Members of the MMLT board are volunteers who oversee the operations and ensure good governance of the organization. They also actively participate in the delivery of programs. Board members offer a wide variety of skills including financial, legal, ecological and conservation management, and fundraising.
If you have skills to offer and an interest in joining our Board, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
President, Chair of the Governance & Personnel Committee
Care and respect for the land have been with Stephen a long time – from planting trees in northern Ontario to starting a tree nursery in southern Lesotho to help combat the effects of soil erosion, including an early interest in permaculture and many years of growing food, organically, for his family on his village lot. As a commerce graduate, he found a way to marry his vision for a more compassionate and just world, and his fundamental respect for all life, with his accounting skills! Consequently, he has worked in and for the voluntary sector for most of his life, including a short stint as Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Network. He currently runs an accounting business that serves numerous not-for-profit organizations and small businesses. His mission is to build financial capacity and understanding, particularly in the non-profit sector, strengthening organizations and their long-term viability through improved financial management processes and systems.
Sheila has been finding ways to spend more time with nature since she became a wilderness canoe guide for a charitable organization called Camp Outlook more than 35 years ago. A career in high-tech has never dimmed her love of the natural world. Over the past decade, Sheila has become an avid birder and nature photographer. She is currently a volunteer Principle Atlasser for the 5-year Ontario Bird Atlas survey. Sheila is a strong advocate for protecting our green spaces, and connecting people with nature so they are inspired to become caretakers of the precious world around them. Sheila discovered MMLT through the rich birding habitat of High Lonesome Nature Reserve. Sheila brings to MMLT experience with governance, managing complex projects, program governance, process improvement, and financial management. Sheila lives in the west end of Ottawa near a patch of NCC greenbelt where she can frequently be found walking her dog and looking at birds.
Being enthralled with the natural sciences and having a deep interest in medicine, Robert began his career as an agricultural researcher working in the field of animal diseases and immunology. His drive to share his passion for nature, science and discovery ultimately led him from the laboratory to the classroom, teaching high school biology and chemistry in the Ottawa area for over two decades. A 3-year posting in Germany with the Department of National Defence sparked his move to international schools in Europe and Asia and a further two decades involved with school administration and construction projects. Now in partial retirement, he works as a consultant for the International Schools Services in Princeton, NJ. Robert shares his life with Yvonne, an impassioned, dedicated early childhood educator who taught in Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. Living in Almonte, they now enjoy spending their time hiking and canoeing, traversing the local countryside and waterways seeking the quietude of wilderness.
Director, Chair of the Fundraising and Communications Committee
Emily’s favourite author and childhood hero growing up was conservationist Gerald Durrell. As a child she dreamt of traipsing through the jungle and searching for rare and endangered wildlife, just as he did. Emily pursued her passion for animals and studied zoology at the University of Guelph, and later went on to study conservation biology at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent. She got to live out her childhood dream while completing her MSc thesis, as she studied bats deep in the jungles of Borneo and had the adventure of a lifetime!
Emily has worked hands-on with a wide variety of wildlife through jobs at wildlife centres, zoos, and captive breeding programs. For the past 15 years she has traded in her field clothes for a desk job at World Wildlife Fund Canada, where she works on issues related to biodiversity and climate change.
As a new resident of Perth, Emily is having a great time getting to know the local trails along with her faithful dog, Jake.
Britta Runtz grew up in the wilds of Muskoka and developed a deep passion for the natural world from an early age. Her career spans 25 years in CEO and senior management roles in the non-profit sector, including the Canadian Red Cross, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Huntsville Hospital Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. She has served two terms as a Director with The Table, and currently sits on the Hunters Bay Radio board and the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust fund development and communications committee. She is a radio host and producer, wildlife photographer, and a partner in Nature by Runtz.
John holds a BSc degree in Physics and MSc in Mathematics, specializing in computer science. John’s engineering career included 25 years in the aerospace/defence and telecommunications industries, plus 15 years as owner/operator of a small management consulting company in Ottawa. Since retiring in 2006, John has been an active contributor to environmental stewardship in eastern Ontario, including 3 years on the Frontenac County Green Energy/Strategic Advisory task force, 2 years researching and presenting environmental impacts of uranium mining to over 20 municipal councils, and 3 years on the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation fostering sustainable local business development. John has a long-standing interest in protecting lands and natural biodiversity from the spread of extractive industries, logging and other threats to our environment. He strongly believes that environmental stewardship plays a key role in our ongoing fight against climate change. John lives in Almonte and enjoys hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing and other outdoor activities. He is a frequent user of the MMLT trail system.
Director, Property Manager for Byrne Big Creek
Simon developed a fascination for nature and the outdoors as a budding young naturalist while joining his parents for bird banding expeditions and field trips through the wildlands & parks of Ontario and Nova Scotia. His graduation with an MSc. from Acadia University soon led to summer jobs with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Canadian Wildlife Service, & U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. His 30 yr. career included working as Park Naturalist & Planner, Visitor Services Officer and Ecosystem Scientist at national parks & sites across Canada including Kejimkujik, Cape Breton Highlands, Fundy, P.E.I., Waterton Lakes and the Rideau Canal. Simon’s many interests include photography, Citizen Science, hiking, snowshoeing, camping, canoeing, kayaking & travelling. He joined MMLT several years ago after a decade of volunteer work for the Rideau Waterway Land Trust. He and his wife Carolyn live near Smiths Falls.
Jennifer developed a sense of curiosity, passion and appreciation towards all aspects of nature at a young age. Since then, environmental conservation, respect and education to ensure the legacy of lands have become of particular importance to her. While at Carleton where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, she became interested in the psychological benefits of Restorative Environments to our sense of well-being, self-awareness and positive mental health. It was Michael Runtz’s course in Nature History that helped her rediscover her sense of our connection with nature and its application to the psychology of well-being.
Prior to retirement, Jennifer worked for the City of Ottawa with Parks, Recreation and Culture, in Finance and most recently with the Ottawa Fire Services. In recent years, she has been actively involved with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) in areas of awareness, advocacy and inclusion for low-vision and blind individuals and communities.
With family roots at Flower Station and in the Clayton area, Jennifer is a resident of Kanata where she enjoys time spent with family and on walks at local nature trails and ponds. Jennifer writes that she is extremely pleased to be joining the MMLT Board and working to further its mission.
Director, Chair of the Property Stewardship Committee
Steve is a professional engineer, economist, long-time bird watcher and amateur naturalist, husband, father, friend, kayaker, and Queen’s University adjunct engineering instructor. Being semi-retired and living in the woods near Sharbot Lake gives Steve time to focus on his passions of nature observation, land conservation and woodturning. Steve finished his career with the federal government as Vice President of the National Capital Commission where Steve was responsible for capital projects and day-to-day management of Gatineau Park, the Rideau Canal Skateway and the NCC’s portfolio of urban parks, parkways and recreational pathways.
Steve Blight holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business at Western University.
Rob and his wife, Mary Lou Carroll, live amidst woodland and wetland in Tay Valley Township. Rob has worked as an outdoor recreation instructor, a conservationist, and a social justice advocate, and over 1993-2014 held NGO leadership positions at community, regional, and national levels. In December 2018 Rob also began serving his first term as an elected municipal counsellor.
Over 1997-1999 Rob was one of 15 Canadians and 180 people worldwide who participated in the sixth cohort of a unique, two-year international training program in leadership for sustainable development. In December 2012, Rob’s efforts to combat poverty in Canada were recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Rob enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling, snowshoeing, and wilderness travel. In January 2013 he summited Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, on a fundraising expedition for the charity, Outward Bound Canada.
Rachel has been enamoured with the natural world since she was a child, spending summers canoeing on Georgian Bay and exploring forests and wetlands around her childhood home in southwestern Ontario. She has a diverse background in environmental education and fieldwork having worked for Ontario Parks and for Credit Valley Conservation Authority. Her education includes a Master of Environmental Studies from Wilfred-Laurier University, a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, and a diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology from Sir Sandford Fleming College.
Rachel often visits the Mississippi Valley on weekends with her partner to go on hikes, go birdwatching, and take their dog for walks. She is passionate about conserving the unique landscapes of the Mississippi Madawaska region and is excited to be involved with such a vibrant group of folks committed to conservation.
Executive Director – Staff
Stacie began her role as MMLT’s executive director in February 2023. Her education and career have centered on regional economic development, balanced growth and innovation in the local economy, and community development through partnerships and volunteer engagement. Stacie has worked and liaised with all levels of government, stakeholders, not-for-profits and agencies such as conservation authorities and funders, and with local municipalities and businesses throughout the counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and Leeds Grenville. She has contributed to the local economy through various positions such as Manager of Community Development with the Municipality of Merrickville-Wolford, Regional Economic Development Officer in Lanark County, Commercial Lender with a Chartered Bank and has 10 years in small business management. She has led collaborative projects such as business advice sessions, county-wide economic development strategic planning, and municipal training in community economic development.
Stacie’s formal education includes an honours degree from Carleton University in Geography with specialization in Regional Economic Development, and completion of 2 years in the Economic Development Certification program at the University of Waterloo.
Away from work, Stacie and her family enjoy time on their farm in Mississippi Mills, as well as their hiking and cross-country skiing adventures through the many local trails.
Conservation Coordinator – Staff
Andrew spent his childhood growing up in Carleton Place. He has also lived in Lindsay, Ontario and Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He has been engaged with nature and the environment since he was a child, spending summer at his family cottage on Opinicon Lake near Elgin, Ontario and exploring trails, parks, and forests around his childhood home close to the Mississippi Riverwalk Trail.
He has a background in conservation fieldwork and environmental sciences, having spent four years with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA). During his time at RVCA, Andrew focused on forestry, conservation area management, shoreline naturalization, and butternut recovery. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental & Sustainability Studies from Acadia University and an advanced diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology from Sir Sanford Fleming College.
In his free time, Andrew can be found doing one of his many hobbies which include gardening, biking, kayaking, hiking, cooking, woodworking, hockey, photography, and most recently, playing guitar. He is excited to be joining the MMLT team and cannot wait to meet everybody!
Conservation & Communications Assistant - Staff
Emily has been working with MMLT since the summer of 2021 – first as an intern and now as the Conservation & Communications Assistant.
She has always had an interest in the outdoors and a passion for nature as she spent a lot of time during her childhood at her grandparents’ place, north of Havelock, Ontario. The property around their house included ponds, forest, meadows, and trails throughout. She was often found in the ponds with her rubber boots and a net – attempting to catch minnows and frogs! Growing up surrounded by nature truly instills a greater understanding and appreciation of it. This is what motivated Emily to pursue Environmental Science in her post-secondary studies.
Emily graduated from Carleton University in the spring of 2021 with a BSc in Environmental Science, concentrating in Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation. Throughout her schooling she had the incredible opportunity to work with many knowledgeable and well-connected faculty members to author publications in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society and Frontiers for Young Minds. She also completed an honours thesis project on the interesting topic of insect body toughness. In Emily’s free time, you’ll find her outdoors – going for walks and sightseeing, taking pictures of interesting clouds, or biking in the Ottawa area.
MMLT has an Emeritus Council of retired directors whose knowledge and experience supplements that of the Board of Directors.
The Emeritus Council is comprised of: