Upcoming events

03 Dec 2015 6:00 PM • Kits House
09 Dec 2015 6:00 PM • Kitsilano Neighbourhood House (Kits House)
09 Dec 2015 6:30 PM • 1055 West Broadway, 2nd Floor Boardroom


SPEC Staff

Executive Director
Oliver Lane

Oliver brings several years of experience in the non-profit sector. Before arriving in Vancouver in 2008, he worked for several organizations in his home country, Argentina, in the fields of environmental education, integrated water management, poverty reduction and micro-finance. Oliver holds a BA (Hons) in Business Economics and a Diploma in Non-Profit Organization Management, and recently obtained a Master's degree in Sustainability Planning at the University of British Columbia. He is very interested in exploring the challenges and opportunities related to behavioral change when implementing sustainability.

Nikoo School Gardens Program Coordinator
Nikoo Boroumand

Nikoo is a food and environmental educator. She has many years of experience growing food and medicine on organic farms and gardens, and has a love for teaching children and youth about food, nutrition, growing food, edible weeds, soil, composting, and all things related. She is a Registered Nutritional Practitioner (a graduate of the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Vancouver) and 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. Nikoo is also a practicing community nutritional consultant and an instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition for the course, Nutrition and the Environment. She is also an avid all-season cyclist.
Sara Blenkhorn

Program Facilitator
Sara Blenkhorn

Sara is an entrepreneur, a futurist, a systems-thinker, a facilitator, a sustainability strategist, and a collaboration ninja. She works with values-led organizations helping them to take collective action for a better world. Sara has 13 + years working in the sustainability field. She has a Master's degree in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability. For the last 4 years, as the founder and CEO of Future Strategies, Sara has called herself fortunate to work with inspiring organizations across the globe designing better systems for participation and experiences that unlock their collaborative potential. Partnering with LOCO BC, Sara was able to help Salt Spring Coffee to move them from a 71% to a 93% diversion rate. She has been working with SPEC for the last 10 years doing everything from building and running the Westside Pocket Market to leading an outreach initiative reaching over 40 restaurants to help them adopt recycling and composting systems. Sara also plays an active role representing the Urban Farmer Field School. When not working on sustainability initiatives, she can be found on one of the local mountains.

SPEC Board of Directors


Dr. Carole Christopher

Carole has a doctorate in Nutrition with particular focus on nutritional ecology and food policy. She has developed and taught university courses, was a consultant to the US Federal Trade Commission's attempt to regulate food advertising to children, and has over 25 years experience as an activist in food and environmental issues. Carole speaks frequently on the role of technology and marketing in creating an industrial food system that is nutritionally hazardous and ecologically unsustainable. She advocates supporting regional and urban agriculture by eating locally and seasonably whenever possible and is an avid organic gardener and seed saver.  Carole is Co-Chair of SPEC's Food Committee.


Rob Baxter

Rob Baxter is a co-founder and a director of the Vancouver Renewable Energy Cooperative. Prior to that he ran his own business consulting firm. He teaches a course in renewable energy for Langara College Continuing Studies. He has been interviewed by CBC radio, CBC TV and Global TV on sustainability issues. He has also published articles and photographs on environmental issues.

As a community organizer he has served on the Board of People for Lake Whatcom and initiated a campaign that successfully lobbied the B.C. Cancer Society to promote more sustainable transportation. He has a MBA from the University of Western Ontario.

Rob has been car-free for two years and uses a bike as his main form of transportation. He has a worm composter and carries a reusable coffee mug with him.

Rob is SPEC's Energy Committee Chair and Transportation specialist.

Tova Plashkes

Tova has a BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and a Master's in Physiotherapy from McMaster University. She works at Vancouver General Hospital as a clinician and at UBC as a researcher. In 2008, she volunteered in Central America, where she worked with Doctors for Global Health focusing on health promotion and rehabilitation. She brings a passion for grass roots community building and advocacy to the SPEC team. In her spare time, you can find her running, biking, hiking, skiing and sailing around the beautiful roads, slopes and shores of BC.


Dr. Tara Moreau

Dr. Tara Moreau is a scientist of sustainable food systems. She has been researching and promoting sustainable food since 2002 and is a consultant with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. She is also the Co-Chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council

In 2012, Dr Moreau completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions through a joint appointment with UBC and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She researched and published on the science, planning and policy of greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural systems in BC. Tara holds a PhD in Plant Science from the the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC (conducted in collaboration with the NSERC and the BC Greenhouse Growers). She obtained her MSc at the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada at Dalhousie University and her BSc in Biology with a minor in Environmental Science from Bishops University.

Tara has been a SPEC board member since 2006 and is Co-Chair and founder of SPEC’s Food Committee. She started the SPEC Urban Farmer Field School in 2011 and oversees the implementation of SPEC's School Garden Program.

Tara has been car-free since 2006. Her ideal day involves biking to Spanish Banks to spend low tide skim-boarding with her family and friends. You can reach her at taramoreau @ gmail dot com. 


Kate Menzies
Kate Menzies

Kate is a project manager for a B.C forest management company which works in partnership with First Nations communities in northwest B.C. Kate earned a B.Sc. 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 then Academic Coordinator-Teaching. Kate 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 is looking forward to collaborating on many more great initiatives. She tries to take advantage of what living in Vancouver has to offer: she is a cyclist and loves snowboarding (especially in the backcountry!), hiking, canyoning, sailing, gardening...basically anything out of doors. As Edward Abbey says "It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it".

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 in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems (formerly Agricultural Sciences) included teaching, research and community outreach, with emphasis on soil science, agroecology and food systems. Recycling and reusing organic waste materials has been a central focus since Art began work at UBC in the 1970s. Current activities as a Professor Emeritus include advising undergraduate and graduate students and supporting local, small scale and new farmers.

Art has been car-free for nearly 24 years, is a car co-op member and an avid cyclist. Since retirement he has been attempting to improve his home garden and ability to prepare the food produced therein. He and Carol have lived in the Riley Park/Little Mountain area of Vancouver for 40 years and are grateful to be members of an interesting and vibrant urban community.

 Dan Rogers
Dan Rogers

Dan Rogers returns to the SPEC Board after a two year absence. He previously was on the Board for 8 years and served for approximately 2 years as the Chair. Dan has practiced Labour law for 33 years but is moving away from active practice. Dan has a keen interest in Environmental matters and believes conservation is increasingly imperative. Dan has sat on a variety of not for profits ranging from health related groups, to employment training, to local Community Associations and is currently the chair of the Keats Island Conservation Group

Kiersten Enemark 
Kiersten Enemark

Kiersten enjoys instigating interesting conversations. During the day, she consults to telecommunication companies working with municipal governments and community groups in considering new infrastructure projects. On the side, Kiersten works as a facilitator participating in community dialogues. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and recently completed a program at SFU in Dialogue and Civic Engagement. As a new member of the SPEC Board, Kiersten is looking forward to initiating community conversations on our changing environment and the difference we play. As a native Vancouverite, she can’t help but sip copious amounts of fair trade, shade grown organic coffee in her reusable coffee mug.

Jessica Frank

Jess is a recent import from the UK where she spent 3 years managing the climate change program for ethical trade organization, Twin. In this role she united several passions - the environment, social justice, international travel and coffee! Jess is now a consultant for Tetra Tech EBA in their waste team, and works with municipalities and First Nations on recycling and composting projects. Since moving to Vancouver she has also been closely involved with the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN), a dynamic non-profit promoting fair trade across the country. Jess holds an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Imperial College London and a BSc in Physics (yes really) from the University of Bristol. She loves the outdoors and is making the most of living in beautiful British Columbia; depending on the season she can be found flailing around on the ski slopes or hiking up mountains and hiding from bears.

Shawn Weber

After receiving a Bachelors of Commerce with a specialization in Entrepreneurship from the University of Victoria, Shawn moved from his hometown on Vancouver Island to Vancouver, BC. During his time at university, Shawn co-founded a chapter of Enactus (SIFE) on campus and ran programs with the help of other dedicated student volunteers to make social and environmental change in the community. Additionally, Shawn had the opportunity to study at Peking University in Beijing China as part of a four-month international exchange program. Currently, Shawn is an aspiring CPA working at KPMG in Vancouver and is completing a Masters of Accounting Degree at the University of Saskatchewan during the summer.

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