Chad Hughes, Interim Executive Director
BSc Environmental Science
Exploring and learning about this amazing river has been a passion ever since I swapped the Outback deserts for the mountains of the Kootenays. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to use my skills and experience to protect the place we fish, float, and live. I feel the community has a huge role to play in environmental conservation and through the ERA I want to help citizens and visitors of the Elk Valley safeguard the river on which we work and play.
Beth Millions, Restoration Ecologist
MSc Environmental Science
Whether paddling the rapids in the Elk River canyon or sampling the benthic invertebrate populations in one of its many tributaries, I feel most at home when I am outside and near the water. I work to combine my passion for the outdoors with my background in scientific inquiry and education to help protect wild spaces. Working with ERA has been extremely gratifying and varied; our work involves everything from reclaiming eroded stream banks to educating youth on aquatic ecosystems to developing a flood strategy for the Elk Valley. There is never a dull moment with the Elk River Alliance!
Kaileigh McCallum, Junior Ecologist
MSc Biodiversity and Conservation
A long-standing passion for nature and a desire to understand it drives me in my need to protect the Elk River watershed. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring my enthusiasm for environmental conservation to a community with such a strong connection to its rivers and a love of nature at its heart. By continuing to learn about our watershed, and encourage others to do the same, we can foster this incredible connection to it and ensure the health of our rivers for future generations.
Stephanie Hirn, Administrative Support
I've lived in the mountains and small communities my entire life, and have called the Elk Valley my home since 2018. My background is mainly in Administration and Bookkeeping, and with over 16 years of experience in the administration side of business, I really enjoy what I do. When I am not working, you'll find me rappelling off a mountain I just climbed, on a multi-day trek where every ounce weight was carefully considered, if you switch your avalanche transceiver to search, you might find me in the backcountry touring, or look up in the sky as I might be flying with the birds, and on occasion I'll go explore a cave and of course as most residents do, floating the Elk River to relax from life's adventures.
Lee-Anne Walker, Founder & Senior Advisor
MA Environment and Management
As a nature-based tourism guide, environmental educator, and interpretive naturalist, I see the Elk River as the connector of all life. Water is a unifying element bringing together community resident’s, industry, agencies, and visitors who want to collaborate ensuring healthy water is a legacy worthy of inheritance. Whether paddling, fishing, swimming or drinking from my well water, the Elk is part of my life-blood. I want to channel my professional and local knowledge into a water decision-making process that is informed, active, and thoughtful.