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Our Team

Meet our Board of Directors

Kaitlin Richardson, President
Conservation Biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Kaitlin is currently a Conservation Biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the chair of TTLT's Property Management Committee. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's of Environmental Studies and diplomas in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation as well as Environmental Assessment. Kaitlin is passionate about protecting, stewarding and restoring land for Ontario's biodiversity and species at risk. Kaitlin's passion for conservation goes beyond the workplace. She spends her spare time tending to her native plant garden, volunteering in the environmental sector and hiking to admire local plants, birds and turtles. Kaitlin has over 5 years of experience in many aspects of ecology and the non-profit sector, having worked as the Stewardship Coordinator at TTLT in the past as well as the Project Manager at ReForest London and an Urban Forestry Technician at the City of London.

Bernie VanDenBelt, Vice President
Retired Teacher

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). Bernie also serves on the Trust’s Governance and Land Securement committees.

Adrienne James, Treasurer
Chartered Professional Accountant, Wilkinson Rogers, LLP 

Adrienne is a Chartered Professional Accountant who has worked in public accounting since 2006. Adrienne has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and obtained her CPA, CA designation in 2008. Adrienne’s practice consists of all aspects of personal taxation and providing assurance, accounting and taxation services to owner managed business and not for profit organizations. A resident of London since 2007, Adrienne served on the Board of Directors of the London and District Distress Centre and was appointed to the board of TTLT in 2017. In her spare time, Adrienne enjoys travelling and camping and she also loves to cycle and run along the many trails that we are lucky to enjoy in the Forest City.

Vicki Hammond, Secretary
Elementary Teacher, Thames Valley District School Board

Vicki holds a M.A. in Resources Geography from Western, as well as a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation & Education. Experience working for various parks and conservation organizations such as UTRCA, Cities of London and Burlington, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has provided an understanding of ecosystems and habitats, as well as conservation tools and policies. Vicki is accustomed to working on large scale, community consultation projects with diverse stakeholders. As the Environmental Coordinator at her teaching position, Vicki organizes programs and activities that encourage greater awareness and stewardship in youth. Vicki grew up in a rural community in Oxford County and now lives in London where she has volunteered her time to coaching soccer and playing an active role in community organizations, such as TD Friends of the Environment. Vicki enjoys birding, nature photography, hiking and canoeing.

Sarah Hodgkiss
Planning Ecologist

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.

Ric Symmes
Executive

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.

Lenore Patterson
Farmer

Lenore Patterson is a graduate of Fanshawe College in Accounting. She is a certified CPA / CGA and has over 30 years of practicing in the public and private sector. Lenore grew up in the Glencoe area and spent her married life outside of Wardsville on the farm with her late husband Scott. The mother of four daughters became a full time farmer in 2013. She works with her daughter and they manage more than 1,100 acres. She has been an active member of her community and served on several local initiatives.

Jordan Banninga

Manager, Program Planning and Evaluation, Middlesex-London Health Unit

Jordan is an experienced public servant with a history of working in Public Health. He is skilled in Program Evaluation, Public Speaking, Health Promotion, Strategic Planning, and People, Program and Project Management. Jordan has a Master of Science in Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, U. of London.  He is looking forward to joining the TTLT board.

Paul Mensink
Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, Western University

Paul is an assistant professor at Western University in Centre for Environment and Sustainability. Paul teaches Western’s first-year environmental science courses and is also an instructor for the Masters in Environment and Sustainability (Ecosystem Health and Foundations in Sustainability). He is the graduate chair for the Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Sustainability, which brings together graduate students from across the university to work in interdisciplinary teams aligned with community partners. Paul earned his PhD (Marine Biology) from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) before moving to Northern Ireland to teach at Queen’s University Belfast.  Paul returned to London and Western in 2018 and in addition to teaching, conducts research on the behavior and population dynamics of vulnerable species.

Katie Van Den Berg
Daymaker & Inventory Coordinator at Heeman's Greenhouses

Katie has wide-ranging experience in business and in the not-for-profit sector from conservation organizations, nature hiking groups and local family operated greenhouses. She has planted hundreds of trees and worked as a staff member and volunteer with both the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Reforest London. Katie is at home in a forest, thrilled to spot a turtle while on a hike, has a passion for protecting species at risk, and her favourite tree is the Eastern White Pine. 

Geoff Vogt
Superintendent of Facilities, Capital and Planning with the Thames Valley District School Board

Prior to starting with TVDSB Geoff has been a senior leader with the YMCA working in communities from Guelph to Windsor and locally has led numerous projects for the Y including the Stoney Creek YMCA, Bostwick YMCA, Wortley Village YMCA and the rebuild of Camp Queen Elizabeth. He is passionate about community and community building, and has been involved with many local charities and not for profits since arriving in London in 2005. Geoff is also passionate about the environment and is a regular participant with the Antler River clean up group.  Geoff is active and often seen on the trails around London skiing, running or cycling.

Doug Ferguson 
Lawyer

Doug Ferguson was raised on a farm in Lambton County. He practiced law in London and served as Director of Community Legal Services at the Faculty of Law at Western University.  Doug currently serves as a director at the Ontario Bar Association and the Action Committee on Access to Justice. He has served on the board of Trillium Gift of Life Network and as president of Covent Garden Market, the Canadian Club of London, the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education, and the Liberal Party of Canada. A history buff and amateur genealogist, Doug lives in London with his wife, Laurie Lashbrook.

David Henderson
Manager - London InterCommunity Health Centre

David Henderson studied Environmental Science and Biology at Western University and Community Based Natural Resource Management at the African College of Wildlife Management. He worked with the West Lunga Trust on agriculture, livelihood improvement, and conservation projects in and around a national park in northwestern Zambia. In both Vancouver and in his hometown of London, David has worked in healthcare and community development for marginalized populations and newcomers to Canada. David and his wife love hiking and canoeing in the wild areas of Ontario and take joy in exploring these areas with their two young children.

Bruce Farnell 

Bruce Farnell is an Estate Planning Specialist at BMO Private Wealth in London, where he provides estate planning advisory services to high-net-worth clients. He lives in Aylmer with his wife, Sharon, who recently retired from a career as an administrator at Western.  Their children, Ingrid and Derek, are both working toward accreditation as professionals. Prior to his current position, Bruce practiced law in Elgin County, providing legal services that included real estate conveyancing, family law, business law, wills, and estates. He is a Commissioner of Oaths and a Notary Public. In his leisure time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, cycling, woodworking, carpentry, and reading.


Meet our Staff

Daria Koscinski
Executive Director
Email: [email protected]

Daria Koscinski

Daria joined Thames Talbot Land Trust in 2014. Daria has been actively involved in conservation and land stewardship in Ontario since 2000 through her education, work and volunteer experience with environmental groups. Daria received her BSc and MSc from Queen's University and her PhD from Western University with a focus on ecology, population genetics and habitat fragmentation. Daria is also an Assistant Professor at Western University and teaches part-time in the Department of Biology. Daria enjoys spending time in nature, restoring habitats, and sharing her enthusiasm for local biodiversity through educational programs.

 

Rebecca Launchbury
Conservation Lands Manager
Email: [email protected]

Rebecca Launchbury

Rebecca joined TTLT in May 2016 as the Stewardship Coordinator. She has worked in the environmental non-profit sector since 2012 and has a background in land stewardship, environmental outreach, and partnerships development. She has worked and volunteered on a range of stewardship projects in Ontario and enjoys working out in the field. Rebecca is a nature enthusiast and loves the outdoors. She grew up in Yorkshire, England and holds a Master’s degree in Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto.

 

Colin Johnson
Stewardship and Outreach Coordinator
Email: [email protected]          

Colin joined the Thames Talbot Land Trust in May 2019. He graduated from Western University with a degree in Biology and Psychology then continued to Fleming College to earn a diploma in Ecosystem Management. Since graduating, he has been working in the environmental field in the private and research sectors and is now excited to be contributing to the conservation field. When Colin isn’t working he enjoys spending time with friends and family, adrenaline filled adventures canoeing through Ontario’s interior lakes and frequent moon lit walks along the beach.

 

Darby Alderson
Administration and Engagement Coordinator
Email: [email protected]                                                                                                                                                                                                

Darby has rejoined TTLT as of February 2020. She previously worked for TTLT in the summer of 2019 in the Outreach and Communications Assistant position and stayed on as a volunteer. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, majoring in Environment and Resource Management. She continued her education at Niagara College in the post-graduate certificate Environmental Management and Assessment program. Darby is a strong advocate for sustainability and does her best to live a zero-waste lifestyle. In her spare time, she takes too many selfies with her fluffy St. Bernard, Buddha.

 

Payton Landsborough
Ecological Technician

Payton.jpgPayton joined TTLT in September 2021 as an Ecological Technician. She is currently working towards a Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, majoring in Environment, Resources and Sustainability with a focus on restoration ecology and environmental impact assessment. When not working or in classes, she spends her time hiking, botanizing, and tending to her native plant and vegetable gardens.

 

Luke King
Ecological Technician

Luke.JPGLuke graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in International Development before completing his Fish and Wildlife Technician diploma at Fleming College. He likes the variation he's found in conservation work and really likes meeting the people who are passionate about their field and the things they do. Luke loves to hike, canoe, and camp, and tries to spend his free time among herps, fish, plants, and birds.