What We Do

Through a diverse set of skills and experience, Stanley Park Ecology Society’s volunteer Board of Directors supports the organization to fulfill its mission as a leader in conservation and environmental education. 

SPES is governed under the British Columbia Society Act. Following a governance model, the volunteer Board sets direction through strategic planning; acts as a trustee of the organization’s assets ensuring it is well managed and fiscally sound; maintains legal requirements; and sets the standards of conduct for the organization. SPES is governed by a Board of Directors that includes members with expertise in education, ecology, and non-profit management.

Directors serve for a two-year term which may be renewed.

Who We Are

Tom McIllfaterick

Tom McIllfaterick – President, Governance Committee Chair

Joined Board in October 2013

Tom was born and raised in Vancouver, and fondly remembers family picnics and swimming lessons at Lumberman’s Arch. He earned an honours degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa and has recently retired from a career as Executive Director and Board member of national not-for-profit organizations. Tom has been involved with SPES as a volunteer for the past four years, primarily as a member of the invasive species removal team.

Rita Douglas

Rita Douglas – Vice President

Joined Board in October 2019

Rita retired from a career of community and international development that included working with Canada World Youth in India, Ecuador and Uruguay. A focus on creating opportunities for youth brought her to the YMCA of Greater Vancouver where she created youth employment programs, ways for newcomers to Canada to feel at home in Vancouver and Youth Peace Network which continues to bring young leaders from around the world to Vancouver for a three-month development program.

Volunteering creates and supports community, so she has sat on boards, baked cupcakes, made turkey dinners for newcomers, participated in all aspects of cooperative living and sold popcorn at Bright Nights. Being actively engaged in her community brings her great joy!

Elisa Kreller – Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Joined Board in June 2022

A long term resident of the West End, Elisa has enjoyed everything Stanley Park offers for many years.  She earned her Chartered Accountant designation shortly after graduating from a Bachelor of Business Administration degree program at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  During her career, she has succeeded in multiple senior finance roles for both for profit and not for profit entities.  She has previously served as Treasurer for BC Nature,(The Federation of BC Naturalists of British Columbia) BC Naturalists’ Foundation, and The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Society.

Rebecca Bollwitt

Rebecca Bollwitt – Secretary, Marketing and Communications Chair

Joined Board in June 2020

Rebecca built her first website in 1997 and she has been blogging about life in BC since 2004 on Miss604.com. Over the last 16 years, Miss604.com has become the most award-winning blog in Western Canada with over 20 local awards, a national award from Notable.ca, and an international media award from Variety – The Children’s Charity. Rebecca has co-authored 2 books (Blogging to Drive Business 2010, 2012) and published 10,000+ blog articles about Metro Vancouver. Since 2013 Miss604 has partnered with SPES to offer a monthly guest-article series. She also crafts stories about arts, nature, events and culture in every corner of the province as a freelance writer. Rebecca has served on the Board of Directors of Variety BC since 2016 and is the VP, Marketing for the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. She has called the West End home – and Stanley Park her backyard – for the last 15 years.

John Gray

Joined Board in 1994

A native of BC, born in North Vancouver he began his career working with the Orphan Seal Recovery team and later moved to the Stanley Park Zoological Society where he coordinated the education programs with the Stanley Park Zoo. John joined the City of Vancouver in 1992, where he began his city career as a zookeeper. John later worked in Special Events and Filming facilitating the use of more than 200 plus parks and coordinating sport field bookings and picnics. John then took an active role in on site supervision, which led to the creation of the Vancouver Park Board’s Ranger Program, a program he designed and evolved into a team of more than 37 park rangers. John has also co-led the Vancouver Park Board’s Wildlife department looking after both habitat and conservation incentives, coordinating park partner involvement, and developing best management practices for species at risk, as well as overseeing Canada Goose, Starling, Great Blue Heron and Beaver Management programs.

John is currently the Manager of Animal Services for the City of Vancouver, supervising more than 30 Animal Control staff and overseeing the very busy Vancouver Animal Shelter. John is also a director of the City of Vancouver’s Emergency Social Services program and a team captain on DAT (Disaster Assistance Team). He is also involved with the Burrowing Owl Recovery Team of BC, a captive breeding program with 3 breeding facilities, responsible for bringing Burrowing Owls back to their native grassland habitats. John has also been showcased on several natural history productions including Discovery, and Suzuki’s Nature of Things for his work with Canada Geese.

Martin Podolsky

Joined Board in October 2020

Martin is a Professional Geologist with an Honours degree from the University of Melbourne and a Project Management Professional with 35 years of corporate experience in the diamond industry, and is an Associate with a global mining and environmental consultancy. He has been involved in over 35 projects across six countries including Canada, Australia, South Africa, Botswana, the People’s Republic of China and India, from grass-roots exploration through to mine Feasibility studies and Technical Services operational support, working under ISO 14001 Environmental Management and ISO 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Standards and Systems. Martin is originally from Australia and has been living in Vancouver’s West End since 2004, and from 2017 has enjoyed being a regular volunteer with Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Dedicated Invasive Removal Team.

Jennifer Preece

Jennifer J. Preece

Joined Board in October 2020

Jennifer Preece lived on Vancouver Island as a child but after many years of living in the UK and the US she now lives in Vancouver with her husband. Jennifer is a professor and dean emerita at the University of Maryland where she was dean of the College of Information Studies (Maryland’s iSchool) for 10 years. She has a degree in environmental biology and a doctorate in educational technology. She is author of several books and academic papers including a co-authored book entitled “Interaction Design: Beyond Human Computer Interaction”, that is a leading text in universities across the world. She is also Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Citizen Science:Theory and Practice”. She is an educator and researcher and has taught students from high school through to post-doctoral level. Jennifer is passionate about nature and she enjoyed volunteering on shore bird and other bird counts in Stanley Park. She looks forward to deepening her involvement with Stanley Park Ecology Society.

Stefanie So

Stefanie So

Joined Board in March 2021

Stefanie is a Chartered Professional Accountant who started her career with one of Canada’s leading professional services firms where she provided assurance and advisory services to several large public and private corporate organizations.  She currently works for a multi-billion-dollar private company providing a leadership role in analyzing technical accounting guidance, execution of accounting functions and reporting results, and process and controls improvements.  She also recently led a Finance Transformation initiative that transformed the way the finance organization delivers services to the business.  Stefanie is the Board Treasurer of her daughter’s not-for-profit daycare where she recently played a key role in relocating the daycare to its newly constructed home on Sea Island, preventing a permanent closure.  She looks forward to more outings at the Park with her husband and two daughters.

Meaghan Lien

Joined Board in October 2021

Meaghan grew up in Richmond and has lived in Vancouver for the past ten years. She holds fond memories of family walks and bike rides around Stanley Park. She is passionate about the environment and was instilled with a love of nature and wildlife from her father.

She is currently completing her degree in Resource and Environmental Management at SFU and has spent the past four years supporting engagement with Indigenous communities across BC for various infrastructure projects.

On weekends she can be found outdoors hiking, gardening, or running around the Stanley Park seawall. She is excited about supporting the Stanley Park Ecology Society.


Joined Board in October 2022

Reema is an aspiring CPA working in industry.

She is pleased to support SPES’s work to foster education, conservation, and research rooted in Stanley Park.

In lieu of a photo, she has displayed a photo of a heron nest to encourage everyone to support the “Adopt a Heron Nest” campaign, an important SPES fundraiser.

David Bebb

David Bebb

Joined Board in October 2022

Dave Bebb, RPF(Ret) is a recently retired BC Registered Professional Forester. Until recently, he was also a Certified Environmental and Sustainable Forest Management Lead Auditor (EP(EMSLA)). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of British Columbia.

Dave was born and raised in Vancouver. He currently fills his time taking various courses at UBC, volunteering with SPES and training for triathlons, the latter of which often includes training rides in Stanley Park and runs on the seawall.

Dave’s earliest memory of Stanley Park was a Grade 5 field trip that included a walking tour of Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake where he found and photographed a newt (which was pretty exciting for a 10-year-old). He has a keen interest in the ecological restoration of those area of the park where this is feasible and is looking forward to working with SPES towards that goal.

Mila Bozinovski

Joined Board in July 2023

Mila is a passionate entrepreneur, community steward and philanthropist, acting as the connective tissue between people, culture, nature and technology. Her love for the natural world, empowering others and curiosity around growth have allowed her to explore her passions within web3, holistic wellness, systems design, and sustainability as well as personal and professional development.

After years of developing her management role within corporate spaces, Mila quickly found her love for people and how we organize. Her passions combined with her understanding and skills have allowed her to expand her services in consulting and leadership coaching, working alongside organizations and individuals looking to step up and embrace change to achieve their desired outcomes.

She continues to explore the integration of blockchain technology by building and championing models of regeneration, equity, collaboration and other values-aligned community initiatives.

Together with her community and team, she hopes to help build a world around creating meaningful impact and developing healthy environments. Above all, Mila envisions a world where we can foster a feeling of belonging and deep-rooted care for one another and our natural spaces.

Judy Hoang

Judy Hoang – Advisor to the Board, Past Treasurer

Joined Board from 2005 – 2017. Joined as Advisor in March 2017.

Judy is a Chartered Accountant that started her career with one of Canada’s leading professional services firms where she worked with several large corporate organizations, as well as providing assurance and advisory services to non-profit organizations. She currently works for a multi-billion-dollar private company where she assists in streamlining business processes to achieve business goals and creating value within the business and have also led a Finance Transformation initiative that transformed the way the finance organization delivers services to the business. She is experienced at working with clients, technical and business teams to provide and develop innovative solutions to potential and existing issues. Judy also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia. Born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area, Judy loves spending the weekends at the park with her husband and two children.

Join Our Board!

Our Board is comprised of caring individuals from our community. Board recruitment starts in June, and official nomination voting happens at the AGM in October. 

Requirements of Board Membership

  • Maintain an active SPES membership
  • Commit to the work of the SPES
  • Attend Board meetings and strategic planning sessions
  • Become fully informed about SPES’ mission as well as its organizational matters
  • Commit to volunteering at least six to ten hours per month
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting
  • Be informed of, and publicly support, the services provided by SPES and publicly support them
  • Agree to serve on additional committees as required
  • Support special events and participate in fundraisers

If you are interested to join us, please email us and share what skillsets you are interested to offer.