Board of Directors



George Greene, Chair

George Greene has worked since the early 1970s on conservation and sustainable development issues at the interface between resource industries, NGOs, governments, and Indigenous nations and groups. George specializes in environmental governance, and in the design and implementation of collaborative initiatives to address environmental and social issues in the natural resources sectors. He is active as a volunteer in the nature conservation community in the Elk Valley, in Canada, and internationally. George’s passions include being on the snow in winter, and biking and being on the water in the summer. He is a member of the volunteer ski patrol at the Fernie Alpine Resort.



Ashlee Jollymore, Vice Chair

Ashlee has expertise in hydrology and water quality, with a PhD in Resource Management Studies (Ecohydrology), a Masters of Science (biophysical chemistry) and a BSc. (Honours Chemistry). She currently works as a hydrologist for the provincial government in the River Forecast Centre, and previously has worked on projects spanning forestry and land management, sustainable development, and citizen science. She also loves all of the outdoors opportunities that Fernie has to offer, and is delighted to be a part of the ERA team. One of the many things Ashlee loves about the Elk River is how many people gather along its shores on a sunny day in any season.


Danielle Wiess, Treasurer

Danielle is new to the Elk Valley, having arrived only four years ago. Danielle has a B.Sc in Earth Sciences from the University of Calgary has more than 15 years of combined experience in environmental, risk and project management, community engagement and communications. She has 12 years of experience within the mining sector and specific practice with water quality management and regulatory compliance. Danielle loves the adventure the Elk River holds.



Lee-Anne Walker, Founder & Director

Lee-Anne was the founder of the Elk River Alliance in 2010 and acted as the Executive Director until her retirement in 2018.  She is excited to be back with other dedicated community water champions on the ERA Board.  Lee-Anne has a Masters in Environment and Management and a BA in Heritage Interpretation.  Lee-Anne lives in Fernie and can be seen canoeing, rafting, and stand up paddleboarding on the Elk River, or sliding on frozen water vapour with her husband Gary and daughter Chalice.  “The Elk River is one of the most spectacular recreation experiences in the region.  As a community we have a rare privilege to care for this amazing watershed”.

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Stella Swanson, Director 

Stella has a Ph.D. in Limnology from the University of Saskatchewan and a B.Sc. (Honours) in Biology from the University of Regina. Stella was born and raised on a farm in southern Saskatchewan where she learned how precious water resources are from a young age. After working in Saskatoon and Calgary, first as a government scientist and then in consulting, Stella now lives in Fernie where she continues to provide environmental consulting services part-time. Stella’s mission as a consultant is to assist in the development of collaborative solutions to environmental problems through respectful and effective community engagement and the application of leading-edge environmental science. Stella’s work in the Valley has included serving as Chair of the Strategic Advisory Panel for Selenium Management and leading the original development of the Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Management Framework. Stella was Chair of the Elk River Alliance Board from 2011 to 2019 and is happy to continue as a member of the Board and Lead of the Program and Technical Working Group. Stella’s favourite pastimes are walking the dog, wading up creeks looking for aquatic insects, gardening, and cooking for family and friends.



Ayla Bennett, Director

Ayla Bennett lives with her family in Fernie, BC. She is passionate about conserving and exploring our beautiful mountains, free-flowing rivers and wild spaces. Ayla has worked with environmental non-profit organizations for nearly a decade. For 8 years, she was a Program Manager with the Elk River Alliance, and led community-based water monitoring (CBWM) and education programs.  Ayla strives to empower her fellow community members to care for their watersheds and feels CBWM projects and citizens have an important role to play in guiding decision-making. She holds a BSc of Earth Science from the University of Calgary. 


Jason Gravelle, Director

Jason has lived in Grasmere and has worked in the Elk Valley for most of his life. He was formerly an environmental technician for Nupqu Resources and has about eight years of experience in water quality and data management, as well as many years of working with fish and wildlife. He is currently enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan and plans on getting his in renewable resources to further a current career at Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it (Tobacco Plains Indian Band) in the Lands and Resources Department. He spends his time outdoors with family, whether it’s in the beautiful mountains in the Elk Valley or at the clear lakes in the South Country.


Kevin Atherton, Director

Kevin moved to Elkford in 2001 with his wife and three sons. The sons have since adulted and moved away; he and his wife are currently enjoying retirement. He is a mining engineer by education. During the latter five years of his employment with Teck, he was working on addressing water quality issues, specifically with respect to management of calcite downstream of the mining operations. Kevin likes to be on a bike; his idea of a good time is to pack everything onto a bike and take off for a couple of weeks, biking and camping on remote roads and trails.


Nic Milligan, Director

Nic grew up in the Elk Valley. He retired in 2020 from the mining industry where the last, and most satisfying, years of his career were spent building relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Nic caught the first fish of his life in Coal Creek, an important tributary of the Elk River, with found line and lure tied to a broken hockey stick. He was seven years old.