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Upcoming events

27 Oct 2016 3:00 PM (PDT) • West 7th Ave and Vine St: Kits House
03 Nov 2016 3:00 PM (PDT) • West 7th Ave and Vine St: Kits House
08 Nov 2016 5:30 PM (PST) • Kits House: 2305 west 7th Ave, Vancouver
09 Nov 2016 6:30 PM (PST) • 2305 West 7th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K 1Y4
10 Nov 2016 3:00 PM (PST) • West 7th Ave and Vine St: Kits House
16 Nov 2016 6:00 PM (PST) • Kitsilano Neighbourhood House (Kits House)

One-Percent For The Planet

SPEC Staff                                                                           

Executive Director
Oliver Lane

Before joining SPEC, Oliver worked for several non-profit organizations in his home country of Argentina, in the areas of environmental education, integrated water management, poverty reduction and micro-finance. Oliver earned a master's degree in sustainability planning from the University of British Columbia, a graduate diploma in non-profit organization management, and a BA (Hons) in business economics. Oliver loves walking and cycling in the Pacific Spirit Park with his family and is sl-ow-ly getting ready to learn how to play the piano and to ice-skate.



School Gardens Program Coordinator
Nikoo Boroumand

Nikoo is a food and environmental educator, with many years of experience growing food and medicine on organic farms and gardens. She is passionate about teaching children and youth about food, nutrition, growing food, edible weeds, soil, composting, and all things related. Nikoo is a registered nutritional practitioner and a chartered herbalist, with an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences from the University of Guelph and a master's in public administration from the University of Victoria. She is a former grad and an instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, where she teaches the course, Nutrition and the Environment. She is also an avid all-season cyclist.


Operations Assistant
Karla Olson

Karla is very excited to join the SPEC team, as she has been actively involved with environmental issues and non-profits for many years. Two of her notable achievements include authoring the teachers’ guide, For Peat Sake: A Complete Classroom Study on Burns Bog and other Peatlands, and an honorable mention for her efforts as a 2014 site coordinator for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Karla is especially passionate about community building, taking care of our environment, and education. She has three diplomas, including one for professional writing, and is currently pursuing her degree in adult education. Her nemesis is the comma!


         SPEC Board of Directors

Dr. Carole Christopher

Carole has a doctorate in nutrition and has developed and taught university and adult education courses for 40 years, promoting local, sustainable, and just food. She’s been a SPEC director since 1996, and adds her experience being on community boards to the SPEC Executive. She is the past-chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, advising City Council on food security, a master gardener, with 35 years of organic gardening experience, and an enthusiastic camper and creative cook with her partner Rick. She speaks and offers workshops on a range of topics that pertain to food security and gardening, is an avid jazz and gospel singer, and is a dedicated meditation practitioner.

Kate Menzies

Vice President
Kate Menzies

Kate is a project manager for a B.C forest management company that works in partnership with First Nations communities in northwest B.C. Kate earned a BSc in global resource systems from UBC, focusing on food systems and the environment. She worked at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (UBC Farm), as the Agroforestry Coordinator, and was involved with SPEC, in 2009, when she and Tara Moreau conducted a research project on soil amendments for container gardening. Now, as a board member, Kate looks forward to collaborating on many more great initiatives. She is a cyclist, loves basically anything outdoors, and follows the words of Edward Abbey who says "It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it".

Ara Koh

Ara is a chartered accountant with extensive experience working with both corporate and non-profit sectors. She articled with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Vancouver and earned her CA designation in 2012. In 2014, she joined First Nations Financial Management Board, which is Canada’s only legislated body that develops and publishes financial performance and financial management systems standards to strengthen and support financial capacity and economic development objectives. Ara is a fitness fanatic, a cycling road warrior, and has a passion for learning about Vancouver's sustainable food system and strategies. When not working or volunteering with SPEC, she is at her local farmers market, the beach, or on one of the beautiful Pacific Spirit Park trails. 

Tova Plashkes

Tova brings her passion for grass roots community building and advocacy to the SPEC team. She is constantly thinking of new ways to get Vancouverites involved in environmental issues in her volunteer recruitment role. When not with SPEC, she works at Vancouver General Hospital as a physiotherapist and at the Rick Hansen Institute as a researcher. In her spare time, you can find her running, biking, hiking, skiing and sailing around the beautiful roads, slopes and shores of B.C. 

Art Bomke
Art Bomke

Art was raised on a small farm in Illinois and has an academic background in soil and crop management. His career at UBC’s faculty of land and food systems (formerly agricultural sciences) focused on soil science, agroecology, and food systems. Since the 1970s, recycling and reusing organic waste materials has been a central focus of his. As a Professor Emeritus, he helps support local, small scale and new farmers. Art is a car co-op member, an avid cyclist, and has been car-free for nearly 24 years. Since retirement, he has been attempting to improve his home garden and his ability to prepare the food it produces. He, and his partner Carol, have lived in the Riley Park/Little Mountain area of Vancouver for 40 years. They are grateful to be members of an interesting and vibrant urban community.

Dan Rogers
Dan Rogers

Dan is in his second "go round" on the SPEC Board. Previously, he was on the Board for 8 years and served for approximately 2 years as the president. Dan practiced labour law for 33 years and has now retired from active practice. He has a keen interest in environmental matters and believes conservation is increasingly imperative. Dan has sat on a variety of not-for-profit boards, involving health, employment training, and local community associations, and he is currently the chair of the Compassionate Eye Foundation and a trustee for the Gambier Island Local Trust Area. 


Eyal Lebel

Eyal has more than 25 year of experience as a waste management coordinator and consultant. For the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, he has volunteered on its waste committee for 27 years, holding the lead role for over a decade. Eyal also sits on the board for Car Free Day Vancouver, and has been coordinating its Green Team for the last 2 years. As a volunteer on SPEC's Zero Waste Committee, he was part of the team that developed and launched SPEC's Master Recycler Vancouver program in 2015. Eyal is a Dr. of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, as well as a master herbalist in western herbal medicine. He works in his private clinic in Vancouver.

Jessica Frank

Jess is a consultant for Tetra Tech in their zero waste planning team, working on waste reduction and diversion projects. She is also closely involved with the Canadian Fair Trade Network, a non-profit that promotes awareness and support for fair trade in Canada. In the UK, Jess managed the climate change program for an ethical trade organization, Twin, uniting several passions, the environment, social justice, international travel, and coffee. Jess has an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Imperial College London and a BSc in Physics. She loves the great outdoors and, depending on the season, can be found on the slopes, hiking up mountains, or hiding from bears.

Jimmy Zammar

Before making Vancouver his home, Jimmy lived and worked in eight countries on four continents, implementing governmental programs in the areas of international development, green building, public infrastructure and renewables, and public sector reform. Jimmy has a background in architecture (M.Arch), construction project management (MSc), and sustainable development (MSc). Jimmy brings his expertise and passion to help organizations devise strategies to foster urban sustainability in the areas of water, wastewater, transportation, energy, and community development. In his free time, he is an avid traveler, hiker, and photographer.

Paula Pisciottano

Throughout her career, Paula has managed the communication needs of private businesses, non-profit organizations, and publicly traded companies. For SPEC, Paula offers her expertise as a communicator, to help a cause that is close to her heart, so she can contribute to a wonderful, sustainable, and more livable city for her daughter and the future generations to come. Paula was born in Uruguay and has lived, worked, and traveled worldwide. She has been a proud Vancouverite since 2005.

Dr. Tara Moreau

Tara is the Associate Director of Sustainability and Community Programs at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden in Vancouver Canada. She is co-chair of Vancouver’s Food Policy Council and has been a board member at SPEC for over 10 years. She has worked internationally as a consultant with the UN-Food and Agriculture Organization. Her publications, presentations and educational programs relate to climate change, food systems, sustainability education, agriculture, pest management and food policy. Her ideal Vancouver day involves biking to Spanish Banks and spending low tide skim-boarding with her family and friends. She has been car-free since 2006.

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