Board of Directors

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Sheila Dobie

Although Sheila spent many years on the North Coast tree planting and
and living an adventurous boat-based life, she has always been a farmer
at heart. In the Grand Forks Valley her farm, 8 acres of orchard and
market garden, was certified organic and she was deeply immersed in
the agricultural community and a founding member of the
producer/consumer food coop building on the marketing for local
produce. Sheila became involved in the community seed sovereignty
conversation and actions with seed stewards growing out several
varieties with long Dukhobor heritage lineages. In 2016 changes in her
personal life brought her to SSI where she threw herself into community
action. Sheila is on the board of the SS Seed Sanctuary Society, and the
SS Community Alliance, a member of Island Forest Watch, participates
in the Fresh water cataloging project collecting data for her
neighbourhood watershed (Madrona Creek), and volunteers a bit with
the SS Conservancy Garry Oak restoration project.

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Nicole Melanson

Nicole has a B.A. in International Development and Sociology, as well as a certificate in Community Economic Development. She has been passionate about organic growing, food security and food justice for nearly 20 years. Nicole landed on Salt Spring in 2005 to work on a farm for the summer, but ended up staying. Today, she lives on a hobby farm with her husband and two sons. She has worked for Salt Spring Coffee, Island Savings and the WorkBC Employment Centre. Nicole served on the 2013 SSI Governance Study committee and has held several board/steering committee positions including Tree Frog Daycare, The Root, and the Transition Salt Spring Enterprise Co-op.

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Stephane Aucoin

Stephane is an avid gardener and woodworker that recently moved to Saltspring five years ago. Prior to his arrival, he spent twelve years in the Yukon where he explored its vast wilderness in between working as a management consultant, working as a carpenter, building a fish and chip business, and starting a family.

A mechanical engineer by training, Stéphane’s experience covers a wide range, from being senior management consultant on projects for large North American corporations, to working on development projects in Madagascar. He’s worked on projects ranging from developing corporate strategies, implementing program management offices, consulting on board governance, developing and building hygiene, water and sanitation programs, building houses, and building and running a commercial kitchen. 

On Saltpring, Stephane works on building a home for his family. A full-time stay-at-home father, Stephane spends his time finishing the family home, gardening, raising pigs, cooking, cleaning dishes, doing laundry, and fixing whatever needs to be fixed. In his spare time, Stephane also does fine woodworking and volunteers with the Saltspring Elementary School to help build their school garden infrastructure.

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Daria Zovi

Daria studied agriculture & environmental science in Italy and the
Netherlands before moving to Canada where she obtained a BSC in Agriculture from UBC in 1997. She currently works as an organic farm &
processor inspector throughout BC and is the owner of Quarry Farm on
SSI which operates a 35 member CSA. Over the years she has worked
on several different SSI farms, been head gardener at Hastings House
Hotel and established the vineyard at what is now Kutatus Wines. Daria
represents ING on the SSI Agricultural Alliance and is the current

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Valerie Perkins

Val has lived on SSI since 1972; she worked many years for BC Ferries
and is now the semi-retired owner operator of Rainbow Road Farm
market garden. Val participated in the Tuesday and Saturday markets
and has shared land and played a mentorship role for young people
wanting to get started in farming.

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Ella Bronstein

Ella Bronstein is a farmer at Duck Creek Farm, along with her fiancé Chris Blaszk and brother Eland. Ella is looking to increase her participation in the local food security movement. She is passionate about sustainability, building, farming,
community, travel and events. Ella attended McGill University for Environmental Science in 2011-13 and the Endeavour Centre for Sustainable Building in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, she worked as the
event coordinator for the SS Agricultural Alliance and helped raise $25,000 for the abattoir and other local food programs. She is
looking forward to helping ensure the success of the FLT’s many exciting projects and continuing to build resilience and food security
on Salt Spring Island.

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Meghan De Joog

Meghan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in nutrition for anxiety and gut health. She graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2016 and also has a Bachelors of Kinesiology from UBC. Meghan is an avid organic gardener, and grows lots of her own food here on the island. She is very passionate about bringing about change to our food system through helping to shift the way people view local food and their health. Meg has been involved in various food initiatives from working on permaculture farms across the world, to being a part of a non-for-profit organization called Food for Thought in Vancouver. She has hosted numerous nutrition workshops & events to help empower individuals to nourish their bodies while educating on how to navigate our food system.

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