Our Team

Shane Matheson – Treasurer

Shane was born and raised in Kelowna and graduated from KSS. He started a culinary apprenticeship while in high school and earned a Red Seal designation. Shane travelled all over BC and Alberta cooking, notably at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, and Tableau Bistro in Vancouver. He returned to Kelowna in 2016 to open a restaurant here. Then, the desire to spend more time with his family led to a career change. In 2021 Shane obtained a BBA in accounting from Okanagan College.  Shane now works for Iconic Wineries of British Columbia as an accountant focusing on the retail and hospitality side of the business.  Shane has been happily married for ten years and has two children, Jack (5) and Archer (8). Shane is passionate about conservation, the environment, and sustainability.

Kalin Ocana – Director

Kalin has lived all of his life in West Kelowna. He grew up on the edge of the beautiful Rose Valley Regional Park, where he spent his childhood exploring the forested hills and documenting the biodiversity of the park. Kalin is a Park Interpreter for the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, and a passionate conservationist, with a particularly keen interest in bird life and native habitat restoration. He is also a hardcore birder, and has recorded 296 species of birds in the Central Okanagan. Kalin is currently completing his undergraduate degree in Human Geography at UBCO, with the goal of pursuing a career in Urban / Park Planning. While not in school, he keeps busy with bird related field jobs locally and around the world. His other interests include Canadian history, photography, bass guitar and back country exploration.

Kim Inglis – Director

Kim has long declared herself to be Kelowna’s biggest fan and is proud to finally call it home. She is the founder of Inglis Private Investment Counsel, a financial advisory practice within Raymond James Ltd where she collaborates with families to achieve their financial goals. Kim is regularly requested for interviews as a media commentator with appearances on BNN BloombergCBC and CTV News. Kim is also a financial columnist and her work has been featured in most of the country’s major newspapers including the Financial Post and The Globe and Mail. Kim is a board member with the Central Okanagan Foundation and is involved with numerous charitable groups and non-profits. In her spare time, Kim can be found enjoying all the great trails that Kelowna has to offer with her horse and dog.

Angela Cormano – Director

Angela studied forest science at UBC and has worked as an environmental consultant primarily on fisheries, soils and terrestrial ecology projects but also other unique projects such as fire threat assessments and contaminated sites reviews.  As a professional forester and biologist, she has been fortunate to work throughout BC and into Alberta and the Yukon.   She currently works in the utility sector and is looking for opportunities to apply her interest in the natural environment outside of work.  Angela volunteered on the RDCO Environmental Advisory Commission for 6 years and appreciates the opportunity to participate with COLT in its efforts.

Steve Thomson – Secretary

Steve was born and raised on the Thomson family farm in Okanagan Mission and has a long record of service to the community. He represented Kelowna Mission as the MLA from 2009 to 2017 and served as Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and Rural Development.


Steve is the former executive director of the BC Agriculture Council and has spent much of his career working on behalf of British Columbian farmers and ranchers. He has served as general manager of the BC Fruit Growers Association and the BC Milk Producers Association. He has also served as the President of the Kelowna Chamber or Commerce and as a director of the Kelowna Museum, the Okanagan Innovation Fund.

He has a great love of sports and had a long career in rugby including the opportunity to play for the Canadian National Rugby Team.

Steve is a husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife Brenda have three children and five grandchildren.

Leah Schurian

Leah was born and raised in Kelowna.  Her childhood was spent exploring Joe Rich around her family’s rural home.  She completed an undergraduate degree at UBC (Okanagan Campus) in International Relations before continuing on to law school.  She completed her Juris Doctor at the University of Alberta in 2013 and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2014.  She practiced at a leading regional firm and another small Kelowna firm before setting out on her own as a sole practitioner.  Leah divides her time between her small practice and caring for her two young children and two rescued dogs.  She has been a long-time governance volunteer with the BC SPCA.  She has previously served on the board of directors for a local theatre production society.  She currently serves as the President (and is a founding member) of the Friends of Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Society.  She also volunteers for the RDCO Environmental Advisory Commission.  Leah is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her education with her passion for conservation and restoration.

Eve Wegscheidler

Eve grew up in Penticton with the natural environment as her back yard and through her explorations she came to love and appreciate the flora and fauna that makes the Okanagan special. She moved to Kelowna to attend Okanagan College and went on to work at the Regional District of Central Okanagan, predominantly in the Regional Parks Services Administration and Environmental Education/Visitor Services divisions. Time spent doing anything outdoors is her favorite pastime. Encouraging residents and visitors to experience and love the unique natural spaces of the Okanagan valley and preserving this important environment has become life-long purpose. Eve joined COLT in 2019.

Judie Steeves – Recording Secretary

I grew up in the Okanagan, roaming the hills and fishing with my Dad, then took journalism at Vancouver Community College after working for a year, part-time, for the Penticton Herald. After stints as editor of the Delta Optimist, then as a reporter for the daily Columbian Newspaper, I worked for Douglas College, Pacific Vocational Institute, BCIT and UBC as an information officer.

We then moved to an isolated part of the Cariboo with our first baby, where we had our second, and where we built a log home on 40 acres off the power grid surrounded by the forest.

It was amazing to live so close to the natural world that has always fascinated me. There’s always something new to learn about bugs and birds, plants and animals, air and water, rocks and earth and how interconnected they all are. While there, I produced a beef recipe book for the B. C. CattleBelles.

In 1985, we moved back to the Okanagan where I wrote for the Kelowna Capital News for 22 years, including weekly outdoors column, called Trail Mix, and a weekly food column, from Jude’s Kitchen. Other books include Okanagan Trips and Trails, co-authored with Murphy Shewchuk first published in 1999, then updated in 2019 with Jude’s Kitchen was published in 2011, and Black Mountain Gold in 2020. She is semi-retired.

Bob Groves – Director

Bob Groves is a lawyer in private practice, having arrived in Kelowna in 1983. He is also a Professor in the Faculty of Business at Okanagan College.  Bob served as an executive member of the Kelowna Bar Association for several years, and is a Past President. He was a Director with the Kelowna Museums Society from 2003 – 2013. Bob joined the Board of the Central Okanagan Land Trust in 2013.

Don Knox – Director

Donald Knox has had a lifelong love of the natural environment and its wonderments. He has lived all but his university years in the Central Okanagan and will be here until the end. His working career was spent trying to ‘educate the masses’ in SD 23 where he tried to instill an appreciation of the natural world in his young charges. Don currently is a member of three boards dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the natural world and one that is trying to preserve the built heritage we have created.

Laura Hooker – Director

Laura moved to the Kelowna area about twenty years ago to join the Biology faculty at Okanagan University College, and is now an Associate Professor of Biology at UBC Okanagan campus.  Prior to coming to Kelowna, she obtained a MSc. in Zoology from UBC in Vancouver and subsequently worked as an environmental consultant.  Laura’s teaching and research specialties lie within the field of aquatic ecology.  She has taught such courses as Flora and Fauna of Inland Waters, Limnology, Environmental Microbiology, Freshwater Microbiology and will soon offer a course on Biology and Conservation of Freshwater Fishes.  Her current research addresses questions regarding microbial community structure and functional redundancy in lakes of very different water chemistries.   Laura has sat on numerous University committees, and COLT (2014) is her first foray into community service.  The Central Okanagan Land Trust’s mission resonates with Laura’s philosophy that natural places have a right to simply ‘be’ and that our world is enriched by this; further value is not necessarily required.  Laura’s recreational activities include skiing (alpine and nordic), mountain biking, swimming and simply hiking around with her dog Mia, Queen of the Shibas.

Wayne Wilson – Executive Director

Wayne Wilson began with the Central Okanagan Land Trust in 2012 and brings a keen understanding of the region’s non-profit setting. His background in geography, landscape and cultural heritage values are ideally suited to the work of the Land Trust.Wayne served as the Executive Director of the Kelowna Museums Society from 2000 – 2012. He began work with the Kelowna Museum in 1978 and since then has worked in the various capacities including Exhibitions Co-ordinator, Museum Education, Assistant Director, and has curated dozens of exhibitions and public programming series. Since his 2000 appointment, in addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Society, Wayne has focused on the development and implementation of Business and Budget Planning for the Society and its various profit centres, all with a goal of moving the organization more toward a sustainable business model.Wayne holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia and an M.A. in Historical Geography (U. B. C.) where his thesis, Irrigating the Okanagan: 1860 – 1920, explored the ‘greening of the Okanagan Valley’ as it were. Wayne taught at Okanagan University College for ten years in the Geography Faculty where he headed up courses in the Regional Geography of Canada, Regional Geography of British Columbia, and the Historical Geography of British Columbia.

Gordon Savage – President

Gordon was born and raised in Burnaby, BC, and graduated from Kelowna Secondary School before going on to earn a Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from BCIT in 1974. He worked for much of his career with the consulting firm, Reid Crowther before forming his own company (CTQ Consultants) in 2003.
An active Rotarian and past President of the Rotary Club of Kelowna, Gord and his wife are active outdoors people pursuing everything from canoeing and kayaking to hiking, skiing and camping. It is these very outdoor activities that give Gord a keen interest in the environment and the sustainability of our fragile habitats and at-risk species.

Bill De Bosch Kemper – Director

My wife, Bet, and I moved from Victoria to the Okanagan in 1978, with our two young sons. We loved the semi-arid lands, the forests, and the mountains of the area and whenever time permitted we explored the many backroads, trails, lakes, and rivers in the region. Outdoors activities such as hiking, fishing, birding, cross-country skiing, and canoeing have been hugely important to our family.

I received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Victoria and worked as a clinical psychologist at Kelowna General Hospital (1978-1993) and in Private Practice. I retired from my private practice in 2014. I served on a number of Boards of professional and other non-profit organizations throughout my working life, but COLT represents my first foray into the world of conservation and land trusts. I joined COLT in early 2016

Tanis Gieselman – Vice President

Tanis Gieselman moved to the Okanagan in 1989, where she grew up falling in love with the West Kelowna wilderness. She particularly enjoys botanizing, snowshoeing, cycling, hiking, and camping. After completing a BSc. in Ecology at Okanagan University College in 2005, she became especially aware of conservation issues in the Okanagan, and began studying seed-saving technologies as a means for conserving native biodiversity outside of parks and protected areas.

In 2008 she moved to Vancouver to complete an MSc. at UBC. Her research investigated the impact of various types of human development on the edges of remaining grasslands, and demonstrated that the edges of Okanagan grasslands become degraded on average 30 m from the edge of roads and agricultural fields. She hopes to her research will compel others account for these impacts when planning for protected areas, and plant more native species to reduce the impact of development. After her MSc., Tanis stayed in Vancouver for five years to be a science educator at UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Musuem, while continuing to develop her seed-saving strategy in Kelowna. She returned to Kelowna in 2015 to work with the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP) as the Projects Coordinator. She feels very privileged to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the COLT team.