Claire Surgenor, Director-at-large; R.N. (retired)
Claire was born and raised on a homestead-type farm. She is the second oldest of 11 siblings and lived in a small village where people worked together to create a healthy, caring, resilient and sustainable community.
Claire worked as a cook, teacher, nursing aide and then as a nurse in various settings across Canada. Over the years, she has volunteered in many social justice and community organizations.
Claire has at heart to reduce green house gases , starting in the 1980’s when she and her husband built a passive solar home. Her main way of addressing climate change and the environment have been: organic gardening, shore clean ups, water conservation, becoming vegan, biking, trying to eliminate the use of plastics, volunteering with Nanaimo Community Garden, promoting growing food locally…
Don Giberson, Founder and Board President, Small Business Owner
Don is a former Communications and Electronics Engineer in the Canadian army, worked in direct and retail sales, owned and operated a Subway franchise for 5 years and, since 2004, has been the founder and President of DreamCrafters, Inc., an international training and coaching company.
Don worked on The People’s Platform, a civic engagement project for the municipal elections in Hamilton, Ontario in 2014, that invited people to propose policies they wanted their next city council to adopt. He went on to launch The People’s Platform, a federally incorporated not-for-profit that worked on the 2015 federal election.
Don is also a volunteer instructor for the “Global Challenges, Local Solutions” course at Vancouver Island University’s Elder College.
He is a member of IAP2 Canada (International Association for Public Participation, Canada) and serves on the Boards of several other organizations including the Island Community Solar Cooperative (Board Secretary) and the Partners in Possibility Foundation (Board Treasurer).
Lee Solstory, Board Secretary; RN (retired), Herbalist, Aromatherapist
Lee is been actively engaged in sustainability for decades.
She was active in the fledgling promotion of recycling in the 80’s and engaged as an activist to secure clean food. Since those early days she’s partnered in creating a food forest, been an early adapter to alternative energy and was the originator of the Sooke Slow Food Cycle.
Lee is active in promoting community and believes that sustainability begins with building inclusive, connected communities.
Shaeah Fialkow, Director-at-large; BA; certified coach, trainer, author, business owner
Shaeah grew up in the Peace Country of Alberta and moved to the BC Coast in 1999 where she has devoted herself to the awakening and healing of people and the planet. Raised in the country on home grown vegetables and spring water, she has a deep connection to nature and a passion to protect it.
She is the founder of Sacred Healing Arts School & Spa where she supports and trains people in transformational healing. She is also a certified coach, author and inspirational speaker. She ran the Roberts Creek Farmer’s Market, started the Sunshine Coast’s first food coop that is still thriving, has helped save trees through environmental activism, sat on the Board of FOCI (Cortes Island) and has collaborated and participated in numerous intentional community projects over the past 20 years.
She believes in the power of vision and collaboration and is excited to be involved in the co-creation of a thriving, diverse, united and sustainable Nanaimo and world.
Terry Koch, Board Treasurer; BA, MBA; Principal, Terrydele Consulting Services:
Terry is a new Nanaimo resident, relocating from Alberta in September 2019 with his soul mate and wife Adele and Sammy, a lovable bernadoodle. Adele and Terry have four adult children. They are patiently awaiting the arrival of grandchildren!
Terry has been in private practice for 12 years following his work on interesting and innovative projects during his time working in local government and with consulting firms in Alberta. His career focus is on public engagement design and implementation, project management and meeting facilitation.
Terry has served on numerous boards and committees. He loves to travel, volunteer and meet with friends over good food and drinks. Formerly involved in competitive sports of all kinds, he now enjoys an occasional round of golf, cycling, gardening and fitness training.