Who we are

Ann Mortifee CM (President, Founder and Chair)

Ann Mortifee is an internationally known singer, composer, playwright and producer. As a keynote speaker, she has addressed conferences on the topics of health, ecology, creativity, women's issues, and the arts. She is CEO of Eskova Enterprises Ltd., Jabula Music, Mabela Music, Jabula Records and Eco Initiatives Inc.

Ms. Mortifee was honoured with the Order of Canada and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and she has served as Chair of the BC Arts Council and several other charitable organizations.

With her brother, Dr. Peter Mortifee, she co-founded the Somerset Foundation, a private charitable foundation committed to "a better world through strategic philanthropy".

Ms. Mortifee has lived on Cortes Island, B.C. since 1999.

Ron Bazar, B.Com, MBA (Founder and Vice President)

Ron Bazar was educated at McGill University (B.Com) and Harvard (MBA), and has spent many years as a small business manager, entrepreneur, and consultant to both large and small businesses, including manufacturing, import and export, software and retailing.

He is CEO of WorldBuyDirect.com, an innovative, e-marketing Internet business encompassing all major industries that enables both large and small producers to sell directly to businesses and consumers worldwide. The site encompasses over 1200 stand alone industry and country-specific web sites, all interconnected. In addition he founded and manages Arbutus Arts of the Gulf islands, a woodcraft production company located in Tiber Bay on Cortes Island; a community he co-founded which is the inspiration for the model furthered by the Trust.

John Blaxall (Secretary)

John Blaxall is a development economist from the UK, who spent most of his career at the World Bank, based in Washington D.C. His experience there included long periods working on rural development and low-cost water and sanitation, with a focus on encouraging poor communities to identify and solve their own problems. He is especially familiar with countries in South and East Asia, and in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Since retiring, he has undertaken consulting assignments and a variety of volunteer activities, including service as president of the World Bank's retirement association, and as president of a foundation established by the World Bank to facilitate charitable giving by its staff in countries around the world.

He and his wife are part owners of the first model to be rezoned into the innovative Community Land Stewardship zone on Cortes island, the project from which was birthed the Trust for Sustainable Forestry.

Dr. Peter Mortifee (Treasurer)

Dr. Mortifee is the President and a founding member of the Somerset Foundation, a charitable organization involved in various activities related to social justice, health, education and environmental sustainability. Through Somerset, he is active with numerous charitable organizations where his input and interest relates primarily to organizational governance, structure, strategic policy development and financial sustainability issues.

Previously, he spent twenty five years training, practicing and teaching as a medical doctor. Following a medical degree at the University of British Columbia and a multi-year Internship in New Zealand, he became a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has experience working in both the public and private health care sectors. He has since relinquished his Clinical Assistant Professorship with the Department of Medicine at U.B.C. and retired completely from his medical practice.

In addition to his work with the Somerset Foundation, Peter and his wife Nancy offer a practice in Mindfulness & Intimacy through their enterprise Mortifee Training to individuals, couples and groups. They live in Vancouver and Naramata B.C. and between them they have four daughters.

David Butterfield (Founder and Director)

The founder and President of The Trust for Sustainable Development, Mr. Butterfield is also the President of one of Vancouver Island's largest development companies. He is committed to developing examples of sustainable communities and sustainable buildings. In 1995-96, he directed the planning and creation of the Community of Civano, a sustainable community of 2,400 homes in Tucson, Arizona. Subsequently, Mr. Butterfield founded the Loreto Bay Company and the Villages of Loreto Bay, an 8,000-acre sustainable community currently under development in Loreto Bay, Mexico. Other projects include the award-winning Shoal Point condominium; a 425,000 square feet mixed-use development fronting the Victoria harbor recognized as Canada's most advanced sustainable building.

Mr. Butterfield is committed to integrating in-depth environmental, economic and social analyses with the realities of real estate economics, making him one of the world's prominent experts in sustainable community development.

Doug Stables, BSF, MBA, RPF (Director)

Mr. Stables earned an undergraduate degree in Forest Resources Management from the University of British Columbia, a Masters of Business Administration from Royal Roads University and is registered with the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals.

Mr. Stables is also Vice President of the Canadian Institute of Forestry, President of Global Strategy Inc., a management consulting firm focused on sustainability initiatives, and Associate Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University in Victoria British Columbia.

Mr. Stables has been a strong advocate of environmentally sustainable practices for the past 15 years; his focus has been in forest industry and small business. He believes in and strongly supports capacity building for First Nations groups and education and training initiatives that create and support environmentally sustainable practices.

Merv Wilkinson (Honorary Member)

Merve WilkinsonIn 1938, when Merv Wilkinson established Wildwood, his philosophy of forest management was based on the idea of sustainability. These principles were sharply different from common practices of the day. Over the years his management has been influenced by scientific insight, intuition, experimentation and experiences, including those of the many visitors from around the world. Sixty years of ecoforestry have illustrated that the forestry practiced at Wildwood has not decreased the productive capacity of the forest, or put ecosystem function at risk. Now Wildwood is widely recognized as a model for ecoforestry. It has become a learning site for those wanting skills in ecoforestry, and is often used by college and university students as a site for field studies. Merv has been very generous in sharing his knowledge and experiences with others and over the years he has taken thousands of people through his forest.