After immigrating to Canada from the United States in 1986, John settled east of Kitchener at Meadow Creek Ranch with his wife Marilyn and their four children. Together they owned and operated Hay U Ranch Lumber Sales alongside Marilyn’s antique store and John’s company, Meadow Creek Guides.
John has been President of the Minor and Junior ‘A’ Hockey Associations as well as the Creston Valley Rod & Gun Club, and was a long time member of the Creston Horse Club and the Wildlife Management Authority PAC. In 1992, John officially became a proud Canadian Citizen and has been known to sing O Canada from centre ice.
John was first elected to the RDCK Board in 2002 and is currently serving his third term as Director for Area B, representing approximately 1600 square kilometres and a population of almost 5000. He is currently the Chair of the RDCK Board, Chair of Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, Chair of Arrow Creek Water Commission and Vice Chair of the Ktunaxa/ Kinbasket Treaty Advisory Committee.
Married for over 39 years, John and his wife Marilyn are the proud grandparents to five granddaughters and four grandsons.
Link to Director John Kettle's Area B Website
Larry has a strong educational and work background that will help him fulfill his responsibilities as the RDCK Area C Director. He has degrees in Business Administration and Emergency Medicine Management and diplomas in Financial Administration and Conflict Resolution. After working 32 years with the B.C. Ambulance service, 18 of those as a Senior Administrator, he retired and relocated to West Creston with his wife Susan.
Larry is determined to contribute to the community that he and his wife have come to love and now sits as a Director on the Creston Airport Authority whose mandate is to ensure that medical air evacuations originate and terminate from the Creston and Area Hospital. He also volunteers his time speaking to Prince Charles Senior Secondary High School students and College of the Rockies nursing students about the dangers of alcohol and drug consumption and addiction.
Andy first came to the Kootenays in 1973 as a student at Notre Dame University in Nelson, having previously immigrated to Canada from England as an agricultural labourer in 1970. Graduating from NDU in 1975, he went on to obtain an MA in Political Science at the University of Regina, returning to Kaslo with his partner Gail Bauman and daughter Erin in 1987.
Andy has worked as a consultant to Saskatchewan Power and Medicine Hat College, for a low income housing organization, and as a trade union organizer. He taught first and second year Political Science at Selkirk College in Castlegar from 1989 to 2002 and then at Okanagan University College in Kelowna and Penticton until he retired from teaching in 2005. Active in politics since 1963 at a community, provincial, federal, and international level (on social, economic and environmental issues), Andy served as the West Kootenay environmental representative on the Kootenay Boundary Land Use Implementation Strategy Task Force in the late 1990's.
First elected as the Director for Area D in November 2005, Andy currently serves on the Central Waste Committee and as Chair of the Rural Affairs standing committee. He is also Vice-President of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments.
He is an avid gardener and enjoys biking, skiing, rowing on Kootenay Lake and is an active member of the Green Party. He has lived with his singer/songwriter partner, Gail, for 34 years. His 29 year old daughter, Erin, lives in Prince George where she has completed a BA in english, history and women's studies and now tutors children and adults with learning disabilities.
Ramona Faust first arrived in the Kootenay Lake area in 1974 where she resided for 2 years before taking a 3 year educational and working break to Vancouver to study horticulture and general studies while managing a busy nightclub.
Ramona returned to Nelson in 1979 to continue her studies at David Thompson University and opened a retail shoe store for friends of the family, which still exists in Nelson under different ownership. She married her husband Don in 1980 and raised three children while working part time in the forestry sector and continuing with her studies at Selkirk College. Following that she worked in School District 7/8 for many years.
Volunteer activities were always a part of family life and focused primarily on community building in Procter and Nelson and environmental issues in the region. Ramona had served on the board of directors of several such organizations when in 1996 Ramona began volunteering for the Harrop-Procter Community Forest. She held the position of General Manager from 1999 to 2005 and then as a director until 2006. In 2005 Ramona began working for North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society as their administrator responsible for human resources, contract management and agency growth where she continues to works part time.
Ramona’s joys are family and friends, her garden, yoga and singing.
Born in Wolsfberg, Austria, Ron immigrated to Canada at age 7, settling in Vernon, BC, where he lived until graduation. He attended Eastern Washington University majoring in Biology and graduated from BCIT with a Diploma in Chemistry and Metallurgy with a major in Pollution Control. Ron worked with the Provincial Ministry of Environment from 1969-2002, the last 27 years of which were spent in the Kootenays.
Specializing in Municipal Waste Management, Ron was the Ministry representative on Solid Waste Committees in the Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary and Columbia-Shuswap and he guided a number of Liquid Waste Management Plans.
Ron and his wife Carol, along with their four children, owned and operated the Kokanee RV Park in Balfour from 1985-1993, turning a run-down bankrupt enterprise into a successful business. Ron and Carol presently own and operate an environmental consulting business specializing in environmental impact monitoring and liquid waste facility assessment.
Having lived in the Kootenays since 1964, Hans likes to think of himself as a native Kootenay resident, although he was actually raised in Vancouver and attended university in Victoria. He is a former educator, having retired after a 36-yearcareer as classroom teacher, administrator, and computer education specialist.
Active in civic affairs since he came to the Kootenays, Hans has worked for many organizations. At various times he has been on the executive of the Lions Club, the local Chamber of Commerce, President of the Community Association, and has been a member of the Ymir Fire Department since its inception in 1969. He became Chief of the Fire Department in 1973 and has twice received the Governor General's Exemplary Service Medal while serving in this position.
Hans was first elected to the Regional District Board as the representative for Area G in 1986, and served as Board Chair for some years.
Elected to the Executive of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) in 1991, Hans served until 2003, and was President of that organization in 2001-2002. While an executive member, Hans was appointed to the Community Charter Council by the provincial government and was a member of the team that drafted the Community Charter, a document that greatly increased the rights given to local government and at its inception, considered one of the most progressive documents of its type in Canada.
Hans was elected to the BC Regional Committee of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in 2003. Hans served until 2012 and was president of the Federation from 2010—2011. His major project during that time was working with the Federal Government to advocate for a long term infrastructure plan to ensure that communities could plan for, and have funds available for, major infrastructure renewal projects.
At the present time, Hans is a member of the Local Government Committee of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG), and has been tasked with public education and input into the possible renewal of the Columbia River Treaty in 2024.
Born in Nelson and raised in the Slocan Valley, Walter graduated from Mt. Sentinel and furthered his education in Vancouver obtaining a diploma in Telecommunications. He started his work in the Telecommunications industry in Vancouver then moved to Burns Lake, Penticton, and finally back home to the Slocan Valley in 1970. Employed with Telus as an Engineering Technologist and headquartered in Nelson, Walter was responsible for administering and designing telecommunications infrastructure in the West Kootenay Area. He was a member of the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC until his retirement in 2002.
Over the years Walter has been involved as a volunteer in many different organizations in the Slocan Valley. He was a member of an Advisory Planning Commission in Area H for 8 years for 2 different Directors and was Chair of the commission for 6 of those years. Before being elected Area H Director he was a Senior Citizens Counsellor with Interior Health for the Slocan Valley.
Andy was born and raised in the Kootenays and he and his wife Elaine are proud residents of Thrums, BC where they live on their hobby farm and have raised their 2 children for the past 21 years.
He was elected to his first term as RDCK Area I Director in 2011.
Andy is serving his second term as the full-time President of the Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union and is on leave from his employment at School District # 20 as a Head Teacher responsible for the Hospital Homebound, ESL, Education Outreach, Virtual School and Trail Middle School Alternative Education programs.
He takes replying to concerns and communications in a timely manner, very seriously.
Andy has been honoured by being able to contribute to his community as a member of the Area “I” Advisory Planning Commission for over 15 years where he gained a comprehensive understanding of how the RDCK functions.
He will continue to be a strong advocate on behalf of his community to preserve and enhance the quality of life his constituents have chosen.
Born and raised in Robson, BC, Gord attended local area schools and graduated from Selkirk College. Earning a diploma in Forest Resource Management, he began his career working in both the provincial parks system and the forest service. In the mid 1980s however, provincial cuts forced Gord to change careers, which led him into the construction and logging industries. Securing seasonal work with the Celgar Pulp Company, he went on to become a Supervisor in the Chip Handling department for over ten years. After earning a promotion to the position of Shipping Supervisor, he became responsible for the transportation logistics of all pulp movements from the mill in Castlegar to destinations around the world. In all, Gord worked for the Celgar Pulp Company for over 22 years.
Gord has always been interested in planning and organizing activities, and it was this desire that led him to pursue a role as regional Director. Elected as Area J Director in 2002, Gord is currently serving his second term on the Regional District Board.
In his free time, Gord likes to be outdoors as much as possible, and enjoys landscaping, gardening and stock-car racing.
A resident of the Kootenays for over thirty years, Paul Peterson was elected Director for Area K - The Arrow Lakes in 2002 and is currently serving his second term. He has served as a Councilor for the Village of New Denver and the appointed municipal Director to the RDCK. Paul also served as a Trustee for twelve years for the Arrow Lakes School District. Recently, Paul has been appointed to the Board of the Columbia Basin Trust to represent the RDCK.
Paul is an avid organic gardener at his home in Burton. His wife Lin has been servicing the area as a hairdresser for over fifteen years and her shop is attached to their Burton home. He has helped raise four sons and two step daughters. Aside from politics, Paul has been negotiating purchase and sell agreements in the real estate business for most of his working career, but claims he really learned to negotiate while helping to raise six teenagers.
Born and raised in the Castlegar area, Lawrence was employed as a paramedic for 38 years with the BC Ambulance Service before retiring in 2006. Lawrence was first elected to Castlegar City Council in 1987 and is now serving his first term as Mayor. He has always been very active in the community and has been the driving force behind many community initiatives including fundraising to purchase a rescue truck for the Castlegar Fire Department.
Lawrence and his wife Jodi have been married for 36 years and have two grown children, Jennifer and Jeremy.
Ron was born and raised in Creston, BC, graduating from Prince Charles Secondary School in 1965. He operated the family business of Taks Home Furnishers from 1969 to 1998 and they operated retail stores in Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie, Golden, Grand Forks and Castlegar. Between 2000 and 2007, Ron was a financial planner and life insurance agent with Investors Group of Canada and Clarica/Sun Life Insurance.
On November 15, 2008, Ron was elected the Mayor of Creston for a 3 year term. He also is the current Chairman of the Board of Governors of the College of the Rockies with campuses in Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere and Kimberley. Ron is a past-president of the Creston Valley Rotary Club and served as President for the Creston Valley Regional Airport Society.
Ron and his wife Judy were married in 1969 and they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. They enjoy living at their home on Kootenay Lake and both like golfing and curling in the Creston Valley.
Jimmie immigrated to Canada from Texas in 1974 as a journeyman carpenter, after spending four years at the University of Houston. While in BC, a love of the wild mountains called and Jimmie took up tree planting for 14 years, planting and supervising contracts. In 1979 he purchased a property just outside of Kaslo, built a home, raised three awesome children and became a wanna-be local of Kaslo. He also operated a design-build construction company for several years in Kaslo and is currently semi-retired.
Jimmie has been involved in community service from a young age as a Boy Scout; the principles of scouting still guide his life today. As the founder and now Executive Director of the Kaslo Jazz Etc. Society, Jimmie’s horizons have expanded greatly to include a large appreciation of the importance of arts and culture as an essential element to build liveable and vibrant communities. He is very active in advocating for festivals and events as President of the Kootenay Festival and Events Association and enjoys sailing, gardening and his little homestead on the Back Road.
Jimmie’s engagement in the community led to an interest in municipal politics.
In 2003 Jimmie was acclaimed in a by-election as a Councillor for the Village of Kaslo and in 2005 he was elected as Mayor. Jimmie sat as the Regional District Director for Kaslo for three years. Since 2011 Jimmie has been back in municipal politics as a Councilor for the Village of Kaslo and is very pleased to be back as a Regional District Director for the Village of Kaslo.
Born in Nanaimo, BC, Karen lived in many parts of Canada and Germany before moving to Nakusp from her family home town of New Westminster, BC. She recently retired after 34 years at the Arrow Lakes Hospital, 29 of which were spent as the Health Records Supervisor. Karen previously owned two businesses and now helps her husband with his forestry contracting business.
After serving as a Councilor for the Village of Nakusp from 1987 to 1996, Karen decided she had had enough of politics. However, in May of 2004, she was acclaimed to Council and by November of 2005, elected Mayor.
As an active member in the community, Karen is currently the Chair of the Nakusp and Area Development Board, Treasurer and one of the original directors and founders of the Nakusp and Area Community Foundation, Coordinator for Music in the Park and a Director with Community Futures of Central Kootenay for 16 years. She is also involved in the Nakusp and Area Community Forest, Community Health, the Steering Committee for the CBT Community Initiatives and Affected Areas funding program, and has attended all CBT symposiums. Clearly Karen is passionate about her community.
Karen is married to John Hamling, her biggest supporter, and they are the proud parents of two children and six grand children.
John Dooley was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada in 1967. He has worked throughout British Columbia and the Yukon and moved to Nelson 1975. John was first elected to Nelson City Council in 1999 and served six years before being elected Mayor of Nelson in November 2006. This is his first term as RDCK Director.
John and his wife Pat have three grown children.
Ann Bunka moved from Vancouver Island to the Slocan Valley in 1988 and built a home on Red Mountain Road. She later purchased a business in New Denver, which she still operates. Ann moved to New Denver in 2000 and became involved with the Chamber of Commerce, eventually serving as President. She resigned from that position when she was elected to Village Council in 2002. She is currently serving her third term on Council. Director Bunka is also the Emergency Coordinator for the Village of New Denver.
Born and raised in Salmo, Ann has a background in law and finance and worked for a number of years as a paralegal in Calgary, Alberta. Ann has her own home-based business as a bookkeeper and a tax preparer.
Ann became interested in local government after working in a temporary position for the Village of Salmo in 2000. She served as a Councilor from 2002 to 2005 and was the first woman to become Mayor of Salmo.
Leah immigrated to Canada in 1967, came to BC in 1970, has lived in the Slocan Valley since June 1971 and got her Canadian citizenship in 1975 - a series of choices she has never regretted.
Leah has been active in many community organizations over the years, including the Slocan Lake Gallery Society, Goat Mountain School, and Rosebery Parklands. She has worked at "whatever was available" in order to remain in this beautiful part of the world, specializing in education, graphic design, computer services, journalism and music, having performed with her partner Michael Dorsey since 1975.
Leah believes passionately in community building and social justice, and is serving her second consecutive term on Silverton Council.
Born in the Niagara Region in rural southern Ontario, Hillary also lived in various areas of Alberta and British Columbia before moving permanently to the Kootenays. After working in tourism, public relations and the service and forestry industries, as well as working in youth literacy and volunteering for adult literacy, Hillary graduated from the University of Calgary. For the past seven years she has been teaching in School District #8, and was elected as Vice President for the Nelson District Teacher’s Association for two of those years.
Hillary was elected onto the Village of Slocan council in a by-election in February 2008 and has been re-elected for the current term. Enjoying the outdoors and life-long learning, she also participates in local community groups.