Paul Christy is the President of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors. Paul is also a long-term resident of the Columbia Valley and a local business owner. An avid biker and a father of two young boys, Paul spends a lot of time outside, exploring the scenery of the Lake Windermere watershed.
Denise was born and raised in the East Kootenays and has a life long love of this region and the natural environment. She has an educational background in land Use planning and years of experience working in this field. Now, when not outside enjoying outdoor activities, she spends her time with her artwork and family.
Cody Hollick is the Youth representative and Treasurer of Lake Windermere Ambassadors. He is passionate about Lake Windermere, watershed health and community vitality. Cody is also a musician and you can find him playing at Safta’s open mic on Sunday nights.
Taoya is retired after working for 25 years as a physiotherapist. She has lived in the Lake Windermere watershed since the 1980s and appreciates the area’s natural beauty and abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Among the outdoor pursuits she enjoys are mountain-biking, backpacking, skiing, kayaking, canoeing and sailing with her husband and two sons.
Taoya especially strives to represent the interests of people who appreciate non-motorized uses of the lake. “I hope that through working with the Ambassadors, I will be able to contribute to a healthier Lake Windermere.”
By the age of 8, Tracy was filleting fish for customers at her families fly fishing lodge in Northern Alberta, and Christina Lake would continue to draw her back throughout her adult life. It was here that Tracy learned management, budgeting, bookkeeping, housekeeping, guiding, cooking and interpersonal skills through the long hours and hard work of being self-employed.
“My favorite time of the day was in the early morning when I would be down on the docks cleaning the boats and fueling them in preparation for another day. The stillness of the water with the occasional cry of the loon – a nice start to the busy day ahead!”
Tracy has lived around lakes her entire life; they are an integral part of who she is today. She loves water and the changeability of it. Calm and turquoise blue or grey with choppy white capped waves – each has its own beauty and charm. Columbia Lake has won a special place in her heart. The undeveloped east side with its abundance of wildlife along quiet shores amazes her. She has come to realize we all have to work together to preserve what we have and what we each value highly. She is happy to work with her neighbors ensuring that the Columbia Watershed can provide enjoyment and peace to generations to come.
“I am also enjoying learning more about limnology – the study of freshwater systems – a word that I wasn’t even aware of a year ago. What I lack in knowledge I hope to make up in enthusiasm!”
Roslyn Johnson joined the Lake Windermere Ambassadors Board of Directors in 2016, representing young professionals, conservation and a non-government organization. Roslyn has a BSc in Natural Resource Conservation with a major in science and management and has worked in both research and industry. When she is not hiking, climbing, skiing, paddling or riding, Roslyn is working to protect wild spaces in the Rocky Mountain Region through her position as Stewardship and Administrative Assistant with the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Canadian Rockies Program. While originally from Surrey, BC, Roslyn has made Invermere her home for 4 years.
“I love the mountains, but Lake Windermere is what sets our community apart. I joined the Ambassadors because protecting the ecological integrity of the lake through public education and stewardship is integral to conservation efforts in this region, and I can offer experience in land-based conservation to help round out future work plans to protect watershed resources.”
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As Living Lakes Canada Program Manager for Wildsight, Heather has been involved in community based water stewardship and citizen science initiatives in the Columbia Basin for over 10 years. She works with individuals and groups to increase capacity and knowledge to better protect our watersheds. Heather holds degrees in Environmental Studies and Geography, and is a certified Streamkeepers Instructor and field lead for the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network.
Grace van Melle
I’m originally from Glen Bain, Saskatchewan where I grew up on a mixed family farm. After high school I attended the University of Saskatchewan where I got a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and later my Master of Science in Soil Science. I moved to Calgary in 2002 and took a job with an Environmental Engineering firm, focusing mainly on oil and gas remediation and reclamation. Through this period I earned my designation of Professional Agrologist (PAg) in 2003. After 5 years I decided to change my career focus and took a job with the City of Calgary Water Services Calgro program, managing the wastewater biosolids application program. After 5 years with the City of Calgary my husband and I decided that I should take some time off from paid work and focus on being a mom to our two daughters. I am currently still in that role and love it. As a family we spend most of our summers and weekends at our cabin in Windermere. With this spent time, an appreciation for the natural beauty of our lake and the area that surrounds it has evolved. Most importantly, we view our lake as both a water source, a home for wildlife and a great recreational asset to the towns of both Windermere and Invermere as well as the entire Columbia Valley.
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Wendy Booth is the Area F Electoral Director for the RDEK, first elected in 2008, 2011 and 2014. In addition she has been a Director on the Board of the Columbia Basin Trust since 2012.
“Acting as an advisor and resource to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors is a role that I really enjoy. Formally an owner of a white water rafting company, its no secret that the rivers and lakes in the Upper Columbia River area are an important asset to all those that enjoy the water. While no longer rafting, I enjoy being out on the water in my kayak or paddle board whenever possible.”
Nevada Nicholas is the Akisqnuk First Nations representative on the Board of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors. Lake Windermere and the Columbia River Headwaters are the traditional territiories of K’tunaxa Nation Council; Nevada works in Land and Resources Stewardship with the Council on behalf of Akisqnuk First Nations.