Chris Gadsden is a passionate advocate for fish and fish habitat in the Fraser Valley. In 2002, Chris helped spearhead the Chilliwack/Vedder River Clean-Up Society to address the issue of illegal garbage dumping along the riverbanks. Since its inception, the society has hosted over 40 clean-up events, including 14 World River Day celebrations. Deeply committed to his community, Chris has also volunteered countless hours to developing softball and ice hockey leagues, and coordinating youth ball and hockey associations.
Deeply committed to women, Lisa Tallio worked with Minerva BC for the past decade, developing and delivering leadership programming for women across the province. Lisa believes that the most profound way to create positive change is by supporting opportunities for Indigenous women; a proud member of the Nuxalk and Heiltsuk First Nations, she has travelled the province in pursuit of this commitment. Thanks to her vision and leadership, Minvera’s ‘Combining Our StrengthTM’ initiative continues to grow and, in 2017, the groundbreaking ‘Indigenous Roots’ outdoor leadership program for urban Indigenous girls was launched – a dream realized for Lisa.
Her beloved Stewart community knows Patricia Grue for her commitment to serving many local programs for the past 40 years. Dedicating countless hours to the local food bank, the Christmas Hamper Program, the Stewart Services Society, and various youth programs, Patricia also played a pivotal role in establishing the town’s recycling program, an initiative close to her heart. Described as “a woman of service” Patricia has modeled humility, kindness and perseverance with every generous act.
Kim van der Woerd was named the 2018 Mitchell Award recipient. Named in honour of Keith Mitchell QC, the Mitchell Award recognizes an individual who, through his or her work and volunteer activities, has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to elevating the community in which they live, and those who serve it. The recipient has a unique and selfless leadership style that encourages and inspires the full participation of those he or she leads. Keith Mitchell served as the BC Achievement Foundation’s Founding Chair and guiding light for 13 years. A leader by example and a mentor at heart, Keith brought clarity to the role of the Foundation in its mission to celebrate excellence in British Columbia.
Terri Hanen is a passionate advocate for the arts. By volunteering for The South Peace Art Society and the Community Arts Council, along with her position as Executive Director of the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre (KPAC), she has helped establish a thriving arts and cultural scene in her community. Instrumental in building a home for the KPAC, Terri has created a hub for musicians, dancers and artists and the public who appreciate them. Through her work with Community Futures Peace Liard, Terri has also helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in the region work towards successfully launching their own businesses.
An active search and rescue volunteer with Vernon Search & Rescue for over 50 years, Pete Wise has played a key role in establishing the unit into one of the premier search and rescue organizations in the province. Whether he is dedicating his time to training others, advocacy or leading challenging rescues, Pete is known for his positive spirit, and depth of experience. A founding member of the British Columbia Search & Rescue Association, Pete has also served many years as Director of the British Columbia SAR Association.
Recognized as a local hero, Shirley Henry’s decades of service to Pemberton are widely acknowledged and appreciated. Shirley served on Council as Alderman and Mayor for a total of 19 years, during which time she also contributed to local youth, working as a teacher and Brownie/Cub leader. Her contributions to her community are vast and varied: from chairing the Canada Week Committee for 25 years, to chairing the Airport and Forestry Committee, and acting as Vice Chair to the Sea-to- Sky Economic Development Commission, Shirley truly does it all. Today, Shirley serves as Secretary and Treasurer for Tourism Pemberton, the Pemberton Community Endowment Fund, and the Spirit of BC Committee.