Metchosin Foundation Board of Directors
Valerie Jaeger, President
Valerie moved to Metchosin in 2018 because she loves big trees and this beautiful place felt like home.
For the eight years prior to retirement, Valerie was Medical Officer of Health for Regional Niagara responsible for all public health services as well as Emergency Medical Services and Community Mental Health. As a public health physician, and longtime Unitarian, her frame of reference is respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. For this reason, she was drawn to the Metchosin Foundation’s byline ‘Healthy Lands, Healthy Waters and a healthy caring community’ and is very happy to take on the role of president.
Valerie holds an MD and a PhD (McGill) as well as a Master of Public Health (Waterloo). She fueled her addiction to higher education (and learned about governance) by serving 11 years on the Brock University Board and remains on its President’s National Advisory Council. Further experience in governance was gained provincially (Chair Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health; Minister’s Expert Panel on Public Health) and cross-border with New York State (Emergency Planning).
As Chair of the United Way for St. Catharines and also as spokesperson for the Niagara Community Foundation, Valerie became keenly aware of the crucial importance of place and community to the health and happiness of people. In fostering a sense of community, the whole must always be so much greater than the sum of the parts. Foundations, therefore, play a particularly important role and are deserving of our support.
Morgan Yates, Vice President
I believe strongly that a diverse, sustainable and caring community is dependent upon a healthy natural environment – and that a healthy natural environment is reciprocally dependent upon a vital and engaged community where stewardship values are part of community identity.
My appreciation for natural history and the environment began early, as a free-range kid growing up on the forested and farm-dotted perimeter of Greater Vancouver. My appreciation for community health and development arose a couple of decades later, commencing with a move to rural Costa Rica in the early 1990’s and volunteer work within a project that was inspired by the Brundtland Report (Our Common Future) and its call to carefully integrate and balance social, environmental and economic dimensions in sustainable development planning. I have had the privilege of being a multi-term Director on two different inner city community association boards in Calgary and a past Director of the Shell Canada BC & Yukon Region Environment Fund. In 2013, following several years of work at the interface between corporate and Indigenous community interests, I was named as an honorary elder of the Blackfoot Nation.
I have a degree in Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) from UBC. My current hobbies include going for walks on Metchosin’s great network of trails and restoring a small Garry oak ecosystem surrounding our home.
Carol Carman, Past President
Carol is a communications professional who has lived in Metchosin for the past 24 years. From 1989 to 2006, she directed communications for many of BC’s major government ministries including Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the full range of social services including Children and Family Development, Health, Human Resources, Housing, the Attorney General and Multiculturalism. In those various roles, she has been privileged to focus at an executive level on many of the most challenging issues facing this province.
Carol lived and worked in New Zealand between 1981 and 1986. Prior to that, she owned and operated Yellowhead Cattle Company near Lloydminster, Alberta where she raised pedigreed cattle and offered consultant and sales management services to breeders across North America. She holds a B.Sc. degree from the University of Alberta.
From her Helix Communications office on Happy Valley Road, Carol continues to develop communications strategies that affect a range of complex, multi-dimensional issues in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Carol is married to Milton Carman and has two adult daughters, Tara and Shannon.
Chris’s family roots in Metchosin go back to 1925. He entered the Royal Canadian Naval College (now Royal Roads University) in 1942, the year it opened. He saw service at sea during the Second World War and made the Navy his career. Having had several commands both at sea and ashore, he retired with the rank of Captain in 1978, when he returned to his home in Metchosin. Before retirement he was awarded the Order of Military Merit.
He has always remained active in administrative roles, in Nova Scotia he was involved in rural municipal planning. He has served as Chair of the Halifax Diocesan Pastoral Council, an administrator at the University of Victoria, Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Association in New York and as chair or a member of several municipal committees in Metchosin.
In 2001 he was recognized as Metchosin’s Volunteer of the Year. He is a Patron of the L.B. Pearson College of the Pacific and a Younger Brother of Trinity House, the British Lighthouse Service. He is a strong supporter of opportunities for young people and he works actively for the preservation of Metchosin as a rural community.
Chris is married with four adult children and seven grandchildren.
Beverly Hall, Secretary
Bev Hall moved to Metchosin in 1970 and for several years was involved with the Metchosin Hall Committee and Pony Club. She served on the Metchosin Environmental Advisory Select Committee (MEASC) for five years and received the Friends of the Earth award in 2014.
After completing a B.Sc. at the University of Victoria, Bev worked as a lab instructor and research assistant, first at UVic and then at Royal Roads Military College until it closed. At the new Royal Roads University, she worked as the laboratory instructor for the Environmental Science Program, and then in Human Resources and the Office of Research. Since retiring, she has enjoyed travelling and learning to paraglide
A keen photographer, with her partner Maurice Robinson, Bev produced two coffee table books; one to celebrate Royal Roads Military College and one on Hatley Park. She has also produced photo note cards of Metchosin for many years.
Beverley has one daughter and two grandchildren.
Jacqueline Clare, Director
Jacqueline holds a M.Sc. in Geography form the University of Victoria. Her graduate research focused on the resident grey whale population in Clayoquot Sound, analyzing the influence of maternal learning on genetic differentiation at multiple station and temporal scales. Jacqueline has since been working for the Provincial Government where she works with species and ecosystems at risk.
Jacqueline loves living in Metchosin and has served on the Metchosin Environmental Advisory Select Committee (MEASC) from 2014-2022 and the Metchosin Biodiversity Committee since 2018. In her spare time she enjoys soccer, running, hiking, kayaking, and gardening.
Mike Fischer, Director
Mike grew up in Strawberry Vale neighbourhood of Saanich, spending much of his time out enjoying the natural wonders of Vancouver Island’s forests, mountains, and coastlines.
After obtaining his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at UVic in 2001, Mike moved away for four years to pursue career opportunities in instrumentation R&D for astronomical observatories. He returned to Southern Vancouver Island in 2005 to do a M.Sc. in mechanical engineering, and over this period came to recognize the many big problems that need solving here on Earth, and changed his professional focus to helping solve issues in energy systems and climate change. He co-founded a technology start-up in high efficiency LED lighting while working on a second M.Sc. in computer science, followed by two years developing modeling software for climate scientists and hydrologists at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium. He dabbled in artificial intelligence and machine learning at Kinsol Research before joining MarineLabs as Director of Software Engineering in 2018 — a local start-up that builds and operates a fleet of automated buoys that monitor and report coastal sea state/weather in real time, the data from which is used in maritime safety and climate change mitigation.
Mike has long been motivated to achieve a more balanced and sustainable lifestyle personally, and since returning to Vancouver Island he immersed himself in issues of local planning, food security, sustainability, and community resilience. In 2008, he was very fortunate to be able to purchase land in Metchosin to start the hobby farm and low-impact lifestyle surrounded by nature that was his dream.
Mike served for four years on the Strawberry Vale Residents Association in Saanich, dealing with issues of land use and permitting, traffic, and emergency planning. He has been an active member of the Metchosin community since 2009, selling produce at the farmers’ market and sitting on the board of the Metchosin Producers Association for two years, serving on the Metchosin Environmental Advisory Select Committee (MEASC) from 2010-2021, on the board of the Metchosin Foundation since 2016 and on the Metchosin Biodiversity Committee since 2018.
In his spare time Mike enjoys spending time out in the garden and observing nature, as well as skiing, kayaking, surfing, ultimate frisbee, and playing music.
Joan Rosenberg, Director
Many people know that Joan worked as a family doctor in Metchosin for over 20 years, some know that the past 7 years she has worked in rural and remote under serviced areas in B.C. and Nunavut getting exposed to diverse indigenous cultures, few know that she was a marine biologist living in Bamfield before medical school and spent most of 5 years underwater. Because she is old and has packed her life with challenges, she has done many things, mostly outdoors and often alone. She is mediocre in most things which doesn’t seem to bother her. Her husband inspires kindness which has been a great lesson. With her 3 boys she must practice humility because they make her proud. The skills she brings to the Metchosin Foundation may be limited but the interest the Foundation brings to her seem plentiful, a place she can balance heart and head.
Heloise Nicholl, Director
Heloise grew up in Oak Bay and attended university in Vancouver and Toronto. She has degrees in Communications and International Development and has worked with the Federal Government, the Government of British Columbia (Citizens’ Services) and various non-profit groups including the Dogwood Initiative and the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.
Growing up in Victoria, Heloise loved to explore the many parks and wild places on Southern Vancouver Island. After spending ten years living and working overseas, she returned to Victoria in 2008. During these subsequent years of settling, working locally and then raising a young family, she saw the region quickly turn from forests into high density housing and subdivisions. She realized that Victoria’s beauty is a star reason people move here, but urbanization threatens the wilderness that people love.
In keeping with the Metchosin Foundation’s motto of ‘Healthy Lands and Waters — the Foundation for a Healthy Community’ Heloise joined the Metchosin Foundation with a desire to protect the wild spaces upon which we depend; forests that are the lungs of our city, and wilderness that provides mental wellness, recreation and relaxation to our citizens. She is excited to work in a role that will allow for awareness raising about the need to protect our wild lands, plants and animals, efforts that will allow Metchosin to sparkle and remain the jewel that it is.
Michel Desjardins, Director
Ellen and I moved here from Ontario in 2017 to continue our life journey in Spirit Bay. Prior to retirement I’d taught at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of Religion & Culture. For the last decade my research focused on the role that food plays in people’s religious lives, and I continue to publish and teach in that area.
Many things drew us here, including the opportunity to live on First Nations land and learn from the Sc’ianew, the ocean, the big trees, the Spirit Bay vision in those early heady days, the walking trails, and the people we met in Metchosin in 2016 while deciding where to settle on Vancouver Island. We couldn’t be happier living here. Ocean canoeing has become a passion. So too our appreciation of native flora and fauna, and the organic gardeners in our midst who do so much to keep us healthy and happy.