Shawn Ridsdale, Board Chair
Shawn grew up in the lower mainland with his family who enjoyed sailing together. His parents owned a 28′ sailboat, their family would spend summer holidays on the water. After loading up with groceries, ice, a couple Bob Marley cassettes, they would head off exploring the Gulf Islands, the sunshine coast and the eastern coast of Vancouver island. We are short on salt water around these parts, one thing we do have a lot of is pristine fresh water. Shawn hopes it can stay that way for many decades to come. He enjoys spending his time on the lake doing the simpler things, including pontoon boating, relaxing the day away, and fishing when time permits. Shawn believes Lake Windermere is a direct link to the health of our community as a whole, if she is sick, so too is our community. He’s been living in Invermere since 2015.
Buzz Harmsworth, Director at Large
Born on the sandy shores of Vancouver Island, Buzz was educated at Oak Bay High, then trained to be a Marine Electrician. He spent most of his spare time fishing and hunting. Buzz took several extended courses at the University of Victoria on fisheries, and in 1961 became a Game Warden. He worked in several districts in the province and worked for two seasons on fish surveys for the flood studies on the Laredo preparing for the Duncan Reservoir. Buzz was moved to Invermere in the fall of 1965 to fill the position of District Conservation Officer. He has been in Invermere ever since and retired in the spring of 1989.
Max Fandrl, Director at Large
Max has lived in the valley since 1994 and works in sales and marketing at Columbia River Paddle and Trappeur Homes, and as a speaker and instructor at Flying Max. Max has a dynamic personality who people warm to easily, he engages people in a way which helps them see the possibilities of life and business. Max has parlayed his success in extreme sports into a business strategy consulting practice, combined with a strategy development and motivational speaking program, and leadership training.
Samson Boyer, Director at Large
Samson Boyer grew up in Columbia Valley, fishing, hiking and enjoying its natural beauty. Understanding the need for concrete action on combating Climate Change, he ran for MLA for the BC Green Party in 2017 and again in 2020. Samson graduated from Selkirk College in 2020 with a diploma in Law and Justice and is now continuing his education online at the University of Prince Edward Island. While on the Board of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors, Samson hopes to ensure that there is a healthy environment and clean water for future generations, while supporting local business and non-motorized recreational use.
Susan Clovechok, Regional District of East Kootenay Advisor
Susan Clovechok is the Area F Electoral Director for the RDEK, elected in 2018. Previous to being elected Susan was the Executive Director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce for eight years and lives near Dutch Creek south of Lake Windermere. Director Clovechok acts as an adviser and resource to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and appreciates the important role of Lake Windermere and the Columbia River in the Columbia Valley’s socio-economic environment.
Taoya Schaefer, Board Vice Chair
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.”
Paul Christy, Director at Large
Paul Christy is the past President of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors. Paul is a long-term resident of the Columbia Valley and a local business owner. An avid biker and a father of two boys, Paul spends a lot of time outside, exploring the scenery of the Lake Windermere watershed.
Victoria Lang, Director at Large
Victoria grew up spending her summers in the Columbia Valley from an early age, he moved to Invermere in 2010 to make the Columbia Valley her full time home. She now lives here with her partner Shawn, where the own and operate a year round Commercial Transport Repair Facility. After Shawn joined the Ambassadors a few years ago, his passion for lake preservation, access and responsible boating inspired Victoria to become more involved. Victoria’s main interested is seeing continued support and commitment to Windermere Lake preservation, as well as access for all individuals to enjoy this incredible lake safely, not just motorized sport boats and lake shore owners. She is excited to become more involved moving forward with the Ambassadors and offering her support to this organization.
Richard Spenrath, Director at Large
In October 2020 Richard and his wife moved to the Columbia Valley. They enjoy non-motorized recreation including canoeing, paddle boarding and skating in the winter. For 25 years, Richard was employed as an Environmental Specialist ensuring compliance with provincial and federal regulations in regards to water, waste water, air emissions and waste management. He understands the the life cycle of water and the importance of water stewardship. With him, Richard brings, a diploma in recreation and wildlife, and a degree in physical science. Richard is hoping to use his vast experience to support the Ambassadors. He loves the Valley, and is committed to water stewardship to protect our shared resources.
Ute Juras, District of Invermere Advisor
Born and raised in Germany, Ute immigrated to Canada with her parents and sister in 1982. Ute moved to the Columbia Valley in 1988, starting out in Fairmont and then to Canal Flats where she raised her two daughters. In 2016 she found a new home in Invermere. Ute wanted to give back to the community by running in the 2018 election. Being successful in getting on Council allows her to work hard for this incredible place and its people. After being elected, Council appointed her to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and the Imagine Invermere Committee. All of these groups make important contributions to the District of Invermere and she looks forward to working with them.
Jennifer Beverley, Treasurer & Secretary
Jennifer instantly fell in love with Lake Windermere and the surrounding Columbia Valley when she moved to Invermere in 2017. Since then she has been working as an environmental health officer and is passionate about the management and protection of our natural resources and ecosystems. Jennifer is also interested in studying the dynamic connection between public health and the environment. In her spare time, she loves to be outside gardening, hiking, paddle boarding, camping, skiing and exploring.
Gurmeet Brar, Director at Large
Gurmeet is a retired Professional Engineer with degrees in Chemical Engineering, a career in Petroleum Reservoir Engineering and a keen interest in Environmental Science and Engineering. A Calgarian since 1971, Gurmeet has had a presence in the Lake Windermere area since 1972. He has been actively involved over decades in the protection of lakes, wetlands and precious water resources. Gurmeet is an original founding member of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors.
Reid Morrison, Director at Large
Originally from Saskatchewan, Reid is a private business owner based in Calgary. As a family, they have maintained a second home in the Windermere area for over 30 years and share a passion for hiking, canoeing and golf. His background is in sport and recreation management and has been involved in provincial, national and international boards his whole life. The health of the Lake, and environment surrounding it, is very important to Reid, he is happy to be contributing his skills and experience to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors.
Ryan Nicholas, Akisqnuk First Nation Advisor
Bio coming soon
Braydi Rice, Shuswap Indian Band Advisor
Bio coming soon
Shannon McGinty, Program Coordinator
Shannon grew up canoeing on the lakes of Southern Ontario where she grew passionate about the aquatic insects and terrestrial plants. She moved to Prince George in 2010 to pursue this hobby through a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation and Conservation. When she graduated in 2014, she had gained a great appreciation for the community-based non-profits doing work to protect and educate on our natural world. Following this appreciation, she worked in a variety of fields from recreation to environmental education and found her niche in water stewardship after moving to the Columbia Valley in 2018. You can find Shannon out mountain biking, skiing, or knitting in her spare time