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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

David Wake, President
Environmental Planner

Linda McDougall, Past President
Ecologist Planner, City of London

Andre Lachance, Vice-President
Professor of Biology, Western University

Jack Smit, Treasurer
Business Development Manager, Family Service Thames Valley 

Kim McCabe, Secretary
Landscape Design Consultant

Greg Clark
Lawyer, Property and Commercial Law

Elaine Gamble
Manager, Corporate Communications

Al Driedger
Radiation Biologist, Western University

Sarah Hodgkiss
Planning Ecologist

Ric Symmes
Executive

Bernie VanDenBelt
Teacher

 

TTLT Board Member Biographies

Greg Clark: Greg was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1988 and he received his education at the University of Western Ontario (LLB 1986). Greg has practiced real property and commercial law in the London area for more than 15 years and before joining Siskinds, was acting counsel for 9 years for a large national firm. Greg's practice consists of all aspects of the leasing, acquisition, disposition and financing of commercial real and personal property and providing general commercial advice on a broad range of matters. His clients include medium to large Canadian and United States businesses in the automotive, transportation, building products, science and technology, long-term care, agricultural and financial sectors.  (Board Term(s): 2014-16).

Albert Driedger: Al and his wife Lilianne donated their 30-ha conservation property in the Five Points Forest near Putnam to the TTLT in 2009. Al is a well-respected radiation biologist with many professional publications to his credit. During his research career, Al served on the boards of many international societies of nuclear medicine. Al is now semi-retired and a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Medicine at Western University. He devotes many of his waking hours tending to the Driedger Tract, where he serves as our head steward. (Board Term(s): 2012-14, 2014-16).

Elaine Gamble: Elaine currently works in Corporate Communications at Fanshawe College. She has previously served in other senior communications and public affairs roles at the City of London and within the Ontario Government. She has completed the Queen's School of Business Leadership Program and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Translation and a Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing from Glendon College, York University. She has also earned the Horticultural Certificate from the University of Guelph.  (Board Term(s): 2014-16).

Sarah Hodgkiss: Sarah is the Planning Ecologist for the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority.  She has been involved with TTLT through the Property Management Committee and Land Securement Committee since 2011.  She previously worked for the Couchiching Conservancy in Orillia, where she was introduced to the work of land trusts in Ontario.  She has worked in the conservation field for over a decade for a wide range of environmental organizations.  Sarah enjoys traveling, and outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. (Board Term(s) 2016-18).

André Lachance (Vice-President):  André is a Professor of Biology at the University of Western Ontario.  A microbiologist by training, much of his teaching is currently in various aspects of evolutionary biology including population genetics, systematics, and phylogenetics.  He has described over a hundred new yeast species.  André enjoys nature and has served as a volunteer with TTLT for several years.  In particular, he was part of the first group of members to receive chainsaw operator certification.  He looks forward to a more formal involvement with the governance of TTLT. (Board Terms: 2014-16). 

Kim McCabe (Secretary): Kim began her working life as a registered nurse and practiced in Toronto, Australia and finally London Ontario for fifteen years.  Kim then followed a second career path into landscape design with an Honors Diploma in Landscape Design from Fanshawe College followed by a Degree in landscape architecture at the University of Guelph.  Kim has worked with a number of planning and landscape architectural firms gaining experience with a variety of residential, municipal and commercial landscape projects including a number of park and trail designs, re-naturalization projects and healing gardens.  Kim has a passion for the outdoors and completed her thesis on the healing benefits of access to nature.  Kim and her husband Greg live in London and have two grown children.  They like to spend time road biking and hiking the 'wilds' of southern Ontario and anywhere their travels take them.  (Board Term(s): 2013-15).

Linda McDougall (Past-President): Linda is currently an Ecologist Planner with the City of London.  Linda holds a Master's degree in Environment and Sustainability from Western University.  Protected areas were the focus of her Master's research conducted for the Sustainable Forest Management Network.  Linda worked as a Species at Risk Stewardship Technician for the Friends of Pinery Park and The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority.  Linda is a full member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and a Registered Professional Planner.  (Board Term(s): 2011-13, 2013-15). 

Jack Smit (Treasurer): Jack enjoys getting dirty and playing in the outdoors which includes planting trees, helping out with a TTLT work group or trekking backcountry on a canoe trip. He grew up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario where his father instilled in him a love of nature, appreciation of the land and a respect for Mother Nature. Jack has volunteered with other nature loving organizations such as ReForest London before getting involved with Thames Talbot Land Trust. Jack contributes his experience as a small business advisor and training as a CMA, Chartered Professional Accountant. Jack currently works as the Business Development Manager for Family Services Thames Valley.  (Board Term(s): 2014-16).

Ric Symmes: A graduate of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, Ric is an avid photographer, canoeist and wilderness tripper.  He has a long history of volunteering in the field of land conservation.  Ric is a past president of Carolinian Canada Coalition, founder and past Chair of both the Huronia Land Conservancy and the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation and former Vice Chair of the Ontario Parks Board.  After retiring as a food industry executive, he worked for a variety of natural heritage organizations including the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Bird Studies Canada, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and two terms as Executive Director of FON (now Ontario Nature). Ric and his wife Sandy moved to London in 2010 where they enjoy living in Carolinian Canada. (Board Term(s) 2016-18).

Bernie VanDenBelt: Bernie is an elementary school teacher and part-time farmer who resides with his wife, Christine, and their two daughters near Delaware in the municipality of Middlesex Centre.  He is a Founding Member and former President of the Thames Talbot Land Trust.   From 2003 – 2005, Bernie served as of Chair of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA).  For the past two years, he has chaired TTLT’s Membership & Marketing Committee.  Bernie also serves on the Trust’s Governance and Land Securement committees. (Board Term(s) 2016-18).

David Wake (President): Dave has a biology degree from Western University. In his thirty-five year career in environmental planning with the Ontario government, he conducted environmental assessments, supervised staff and consultants, and organized public involvement programs. He received special recognition from the Ontario public service for his inspirational leadership and skill in communications. In the volunteer world, Dave is a past president of Nature Canada, and is active with Nature London. He has been a leader in efforts to protect Westminster Ponds ESA. Dave is a birder and nature photographer. He lives in London with his wife Winifred. (Board Term(s) 2012-14, 2014-16).