmental photographer & visual anthropologist. Her interest in environmental issues goes beyond our oceans; it includes how we manage all our natural resources. She is passionate about educating & inspiring people to step back and look again; to become aware of how we treat ourselves and our natural environment.