Teams

Bob Blacker

Bob Blacker

W2R Team Leader

Bob is a retired New Westminster Police Inspector. He joined Rotary in 1996 and has served as Club President. In 2008 – 2009, Bob became District Governor for Rotary District 5040, made up 54 Clubs across British Columbia. In 1998, Bob became an Honorary Aide de Camp (HADC) to the Lt. Governor of British Columbia. In 2007 His Honour, Steven Point, and Bob started to work together to get books into isolated First Nations Communities in British Columbia. In 2012, after his term as Lt. Governor, HH Steven Point returned to the Bench as a Provincial Court Judge. As a result, Bob carried on as the Project Leader. Both men never dreamt that WRITE TO READ would be as successful as it is today.

Lt. Gov. Stephen Point

Lt. Gov. Stephen Point

Lt. Gov

The organization was first started by former Lt. Governor of BC the Honourable Steven Point, who decided that bringing books to the remote communities he visited was a good idea to promote literacy. Write to Read is a volunteer effort on the part of many individuals who have contributed their time and effort to create a library system for remote First Nations communities in BC.

Lt. Gov. Judy Guichon

Lt. Gov. Judy Guichon

Lt. Gov.

Taking up the position of Lt. Governor of BC after the term expired for Steven Point was Her Honour Judith Guichon, who decided to continue the legacy of literacy first set up by her predecessor. Her Hounour continues to officiate at the openings of all Write to Read libraries, fitting in these events with the multitude of other duties required of her office. She is a strong supporter of literacy and First Nations.

Micheal McCarthy

Micheal McCarthy

Publicist/Storyteller

W2R publicist Michael McCarthy is a novelist, videographer and professional freelance journalist whose articles appear in many Canadian newspapers. Formerly referred to as “the Lt. Governor’s initiative to assist aboriginal literacy,” Michael decided that such an explanation was far too wordy, so he re-named and branded the effort as the Write to Read Project, misspelling it on purpose to reflect his own brand of humour.

Scott Kemp

Scott Kemp

Architect

Scott Kemp is a professional architect who has been involved with the Write to Read Project since the beginning, drawing up designs for several projects and travelling to remote communities to oversee planning and construction. Scott has volunteered his time at no charge and assisted greatly with the design of new modules to be built.

Mike Herold

Mike Herold

Structural Engineer

Mike Herold was born and raised in Victoria BC where he attended public school and went on to obtain a BSc degree in Math & Physics from the University of Victoria in 1971. During his early years Mike excelled in sports including track and field, football, hockey and soccer and spent most weekends surfing at Jordon River. After graduating from UVic, Mike went on to obtain a BASc in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia and is currently President of Herold Engineering Limited, a consulting civil and structural engineering company based out of Nanaimo. Mike is married to his wife Sandy and has two adult children and six grandchildren. Mike continues to be involved in sports and still plays on his companies mixed slow pitch softball team and still try’s his skills at surfing. Mike is a true advocate for education in First Nations communities and is very active in various building and marine projects with First Nations communities throughout British Columbia, through his work at Herold Engineering.

Shirley-Pat Chamberlain

Shirley-Pat Chamberlain

Champion Spark Plug

Dubbed the ‘original champion sparkplug’ by His Honour, Steven L. Point, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Shirley-Pat Chamberlain (nèe Gale) is an energetic passionate literacy advocate with infectious good cheer who is committed to service above self in the pursuit of Aristotelian real good. Driven by an insatiable curiosity and passion for changing the world around her, Shirley-Pat has been committed to social action literacy initiatives and community development innovation in rural and remote British Columbia in both indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Shirley-Pat’s first experience with Rotary was at the age of 15 through a 4Way Test essay competition. She reconnected with Rotary through her mom, who is also a Rotarian, in 2008 and her Rotary story is one of truth telling, discovery, mentorship and adventure. It has led to using the Rotary International Project model in her own backyard to work and partner with indigenous people and communities through the Write to Read BC project. This has led to two amazing honours: she been formally adopted by Tl’esqox, the Toosey Indian Band, and has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012 for outstanding volunteerism. Shirley-Pat will share her Rotary story in the hope that it will encourage others to join, show up and do good with likeminded people - to become Rotarians. Shirley-Pat has an undergraduate degree in history and classical languages and literature and masters of education in leadership studies. She is currently doing a doctorate at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Canadian Studies exploring the role of civil society organizations in indigenous social citizenship in Canada.

Lawrence Lewis

Lawrence Lewis

Consultant

Lawrence is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation (Cape Mudge) and presently resides in Victoria with his wife (21 yrs) and 2 children – both adopted from China (Kate and Alex). Lawrence most recently was the Chief Executive Officer of the Malahat Nation/Investment Corporation, and is now focused on working with other First Nations throughout western Canada to advance and focus their governance, administrative structures, and install effective modern economic and business authorities. Most recently, he has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Tree Canada and welcomed aboard the Aboriginal Write to Read Project Team. EXPERIENCE In 2012 Lawrence launched a mobile technologies start-up: OneFeather. OneFeather is already shifting the way First Nation communities engage, collaborate, and make important decisions governing their Nation futures using the modern and ubiquitous mobile smart phone, including for the first time in Canada mobile voting for elections and referendums. Over the past 20 plus years Lawrence has been working with First Nations, FN Agencies and all levels of Government primarily on Vancouver Island and British Columbia - supporting First Nation development of governance, elections and economic/business - always with a view to growing aboriginal communities, protecting aboriginal title and rights, and enhancing cultural and social values and priorities. Lawrence combines his understanding of government and business processes with the pragmatic, and a deeply rooted awareness and respect of Indian people and the social and cultural processes required to ensure successful Nation Building. Lawrence’s past work experience includes a number of posts at senior/executive levels including: Band Administrator – Cape Mudge (5.5 years); Director of Education – Tsawwassen First Nation (1 yr); Special Advisor to Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education (2.5 yrs), Director of Operations – Hamatla Treaty Group (3 Yrs); Director of Operations and Vice President – Bute Inlet Development Corp (4 yrs), and independent Elections and Governance Contractor (over 12 yrs). And once upon a time owned and operated two pub style restaurants. EDUCATION Lawrence has recently completed the DEP through the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD:D), and has previously completed other degrees and professional designations, including a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) along with other Diplomas in Governance and Public Administration all from the University of Victoria. Other diplomas include Business Management, FN Schools Management and International Trade. SERVICE Lawrence believes strongly in community service: He is presently a Rotarian since 2003, and has by invitation been a Director for the Strathcona Community Futures, Campbell River Museum, Provincial Task Force for Aboriginal Economic Development, Vice-President and President - UVic Native Student Union and sat as National Aboriginal Student Spokesperson with the Canadian Federation of Student.

Susan Plensky

Susan Plensky

Education Ambassador

Susan Plensky first became involved in Write to Read with the Ka:’yu:k’t’h’/Chek’tles7et’h’ project. Susan is educator who has served as a teacher, principal, trustee and board chair. Susan has worked in elementary and secondary education in Kyuquot and Alert Bay. She is a certified Aboriginal PALS facilitator, which is a family literacy program offered by Decoda BC. Susan has also served on the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board. Her work as an educator was recognized in two books: Sharing Our Success: Cases Studies in Aboriginal Schooling by David Bell and The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters by Max Wyman. Currently Susan volunteers literacy support at Nisaika Kum’tuks Elementary Centre in Nanaimo, which is Chinook and translated to English means “Ours to Learn”.

Bill Humphries

Bill Humphries

Write to Read East

Ontario

Joanna Banaga

Joanna Banaga

Write to Read East

Ontario

Jeff Burnham

Jeff Burnham

GoodMinds Owner

Aboriginal Books

Sarah Dupont

Sarah Dupont

UBC Ambassador

Sarah Dupont, Métis, is from Prince George, B.C. She is a proud graduate of the University of Northern B.C. where she did her undergraduate studies. Sarah received a Masters of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She was formerly the Community Engagement Librarian (Aboriginal Services) with Edmonton Public Library. Sarah is the Aboriginal Engagement Librarian at UBC, where she works for both the Xwi7xwa Library at UBC and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. She is the program manager of the Indigitization program and is the convenor of the First Nations Interest Group of the BC Library Association. Her work with the UBC iSchool as Indigenous Adjunct Professor is opening doors for students to be involved in the library sustainability planning with Write to Read BC.

Guenter Stahl

Guenter Stahl

North East Ambassador

Long career in forestry with BC Forest Service followed by an appointment to Forest Practices Board. This brought extensive contact with First Nations. More than 30 years as a Rotarian. Put them both together and I am motivated to work with First Nations, through Rotary, to improve conditions in their communities.

Andria McAulay

Andria McAulay

Lower Mainland Ambassador

Financial Planner

Sue Sterling-Bur

Sue Sterling-Bur

Okanagon, Nicola Lake - Ambassador

Sue Sterling-Bur is from the Dumdehmyoo (Bear) Clan with the Nadleh Whut’en Indian Band from the Carrier Sekani Nation and her father is from the N’lakap’mx Nation and her mother is from the Sto:Lo Nation. She is the mother of five beautiful children Brittani, Darian, Spencer and twins Emmett and Avery! She is the Sole Proprietor of her consulting company Godey Creek Consulting and an Instructor at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt for the Social Work Department. She is very passionate about Early Childhood Development and promoting the quality of life for children and youth to ensure the best chance and start in life. Sue is the President of Nicola Family Therapy; a Board Member for the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society; the National Representative of Western Canada for the World Forum Foundation on Early Care and Education; a Past President of the Rotary Club of Merritt Sunrise; an appointed member of the Provincial Child Care Council for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in BC; and recently appointed to the Social Planning Committee for the City of Merritt. Sue became involved with Write To Read as a Champion Spark Plug in 2013 and advocate for building respectful relationships with Aboriginal communities and creating opportunities for early literacy within these communities.

Len Hutt

Len Hutt

Kamloops West - Ambassador

Leonard (Len) Hutt Len is an active Rotarian at the Club (Kamloops West Rotary Club) and District level (District 5060). At the District level Len is a faculty member of the Rotary Leadership Institute {RLI}, a member of the District Visioning Facilitation team and a presenter at Conferences. He is a consultant, author, public speaker and professor of organizational behaviour, leadership, human resource management and change. Len has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at University Northern British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University and Ryerson University. He is an Associate Faculty Member at Royal Roads University. As a consultant, Len’s ultimate object is the implementation of effective and sustainable organizational change. Len’s recently published book, Faces of Respect: Service Above Self highlights the challenges of Rotarians living the essence of the 4-Way Test while providing services in 3rd World Countries. .Len is now writing Faces of Respect: An Additional Perspective (working title). He has worked with several First Nations Bands: Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc (Kamloops, BC); Blue Berry River First Nations (Fort St John, Alberta; Laxgalts'ap (Greenville, BC). Len was a former officer in the RCAF (9 years). While in the military he workded closely with members of the Cree First Nations in Moosonee, Ontario. A Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto (theses: Organizational Change), a Masters Degree in Education (Developing Human Resources), from the University of Toronto, an Honours BA (Sociology/Psychology) from Queens University, and a diploma in Finance from Ryerson University, are notable in his academic credentials. Len and his wife Bernice live in Kamloops BC.

Kelly Bapty

Kelly Bapty

Architect

As a member of the Tahltan Nation, Kelly has a unique Indigenous perspective in Architecture that is grounded in her cultural foundation, and built from her experience gained residing within the remote regions of BC, Yukon and NWT. As the second Indigenous female to be registered as an Architect or Intern within the AIBC, and one of a handful practicing within Canada, Kelly brings a wealth of regional knowledge to her projects. Kelly has focused her building practice to the processes of re-building Indigenous Communities and Cultural Centres, from within their own capacity, seeing Architecture as a tool of autonomy for Indigenous Nations.Kelly is an Intern Architect, designer, adventurer, mentor and advocate for environmental and indigenous rights.

Ken Matsuzaki

Ken Matsuzaki

Construction Manager
Elke Porter

Elke Porter

Webmaster/Social Media/PR

Elke Porter has now taken over the website and Facebook Page of the Write to Read Project. Elke started her career as an Early Childhood Educator, where she worked in Richmond and Sydney, Australia for 8 years. Then she took a course in desktop publishing and web design. Finally, in 2011, she took a course in Public Relations. Elke has experience with WordPress websites, digital magazine & newsletter publishing and digital marketing.​

Margaret Fletcher

Margaret Fletcher

Leader Library Response Team (LRT)

Worked for Vancouver School Board, in Secondary Schools as a Library Technician. I have been chosen twice from across Canada to work for Department of Nation Defence for Canadian Schools Overseas in Lahr, Germany. Lahr Secondary School, Library Technician and Librarian. Volunteer and VP with Afretech Aid Society, have made 4 trips to Kenya, Africa installed Primary and Secondary School, and Community Libraries, also trained people to run the Library. I volunteer with Write to Read First Nation Literacy Project, Leader of the Library Response Team and coordinate the activities of the LRT’s, also attend initial meetings with Bob Blacker with First Nation community members about setting up a library/libraries in their community. To-date involved in the completion of 15 First Nation Libraries.

Carol Felius

Carol Felius

Library Response Team (LRT)

I worked in a public library system for 25 years. Being retired to me means being able to pursue some interests for which I did not have time before. In Holland I didn’t have access to books and a library until I went to high school .It was wonderful!! Between finishing high school and coming to Canada I worked in Germany for 9 months in a place where I was the only non-German speaker. My high school German improved quickly. In Canada my high school English was a big help, but saw many people around me struggling with their lack of English. Later I went back to school part-time as an adult student. Anthropology was most interesting to me. So now I have time to indulge in some of these interests. I have visited places and people I studied, in some of these places helped provide books and libraries. I am also now able to help newcomers to Canada improve their language skills. Someone introduced me to Afretech, and through Afretech we met Bob, and became involved in another great literacy program, W2R.

Barb Aven

Barb Aven

Library Response Team (LRT)

Barb Aven is a former teacher and has been a volunteer at elementary school libraries in Delta for over 25 yrs. I has been on 4 trips to Kenya, Africa with Afretech Aid Society where they have put in many school and community libraries and have trained members of the community to run a library. I am a member of the W2R Library Response Team and to-date have been involved in the completion of 15 First Nation Libraries, with more to come.

Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson

Library Response Team (LRT)

I have been a reader all my life. I read in all genre's, but especially in science fiction, English literature, Canadian literature and from the growing number of indigenous writers. I was a high school English and Social Studies teacher for almost 30 years, until my retirement last year. I also take a great interest in the books that teenagers read. Write to Read fulfills a childhood dream to be a librarian.

Marion Whiting

Marion Whiting

Library Response Team (LRT)

As a new comer to BC and a recent member of the Rotary Club of Steveston, I am delighted to have found a new vocation with W2R. My past history with education was with Teaching English as a Foreign Language in England and then teaching English Through Art in France. I am currently registered with the 1-2-1 Reading programme in Richmond B.C therefore the continuation to promote learning through W2R suits me perfectly.