Chapter Co-Manager – GILLIAN MONTGOMERY
Gillian has worked with Surfrider for over a decade – starting as an active chapter volunteer who worked her way up to becoming the chapter manager. In this manager role, she has not only helped develop all the core programming that exists today but has also created and championed successful campaigns that have garnered international recognition #banthebag. Originally from New Mexico, she moved to Victoria in 2006 to be closer to the ocean. Gillian holds a BA in Liberal Arts, Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management, and a Certificate in Business Management. Gillian’s commitment and dedication to the mission and objectives of the organization, the environment, our community and to surfing, is paramount to the Vancouver Island chapter.
Chapter Co-Manager – CHRIS-ANN LAKE (AKA Charlie)
Chris-Ann has been a member of Surfrider since 2015 and feels privileged to be able to call Vancouver Island her home. She is passionate about engaging and motivating people to protect the ocean and the rights of all the people that depend on it. Before working with Surfrider she was a campaigner, coordinator, and organizer for Greenpeace Canada and plans on bringing some of that experience to this chapter. When she isn’t working with Surfrider she is also busy marrying people on the side as marriage commissioner. She is also a forever student currently working on completing her MA in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration on organizational leadership from Royal Roads. In what free time she has left you will likely find her bodyboarding, hiking, planning her next trip overseas, playing music, or reading a good book at her favourite coffee shop. If you want to become a Surfrider sponsor, partner, or member to help support our efforts email her!
Chair – RACHAEL MONTGOMERY
Rachael has helped with organizational development for our Chapter for over 2 years and has recently stepped up to fill the role of chapter chair. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has an extensive background in management and strategic leadership. Along with the team, she has presented at the Pacific Northwest conferences and has lead numerous chapter workshops and trainings for our volunteers. Rachael is passionate about the ocean, environmental conservation, and activism. Not only does she live by her values, she inspires others to do the same. Rachael enjoys surfing and is keen to go out in any conditions. She is excited to help support and train our growing volunteer base.
Vice Chair – SALLY McINTYRE
Sally has been a core volunteer and photographer for Surfrider Vancouver Island since moving from to the Island from Toronto in early 2017. Ever since she stepped foot in her first SVI 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 new Vice Chair 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 SVI, 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 vegan meal!
If you wish to present for the SVI community at a future chapter meeting or wish to become a member, feel free to reach out to Sally!
Treasurer – MAKIKO ALLISON
Makiko joined Surfrider Vancouver Island as treasurer in the spring of 2019. Originally from Japan, Makiko has been an islander since 2008. Makiko loves nature and the culture of the island and enjoys hiking and gardening. With her strong passion and experience in financial management her focus is to build a robust financial structure for the Chapter to manage its growth. Her other volunteer experiences include a Production Manager for an independent film production in Japan and various volunteer roles with Fringe Festival, Seedy Saturday, Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, and Victoria Morioka Friendship Society.
Secretary – LISE BROWN
Lise Brown has been Surfrider Vancouver Island’s secretary since September, and she couldn’t be happier! Born and raised in Calgary, she ran away to the West Cost 16 years ago. After working for the BC SPCA, running her own Professional Organizing company and creating two tiny humans, her and her husband uprooted their family to Victoria in August of 2017. Since moving, there hasn’t been a week where she hasn’t gone out of her way to go to a local beach. Through exploring she has become obsessed with the amount of plastic waste found, and concerned about the implications. She joined Surfrider with the hope of making a difference in her BC communities, and worldwide.
Volunteer Organizer – SYDNIE WALTERS
Sydnie has been a Surfrider VI volunteer for over two years and looks forward to each monthly Combing the Coast 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 recently became our volunteer coordinator and 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!
Events – JULIA CARR
Julia has been a volunteer and supporter of the Vancouver Island chapter for a few years and volunteered to be the Events Coordinator for the summer of 2017. She loves connecting with volunteers and individuals in the community and organizing fun events such as tabling at Rifflandia, Farmer’s Markets, and World Oceans Day activities. She has since remained in the position while continuing her studies in Environmental Technology at Camosun and soon Geography at UVic. Her passion for environmental conservation stems from a childhood riddled with ocean and forest, and a deeper understanding of environmental issues gained from her studies. A Victoria native, Julia enjoys riding her bicycle around the city (especially in the summertime), hiking, camping in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, and playing Div 1 women’s soccer with Castways FC.
Social Media – ERIN MCINTOSH
Erin McIntosh moved to Vancouver Island in 2018, and is a new member to the Vancouver Island Surfrider Chapter. She’s originally from the Maritimes and has always felt a strong pull towards the ocean. She is passionate about preserving our oceans and reducing our environmental impact. With a background in journalism, and an affinity for social media, she has happily taken on the role as Social Media Coordinator. She hopes to reach as many people as possible with inspirational, thought-provoking and informative posts. She wants to encourage and motivate people to preserve and protect our oceans. Outside of her full-time job, and volunteering for Surfrider, Erin spends her time hiking, drinking coffee, reading, running and eating all the vegan treats.
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.
Combing the Coast – JACQUELYN CANTWELL
Born and raised in a rural community on Southern Vancouver Island, Jacquelyn developed a love for environmental stewardship, adventure, and all things outdoors at an early age. She pursued a degree in International Development and Geography, and although she does not work in the field, her studies provided a foundation for service work and confirmed her understanding that small actions can have a big impact – locally and globally. Fast forward to 2017 – Jacquelyn attends her first Surfrider beach clean up at Clover Point and becomes hooked. Jacquelyn spends her free time exploring the beaches, mountains, and forests on and around Vancouver Island as well as riding her bike in the city.
Rise Above Plastics – ALI RUDDY
Happiest being by the water, Ali moved to the island in September 2009. Always looking for new water adventures, and learning to kayak on the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary, she lives for exploring the beautiful waters around Vancouver Island and internationally. Being a member since 2015 and helping with the beach cleanups, resulted in 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. With Ali’s business background, her love of research, the environment, mentoring and overcoming challenges; this has lead to many amazing opportunities for making a difference in what she is passionate about!
Mid-Island Beach Cleanups – KRISTI WOODALL
Kristi is a daughter, mother, wife, water protector and one of Surfriders most loyal volunteers. She has played and lived and loved on Vancouver Island for 35 years. She believes that cleaning up beaches and organizing events is the least that she and her family can do for the beautiful place we call home. Over the last few years, her experiences with Surfrider have been full of grand adventures, travel, and making loads of new friends. She began volunteering and over time moved up to take on a more central role as the mid-island chapter lead. In this role, she coordinates and leads all the beach cleanups North of Victoria up to Parksville beach. She has lead numerous cleans so far and, with your help, will lead many more. If you or your friends live in that area, connect with Kristi. She’d be happy to show you the ropes of all things beach cleaning.
Blue Water Task Force – BRIAN RAYMER
Brian has been an active volunteer with Surfrider Vancouver Island for 5 years. Mostly leading school group beach clean ups and working with the Blue Water Task Force to monitor water quality at southern Vancouver Island beaches. Brian is the owner of South Island SUP a local stand up paddle boarding business. He is passionate about maintaining and enjoying our beautiful ocean. South Island SUP offers 20% off Rentals, Lessons, Events and Tours for Surfrider Vancouver Island members. One more reason to be a SFVI member!
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!
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.
CHAPTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Samantha has been participating in Surfrider beach cleanups and volunteering for other surf rider activities for the past few years. Samantha is a resource and environmental management consultant and, previously, worked for a variety of grassroots non-profit environmental organizations both in BC and beyond. Outside of work, Samantha spends as much time as possible in the water: sailing, paddling, snorkeling, and most recently as a kiteboarding enthusiast. She enjoys traveling around the world, by bicycle, sailboat or even (sometimes) car, in search of surf breaks and untouched beaches. With so much gratitude for the recreational playground and spiritual home that the ocean provides her, she does her best to contribute to keeping it clean and assisting with protecting the thousands of incredible species that call it home from human pollution and impacts. She is excited to become more involved with Surfrider’s clean-up, education/awareness and policy efforts to protect and preserve the ocean.
Lynn has been involved with Surfrider since 2013. She was the Combing the Coast coordinator from 2015 to 2017 and helped develop the program into what it is today. She has recently returned to fill the role of chapter advisor so we can still gain from her experience. 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.
ZOE MELANIE MINNAARD
Zoe 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.
JEAN-FRANCOIS SAVARD (AKA JF)
Jean-Francois moved to the West coast about 9 years ago from Montréal. He fell in love with the beauty and energy here and now calls Vancouver Island home (sorry JF’s mom). Having spent a lot of time in and out of the water on the island, JF feels the duty to repay more to this amazing place than what it has given him. He believes change starts in our own immediate environment and then the energy spreads further away like the ripples from a stone on a pond.
DANNY CHICO AMATO
Danny (Chico) Amato is one of the founders and original Chairpersons of the Vancouver Island Chapter. Over 12 years ago, Danny and a small team of volunteers helped develop a framework for the Chapter that was based on grassroots activism and being a voice for the local surf community on environmental and public access issues. The spirit of activism that Danny fostered in the Chapter early on continues today and has guided the Chapter to high levels of success. Danny continues to volunteer on a regular basis and has been a key part of the Combing the Coast remote beach cleanup program and is the lead organizer of the Wavehunt surf contest.
Lucas Harris is a former Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary for the Chapter and has been an active volunteer for almost 10 years. In his role as Chairperson, Lucas was instrumental in developing a strategic focus for the chapter. He spearheaded the creation of the Combing the Coast program, which continues to be one of the most widely recognized marine debris response and monitoring programs in the province. Lucas also focused internally and implemented systems for the Chapter and its Executive Committee, which have helped grow the Chapters organizational capabilities and capacity. Lucas continues to be involved in the Chapter and is currently leading a surf etiquette sign project for surf spots on the South Island.