We are excited to invite you all to join us for our 2021 Annual General Meeting. This year, we’ll be holding the event virtually over Zoom and can’t wait to share with you what we’ve been up to over the last year and what we’re looking forward to down the road.
When: May 19, 2021, 7 PM
Where: Zoom – Register free HERE
What: An evening focused on Whistler’s environment, AWARE’s work, and our collective look forward.
Who: Anyone and Everyone (only AWARE members will be able to vote on Board Nominations)
*If you are not sure whether your membership is still active, please email email@example.com*
Notice of Special Business
A review of AWARE’s Bylaws has been conducted by the Board with a view to ensuring they: reflect the present and anticipated operations and approach of the organization; and allow for modern approaches (electronic meetings, voting, etc). A summary of substantive changes will be provided at the AGM and members are invited to review the proposed bylaws below and the existing bylaws provided in advance, below.
Meet the 2021 Nominees for AWARE’s Board of Directors
In 2021, the Board is looking to fill 4 positions, with 3 directors stepping down and 1 incumbent running for re-election. The 2021 nominees are listed below for member review. All members in good standing are entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting and we will be collecting votes at the meeting electronically.
Jeremy Valeriote (incumbent)
I am a professional engineer who has worked on numerous environmental assessment, restoration and reclamation projects. I have also managed solid waste reduction programs and projects as local government staff, and been an elected councillor and regional district director on the Sunshine Coast. I am currently the chair of the BC Green party, and dedicated to continuing environmental advocacy and stewardship in the Whistler valley and throughout the Sea-to-Sky.
As a father of 7-year old twin daughters, I believe strongly in efforts aimed at valuing our natural assets, stabilizing climate, reducing waste and prioritizing education and awareness to promote behaviour change. I truly believe we can balance human development with environmental stewardship if we accurately value the importance of environmental health, promote science & innovation, and stay at the forefront of the new green economy.
I’m originally from the UK but British Columbia has been my home for the past 10 years. I was drawn to BC by the mountains and the recreation opportunities that they presented. I have a Masters degree in Renewable Energy Systems Technology from Loughborough University and worked in the wind energy sector in the UK for several years. Living in Whistler gave me an opportunity to become a ski instructor and work in the local snow school. In 2020 I completed a Certificate in Community Energy Management from BCIT and now work as a Community Energy Analyst for the Community Energy Association. In this role I work with local governments across the Province on climate action.
I have a Masters degree in Renewable Energy Systems Technology from Loughborough University and worked in the wind energy sector in the UK for several years. Living in Whistler gave me an opportunity to become a ski instructor and work in the local snow school. In 2020 I completed a Certificate in Community Energy Management from BCIT and now work as a Community Energy Analyst for the Community Energy Association. In this role I work with local governments across the Province on climate action.
As residents of Whistler and British Columbia, we need to take action to preserve nature, eliminate waste and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. There are actions that we can take at a personal level such as utilizing transit and cycling instead of driving and being considerate of our food choices. At a community level local government, schools, businesses, and the non-profit sector have a responsibility to protect habitat, educate and engage residents on climate action and waste, and demonstrate leadership. We must tell the Provincial government to protect the remaining old growth forest.
With a background in biology from Queen’s University, 30+ years as an Educator and a Whistler resident for 37+years, I would be honoured to offer my time and energy to AWARE. We live in such a precious environment and we all need to do more to support the natural beauty and organisms that also reside here.
AWARE’s mandate to ‘safeguard habitat’, ‘connect people and nature’, and work towards ‘building sustainable community’ is a clear message to all who wish to preserve and protect the planet
I am a long-term Whistler resident who is a yoga teacher and entrepreneur (owner/founder of Yogacara Whistler, a local yoga studio, and Juice Nation Organic Cafe–an organic plant-based food truck). My educational background is a degree in Kinesiology from the University of British Columbia. With the experience and education I have gained strong skills in organization, management, finance (payroll, reporting, etc.), staff training, customer service, communication, marketing, social media, and more. One of my best assets is my ability to learn and adapt, even under pressure. Recently over the past year I built an entire membership program online which involved filming videos, editing, web design, coding, and more.
I am very passionate about the outdoors and environmental responsibility. As an avid snowboarder, hiker, vegan, and forager I am dedicated to making a difference when it comes to sustainability efforts, education, biodiversity, climate change prevention, and the preservation of nature, especially in the Whistler area.
Agriculture and foraging for wild foods has deep roots in my life. I was raised in a farm town outside of Toronto, and my love for farming and the outdoors started at a very young age.
Moving to Whistler BC, in 2011, for a change of scenery. I quickly realized I was exactly where I wanted to be surrounded by local farms, beautiful coastal forests and seasonal fresh produce! Sadly, unable to farm on my urban property, I was missing growing my own crops in the summer months. That’s when I had the idea to grow healthy, local food, year round, right here inside my apartment. I built a small 4×8 square foot white room and produced tons of fresh food per month with the use of two large vertical racks and some LED lighting. From there, I founded two local companies both with one thing in mind, providing his community with a new, safe and sustainable food source, while using far less precious resources and reducing carbon emissions. Both companies are doing well today.
Today I is a full-time controlled environment agriculture specialist who is running an indoor farm called Whistler Harvest in the beautiful Sea-To-Sky Corridor and helping other entrepreneurs get their concepts of vertical farming up and running.
AWARE is awesome!
Rhonda L. Millikin
I recently retired to Whistler from a 35-year career as an Ecologist with the Federal Government, where I managed teams of 20-40 staff, responsible for the delivery of wildlife and habitat programs across BC and the Yukon. The programs included monitoring, regulations, permitting, enforcement, emergencies, and data management. I was successful in building a vision and mandate for my team, following two reorganizations of the department. After my career in government, I went back to UBC and received an ITC level 2 for Landscape Horticulture. I have a PhD in Environmental Studies and an MSc in Applied Ecology.
I am an adjunct professor at SFU, currently supervising a PhD student, and have graduated 3 master’s students, all studying the conservation of endangered species and their habitats – one from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
In 2003, I incorporated EchoTrack Inc., to apply the remote sensing technology I developed and later patented (omnidirectional radar-acoustics), to the conservation of habitat for birds and bats. Last year, I formed Nativus under EchoTrack, to combine the principles of landscape horticulture with ecology, to restore native plant communities for wildlife that provide the ecosystem services essential for sustainable agriculture.
I have significant experience in proposal writing, project management, hiring and training of staff, science-based research and education, statistical analysis, and reporting. I have delivered on 68 projects globally totalling $1.9 M for EchoTrack, provided reports (progress, performance, financial and final reports) for each of these projects, and have 16 journal publications from research teams I have led.
I am grateful to have received 3 awards for leadership; an award for a significant contribution to National cohesiveness amongst staff in Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service; and two awards for “Community awareness through science” from Partners in Flight International and the Federation of B.C. Naturalists. I was featured in Suncor’s 2005 Report on Sustainability, and featured in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight magazine, in an article about efforts in the plight of songbirds, entitled “On a Wing and a Prayer”. Most importantly, this article led to the formation of a non-government alliance, the Songbird Project, and public donations to Canadian Wildlife Service’s landbird program.
In Whistler, this is my second year as a member of the RMOW Forest and Wildlands Advisory Committee. I have only missed one meeting and that was due to poor reception while returning from field work.
I am passionate about wildlands and guiding people to prioritize the protection of “specialist” plant and animal species, that truly need our care. For example, I gave a talk 2 weeks ago, to a Vancouver garden club, on gardening for the “underdog” i.e., the uncommon native species that require native plant cover and protection from our pets and windows, not feeders and nest boxes. I am now working with vineyards in the Okanagan to encourage them to re-introduce native plants as cover crops and hedgerows, because these plants are resilient to climate change and function as substrates for native wildlife which in turn provide nutrient cycling and pest management services back to the vineyard. I am now leading other volunteers in the sea to sky community in a research project to measure how fire thinning affects the microclimate of a forest and thus, the fire risk.
I believe citizen science, with the proper leadership on experimental design, statistics, and reporting, motivates the community to embrace the importance of ecosystem processes and the need to move beyond business sustainability to ecosystem sustainability. This is our avenue to climate change adaptability, including fire management.
With AWARE, I would hope to work with others on the board to develop government-funded community science projects that connect people and nature through curiosity and careful observation. I believe we can do better in Whistler in the way we manage climate change, fire risk, housing development and recreation. I would like to realize that vision as a member of AWARE.