Directors

Chair – Detmar Schwichtenberg 
Detmar Schwichtenberg is a writer and resource manager who lives on a dairy farm in Agassiz, BC. His area of expertise is using incentives and knowledge transfers to promote stewardship of private forest and agricultural land.

Vice-Chair – Jim Armstrong
Jim is a registered professional biologist and owner of AES Inc, which is an environmental consulting firm that specializes in assisting industrial operations to develop and manage their operations in an environmentally sustainable manner. He has a Master of Science degree in Environmental science, Environmental Management and Marine biology.  He is also a Qualified Environmental Professional with more than 40 years experience in the environmental field. He has worked extensively in the development of environmental regulatory tools through his tenure at the BC Ministry of Environment and Metro Vancouver Regional District. He developed the environmental management programs for Burrard Inlet, Fraser River, Boundary Bay and the Regional Integrated Stormwater Management Program. Currently he is working on the development of two industrial sites in Mission that will provide significant wildlife habitat and still allow for the industrial operations to proceed in an environmental manner. Both sites will contain sections of the Experience the Fraser trail. 

Treasurer – David Urban
David is a planner with over 10 years of experience at the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD). Throughout his career he has been focused on regional matters that relate to vibrant, distinct, and sustainable communities that are committed to protecting the environment to ensure a high quality of life for all. As the FVRD planning lead for the Experience the Fraser project (www.fvrd.bc.ca/InsidetheFVRD/RegionalPlanning/Pages/ETF.aspx), David is thrilled about the limitless connections that will be created to reconnect people in an outdoor recreational manner to the one of the most beautiful areas of the province. He is also an active outdoors person enjoying photography, native plant identification, cycling, and skiing.

Secretary – Christina Toth
A resident of the Fraser Valley for most of her life, Christina Toth was a journalist for 23 years at community newspapers (the Abbotsford News, 1990-1995 and the Abbotsford Mission Times, 2001-2013) and as a freelance writer. She’s always had a strong interest in the natural world, ecological issues, the impacts of humanity on the environment and how the two might continue to live together harmoniously. She now applies her local knowledge and experience in her work as an assistant regional manager in the Fraser Valley region for the Fraser Basin Council, a non-profit organization promoting environmental, economic and social sustainability in the river’s watershed regions. Contact her at ctoth@fraserbasin.bc.ca

Director at Large– Monica Pearson
Monica Pearson is a Registered Professional Biologist in BC, and owner of Balance Ecological. Hailing from Vancouver, she works primarily in species-at-risk recovery planning and wetland habitat restoration. Her interests are in restoring relationships between humans, wildlife and the environment on which they both depend. She has been with the FVWC as a member since 2008, and as a Director since 2010.

Director at Large – Bruce Clark
Bruce is a long-time resident of the lower mainland, and an active community volunteer.  He is a registered professional biologist (R.P.Bio.), with over 40 years experience specializing in environmental assessment, with particular focus on aquatic ecosystems.  He spent over 30 years as a biologist with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Habitat Management Program, focussing largely on evaluation of development proposals and related environmental effects, and biological support for compliance/enforcement activities.  He was also a DFO national staff trainer.  Much of Bruce’s DFO work was within the lower Fraser River and lower mainland areas.  Bruce is now a self-employed consultant.

Director at Large – Matt Foy 
Matt Foy was born, raised and resides in Langley in the central Fraser Valley. After graduation with a BSc in Zoology from the University of British Columbia, he pursued a career in the protection, restoration and enhancement of salmon habitats and populations throughout British Columbia. Recently retired from Fisheries and Oceans after 35 years, he continues to be very interested in salmon ecosystem restoration and protection.

Director at Large –  John Vissers
John has lived on a rural wooded acreage on Sumas Mountain near Abbotsford for 23 years. He owns Custom Insulation, with 6 – 8 employees, specializing in commercial, energy efficient (LEED) building projects. An appointed member of Abbotsford’s Environmental Advisory Committee, he also chairs the “Rail For the Valley” lobby group, attempting to revive the electric inter-urban train service that linked all the Fraser Valley communities 100 years ago. John is currently president of the Straiton Community Club on Sumas Mountain, and is active with the Mission Folk Music Festival Society and Envision Twilight Concert Series.

Director at Large- Birgit Gagne
Birgit is a Field Inspector for Egg Farmers of Canada in BC, and has been a Member of the FVWC since 2009 with a short interruption during 2012/2013 when she worked in Alberta. Interested from early childhood in animals nature and the environment, her passion is sharing this appreciation with the next generation. Most income from her work goes straight into her home of 6 acres that she shares with, amongst other creatures, bats, owls, toads, and the occasional salamander. Her main interests as a director lay with challenges concerning invasive species and the urban/agricultural interface.