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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. He 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, running and cycling in the Pacific Spirit Park with his family and friends. He has been with SPEC since 2012.

Outreach Facilitator and Volunteer Coordinator

Robin Hadac

Robin is a UBC graduate with a degree in Psychology and Political Science. As SPEC’s Outreach Facilitator she helps run SPEC’s social media and communication channels and is in charge of volunteer coordination . Her particular interests are environmental politics and sustainable health, including how the environment plays a factor in mental health and well-being. In her free time, Robin enjoys skiing, hiking, and traveling. Some of her past travels took her to Tanzania, where she worked with small-scale coffee farmers to learn about organic and sustainable farming.


Fund Development Coordinator

Barbara Constantine

Barbara brings extensive experience in community engagement, communications consulting, development and marketing to SPEC. Her work with leading charitable organizations and the City of Vancouver has been recognized with several awards. Many of her stories and interviews as a TV host, reporter and writer focused on issues related to the health of people and the environment, and she is an advocate for integrity in food and cosmetic ingredients and labeling. Barbara is the loving parent of two young adults and her bird-friendly backyard is a welcoming oasis for a wide variety of fly-in guests.

School Gardens Coordinator

Sharlene Singh

Sharlene is a graduate from the University of Waterloo and Sheridan College. As a Community Development specialist, she has many years experience working with the Not for profit sector and municipal government developing community programs, partnerships, volunteer programs and community capacity building. As a Master Gardener, she is an advocate for the benefits of time spent in nature and in the garden. Sharlene looks forward to sharing her passion by seeking to engage and inspire the next generation about the importance of food security and connecting to the natural world. In her down time, Sharlene enjoys photography, travel, exploring hiking trails, foraging and paddleboarding.

Cambie Garden Engagement Coordinator

Jen Fischer

Jen Fischer is SPEC’s Cambie Garden Coordinator. An original Vancouverite who relishes being in nature with her beagle, Argyle. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Ryerson University (Toronto), in Environment and Urban Sustainability and a Master of Education from the UBC in Education for Sustainability. She is an Organic Masters Gardener (Gaia College), an Al Gore certified Corps Climate Leader, and was a 2017 SFU, RADIUS Fellow in Radical Doing. Jen is currently an SFU teacher’s candidate and has been worked with children for over 10 years using farming as an educational modality. She is passionate about the intersection of farming, civic engagement and urban nature. 

Climate Change Adaptation for Small Scale Farmers Project Coordinator
Olga Lansdorp

Throughout her Bachelor of Science degree in Agroecology, Olga spent her summers working as a field study assistant in exciting places, such as the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, the grasslands of Montana, and the Kipuka forests of the Big Island of Hawaii. Her combined passion for birds as well as sustainable agriculture brought her to the Metro Vancouver area in the summer months, to study Barn Swallows as a part of her Master of Science research at Simon Fraser University. Now, at SPEC in her role as Program Coordinator, Olga is discovering the many challenges that small scale farmers face, and has a lot of respect for their curiosity, creativity, and work ethic. She hopes to bring her passion and sustained interest for living systems to the project.


Ecological Literacy Through Gardening Project Coordinator
Dr. Yael Stav

Yael is a sustainable design professional, with expertise in living walls and urban agriculture from Israel, Australia and Canada. Her PhD from the School of Design at QUT, Australia, was focused on sustainable urban design. She enjoys teaching and advocating for integrating more vegetation into urban environments. She also enjoys gardening in her domestic micro-farm and in community gardens. Her studio, Invivo Design, located in Vancouver, is involved in research and design projects related to green infrastructure.

         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.  In 2018, Carole was acknowledged by the City of Vancouver for her thirty five years of volunteer work in the community as the recipient of the Vancouver Award of Excellence in the category of Healthy City For All.  


Kate Menzies

Kate Menzies

Kate is completing a Master’s in Resource and Environmental Management from SFU. Her research focuses on assessing the condition of butter clams in the traditional territory of the Metlakatla First Nation and developing a monitoring and management plan to protect clams from adverse cumulative effects. Kate has a background in sustainable food systems and graduated with a BSc from UBC’s Land and Food Systems faculty. Kate’s work experience spans from food systems research to First Nation’s forest management. As the co-chair of SPEC’s board, Kate enjoys collaborating with SPEC’s amazing staff and volunteers to do community-centered work that brings people closer to nature and provides tools for living more sustainably from the individual, to the household, to the neighbourhood scale, and beyond. Like many of you reading this, Kate is an outdoor enthusiast 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"


Ruth Briggs

Ruth has a passion for sustainability and the connectivity of our environment. She has been a volunteer with SPEC since 2014, and is currently the Secretary of the SPEC Energy & Transportation Committee. Ruth holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from UBC, and focused her studies on physical sciences such as hydrology and meteorology. Ruth helped the Village Vancouver Transition Society develop their Food Energy Descent Action Plan and loves being involved with community events. In her professional and personal life, Ruth thrives on learning and teaching, and is very excited to learn and contribute as a member of SPEC’s Board of Directors.


Emily Danaher

Emily works at Renewal Funds, a mission venture capital firm investing in early growth stage companies that are focused on creating positive social and environmental change. She supports the operational side of Renewal, with a focus in investor relations and communication, sustainability and B Corp involvement, and internal administrative finances. Prior to moving to Vancouver, she travelled through Central America & Colombia, volunteering as she went. Emily has worked at United Way as Fund Development Officer, and has extensive volunteer experience in values-based organizations. Emily holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree with a focus in accounting from McMaster University, and continues to study sustainable development and investing through elective coursework. In her spare time, Emily can be found cycling, running through the woods, camping, near or under any body of water, or practicing yoga.


Alison Krahn

Alison was born and raised on the unceded territories of the Syilx Okanagan and Scw’exmx Nations, and has been a visitor on the traditional territory of the Musqeuam people for the past ten years. She is a certified teacher who specializes in experiential curriculum design, and she has previously worked with Vancouver Community College, Tsawwassen First Nation and the Vancouver School Board. Ali is currently working as an Education and Training Specialist with UBC’s Indigenous Research Support Initiative, where she co-develops experiential learning programs with Indigenous partners in the areas of ethics, stewardship, cultural competency and cultural humility to meet the TRC’s Calls to Action for education and research. Her background also includes a Master of Arts in Educational studies, where she completed a community based research project designed to enhance school learning for vulnerable students. Ali is dedicated to inspiring learners of all ages to move forward with their own passions and actions. Dogs, hiking, feminism and cheese are a few of her favourite things.

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.


Chris Gooderham

Chris is a technology integrator and  project manager with a passion for technologies that simply make sense. He works to provide local residents with expertise in resolving their technology needs, from solar cells to bicycles. He enjoys teaching youngsters of all ages how technologies work, with hands on activities. Volunteering at the Ponheary Ly foundation in Cambodia, to help school children keep their bicycles on the road, was one of his first initiatives. With over 30 years of experience in IT, he has managed projects from garden sheds to data centers. Chris holds a B.Sc in Electronics and is a certified Project Management Professional. 


Daniel Rotman

Daniel has an M.A. in Conflict Resolution and his mission is to engage in society's large, multi-party, cross-sector problems. This has brought him to the world of waste, where he now operates a consultancy at the cross roads of waste management and behaviour change. He has experience working in waste planning research, private recycling and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). He also has been co-facilitating and developing the Master Recycler Vancouver program since 2015, empowering new and local waste reduction and prevention champions. His main focus with the Board is in applying the sociology and psychology of behaviour change to help SPEC achieve its mission and vision. Daniel is thankful to be able to live and play and work on this beautiful land and tries to live in a way to protect it for generations to come.

Dr. 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.



Farhad Raoufi

Farhad is a project management professional and studied sustainable business leadership at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). He managed several social responsibility and public affairs projects prior to joining SPEC. Farhad is passionate about community engagement and development and enjoys conducting research related to the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. Farhad and his wife Maryam, love to travel around the world, gain new experiences and learn about other cultures. Reading history, hiking and playing soccer are his other favourite things to do.



Magali Vander Vorst

Magali is a communications professional with a Master's degree in scriptwriting. Currently a marketing content manager at NuData, she brings to SPEC her experience as a scriptwriter and media producer for award-winning social documentaries. She is also a freelance copywriter and digital strategist who collaborates regularly with environmental non-profits. She uses her advertising experience and storytelling skills to engage the audience and seamlessly promote the ideas she truly believes in. When she is not hunched over a notebook writing, she is hiking, rock climbing, or braving the rain on her bike.


Paul Crosby

Paul is a fundraiser who specializes in corporate giving, sponsorship, and community development. He currently serves as Community Development Manager for Diabetes Canada where he oversees corporate giving, foundations, and major gifts for BC and the Yukon. From 2013 to 2014, he served as Senior Development Officer, Corporate Relations for the BC SPCA, where he directed the organization’s sponsorship, employee giving, corporate donations, and cause marketing programs for BC. He moved to Vancouver in 2007 for a position with the International Triathlon Union. Paul holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Brunswick, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE). In his spare time, he participates in endurance sports and enjoys hiking.



Rashmi G C

Rashmi has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering and has worked for about 10 years as a Software Programmer while she was in Bangalore, India. She is also a Certified Master Recycler and is trying to lead a sustainable way of life. She loves everything related to food... growing, cooking, eating, sharing and composting! She loves having healthy interactions with the people in her community and likes to share her knowledge by hosting workshops. She is actively involved in many community building activities and is very passionate about her work. Visit her website https://rashmigc.blogspot.com/ to learn about some of her projects. In her spare time, she volunteers as a Board Member for some of the best organisations in Vancouver. She also likes to spend time admiring the woods and waves of Vancouver.

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.

Copyright © 2017

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation

Canadian charitable registration number:

118836311 RR0001

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation

2305 West 7th Ave 

Vancouver, BC  V6K 1Y4

T: 604.736.7732

E:  admin(at)spec(dot)bc(dot)ca

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