Board of Directors

Bubbling Springs Trail in PEI National Park by Shirley Gallant

Board of Directors

Island Nature Trust is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors of 8 to 12 general directors as well as one representative from each of our four founding organizations:

  • PEI Museums and Heritage Foundation
  • PEI Wildlife Federation
  • Natural History Society of PEI (Nature PEI)
  • Biology Department of the University of PEI

June Jenkins Sanderson, President

June Sanderson
June Jenkins Sanderson is an environmentalist and social justice advocate who joined the board of Island Nature Trust in 2017. A retired educator and counselling therapist, she holds Bachelors of Science and Education degrees from UPEI and a Masters in Psychotherapy from Acadia University. June has experience on boards at the National and provincial levels including the CCPA, ELSB and the Canadian Red Cross. Currently she is one of the leaders for the Terry Fox Naturalization Gallery in Cornwall. June also volunteers with a national youth leadership initiative and with the United Church on issues relating to social justice. 2016 saw June recognized as one of the Women in Leadership in PEI. An avid naturalist June believes that access to natural places is an important component of maintaining health at all ages. She and her partner David live in Warren Grove and spend time exploring natural spaces on foot and bike.

Favourite (two) places in PEI: 1. Sitting under the elder Eastern hemlocks in our woodlot watching the dogs romp in the ground hemlock discovering homes of small creatures. No man made sounds except for my breath. 2. Lying on the warm red sandstone around our favorite snorkelling hole after a wonderful viewing of brown and red algae and the odd lobster.

Favourite quote: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Rachel Carson


Jan Matejcek, Vice-President

Jan Matejcek
Jan Matejcek joined the board in 2018 and brings with him almost forty years of experience as an international transactional lawyer and business manager, as well as insights gained from working with several non-profit organizations in Canada and Europe. Since retiring in 2017 and moving to PEI from London (UK), Jan has finally found the time to follow his life’s passion and runs a tree nursery specializing in growing native trees.
Jan was born in Czechoslovakia and came to Canada in 1969 with his family. He started his legal career with the Ottawa office but several years later joined a large Toronto firm, where he became a partner. Shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain, he was recruited by the leading US-based global firm of White & Case to lead its east European operations. Over the course of the last twenty-five years Jan participated in some of the largest acquisitions and greenfield projects completed in the emerging markets of Europe. For a number of years he served as the head of his law firm’s Corporate Practice covering thirty five countries of Europe, Middle East and Africa, served on his firm’s partnership committee and acted as the Chairman of the overall business operations in those markets.

While working in Ottawa, Jan received the Simon Bolivar Award from the government of Venezuela for his contribution to the growing relationship between Venezuela and Canada. He was the founding member of the Czech Republic – Canada Chamber of Commerce with offices in Toronto and Prague and was a member of the Supervisory Board of the Vision ‘97 Foundation (initiated by the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel).
Jan studied at the University of Toronto, the University of Windsor and London School of Economics and also holds a degree in Arboriculture from Capell College in London, England.

When he is not collecting tree seed, planting trees or pruning, Jan is likely to be reforesting his property, training his bird dog, canoeing, kayaking, skeet shooting, hunting, fly fishing or trying to keep up with his three grown up daughters and his wife, a Charlottetown native.

Favourite place in PEI: canopy-covered portion of Dunk River near Freetown

Favourite phrase: Carpe diem (“Seize the day”)

 

 

Robert MacKay, Treasurer

Robert MacKay
Rob MacKay has served as Treasurer on the board of the Island Nature Trust since 2015. He and his wife, Tammy, live in New Haven with the youngest four of their eight children. In early 2019, they proudly welcomed their first grandchild, and look forward to many more. For over 25 years, Rob’s career has involved tax preparation and accounting. Since becoming a Chartered Accountant in 2009, he has run his own tax preparation and accounting firm in Charlottetown and LOVES what he does. When others’ eyes glaze over at the mere thought of spreadsheets and shudder at the prospect of phoning CRA, Rob happily takes the reins. He has been invaluable to Island Nature Trust in ensuring that we meet high administrative and financial management standards. Volunteering and charities have been in Rob’s blood for many years. As active members of their church, he and his family support many volunteer programs and people.

Favourite place in PEI: The trails through the 30+ wooded acres of his property in New Haven

Favourite quote: God only made a few perfect heads … the rest he covered with hair. Anonymous


Linda Berko, Secretary & PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Representative

Linda Berko
Linda Berko is the Curator of Collections & Conservator with PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation. Trained as an art conservator specializing in objects at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON) and through internships across the country, in Europe and Australia, Linda is responsible for the development, care and preservation of the Foundation’s collection of approximately 100,000 items. Most of her working career has been with not-for-profit organizations, but she has also worked in the business sector as a Customs Broker.Linda was raised in rural Ontario where the cycles of nature played a critical role in the crop cycles of her family’s farm and where her happiest times as a child were spent in the nearby streams and wooded areas. She has called PEI home since…

Favourite place in PEI: Rollo Bay where the seals sun themselves at low tide

Favourite quote:
“I walk into a forest, any forest, to find the quality of silence. This is nutrition for the soul and is the pathway to self.”

– Diana Beresford-Kroeger (botanist, medical biochemist and one of the world’s leading expert on trees, who discusses the benefits to human life of a healthy ecosystem and the importance of preserving the heritage of old growth trees. She is the author The Sweetness of a Simple Life, The Global Forest, Arboretum Borealis, Arboretum America, and A Garden for Life.)


Gerald MacDougall, Nature PEI (Natural History Society of PEI) Representative

Gerald MacDougall
Gerald MacDougall joined the board as Nature PEI’s delegate in 2018. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge on Island wildlife, after a forty-year career in fish and wildlife governance in the province.

A son of Nova Scotia, Gerald moved to PEI in 1980 after working with the Canadian Wildlife Service in New Brunswick, and the Department of Lands and Forests in Nova Scotia. He began his career here with provincial Forestry working on demonstration wood lots, but shortly after was offered a job in western PEI as a Conservation Officer with the Fish and Wildlife Division. After 10 years working “up west” he moved back to Charlottetown to oversee the new Environmental Protection Act for the provincial Water Resource Division. In 1996, Gerald was appointed Head of the newly formed Investigation and Enforcement Section. In 2005 he took over as Provincial Climate Change Coordinator when the incumbent was on maternity leave. In 2006, he was appointed Head of the Provincial Fish and Wildlife Section also serving on the Canadian Wildlife Directors Committee (one term as co-chair). First banding eagles in Nova Scotia and then in PEI, Gerald continued banding and tracking bald eagles. He documented the population here in PEI throughout his career and wrote his Master’s thesis on this work. Gerald has escorted hundreds of adults and school children on eagle banding expeditions.

Since retirement in 2014, he has spent time instructing firearm and boating safety, sits as a Board member and Vice President of Nature PEI, as a board member of Abegweit Conservation Society, and has served as Commander of the Blue Heron Power and Sail Squadron.

Favourite place in PEI: Malpeque Bay [The beauty and wildlife is unsurpassed; lots of fond memories on the bay and surrounding Islands]

Favourite quote: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau


Kevin Teather, UPEI Biology Department Representative

Kevin Teather
Dr. Kevin Teather has been a member of the Biology Department at the University of Prince Edward Island since July 1997. He has represented UPEI Biology on the Island Nature Trust board since 2017.Kevin obtained his Bachelor of Science at Brock, Master of Science at Queen’s, and PhD at Carleton Universities, all in Ontario. He subsequently spent just over a year in Indonesia before moving to England for post-doctoral work at Cambridge University. Prior to coming to UPEI, he was a faculty member at Augustana University College in Alberta for two years and at Trent University in Ontario for three years. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of vertebrate zoology and animal behaviour.
An Islander by Choice, Kevin loves to hike the Island countryside, golf, read and spend time with his fur family.

Favourite place in PEI: Bonshaw hiking trails

Favourite quote: “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” Mark Twain


Keila Miller, PEI Wildlife Federation Representative

Keila Miller
Keila Miller lives in Souris, Prince Edward Island with her husband Terry and their two sons Ayden and Maddox.  She is a Project Manager for the Souris and Area Branch of the Prince Edward Island Wildlife Federation managing many diverse projects including stream habitat rehabilitation and wildlife conservation initiatives within Souris and the surrounding communities.

Keila spends her time volunteering for local sports organizations, for the PEI Wildlife Federation where she is the Vice President and she represents Eastern PEI on the PEI Water Monitoring Subcommittee, part of the PEI Watershed Alliance.  She enjoys running, spending time with family and friends and snowshoeing through pristine winter trails enjoying all that nature has to offer.


Patricia Caporaso, Director

Patricia Caporaso has 25 years of international executive leadership experience in agribusiness, food systems, animal production in Latin America, Europe, Africa and North America. 

She is the Managing Director and Founder of Food for Development, a global consultancy focusing on Food Systems,  Rural Development , Agribusiness and the integration of private/public sector goals with food insecure communities in Latin America and Africa.

She is also the President/CEO/Founder of ynSyte (INSIGHT), one of the world’s leading research and business intelligence software companies.

Patricia is a Guest Lecturer and Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University in the area of food systems, trade and value chains, livestock production and climate change.

She holds two Master degrees (from the University of Buenos Aires in Agronomy and from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Services focusing on Political Economy in Latin America) and is multi-lingual, speaking English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Patricia has been a strong advocate for integrating climate change into food policy and agriculture discussions, agriculture land into conservation easements and environmental stewardship.  She currently serves on the Board of Advisers in the University of California-Davis Olive Center and  Board of Directors of the Indian River Festival.

She and her husband live on a farm in Virginia where Patricia has a vibrant apiary and  where is an active member of  several  beekeeping organizations. When she is home on the Island she loves to row and one can find her in Southwest river or Charlottetown Harbour, enjoying nature, as a member of Rowing PEI.

Her favorite quote is, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


Joyce Dewar, Director

Joyce Dewar
Joyce Dewar has served on the board since 2016. Born in New Perth, Joyce studied political science at Prince of Wales College, Dalhousie University, and the University of Alberta.

Born into a family of farm leaders and politicians of all stripes, she has always taken a keen interest in public and community affairs and was a founding director of the Voluntary Resource Council.

The past 35 years have been devoted to raising a family and running two businesses: The Two Sisters Inc, a retail group in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., and Sewco Inc. which introduced the GROCERY BAG THAT SAVED THE PLANET to the Canadian market in 1989. Well ahead of the long awaited ban on plastic bags, Sewco produced 10,000 cloth bags a day for several years…

Since retiring, one of her projects is to research land use issues as they affected her Bovyer ancestors when they arrived on PEI in 1786 and continue to do so til this day. Being involved in land conservation is an interesting new perspective.

Favorite place in PEI: The stunning beauty of our landscape in June. Canoeing up the west river in autumn, and prowling the forests and red roads year round.

Favorite Quote…Thank God for Science !


Michael Walsh, Director

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh has served on the board since 2014. He has a BSc with a major in biology from UPEI. He has held jobs both in the public and private sectors, including 15+ years in the commercial fishing industry, as well as two summers with the Federal Department of Agriculture at the Harrington Research Station. Michael is currently employed by the PEI Agricultural Insurance Corporation as a crop insurance agent.Michael fell in love with the outdoors, more particularly natural environments, and animals at a very young age. His parents instilled upon him a great deal of respect and adoration of fauna and flora, as well as a sense of stewardship over natural habitat. Michael has four dogs and hikes or snowshoes with them daily. He loves being, and is at peace, in the forest, the older growth the better! He is also an avid birdwatcher, backyard birder and nature photographer.

Stéphane Le Blanc, Director

Stéphane offers many new skills to the INT Board such as his strategic management, vision, and communications experience serving with many government organizations such as Veterans Affairs Canada where he currently leads a team in Strategic Communications.

These strengths and his research, analysis and special events planning skills were highlighted in his role in Philanthropic Development with the Université de Moncton where he co-authored the Philanthropic Development strategic plan, managed the sector’s communications activities, planned major events, and designed the annual staff fundraising campaign.

His ten years at the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation managing the pan-Canadian merit scholarship program designed to recognize, support, and encourage youth to pursue their post-secondary education will certainly aid us in our desire to increase youth awareness of the work done by INT and encourage their participation in preserving our island wildlife and natural areas.

And when he is not occupied with his busy work life and other volunteer activities, Stéphane and his son enjoy hiking and snowshoeing through the Auburn Woodlot, biking on the trails of the Bonshaw Hills, or spending time on the water in Murray River.


Mary Acorn, Director

With a Masters degree in Public Health Sciences, and an educational background in food sciences and community nutrition, Mary Acorn has worked with the Chief of Public Health Office, the Department of Family and Human Service, and the PEI Healthy Eating Alliance where her communications, managerial, resource development, stakeholder relations, community project development and board governance experience and strengths were highlighted.

She is particularly interested in the goals of INT and values the role nature plays in enriching our lives from a health and wellness perspective. Connecting people, especially children with the peacefulness of nature is significant for her and she sees the benefits during times she and her children spend in nature on her family land in the Montague area.


Jurgen Krause, Director

An academic Dean of the Business Faculty of UPEI and Firector for Health and Community Research, Jurgen Krause has extensive experience in the medical research field, business administration, management and governance, and is highly regarded for his strategic vision and ability to build team spirit wherever he works or focuses his attention.

His love of nature brought Jurgen to PEI and his is greatly concerned with the recent fast pace of development he sees around the island. He supports the work of INT and would like to support INT in strengthening the organization’s ability to do more to protect our valuable habitat, both financially and strategically.

An academic and Dean of the business faculty of UPEI and Director for Health and Community Research, Jurgen Krause has extensive experience in the medical research field, business administration, management and governance and is highly regarded for his strategic vision and ability to build team spirit wherever he works or focuses his attention.

His love of nature brought Jurgen to PEI and he is greatly concerned with the recent fast pace of development he sees around the Island. He supports the work of the INT and would like to support the INT in strengthening our ability to do more to protect our valuable habitat, both financially and strategically.


Bruce Craig, Director

Bruce Craig

Bruce Craig, too, is concerned with the developement of PEI’s land and waters, and loss of the Island’s forests.

During his working career, he held a variety of positions with the U.S. National Park Services. He then began a second career as a non-profit manager, first as the regional director for National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), then as executive Director of the National Park Trust (NPT), and as a manager of several other park support organizations before becoming the Executive Director and Washington representative of the National Coalition for History (NCH), an organization whose mission is to strengthen history, archives, and funding for the arts and humanities. His work as a lobbyist for a non-profit association provided a glimpse into the high-stakes world of Washington politics and provided him with the opportunity to have an impact upon the national issues and trends affecting historical and archival organizations. upon moving to Canada in 2007, Bruce embarked on a new career as a professor of history at UPEI.

In addition to his academic interests, he maintains an abiding interest in philanthropic pursuits, having served as president of the Conservation and Preservation Federation of America, which raised over $14 million for various non-profit organizations in the United States. In 2012, Bruceand his wife Patricia, created the Terra Nova Fund and Endowment of Prince Edward Island (PEI) in association with the Community Foundation of PEI. This organization champions worthy causes that have a lasting impact on the quality of life of people who live and work in PEI and Atlantic Canada, such as the Island Nature Trust. Since 2016 he has also served as president of the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra and presently serves on the board of Orchestras Canada.