SPEC Staff                                                                         

Executive Director
Oliver Lane

Before joining SPEC, Oliver worked for several non-profit organizations in his home country of Argentina, in the areas of environmental education, integrated water management, poverty reduction and micro-finance. Oliver earned a master's degree in sustainability planning from the University of British Columbia, a graduate diploma in non-profit organization management, and a BA (Hons) in business economics. Oliver loves walking and cycling in the Pacific Spirit Park with his family and is sl-ow-ly getting ready to learn how to play the piano and to ice-skate.

Email: oliver@spec.bc.ca


School Gardens Program Coordinator
Nikoo Boroumand

Nikoo is a food and environmental educator, with many years of experience growing food and medicine on organic farms and gardens. She is passionate about teaching children and youth about food, nutrition, growing food, edible weeds, soil, composting, and all things related. Nikoo is a registered nutritional practitioner and a chartered herbalist, with an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences from the University of Guelph and a master's in public administration from the University of Victoria. She is a former grad and an instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, where she teaches the course, Nutrition and the Environment. She is also an avid all-season cyclist.


         SPEC Board of Directors

Dr. Carole Christopher

Carole has a doctorate in nutrition and has developed and taught university and adult education courses for 40 years, promoting local, sustainable, and just food. She’s been a SPEC director since 1996, and adds her experience being on community boards to the SPEC Executive. She is the past-chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, advising City Council on food security, a master gardener, with 35 years of organic gardening experience, and an enthusiastic camper and creative cook with her partner Rick. She speaks and offers workshops on a range of topics that pertain to food security and gardening, is an avid jazz and gospel singer, and is a dedicated meditation practitioner.

Kate Menzies

Vice President
Kate Menzies

Kate is a project manager for a B.C forest management company that works in partnership with First Nations communities in northwest B.C. Kate earned a BSc in global resource systems from UBC, focusing on food systems and the environment. She worked at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (UBC Farm), as the Agroforestry Coordinator, and was involved with SPEC, in 2009, when she and Tara Moreau conducted a research project on soil amendments for container gardening. Now, as a board member, Kate looks forward to collaborating on many more great initiatives. She is a cyclist, loves basically anything outdoors, and follows the words of Edward Abbey who says "It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it".

Alison Krahn

Alison is a certified teacher who specializes in environmental, experiential and community based education. Ali is currently working as an instructor at Vancouver Community College, and has previously taught for Tsawwassen First Nation and the Vancouver School Board. She has eight years of professional experience in designing environmental curriculum and coordinating school programs, and she is dedicated to inspiring learners of all ages to move forward with their own passions and actions. Ali earned a B.Ed from UBC, where she completed an enhanced practicum in school garden programming with the Orchard Garden project. She also has a M.A. in Educational Studies, where she completed a community based research project designed to enhance school learning for vulnerable students. Ali is an avid cyclist and hiker, and is slowly working up to knitting her first sweater.

Anastasia Koutalianos

Anastasia is a writer, editor and communications strategist. She runs and operates her own communications firm, nadatodo Communications Inc., and loves facilitation and getting to the crux of things. Anastasia is a graduate of SPEC’s Master Recycler program and while new to environmental sustainability, is passionate about ecological awareness, and how to get reusables out of our waste streams. She is also the co-founder and program manager of Talkin’ Trash, a bi-weekly radio show on Coop Radio focused on our garbage and those who tackle it in all its forms. Anastasia also runs her own projects, now heavy into tiny houses through the BC Tiny House Collective. Her past clients include Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver, Reconciliation Canada, Government of Canada (Indian residential schools) and Canada Wide Media. Anastasia is excited to join the board and looks forward to showcasing the many wonderful things SPEC does in our community.

Art Bomke
Dr. Art Bomke

Art was raised on a small farm in Illinois and has an academic background in soil and crop management. His career at UBC’s faculty of land and food systems (formerly agricultural sciences) focused on soil science, agroecology, and food systems. Since the 1970s, recycling and reusing organic waste materials has been a central focus of his. As a Professor Emeritus, he helps support local, small scale and new farmers. Art is a car co-op member, an avid cyclist, and has been car-free for nearly 24 years. Since retirement, he has been attempting to improve his home garden and his ability to prepare the food it produces. He, and his partner Carol, have lived in the Riley Park/Little Mountain area of Vancouver for 40 years. They are grateful to be members of an interesting and vibrant urban community.

Dan Rogers
Dan Rogers

Dan is in his second "go round" on the SPEC Board. Previously, he was on the Board for 8 years and served for approximately 2 years as the president. Dan practiced labour law for 33 years and has now retired from active practice. He has a keen interest in environmental matters and believes conservation is increasingly imperative. Dan has sat on a variety of not-for-profit boards, involving health, employment training, and local community associations, and he is currently the chair of the Compassionate Eye Foundation and a trustee for the Gambier Island Local Trust Area. 


Eyal Lebel

Eyal has more than 25 year of experience as a waste management coordinator and consultant. For the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, he has volunteered on its waste committee for 27 years, holding the lead role for over a decade. Eyal also sits on the board for Car Free Day Vancouver, and has been coordinating its Green Team for the last 2 years. As a volunteer on SPEC's Zero Waste Committee, he was part of the team that developed and launched SPEC's Master Recycler Vancouver program in 2015. Eyal is a Dr. of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, as well as a master herbalist in western herbal medicine. He works in his private clinic in Vancouver.

Paula Pisciottano

Throughout her career, Paula has managed the communication needs of private businesses, non-profit organizations, and publicly traded companies. For SPEC, Paula offers her expertise as a communicator, to help a cause that is close to her heart, so she can contribute to a wonderful, sustainable, and more livable city for her daughter and the future generations to come. Paula was born in Uruguay and has lived, worked, and traveled worldwide. She has been a proud Vancouverite since 2005.

Shelby Kitt

Shelby is a passionate environmentalist with a degree in Psychology, and is currently at BCIT completing her Advanced Specialty Certificate in Sustainable Business Leadership. She is involved with several nonprofit organizations in Vancouver where she works and learns about sustainable business and urban conservation efforts. She also works with an organization that facilitates responsible investing practices with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in mind. Shelby spends her free time maintaining her blog ‘The Modern Treehugger’ (www.themoderntreehugger.com), playing with her dogs, and volunteering both locally and abroad. She spent the summer of 2016 volunteering with an NGO in Honduras helping with conservation efforts of sea turtles, and becoming an advanced specialty SCUBA diver!

Dr. Tara Moreau

Tara is the Associate Director of Sustainability and Community Programs at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden in Vancouver Canada. She is co-chair of Vancouver’s Food Policy Council and has been a board member at SPEC for over 10 years. She has worked internationally as a consultant with the UN-Food and Agriculture Organization. Her publications, presentations and educational programs relate to climate change, food systems, sustainability education, agriculture, pest management and food policy. Her ideal Vancouver day involves biking to Spanish Banks and spending low tide skim-boarding with her family and friends. She has been car-free since 2006.

Dr. Wendy Mendes

Wendy is an interdisciplinary 'pracademic' (practitioner + academic) with expertise in socially resilient cities, healthy communities, and sustainable food systems. As one of the first municipal food systems planners in North America, Wendy provided strategic leadership over the City of Vancouver's sustainable food systems portfolio for over a decade. This includes facilitating the formation of Vancouver's first Food Policy Council, overseeing the Greenest City Action Plan Local Food Goal Area, and leading the co-creation of Vancouver's first comprehensive Food Strategy. Wendy has a PhD in Urban Geography, and completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Toronto's Centre for Urban Health Initiatives. She is currently a Social Infrastructure Planner for the City of Vancouver, Adjunct Professor at UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning, and Research Associate for Ryerson University's Centre for Studies in Food Security. Alongside her 'healthy city' pursuits, Wendy is a circus artist specializing in dance trapeze, aerial silks, acrobatics and hand balancing. She is also a novice parkour practitioner and podcast aficionado. Although she has called Vancouver home for over 20 years, Wendy is proud to have lived in four Canadian cities, giving her a deep appreciation of the rich diversity of Canada.

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation

2305 West 7th Ave 

Vancouver, BC  V6K 1Y4

T: 604.736.7732
E:  admin@spec.bc.ca

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