Our Team and Board
Michele Chapman, Executive Director
Michele was a new Mission resident when she first joined MESS as an Adopt-a-Block volunteer in 2015. Since then, her passion for environmentalism and community led her to coordinate a couple of community clean-ups of the forest surrounding the Mission library. Since moving to Mission, she has actively volunteered and worked on various community projects including a community garden, a social enterprise working with people previously homeless, as well as serving a year as a member at large on the MESS Board. As a mother of two young boys, Michele believes in the power of community and that you must be the change that you wish to see in the world. As a Mission resident, she sees the beauty in our town's outdoors and wants to see it conserved for the next generation.
Jennifer Walton, Assistant
Jennifer has been a Mission resident all her life and currently studies Global Environmental Systems and Biological Science at Simon Fraser University in the Bachelor of Environment program. Throughout her education, she has had the opportunity to work with environmental non-profit organizations in both British Columbia and abroad. Her experiences of interacting with community residents and advocating for sustainable systems at a local and regional level have resulted in a great passion for community sustainability, particularly for her hometown of Mission. Jennifer is working towards becoming a community planner and hopes to specialize in environmental planning, with the goal of developing sustainable and resilient communities.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Margaret Clifton, Chair
I volunteer with Mission Environmental Stewardship Society (formerly the Mission Adopt-a-Block) because I believe that education will help us create a litter-free future, and I believe that a clean, litter-free environment is a basis for a healthy eco-system, a cornerstone for community beautification, and a helpmate for community pride. Inspired by those beliefs I have been picking up litter in Mission for upwards of 17 years, joined the Board as a Director in 2004 (or 2005), became the Treasurer in March of 2008, and assumed the position of Chair in March of 2016.
Norma Favero, Secretary
Norma is a homemaker, mother of one beautiful daughter, and an occasional knitter. She has been with MESS for about 3 years. She started as a volunteer, following the example of fellow knitter Margaret Clifton. With Margaret’s encouragement Norma started attending board meetings and later joined the board, despite the fact that she did not know what her duties would entail. The passionate and encouraging staff and board members make it easy to keep participating and learning. Norma has always been concerned about the environment and being a member of this society allows her to help.
Elke Katzenbach, Treasurer
My name is Elke Katzenbach. Almost 20 years ago in 1997, I became a member of MESS (then known as the Mission Adopt-a-Block) after recognizing how badly littered the streets were. My husband and I decided to take an active role in addressing the issue and started picking up the litter on a regular basis. In April 2012, I retired and needed a new “job”, so I became a Member at Large on the Board of Directors. As an organization, I hope we can motivate our fellow citizens and bring awareness to how much better our city is by taking care of it together.
Kati Sagi, Member at Large
In 2015, I was invited by board member, Elke Katzenbach, to join the board, since I was already volunteering with the Mission Environmental Stewardship Society (at that time the Mission Adopt-A-Block). I have lived in Mission since 1983 and worked for a Financial Institution for 25 years. Environmental and social issues were always an interest and concern for me, so when I retired I thought, volunteering would be a way to get involved, help where I can, and hopefully make a difference. Since my retirement I have volunteered for the Mission Adopt-A-Block (now MESS), Mission Senior Center Health and Wellness Group, The Gorilla Gardeners, Mission Folk Music Festival, and Mission Tourist Info Center.
Lisa Reist, Member at Large
I first became involved in the Society's anti-litter program approximately 6 years ago, through conducting Litter Audits and painting garbage barrels for the city with my elementary class. Since that first litter audit my involvement with the Mission Environmental Stewardship Society has grown to where my class has been involved with Jr. Bug Club and assisting with decorating/attending Society Xmas Candle Light Parade floats, gave a presentation as guest speakers at the 2014 AGM, adopted Griner Park as a school and we are now partnered up with MESS's new school grounds program. My daughters have also been involved in volunteering for the Society through their schools. I enjoy the enthusiasm I see in the students when they are cleaning up our environment. They are performing such great citizenship work and having a fun time, too. I am very excited to be a board member. I look forward to being a part of future expansion into the school programs and the new youth program. I also look forward to helping the Society expand its community litter abatement education programs and community clean up events.