Posted on July 13, 2023
At last month’s AGM, we welcomed a new Board Chair, said farewell to a long-serving director, and added some new faces to the board. We’re so lucky to have these fantastic volunteers guiding our work to protect Georgian Bay.
Departing Board Chair: Ian Davis
These past two years have gone by quickly and smoothly under the leadership of Ian Davis, and it’s hard to believe that it’s already time to bid him farewell as our Board Chair.
Ian has been a very supportive chair, trusting the expertise of staff in day to day operations, and providing his own sound judgement when called upon. An excellent listener, he led board meetings with patience and respect, fostering an environment of democratic discussion where each director could meaningfully contribute.
As Chair, Ian has taken a keen interest in the Land Trust’s conservation mapping and research work, which is making our conservation work more regionally relevant and science-based, and enabling us to contribute environmental knowledge and tools to the wider community. We’re very grateful for the role Ian played in allowing these initiatives to flourish.
We are very happy to say that although Ian is stepping down as Chair, he will remain on the board, and intends to focus his efforts on progressing key land protection projects. We know that he will do as fantastic a job at this as he has as Chair, and feel very lucky that the Georgian Bay environment will continue to benefit from his dedication to community service. Thank you Ian, for all that you’ve done!
New Board Chair: Cathy Bongard
The Georgian Bay Land Trust is in excellent and very capable hands with our new Board Chair, Cathy Bongard.
Cathy is an experienced real estate agent and lifelong cottager in Pointe au Baril. She possesses strong leadership and management skills from her 30-year career in commercial real estate, and is well-practiced in working with stakeholders and delivering results. We’ve been very glad to have her on the Georgian Bay Land Trust board since 2020, and our Land Acquisition Committee for two years prior to that.
Cathy is a very positive person with a ton of energy. She rolls up her sleeves to do whatever is required, and has an excellent ability to assess a situation and make good decisions. As a board member, she has been a huge help on our Fundraising Committee, promoting fundraising events and developing new ideas. Her propensity to make connections and get involved in the community has made her an effective and well-respected advocate for the Land Trust’s work.
We know that Cathy will make for a very hardworking and hands-on Chair, and we are so happy that she has decided to take on this important role. We’re looking forward to some great years ahead!
Thank you Jen Kernaghan!
We are sad to goodbye to Jen Kernaghan after 14 amazing years of service on our Board of Directors. Jen first joined the board in 2008, after volunteering on an initiative to help engage young people with the Land Trust. She served as both Communications Chair and Fundraising Chair before taking a few years off, and then rejoining the board in 2014. For the past ten years, Jen has served with dedication as Communications Chair.
Jen has been an absolutely fantastic board member. She is positive, helpful, encouraging, and full of great ideas. She is always ready to jump in with practical support, whether hosting meetings at her home, assisting with event setup, or recruiting her children to stuff envelopes. Jen led our communications team through several big changes, including refreshes to our newsletter, website, and general messaging, and provided reliable support and good advice during the many day to day communications questions and challenges that arose. Jen also served for several years as an extremely helpful chair of our Bayscapes art auction, providing much-appreciated support to staff. Last but not least, she has been very generous with her talents as a photographer, donating her beautiful work to Bayscapes and helping us capture Georgian Bay at its best for our digital and print communications.
Thank you so much Jen – we will miss you!
Welcome new board members
We’re thrilled to have Lindsay Potts joining the Land Trust board. Lindsay is a familiar face, having worked as one of our Summer Conservation Interns in 2014. She was a standout hire, and did an exemplary job both stewarding conservation properties and improving our community engagement. Since then, Lindsay has earned a Master of Science in Biology from McGill University, and now works as an Aquatic Science Biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Lindsay specializes in researching and conserving freshwater fish, and has been active in numerous volunteer roles advocating for clean water and Indigenous water rights. Lindsay is passionate about the nature around her family cottage in Wah Wah Taysee, and we know her scientific expertise will be an asset to the board.
Adam de Pencier
We are delighted to welcome Adam de Pencier to the board as our new Communications Chair. Adam’s deep love of Georgian Bay comes from exploring the lands and waters around his cottage in Carling. Adam has a strong background in education and writing, and began his career as a teacher of English and Classics. For the past 20 years, he has served as the principal of several independent schools, where he successfully designed curricula, launched fundraising campaigns, and led a team of staff in providing top tier education. Adam is also a skilled writer, and has contributed to publications including the National Post and Lake Superior Magazine. We are looking forward to the knowledge and leadership that he will bring to our board.