Meet our Board of Directors
Andre Lachance, President
Professor of Biology, Western University
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.
David Wake, Past 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.
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.
Chris Leys, Vice President
Vice President of Manufacturing at Jones Packaging
Chris is currently the Vice President of Manufacturing at Jones Packaging in London. He has been involved with the TTLT as the head steward for the Tanager Tract and the Lusty Family Woods, and member of the Property Management Committee. An avid bird watcher and general naturalist, Chris has shared a number of natural experiences while travelling and camping with his wife Sandra and children Stephanie and Ryan. Chris is an active member of the West Elgin Nature Club where he has served as the migration secretary for over 10 years and is currently the club’s vice-president.
Kim McCabe, Secretary
Landscape Design Consultant
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.
Lawyer, Property and Commercial Law
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.
Will Van Hemessen
Ecologist with Pearsons Inc. In London, Ontario
Will is currently a terrestrial ecologist with Parsons Inc. in London, Ontario. Will's main expertise and passion is in botany but he has over 7 years of experience in many aspects of ecology and environmental management. Will's passion for botany goes beyond the workplace - most of his spare time is spent outdoors looking for rare and unique plant species, many of which can be found on TTLT properties. Will is a member of the Field Botanists of Ontario (FBO) and the Thames Valley Trail Association (TVTA) in addition to TTLT. He has led dozens of wildflower hikes for FBO and field naturalists clubs across Ontario. Will lives in the Old South neighbourhood of London.
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.
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.
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.
Carol was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has degrees in International Relations, Environmental Law and Biodiversity, Conservation and Management. A resident of London since 2007, Carol has served on London’s Environmental and Ecological Protection Advisory Committee, and the Trees and Forests Advisory Committee. She has also been a volunteer with Reforest London and was a candidate for the Green Party in 2015 and 2018.
Senior Territory Manager at Indigo Natural Products Management
Erin grew up as an avid environmentalist and animal lover in Burlington Ontario/ she completed a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Western Ontario and a graduate certificate in ecosystem restoration from Niagara College. She has since worked with BurlingtonGreen, and the Ontario Natural Food co-operative. She returned to London in 2014 and brings a wealth of knowledge in sales and marketing. Specifically in the natural food and health industry. Erin has volunteer experience with various animal shelters and sanctuaries, the royal Botanic Gardens, the Bruce Trail Conservation, and SCAAR London. In her spare time she enjoys tending her vegetable garden, playing hickey, running, and hiking with her dog Harley, and fostering rescue dogs.
Meet our Staff
Phone: (519) 858-3442
Suzanne McDonald is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario in Political Science and French. While at Western Suzanne was elected to the University Senate. She followed her studies at Science Po in Paris, France. Upon her return to London, she married and started her career at John Labatt Limited. She continued her studies in general business at the Ivey School of Business. She left her position as Director of Public Affairs and became a publisher of a small local newspaper. McDonald has directed several capital campaigns including the Children's Museum, the Merrymount Children's Centre, the Brescia University College Foundation and most recently the Goodwill Industries campaign. Suzanne has served on several boards including the United Way of London and Middlesex, Fanshawe Pioneer Village, the Centre for Philanthropy, UWO Alumni Board, the Stratford Festival and recently completed her appointment to the Ontario Heritage Trust Board and the Western University Senate. For more than 10 years, Suzanne was a part time faculty member for Western University in their Continuing Studies Department teaching Not for Profit Management.
Conservation Property Manager
Daria joined TTLT in April 2014 as the Conservation Property Manager. Daria has been actively involved in conservation and land stewardship in Ontario since 2000 through her education, work and volunteer experience with environmental groups. She has been a volunteer with TTLT since 2008 as a member and Chair of the Property Management Committee and a Director on the Board. Daria received her BSc and MSc from Queen's University and her PhD from Western University and has a strong background in ecology, population genetics and habitat fragmentation. Daria is also an Assistant Professor at Western University and teaches part-time in the Department of Biology. She previously worked with Carolinian Canada Coalition as an Ecosystem Recovery Specialist focusing on conservation planning in southwestern Ontario. Daria enjoys spending time in nature, restoring habitats, and sharing her enthusiasm for local biodiversity through educational programs.
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.
Born and raised in London, Phil holds an Honours Specialization in Geography, as well as a Masters of Environment and Sustainability, both from Western University. During his Masters program, he worked for Western as a wetland research technician, studying and sampling wetlands in central and southern Alberta. He has been an active volunteer with ReForest London since 2017, helping to manage office databases, lead community events, and providing GIS analysis and support. He also serves on their Trees Committee, helping the organization to form new partnerships and identify new sites for tree planting projects. In his spare time he can be found hiking, candle making and reading.
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.
Outreach and Communications Assistant
Darby grew up in St. Marys and Lakeside, ON. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a major in Environment and Resource Management from the University of Guelph, as well as an Environmental Management and Assessment post-graduate certificate from Niagara College. Darby did a lot of volunteering with the Office of Sustainability at Niagara College where she was able to develop skills in sustainability outreach and education. She also pursues a zero-waste lifestyle.
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