Sierra Club Canada Foundation is a democratic organization. Board members are elected by our members at our Annual General Meeting. There is currently a call for nominations - click HERE for more information.
Nick Bakish (Québec Representative) is a Financial Advisor currently living and working in Montreal and its surrounding areas. Nick graduated from McGill University’s Economics and Finance program with joint honours. Throughout his twelve year career, Nick has consistently been one of Investors Group’s top Consultants. He has built his reputation on understanding clients. Nick was approached by one of his clients with a strong involvement at Sierra Club and was immediately intrigued. Since that time two years ago, Nick has been an advocate, supporter, and now Board Member of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. Before his official involvement in the cause, Nick was also president of Country Solar, a company in the field of solar panels and sustainable energy. Nick is passionate about raising awareness of environmental issues that affect us individually and on a global scale.
Michael Bernard has extensive experience as a communications strategist working for non-governmental organizations in the field of environmentalism. He has worked as a Communications Officer for Climate Action Network, Media Relations Director for Sierra Club Canada and as a Press Secretary for Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada. Michael has been involved with the Club, in one way or another, for almost a decade. Michael graduated from the University of Windsor in 2005 with an M.A. in Communication and Social Justice. He moved to Ottawa shortly thereafter. He loves backcountry camping, hiking with his dog Farley, and all kinds of music. Michael currently works for Humane Society International/Canada, part of one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, as HSI/Canada’s Political Officer.
Alexandra Bly (Youth Representative) is a second year Masters student, studying Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College that is affiliated with the University of Waterloo. Originally from Ottawa, and she has a Bachelors in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa, She spent her final semester abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam working at a vocational college as a student services officer. Alexandra is passionate about social justice. Her interests include: gender studies, social movements, the empowerment of civil society, and the connection between the environment and human rights. She loves coffee, pizza, baking, travel and, of course, her dog.
Emily Boucher (Secretary) brings to the board an environmental consulting background in soil and groundwater investigations for the purpose of environmental site and risk assessment. She has worked in both Ontario and Alberta on remediating and monitoring projects across multiple sectors including commercial, industrial and energy-development sites. Originally from Ontario’s Green Belt region, she developed a strong foundation in environmental issues during her time at Trent University, and later refined this through a research master’s project on ocean acidification at the University of Toronto. Working in Alberta provided Emily with a lens into the issues involved in environmental conservation and enforcement in Canada. She continues to take strong personal and professional interest in environmental standards and their enforcement.
Mary Kainer has been active in environmental issues for more than twenty years. Currently, she is also serving as Environment Chair of the Lake Kasshabog Association and has successfully fought particulate and noise pollution from a nearby mine. Eight years ago, she brought about changes in aggregate extraction regulations for the area. From 1990 – 2000 she was very active in environmental transportation groups including: Environmentalists Plan Transportation; Co-Chair of a Auto-Free Cities Conference; City of Toronto’s Automobile Emissions Committee, Railways to the Future. She has extensive experience in non-profit management serving as the Executive Director of national, regional, and local non-profits (Scadding Court Community Centre, The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Social Planning Council of Peel). She has also been involved in numerous community and school associations. For the past decade she has been a professional artist. In 2014, she won a prestigious award at the John B. Aird Annual Juried Contemporary Drawing Exhibition for her political drawings on fracking.
Graham May studies law at the University of Victoria. Graham hails from the coastal B.C. rainforest, where his interest in environmental issues established during a childhood of cold, wet hikes. He has founded multiple environmental education initiatives, including an eco-pledge program that engaged more than 15,000 international youth, and bike-powered workshop tours across Canada and Turkey. In summer 2013, Graham had the pleasure to co-found the Youth Arctic Coalition, a circumpolar forum for Arctic education, culture, and policy initiatives. Graham’s previous research addresses how rural and indigenous communities can develop natural resources while maintaining local control and benefit. Graham loves to sing, sail, and swing dance, though usually not all at the same time.
Gabriela Rappell (Ontario Representative) grew up in Toronto and has been active in the Sierra Club family since high school when she joined the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC), serving as an under-21 member of the Executive Committee and as a youth representative on the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club of Canada. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, with a BSc Eng. in Mining Engineering, focusing on Mineral Processing and the Environment. Upon graduation, she joined the staff of SYC, serving as Coordinator of the Sustainable High Schools Project, then as National Director of SYC, then as Youth Programs Director for the Sierra Club Canada Foundation. She currently works in the Office of Advancement at Queen’s University. Gabriela has also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, le Partenariat Jeunesse pour le Développement Durable, and the Sustainability and Education Policy Network.
PearlAnn Reichwein (Prairie Representative) is an associate professor of history at University of Alberta and teaches in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. She enjoys nature outings and her research explores Canada's environmental history of prairie west and mountain regions. Her work also tells how Sierra Club and Canadian mountain clubs worked to create an early transnational conservation movement in civil society. She has participated in Sierra Club since 2010, with a focus on urban sustainability, parks, and conservation in Edmonton. A public history and policy background informs her advocacy for natural and cultural heritage. She has interests in governance, policy, and education, and has worked in national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Past work with government and community groups has helped inform her approach to heritage and cultural landscapes.
Peter Smith has extensive experience in the energy and electricity sector, most notably in positions where he had responsibility for negotiating and managing multi-million dollar energy supply contracts and oversaw the financial operation of gas-fired, wind and hydraulic generating facilities. Recently retired, he has been active locally in environmental issues. He has given talks on climate change to the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative, the Professional Engineers groups, Green Drinks as well as open, public workshops to service clubs and churches. He has responded to climate deniers in the media and generally talked about the issue at every opportunity, sometimes to hostile audiences. He has about 20 years of board experience in other organizations, including the St Clair Child and Youth Services (Children’s Mental Health), Sarnia Community Girls’ Home and Lambton County Science Fair. He chaired the Children’s Mental Health Advocacy Committee of Sarnia-Lambton that successfully advocated for increased funding from the province. He recently joined Adopt a Scientist, an organization that puts retired scientists and engineers into the classroom to demonstrate science.
David Snider (President) is a strong believer in ecological wisdom, respect for diversity and sustainability. His education, B.Sc. Honours Physical Geography, and LL.B., both from McGill University, has provided him with a broad-based understanding of environmental issues. In 2013, David retired from the Canada Revenue Agency after 30 years of service. While at the Agency, he was the founding chair of the OECD Sub-group on Tax Crimes and Money Laundering from 2003 to 2006. He co-chaired the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Underground Economy Working Group from 2008 to 2013. He also led an OECD Task Group from 2010 to 2012 that surveyed over 30 countries and produced the report: Reducing Opportunities for Tax Non-compliance in the Underground Economy. David is a life member of the Canadian Kennel Club, a lure coursing judge, and a director on the board of Cantley 1889, Cantley’s historical society.