Being on the Board of Directors of the Wellington Water Watchers was one of the most important and rewarding experiences in my life. It proved what I, and my community, are capable of when we commit ourselves to achieving a more sustainable future. – Kimberly Gutt (Past Board Member, 2012-2014)
Arlene Slocombe has been actively involved and committed to the work of the Wellington Water Watchers since its founding in 2007. She has been employed as Executive Director since 2009, taking a 1 1/2 year maternity leave for her second daughter. Arlene, her partner, and two children live a simple off grid life along the banks of the Eramosa River just southeast of Guelph. Here she embodies her ethics about living with a small footprint and living in connection with the land. While collecting the water that she and her family drink from a spring that bubbles from the ground by her home, Arlene has had the privilege to viscerally experience the sacred nature of water that sustains all life.
Mike Nagy is the current Chair of Wellington Water Watchers and has been involved with the organization since its formation in 2007. Environmental advocacy has been a main focus for Mike since the 80's ranging from habitat enhancement, wildlife conservation and source water protection. Mike is past president of African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Arts and Culture Eramosa, former Environment Critic for the Green Party of Canada, and past president of the Guelph Greens. He has held management positions in numerous business sectors but is most recently engaged in food systems sustainability consulting.
Mike possesses a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies. He conducted his own research for this master thesis on Eco-certification, Traceability and Labelling of Seafood in Canada. Among others, Mike has appeared on CBC The Current and TVO’s The Agenda addressing seafood fraud that is widespread throughout the supply chain.
Mike understands that without healthy intact ecosystems humans cannot expect long-term health in return.
Rob is the current Treasurer of the Wellington Water Watchers, and an assistant professor in Social Development Studies at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo. Rob has been involved in local water issues since the days when Guelph International Resource Centre (GIRC) was a key player in raising public consciousness of local water issues through a volunteer-run rain barrel building and distribution program. Combining his experiences as part of GIRC's rain barrel program and related water efficiency initiatives in the city with his academic interest in community organization, in 2013 Rob completed a PhD based on research on Guelph's social networks of water activism. In his current academic capacity, Rob teaches in the area of community organization, and is continuing his explorations of community-based water activism and social movement building through academic research and through participation in the Wellington Water Watchers.
A Guelphite of only 6 years, Jessica soaks in all things Wellington County - taking in all the local breweries, soaking up agri-tourism, and immersing in the hundreds of nature trails with her dog, Rooster. Jessica is passionate about influencing those around her to live a simple life by practicing traditional skills like making her own laundry detergent and cleaning products, canning and jarring, and eating meat that her partner has hunted for. Since 2012, Jessica has been working in communications, specializing in public relations, fundraising and event planning and management in the not-for-profit sector. What started off as an inquisitive meeting about the Wellington Water Watchers soon led to an immersed volunteer gig, and naturally she was nominated to sit on the Board of Directors. Jessica and her partner are finishing off a 5-year project of renovating and remodeling their home using only environmentally conscious, second-hand and re-purposed building materials.
Karen brings lots of enthusiasm and her love of water to her role at Wellington Water Watchers on the Board of Directors. Since her retirement from a 22 year career in public education, Karen has pursued her interest in local and global water issues. She speaks about water stewardship to service groups and presents in schools. Karen has proven to be a committed water activist and volunteer. Her first political experience ever was participation in the Wellington Water Watchers March in 2011 to Nestle’s water bottling plant in Aberfoyle. Inspired by many committed Wellington Water Watcher members, Karen continues to take an active role in Guelph’s week long water celebration and Two Rivers’ Festival
One of her primary goals in this role is to share this learning with others. She is proud to have made Guelph her home for 30 years and aspires to being a “good ancestor”, leaving behind a legacy of pure and abundant water for those who follow for generations to come. She believes this can be achieved through teamwork, commitment and a shared collective vision.
Leigh Fishleigh is a Lawyer in practice since 1991. He has an Economics degree from McGill University and an L.L.B. (Law degree) from The University of Western Ontario.
He lives with his family on the banks of the Grand River and uses well water without treatment of any kind from the land since 1995. All of his most “life giving” activities have involved clean freshwater, swimming, canoe trips, sailing, kiteboarding, even skiing. He knows clean freshwater to be the blood of life.
He believes freshwater is not a commodity or a resource, it is every persons’ rightful inheritance and comes with significant responsibility to protect for all generations to come.
Jocelyn joined Wellington Water Watchers in April 2015 as their County Outreach Coordinator. She loves learning about nature and connecting with people in the Guelph community through various volunteer work such as community outreach with Fair Trade Guelph and 10 Carden. She spent 5 years as a biologist in consulting studying and monitoring the effects of mining activities on surface water quality and biota in locations in Ontario and across Canada. Prior to consulting, she completed an M.Sc. in Toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan with an emphasis on aquatic ecosystems. Jocelyn is passionate about learning and adopting new approaches to day-to-day living that minimizes impacts on the environment, including the water we all love and need.
Kathryn has been the Secretary of Wellington Water Watchers since 2013. Kathryn has over 6 years experience in the environmental non-profit sector as a professional communicator, specializing in communications, marketing and public and media relations.
Outside of work and volunteering, Kathryn enjoys backcountry camping and exploring Ontario canoe routes.