Meet the Board of Directors
Current Vacancies: Vice-President
If you have a few hours a month to spare and you are interested in one of the vacant positions or in assisting a director,
please contact info@StrathconaNordics.com. Your time and participation would be greatly appreciated and valued!
President – Berend Henckel
Berend has been involved with our club for several years. He moved to the Comox Valley from Alberta and lives with his wife Sarah and two children, Annelies and Hugo, in Courtenay. In his spare time, he works part-time at the Campbell River Hospital as a physiotherapist. Berend discovered cross-country skiing when he moved from Holland to Alberta in 1985. His athletic background includes gymnastics (national level), tennis (provincial level), triathlon (multiple Ironman races), and speed skating. Berend is passionate about cross-country skiing, as it is the perfect sport that will keep you fit for life. Berend hopes to contribute to our club for many more years to come and his ambition is to strengthen the competitive aspect of our club, while realizing that this has to come from a solid base, in the form of our Rabbit Skill Development Program.
Past President – Len Apedaile
Len was club President for over 15 years and counting. Len also sits on the Cross Country Canada Events Committee where he represents Canada on the FIS Cross Country Rules and Control subcommittee and is vice chair of the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Nordic Skiing Sport Technical Committee. Len is a level 5 cross country official and a licensed FIS and IPC Technical Delegate and currently does event officiating assignments at National and International level FIS and IPC events. Len has been the chief of race for three IPC World Cups and the Paralympic Winter Games and was the Cross Country Sport Manager for the the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In his spare time, he is a dad and husband and works as a consulting forester in Black Creek.
Vice-President – currently vacant
If you have a few hours a month to spare and you are interested in one of the vacant positions or in assisting a director, please contact info@StrathconaNordics.com. Your time and participation would be greatly appreciated and valued!
Secretary – Wendy Johnstone
I joined the SNSC in 2012 when my daughter, Carly started the JackRabbits program. I am currently taking on the role of Secretary with the club and have, in past, volunteered with local races. Carly is currently in the Juniors program (although she still gets to ski at Midgets for one last year - her favourite race of all time!) while Mom does her best to simply stay upright on her skis. I’m a fairly beginner nordic skier and in dire need of some lessons. This could all change when I sign up for the Masters program!
I grew up in Ontario where there are no mountains; however, there is freezing cold sunny seasons. I used to snowshoe every year with my university programming and when visiting my family friends in Iroquois Falls. When we moved to the Comox Valley, we started off snowshoeing but then saw how much fun all the nordic skiers were having and literally bought skis the next week. I love being in nature, I love winter (so long as I’m dry and warm) and I love being challenged physically. Skiing provides all of this. Being able to do this as a family is the cherry on the cake and I have a dream of taking Carly to Switzerland or Denmark and skiing hut to hut or village to village.
I have my own small business and I love being a parent. When I have any other free time, I love cycling and travelling (preferably, together), watching movies with my family, reading and cooking.
Treasurer – Crystal Gaudry
I am new to the position of treasurer with the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club. I am a regular race volunteer and have started taking my race officials training courses to be more knowledgeable about the racing side of Nordic skiing. I started Nordic skiing about 5 years ago with my family and immediately loved it! My son Rory races with the Strathcona Nordics Junior race team and my husband Jim is a coach for the Devo Program, so you will find us at the lodge most weekends during the busy ski season. In my life away from the ski trails I am a high school teacher in the Explore Program, an outdoor education program in the Comox Valley.
Membership Director(s) –Jeff Fretts
Jeff is a new board member and has been with the club since 2012. As an assistant program coordinator and Bunny Coach, Jeff has learned to nordic ski along side his two children. Nordic skiing has become such a rewarding way to spend the winter months, enjoy the outdoors, maintain an active lifestyle, and stay in shape for bike season! Jeff with his wife Zita, have recognized the true value in both the programs and the members of the club – such a great community – we look forward to seeing you on the trails!!
Coach Development Director– Marilyn Atkinson
Marilyn organizes and administers coach certification and coach credentials and assists with coach recruitment. She has skied at Mt Washington since 1984, been a member of the Strathcona Nordics since it’s beginnings, and a club coach since 1997. Marilyn has been a cross country skier for 50 years, involved in racing most of that time, and enjoys everything xc - Dryland training, keeping fit skiing, cycling, hiking, kayaking with friends, and Loppet racing. Outside skiing she is a physiotherapist, and Mom to Sylvia, an SNSC Junior Race Team alumnus, and married to John.
Communications Director and Recreational Programs Portfolio– Lynn Swift
Lynn Swift joined the Board of Directors in October 2013. She has been with the club since 2004 when her oldest daughter joined the Bunny Rabbit program. Since that time, she has been a Bunny and Jack Rabbit coach and general volunteer for many events. She is a parent of 3 children, Maya, Alexander, and Naomi, who all started as Bunnies and continued on as racers with the Devo and Junior teams. Lynn and her husband Neil were beginner Nordic skiers when they joined the club and have since participated in the Recreational Masters Program and Masters Race program. Lynn is a teacher in the Comox Valley School District. You will find her enjoying the many outdoor areas of the valley and beyond, running, mountain biking and hiking. You may even find her roller skiing now and then.
Sponsorship and Fund Development Director – Heather Clarke
Heather and her husband, Hardolph Wasteneys first visited Mount Washington in 1991, while Heather was 7 months pregnant with their eldest child, Freya. While Hardolph enjoyed the unique BC terrain (with lots of steep hills), Heather enjoyed the scenery and good company. That happy memory among others aided the decision to move west from Toronto in 2002 with 3 kids (Freya, James, and Avalon then ages 5, 7 and 11). Shortly after moving, the whole family got involved with Strathcona Nordics, when all three kids became involved in rabbits, the adventure program and eventually went on to race competitively. With the kids now grown Heather is contributing to the SNSC Fund Development, using her background as an athlete (Olympic rower, varsity-level skier), coach, instructor, parent, and fundraiser to assist the club in meeting its goals.
Club Events and Promotions Director– John Andres
John has a passion for all things snow-related dividing his time between nordic, alpine, and back-country skiing (even roller skiing) with a particular love for nordic. John shares this love of snow and skiing with his wife Joanna and son Nick - who started as a Jackrabbit back in 2002.
John has been on the Board of Directors since 2013 and has enjoyed sharing good times and great achievements with the other Directors - recommending it highly to anyone who might consider joining in the fun. In addition to his regularly assigned duties, John also 'works' part-time for the SNSC as Director of Fun.....look for a Twoonie event up at the Raven Lodge this winter."
Skill Development Program (SDP)- Coordinator Jennifer Winter
Jennifer has been volunteering as the Skill Development Program (SDP) Coordinator since 2017, overseeing the Bunny Rabbit & Jack Rabbit programs.
Cross country skiing entered Jennifer’s life in her early 20’s while living in Calgary. She fell in love with the sport at the Nordic Centre in Canmore and even got engaged on the trails there!
Jennifer and her family lived in Ottawa for several years and were active members of the Nakkertok nordic ski club in Cantley, Quebec. When they decided to move back to the west coast in 2016, they chose Comox so they could continue to ski as much as possible and immediately joined the SNSC.
Jennifer has completed the Introduction to Community Coaching as well as the Community Coaching courses. In addition to her coordination responsibilities, you will see Jennifer on the trails coaching the youngest members of the club.
Athlete Development Program – Berend Henckel
See comments above regarding Berend.
Competition & Officials Development Director – Len Apedaile
See comments above regarding Len.
Recreational and School Programs Portfolio– Lynn Swift
See comments above regarding Lynn.