Wellington Water Watchers Board Members
Rob Case (Chair of the Board)
Rob is the Chair 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.
Rob has been serving as Chair since Mike Nagy's retirement from the position. He says he's involved in water issues because water gives individuals and communities a concrete, shared focus -- and the motivation -- to come together, across our differences, to figure out how to create a world together that is both ecologically sustainable and socially just.
Karen Rathwell (Treasurer)
Karen is a seven-year member of Wellington Water Watchers and the current Treasurer. She believes that there is no more important legacy to leave our grandchildren than abundant, accessible community water. Water is more than a “resource to be managed”. It is different, something sacred, a part of each of us. It is a human right and while it’s our time here, we each have responsibility to defend water locally and globally for the generations that follow.
Karen brings her enthusiasm for life and her love of water to her volunteer work at Wellington Water Watchers. She joined WWW, and later stepped up to serve on the Board of Directors, after her retirement from a 28-year career in public education. She continues to pursue her interest in local and global water issues. She speaks about water stewardship to service, environmental, church and professional groups and presents to school groups at all levels.
One of Karen’s primary goals, in her volunteer role with WWW, is to encourage more to join this water journey. She 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.
Freshwater is every person’s rightful inheritance, not a commodity to be traded on the global market for profit or a “resource to be managed”, but a sacred gift. This rightful inheritance brings with it responsibility, to protect this life giving resource for future generations.
Susan Glasauer (Member at Large)
[more information coming soon]
Sequoia Kim (Member at Large)
Sequoia recently graduated from GCVI. She is passionate about water rights, human rights, women's rights, and youth empowerment, to name a few. She has spoken at various events representing youth in Guelph and loves volunteering,
Recently, she joined forces with her best friend to create an entirely youth-led group called Artsy Activists: through this group, she have been able to network and mutually learn with various organizations, activists, artists and community leaders. Notably, Artsy Activists held the "Keep Families Together" rally, led the Guelph Walkout against changes to our sex-education, and silk screened "Water is Life" t-shirts, an Indigenous water protection campaign. She is connected to a constituency of youth, who are aware, and who care. Those voices will be elevated, and put into action.
Tamanna Kohi (Member at Large)
Tamanna Kohi has been dedicated to environmental advocacy from a young age, spending most of her childhood outdoors. What started as passion for nature turned into a Bachelor of Environmental Science/Studies (BESS) from Trent University in 2016. Tamanna's experience in social and environmental justice as a previous Board Member for the Kawartha World Issues Centre has motivated her to be a better steward of the Earth and waters for the generations to come. After volunteering with the Wellington Water Watcher's campaign "Water for Life, Not for Profit," Tamanna was nominated to be a Member at Large in late 2016.
She says it has been an incredible experience, as being part of the WWW Board, to meet and work with so many people who educate, advocate, and celebrate for the waters, since these values overlap with the values of the rare Charitable Research Reserve, where she works as the Development and Communications Officer.
Rob Mackay (Member at Large)
Rob is an organic vegetable farmer in Elora, ON. Indeed his farm, MacKay Farms, is located on Middlebrook Road just a short distance from the well recently purchased by Nestlé. Rob grew up in Kitchener and has an Honours Business Administration Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. A passionate environmentalist, he has planted nearly a thousand trees on the farm and created many pollinator friendly areas for bees and bluebirds.
Rob believes passionately that water should not be owned by a private company. Aquifers are running dry and still we are shipping water out of the watershed. In addition the pollution from water bottles is killing the planet in general and the oceans in particular.
There are environmental challenges that will take time to fix, but this is not one of them – we should quite simply stop bottling water NOW.
Susan McSherry (Member at Large)
A long-time resident of Guelph-Eramosa Township and graduate of GCVI who went on to earn an M.A. before pursuing a career in business, Susan believes in social justice, environmental advocacy & the protection of potable water for all people as a fundamental, common, human right.
Having worked with Wellington Water Watchers during GETconcerned's campaign against a proposed float glass plant that would have used 1.6 million litres of water every day for up to thirty years, Susan learned just how able, skilled and committed WWW is to helping grassroots groups organize and build winning campaigns, but also realized the power of people to effect positive social & political change when the proposed heavy industrial development was stopped.
Joining the Board of WWW will give her the opportunity to continue advocating for the environment while working with and learning from an organization of engaged individuals whose mission to protect our precious water is the critical & increasingly urgent work of our time.
Sylvia Pivko (Member at Large)
Sylvia is committed and supports all efforts that pay attention and reverse for profit use of our scarce water resources. Through serving on WWW Board she brings her extensive advocacy skills to our water crisis both locally and beyond.
Sylvia immigrated to Canada from Venezuela, grew up in Montreal and makes Toronto her home. Retired in late 2017, she was Executive Director of three not-for-profit organizations. Her career has had a significant focus on system change through partnership, collaboration and integrated planning. She has served on several local, Provincial and National Boards of Directors of community based not for profit organizations. In addition, she established positive relationships with (7) First Nations and Indigenous communities in Ontario.
Staff of Wellington Water Watchers
Arlene Slocombe (Part Time Executive Director)
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. Arlene, her partner, and two children learned a great deal about water stewardship living a simple off grid life along the banks of the Eramosa River just southeast of Guelph. While collecting the water that she and her family drink from a spring that bubbled from the ground by her home, Arlene had the privilege to viscerally experience the sacred nature of water that sustains all life.
Mike Balkwill (Campaign Director)
[more information coming soon]
Meghan Clout (Campaign Assistant)
[more information coming soon]