Lee-Ann Ennis – Program Coordinator
Lee-Ann Ennis was born in Labrador Newfoundland. Her family moved to Kitimat, BC in the 1970’s where she grew up fishing and exploring the North Coast. Lee-Ann gained her BSc at the University of Victoria in 1997. She then studied marine biology at Bamfield Marine Science Centre and spent a summer as Park Naturalist at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. From 1997-2002 she worked at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre for Members’ and Public Programs, in the Wetlab, and Aquavan Mobile School Programs. In 2002, Lee-Ann took on the job of deckhand and naturalist aboard the vessels ‘Gikumi’ and ‘Lukwa’ for Stubbs Island Whale Watching. While in Telegraph Cove, Lee-Ann assisted in the Johnstone Strait Killer Whale Interpretive Centre. She has worked on numerous programs since she moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2003, became the Program Coordinator for the Lagoon Society in 2005, and has been with us ever since. Lee-Ann is often called Iris by school children on the coast.
Christy Newfeld (Contractor)
Christy graduated from UBC with a BSc, specializing in Ecology, followed by a Bachelors of Education. Christy began her career as a nature educator 18 years ago with the Stanley Park Ecology Society in Vancouver. Christy has developed and delivered numerous nature programs over the years for organizations such as the Golden Ears Provincial Park, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Seymour Hatchery, and the Gulf Islands Centre for Ecological Learning. After receiving her BEd, Christy taught for seven years in both the districts of North Vancouver and the Southern Gulf Islands. She now lives with her husband and three children in Roberts Creek and enjoys her work at the IGC immensely.
Dale Jackson – Manager of the EarthFair Store
Dale is Canadian born, but grew up in the mid-west and eastern USA and in her teensher family then moved to England. She studied law and worked for 15 years as a solicitor in London. Dale decided to leave the rat-race of London with her husband, Michael, and they discovered the serenity of the Sunshine Coast in the spring of 2001. Dale was a founding director of the Lagoon Society and she was the society’s secretary for many years. She also helped in establishing the society’s charitable status, and organized many board meetings during the building of the Iris Griffith Centre. Dale’s first Sunshine Coast job was at Community Futures. She later became a Marriage Commissioner and worked part-time in the Madeira Park Post Office. Dale and her husband opened Bluewaters Books in Madeira Park in 2009. They donated the store to the Lagoon Society in 2013, and is now known as the EarthFair Store. Thanks to Dale, the store has become a central hub of Madeira Park life.
Shannon Reid – Assistant Manager at the EarthFair Store
Shannon was born in Ottawa and lived and attended school in Australia, New Zealand, and England as a child. She returned to BC where she graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1985. Shannon worked in telecommunications in Burnaby for eight years before moving to the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two children. Her family has lived and worked in the Pender Harbour community now for 24 years. Shannon has worked as an administrator for the South Pender Harbour Waterworks District, assisted in the local computing store, and came to work for the Lagoon Society when the EarthFair Store opened. Shannon plays in the Harbour Ukulele Group, likes to walk, hike and enjoys spending time on and by the water with her family. An avid reader, she happily volunteers through the Community School in the home reading program at the elementary school. She also holds an amateur radio license.
Jenn Blancard – Field Research Coordinator
Jenn completed her Bachelor of Science at Simon Fraser University in 2010 and majored in biology with ecology and evolution. She has worked on many projects, including: research on bivalves as water quality indicators in the Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound; population studies of the Western sandpiper and dunlin at Boundary Bay; monitoring and management of mosquito populations in Metro Vancouver and on the Sunshine Coast; and mark-recapture studies of crab populations in Belcarra Regional Park. At SFU, she worked with graduate students on salmon conservation by tracing nitrogen isotopes through plants and animals to investigate marine effects on inland ecosystems.
Rowan McEwen – PODS Researcher
The influence of two nature-loving parents and many hours exploring the forest and wetlands, has inspired Rowan to question how and why humans connect with nature. She pursued this mission at Quest University in Squamish and traveled abroad for several years, studying indigenous rights, culture and life ways, educational psychology, biology and politics. Over the last few summers, Rowan assisted a team of biologists with field research for the Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project. In the future, she hopes to facilitate holistic learning across generations through the exploration of our gorgeous waters.
Evan Guiton – Executive Assistant & Events Coordinator
After graduating UBC with a BA in Psychology, Evan has spent the last few years exploring the underwater world of the South Pacific. She developed a great love of the ocean while becoming a scuba dive instructor in Australia and swimming with humpback whales in Tonga. Now living in Halfmoon Bay, she spends her time running various plastic-free initiatives with the goal of protecting oceanic life. Evan loves her dog, beach walks, a good green curry, seal spotting and live music. She kindly made a volunteer appearance paddling our red canoe in the PODS AWAY video in November 2016 and we were delighted when she decided to join the PODS team as a contractor in 2017. In her roles as Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator, she assists our director in organizing his busy life while planning events and rallying volunteers.
Amy Pye - Design & Marketing (Contractor)
Amy has been working as a graphic designer on Vancouver Island since 2005 and she founded Pye Design in 2014. Amy graduated from VIU with a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Digital Media Technology. Amy is an award winning designer and her passions include hand lettering and illustration. Pye Design has been working with the Ruby Lake Lagoon Society for nearly a decade.
Wendy Mitchell – Financial Controller (Contractor)
A resident of the Sunshine Coast since 2005, Wendy has developed a successful business providing subcontracted support to a handful of clients, both locally and nationally based, and in varying roles from bookkeeper to chief financial officer.
This has been an evolving journey over the past two decades, from her involvement with The Pacific Streamkeepers Federation, Squamish River Watershed Society, Whistler Blackcomb Finance, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, The Responsible Investment Association, to her new role with the Lagoon Society as of March 2018. As Financial Controller, Wendy is responsible for managing all aspects of the Society’s financial processes as well as providing some board governance and strategic planning support.
When not crunching numbers, you’ll find Wendy either hiking with her dogs or in the garden happily tending to her vegetables.