Jean Bennett – President
After living in various rural and urban communities in BC, Jean moved to the Sunshine Coast in 1996. She retired from her role as Dean of Education, Health and Human Development at Capilano University in 2015. Jean has worked with a wide variety of community based non-profits and task forces on both the Sunshine Coast and in the Lower Mainland. She is deeply interested in native plant ecology and in promoting the integration of native plants in domestic gardens.
Alexis Harrington – Treasurer
Alexis is from Vancouver and spent her entire life vacationing on the Coast. After attaining her BA in Literature from UBC and Associate of Business from Capilano University, Alexis moved to the Coast full time in 2006. She became active with the Garden in 2008 as it helped to foster her passion for the natural world and encouraging people to engage with and learn more about plants, animals, birds, and how they all work together. She has worked in the accounting industry since 2008 and started Sand Dollar Bookkeeping in 2015.
Douglas is the Associate Director and Curator of Collections at UBC Botanical Garden. He also teaches in both the Applied Biology and Masters of Landscape Architecture programs at UBC and is involved with public and industry extension. A former nursery manager, gardener and horticulture instructor, Douglas holds a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a Master’s in botany. He is an active member of a number of local, national and international plant and garden organizations and is currently writing a book on trees for the Vancouver area.
Mieke has been married for 41 years and is the proud parent and grandmother to six. She has been a Master Gardener for almost 18 years and strongly believes in the need for proactive stewardship of our planet. She is very excited to be a part of the future growth of the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden.
Ian Macdonald – Vice President
Ian Macdonald is an eight-year volunteer and a two-year member of the Botanical Garden Board of Directors, currently serving in the role of Vice Chair. As Owner and Creative Director of Vaka Strategic Marketing in Sechelt, Ian brings a strong business consulting, marketing and communications expertise to the Garden’s priorities of community engagement, fund raising, communications and brand stewardship.
Heather has lived on the Sunshine Coast since 1995 and has worked at Coast Reporter newspaper since it was first published. She has been editor of the Garden’s Salal newsletter since 2014. Heather is the proud mother of four adult children and grandmother to four (so far). She enjoys her vegetable garden and preserving the harvest in a variety of ways. Volunteer work with community groups is important to her, including the Roberts Creek Community Association, Sunshine Coast Conservation Association, Sunshine Coast Jazz and Entertainment Society and the Royal Canadian Legion. She enjoys walks on the beach and spending time with family.
Paddy is an avid photographer and home gardener. She volunteered at VanDusen Botanical Garden before becoming a founding member and Director of the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden Society in 2002. She is past president, and currently chairs the Fund Development and Garden Development Committees. Her passions include sustainable land use, environmental education, and volunteering. While serving in leadership roles, she is most happy working with others, hands in the dirt.
David worked as a Chartered Accountant for 25 years, much of it in the telecommunications industry. He volunteered previously for Park and Tilford Gardens and VanDusen Botanical Garden. Since moving to the Coast in 2010 he has become active with the Botanical Garden. He is a staunch advocate of sustainable gardening.