Eldercollege Instructors 

Betty Baxter

Betty Baxter is recognized as a senior trainer with significant experience in facilitation, design and workshop instruction for public employers, unions, non-profit agencies and private corporations. With over 25 years experience as an adult educator and facilitator, and fourteen years as principal of a successful small business, she has provided training, mediation and strategic planning for a wide variety of organizations throughout B.C. and Canada.

Jane Bowers

Jane Bowers has a BA in Psychology, is a certified Dog Trainer and Behavioral Consultant and, a Veterinary Homeopath. She is the president of Dogs and Distinction Canine Training Inc, which provides group and private training services.

J.M. Boyd

J.M. Boyd was born in Landsberg, Germany, and (for the most part) raised in Kona, Hawaii. After spending the majority of his early years traveling around the world chasing after his missionary parents, J.M. spent his school years attending to his entrepreneurial obsessions rather than classes. After building and selling his first business between the ages of 14 and 18 he moved on to developing networks and tinkering with the internet. J.M. has become a sought-after consultant and contractor in the area of web tools and technologies, combining his energetic spirit and easy communication style with his knowledge in the area. J.M. has presented to organizations, businesses and individuals on topics ranging from the social and economic effects of social media to the value of customer service in a connected age.

Heather Conn

Heather is an author and award-winning magazine writer whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The Vancouver Sun and Canadian Geographic. She has taught writing for several decades and loves to inspire others.

Byron Gelin

Byron has permaculture certifications, a two-year diploma and is currently working on a master’s degree in Permaculture Education. He has been creating a living classroom for learners and teachers of all ages. www.heartgardens.com

Greta Guzek

Greta’s joyful use of intricate designs and vivid colours capture the spirit of the West Coast. She works from her studio in Gibsons.

Matthew Lehmann

Matthew completed a Master’s of Applied Science (UBC) in 2003. He owns Mainstay Computing, a small business providing technical support, teaching, training and web design for Sunshine Coast customers.

Lynda Kennedy

Lynda Kennedy has an MA in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University; she also has 15 years experience as a communicator working for both corporate and non-profit organizations, with numerous experiences in public speaking and a few experiences at stand-up comedy. More importantly, is the desire to share real life experiences through storytelling and writing, using drama and humour to emphasize the messiness of life while dealing with jagged-edge realities of suddenly being over 50 and charting a new course in life.

Patty Paez

Patty speaks Spanish as her first language and enjoys sharing her knowledge with students at Capilano U.

Valérie Paris

Born in France, Valérie has been living in Canada for two years. She has always been interested in the French language and continues to learn about it. By teaching it, she enjoys discovering the trigger which will helps others understand the secret of the language.

Brad Potts

Born in Montreal and raised in Ontario, Brad made the move to the Sunshine Coast in 2010 after extensive world travel. Having grown up with computers, he has been involved in web development since the very early stages, and has seen online technologies come and go. As a marketing graduate, he offers a unique perspective into all aspects of web development, small business and online entrepreneurship.

Joanne Quirk

Joanne started working in the construction industry in 1979. During that time she has had extensive safety training involving everything from aerial lifts to traffic control. Joanne has been teaching safety related courses since 1997. She has and still continues to be involved in joint committees whose number one priority is worker safety.

Tella Sametz

Tella has loved photography since a friend gave her a camera. She has also been involved in teaching since she had her first paying job. On the Coast, Tella has combined these two interests teaching art and photography at the high school level and in the community. She has her own photography business called TellaPhoto and loves being outdoors noticing and documenting the everyday beauty of the Sunshine Coast.

Theresa Toms

Theresa has approximately 15 years of office and computer experience. She is now specializing in instructing beginner computer courses, including a new beginner program designed for seniors in the community.

Becky Wayte

Becky is a faculty member at Capilano U. Her extensive experience with computers and passion for teaching make learning computer programs stimulating and fun.

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Eldercollege Instructors

Jack Adams

Jack Adams is a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He began working life as a Mechanical Engineer. His interest in mining and technical education took him, his wife and two young children to Colombia and Zambia. This led to a distinguished 25 year career with CIDA, culminating in service as Canada’s Development Counselor at the Canadian Embassy to the Andean republics of Colombia and Ecuador.

Caitlin Birdsall

Caitlin Birdsall is the coordinator of the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network, a research and conservation project of the Vancouver Aquarium. The goal of the BCCSN is to increase public awareness of B.C. whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles and the threats to their survival. Caitlin has a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from the U. of Northern B.C.

Alexis Harrington

Alexis Harrington is an enthusiastic traveler, keen birder and avid gardener. She’s relatively new to the Coast, arriving in 2006 but has wasted no time in becoming involved with the community. She is a Director of the Sunshine Coast Natural History Society. Alexis is a graduate of UBC in Arts (Hons) and Capilano University with a Diploma in Business Administration.

Joe Harrison

Joe Harrison is a retired local teacher with a lifelong interest in science and language. Born in Nelson B.C., he graduated from UBC and taught in the Arctic and on the Northwest Coast before coming to Pender Harbour in 1974.

John Hodges

John Hodges is a retired aerodynamicist with over 30 years experience tracing his family tree in England – starting with the early days of digging through original records to using the recent explosion of digital records on the internet.

Sue Jackel

Sue Jackel taught Canadian Studies in Alberta and since retiring to Sechelt has led numerous discussion courses at Eldercollege. She has recently joined the ranks of official seniors.

Louis Legal

Louis Legal received his BSC in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of Manitoba. He received his meteorologist training at the Department of Transport in 1963. Louis returned to the University of Manitoba in 1976 and received his Masters of National Resource Management. Louis worked for Environment Canada as a meteorologist for 34 years with postings in Winnipeg, Goose Bay, Germany, Comox and Vancouver.

Gary Little

Gary Little is a real estate agent in Sechelt, B.C. who has been researching the maps and history of the Sunshine Coast since moving here over six years ago. He is well known for his interactive real estate map of the Sunshine Coast, his waterfall map, his map showing George Vancouver’s travels in southwestern B.C. in June 1792, as well as his growing collection of antique maps of British Columbia.

David Marsh

Dave Marsh is a retired computer consultant living in Sechelt. He worked for several major companies in both Canada and England. He holds a BA joint honours degree in Philosophy and American Studies, and a Masters Degree in Computing.

Keith Maxwell

Keith Maxwell is a retired Canadian Forces Colonel who served outside Canada for 28 of his 41 years of service. He has a BA in History and is a graduate of three levels of Staff and Defense College. He served 17 years in Canada and the US on operational duties in NORAD, then spent the last 16 years of his career in NATO in Belgium. He has a keen interest in Canadian history.

Linda Nichol

Linda Nichol joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 2001, as a research biologist working on sea otters and cetaceans in the Pacific region. In 1988, Linda did her M.Sc. Degree on the foraging ecology of resident killer whales. Since then she has participated in research involving photo identification and acoustic monitoring of killer whales, effects of man-made noise on harbour porpoises, and compiling whaling catch records as biological data on historic populations of large cetaceans.

Viveca Ohm

Viveca Ohm has been a teacher and writer for most of her life, who loved introducing her secondary students to Shakespeare. For her family, attending Bard on the Beach performances every summer became a “must do” tradition. Viveca is a keen student of history with a particular interest in Medieval and Elizabethan England. Since retiring from full-time teaching, she spends her time reading, writing and tutoring. She recently completed a five-year stint tutoring an on-line course in business writing for employees of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.

Lois Potter

Lois Potter attended the University of Alberta and obtained a Bachelors Degree. She worked as a legal assistant for about 10 years then entered law school. She graduated from the University of Alberta Law School in 2004. She specializes in wills and estates.

Wayne Rowe

Wayne Rowe has practiced law in Gibsons and Sechelt since 1981 and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Elder Law section. His practice includes wills, estates, and estate litigation involving disputed wills and claims under the Wills Variation Act.

Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a minister of the United Church of Canada, who spent the last five years before retiring working in Vancouver’s troubled downtown eastside as a member of the staff of First United Church. As Moderator of the Church in 1986, he presented an historic apology to aboriginal peoples, and since then has worked to redress the wrongs done to them. He holds degrees in Arts and Theology from the University of Alberta and a Th.D. from Boston University. He has for some years been an active board member of the Arrowhead Centre Society, the purpose of which is to provide community support for persons with severe and persistent mental illness. The new centre, together with the adjacent housing units, was officially opened in November 2010.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith is president of Brier Enterprises. He is Chair of Arrowhead Centre Society, past Governor of Capilano University and Past Director of Capilano Eldercollege.

Carmen Sombrowski

Carmen Sombrowski was admitted to the Bar of Alberta in 1987 and the Bar of B.C. in 1990. She practiced at a national law firm for a number of years and has been in Sechelt since 1993. Her practice includes wills and estates, corporate commercial, and real estate.

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas has been a registered nurse for 36 years with an extensive background in psychiatry and geriatrics. Kathy has spent the last six years in older adult mental health as a program coordinator at the Sunshine Coast Mental Health and Addictions Services. This service is part of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Russ Tkachuk

Russ has a PhD in Chemistry. His working career involved research on cereals and oilseed quality with the Grain Research Laboratory, Canadian Grain Commission in Winnipeg. For approximately ten years, he served as Chairman of the Canadian Delegation to the International FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Committee on Cereals, Legumes and Pulses. The latter committee sets basic quality standards for agricultural foods. He is an Eldercollege Director (Sunshine Coast) and a past Program Chairperson and Vice-President of the Sunshine Coast Natural History Society. His avocations are ‘birds’ and ‘painting’.

Sally Walters

Sally Walters has a PhD in psychology and teaches first and second-year psychology both in the classroom and online at Capilano U. She has been researching her family tree in England for several years, with the last few years devoted to online research.

Lyle Wharton

Lyle Wharton has spent more than 40 years in technology industries. As CEO of two Canadian companies, he led operations in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Europe. He served as a director of more than a dozen companies and has consulted with many others in strategic development. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Terry Webb

In 1964, wanderlust brought Terry to B.C. to work with the Indian Department as a dentist. Originally from and educated in the U.K., he has lived in Vanderhoof, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, and Spain. Terry has taken part in regional recreation, planning and the Arts Council.

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