General Meeting – July 27, 2017

General Meeting – July 27, 2017

Biodiversity in the Amazon – Owen Bjorgan

The focus of Owen’s presentation will be “Hidden Corners: East Andes, Ecuador.”

Owen lives in Niagara On The Lake and has hosted exchange students at his home through Rotary. He went to Australia for the 1 year exchange program after high school and fell in love with the trifecta of photography, adventure, and public speaking. Owen started a non-profit organization called “Biophilic World” during his 1st year at the University of Guelph. This organization involves getting the community into our natural areas while learning about or cleaning up the environment. Several independent side projects evolved under Biophilic World, including solo hiking Ontario’s 885 km Bruce Trail for 37 days. This trip raised $27,000 for local charities and was recognized by Stephen Harper, David Suzuki, and a Paul Harris Fellow award. He has been an official Ted Talk speaker on the concept of “Living in a Biophilic World”.

Owen graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc. in Biodiversity, and has released 2, and soon 3, independent nature documentaries called “Hidden Corners”, including work in Niagara, Ecuador, and Florida.
He remains actively involved in local environmental issues by speaking at council and public venues, including the protection of the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, and spends his spare time in the great outdoors with friends and family; he enjoys craft beer and playing ping pong.

New Management Team Static


Swearing in of the 2019-2020 Management Team
Position Name
Past President Rick Gilbert *
President Brian McDonald *
Vice President Marianna Kreppi *
Secretary Bruce Knicley *
Assistant Secretary Anna Tackaberry
Treasurer Jim Westell *
Assistant Treasurer Peter Robinson *
Programme Chair  Don Minchin *
Programme Committee  Joy Kemp-Davidson and Kelley Hindrichs
Membership Chair  Dee Murphy *
Membership Committee Glenn Steel
Web Editor Michel Hindrichs *
Special Events Marian McDonald *
Assistants Special Events June Berndt, Linda Graham, Wendy Hammond, Lynda Olsson and Judy Westall
Sound Bob Close, Norm Galt and Rick Prins
A/V Dick O’Brian
Greeters Pat Gibson

* Denotes member of Management Team

General Meeting – June 22nd, 2017

General Meeting – June 22, 2017

Carla Mackie, Morningstar Mill Curator

Carla Mackie is the Historical Services Coordinator for the City of St. Catharines. Her primary role is managing the day-to-day operations of Morningstar Mill.  This includes researching the history of the site, interpretation, collections management, and with the help of the Friends of Morningstar Mill, facility and site management to ensure the ongoing safe demonstration of a functioning grist mill. She has worked at many museums around the world specializing in molding and casting, and industrial heritage.

Carla’s presentation will  outline the history of Morningstar Mill and then focus on what has and will be done to bring the site alive.

General Meeting – May 25th, 2017

May 25, 2017

Marcia Culbert, R.D.H., C.N.P.

Marcia Culbert is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Holistic Nutritionist.

Marcia graduated from Niagara College in 1984 and started her Dental Hygiene career back in her home town of Burlington. Through the years she developed her skills clinically and worked in offices that provided great growth and experience.
For the last several years, Marcia has had a mobile dental hygiene practice were she can visit home-bound clients to help with their dental hygiene needs and communicate with caregivers to facilitate better daily routines for her clients.
Her passion involves creating relationships with her clients and families, and focusing on oral and overall health through nutrition and dental hygiene.

General Meeting – April 27, 2017

The Shaw Theatre, Tim Jennings, Executive Director.


Tim Jennings has been the Executive Director of the Shaw Festival since 2015. He has had a long and successful career in theatre management, starting in production supervision and management at The Canadian Opera Company and River Run Centre. He also taught Theatre Production at Ryerson and Humber Colleges. In 2000, he assumed the role of Managing Director of Toronto’s Roseneath Theatre, working with Artistic Director David S. Craig. In 2008 Jennings moved to the United States to work with the Seattle Children’s Theatre as Managing Director, and then in 2011 moved to the world renowned, Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, one of the USA’s largest regional theatres, again as Managing Director. There he gained a reputation for increasing revenue, building the theatre’s endowment, creating new business lines to enhance the reputation and scope of the company, and supporting Artistic Director Peter Brosius in his visionary work.

The topic of Tim Jennings talk was “The Shaw in our Community…How the Shaw works with and impacts on the Region”

General Meeting – March 23, 2017

General Meeting – March 23, 2017

Carrie Zeffiro is the Director of Philanthropy and Public Relations for Pathstone Foundation, the fundraising arm of Pathstone Mental Health, a position she has held for the past 8 years.  Prior to this Carrie served for 4 ½ years as the Director of Development for Niagara Christian Community of Schools in Fort Erie, worked as a Campaign Manager for the GNGH Foundation, and as the fundraiser/volunteer coordinator for Project SHARE also in Niagara Falls.

Carrie has been a member of the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise for the past 16 years, an active member of St. Andrew’s United Church, and volunteers with school breakfast programs and the soup kitchen in Niagara Falls.

Carrie is also a volunteer with TV Cogeco where she hosts a talk show called “What’s New”, which promotes community groups and not-for-profit events throughout Niagara.

Carrie graduated in 1982 from the Radio/TV Broadcasting Program at Niagara College.  Many years later she returned to school as a part-time student to earn her Degree in Psychology in 2007.

Carrie has two grown children, and resides with her husband in Niagara Falls.

The focus of Carrie’s presentation will be on the history and services provided by Pathstone Mental Health, Niagara’s regional provider of mental health services for children and youth. Most people would be surprised to find out that Pathstone helped 4,400 children and youth last year alone. Just like adults, one in five children or youth will struggle with their mental health at some time. The majority are dealing with anxiety and depression.

General Meeting – February 23, 2017

General Meeting – February 23, 2017

Presentation by Sherman Zavitz, – Honeymooning in Niagara Falls

Sherman Zavitz is a Canadian historian. He is the Official Historian of the City of Niagara FallsOntario, and has written widely about local Niagara history and made extensive radio broadcasts. Drawing on his historical knowledge, he has also served as a tour guide to visitors to Niagara Falls.  He has written many articles for the St Catharines Standard and has published several books.

General Meeting – January 26, 2017

General Meeting – January 26, 2017

Presentation by William Underwood, Pelham Fire Department

William Underwood is with the Fire Prevention section of the Pelham Fire Department.  His principal responsibility is to review all the new construction being undertaken in the Town of Pelham to ensure that it meets all local and provincial fire legislation.  His presentation covered all aspects of fire prevention in the home including fire extinguishers, fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarm systems and general fire precautions that home owners should be aware of.

General Meeting – November 24, 2016

General Meeting – November 24, 2016

Presentation by Douglas R. Thomas – lawyer

Douglas R. Thomas, lawyer – Family Law, Real Estate, and Wills and Estate

Called  to the Bar of Ontario 1981.
Relocated to Saskatchewan in 1982 and practiced Oil and Gas related law, within a General Law Practice there from 1982 to 1987.
Practicing a mixed practice of law in the Niagara Region since 1987.


1986 – Farm law for Farmers in Financial Difficulty
1983-1987 – Lecturer for PLEA – Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan
1994 – Created Famprac a WordPerfect based Family Law Practice Organization package
1996 – Writer and lecturer for the LSUC on technology issues
1997 – 2013 –  Lecturer and Writer on Technology issues and Current Case Law in London, Ontario, and in the Niagara Region

Present Practice

General Practice with an emphasis on Family Law, Real Estate and Wills and Estates.
Fluent and practicing in English and French.