2009 Directors Nominations

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Free Geek's Board of Directors provides legal and financial oversight to the organisation, along with other opportunities for service.

  • Candidates can nominate themselves before or during the AGM.
  • Nominating someone else is permitted as well, before or during the AGM.
  • Candidates will have a chance to speak at the meeting and attendees will get to ask them questions.
  • Candidates are selected by consensus.
  • Directors' terms are one year, and incumbent Directors may run again.

If you are planning on being a candidate at the 2009 AGM, please tell us a bit about yourself below, and notify the General mailing list with a link to your info. Please note that you will need to subscribe first in order to email the list.

Perhaps you'll want to provide a bio, resume, or links to present/past projects. You may want to reveal your superpowers, or charming Achilles heel.

You may also speak to these questions if you like:

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board?
  2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?
  3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?
  4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.
  5. Current occupation and/or employment.


Thank you for your interest in helping the Geek!


Alec Smecher

I have been volunteering with Freegeek once a week for something approaching two years, instructing builders and helping to steward the build program. If you've been in on a Thursday you probably know me. I'm a committed environmentalist and computer junkie, and believe that Freegeek is a wonderful chance to reconcile the two passions, which are more than occasionally at odds. I enjoy working with people and teaching about technology.

My day job is as an open source software developer and believe strongly in the potential of FOSS.

As a board member I will work towards improving the work environment at Freegeek, both for staff and for volunteers. I will work to build connections between staff, volunteers, and the board, and as an active volunteer, I will promote the transparency and openness that has always been a key part of Freegeek's successes. I will do my best to make sure that some of the ongoing chaos and clutter at Freegeek is addressed systematically. I believe that Freegeek's ongoing success depends on a happy, healthy, and organized work environment.

You may find out more about me (both authorized and unauthorized) by Googling my name.

Ashley Stevenson

I'd like to join the Free Geek Board of Directors because I care strongly about the organization, it's health and direction, but especially because I believe I can affect positive and necessary change. In particular I want the chance to build frameworks with the staffing community to facilitate professional relationships and a productive working environment. Additionally, I'd like to be a highly-visible and approachable director whom staff and volunteer alike feel comfortable talking to if difficulty arises.

In my personal life I have made a number of commitments to sustainable living and try to serve as an example within my other communities. I am a proponent of Free and Open Source software, having used Ubuntu since early 2005. For several years it has been my OS of choice.

My involvement with Free Geek extends back to when we were living in our prior space, near Science World. This living history with The Geek gives me a rare vantage point which I hope will bring insight helpful to our future directions. Though I have been less visible in the past year, I have maintained a close eye on the mailing list. Regardless of my success at becoming a Director you'll see me around, if you haven't already. I am coming out of the woodwork! :)

Monica N. Danon-Schaffer

While I am unfortunately unable to attend the AGM, thank you for considering my candidacy for Free Geek's board of directors.


1. What is your interest in joining the Board? Continuing to help Free Geek in expanding their worthy services to the community. I very much would like to extend my experience and skills to furthering Free Geek's mission, while helping the organisation navigate the challenges ahead.

It truly is an organization to be admired, due to many reasons, a few which I will highlight here: integrity, ethics, honesty, and transparency - pillars of their organization; characteristics in short supply today. This ties in directly with Free Geek's efforts in the region to re-use unwanted equipment, rather than allow it to be prematurely wasted. This kind of conservation is the highest form of recycling; such an initiative urgently needs to be supported and promoted as a clear strategy for e-waste and harm reduction. Alternatives such as precipitate smelting, landfilling or incineration are markedly inferior.

It is imperative to educate the public about the perils of continuing with planned obsolescence in our high tech society. This is where Free Geek is well-placed to educate the community about the urgency of fighting pollution, decreasing greenhouse gases and gadget consumption, in addition to raising the bar for electronic recyclers in the region.


2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?

I have followed Free Geek’s (Vancouver) operations almost since their inception. I first met them in person at the Recycling Council of BC annual conference where they made a presentation.

Over the last 2.5 years I have written letters of support for funding applications (Vancity Envirofund being one of them); crossed paths with Free Geek at industry conferences going back to 2006; provided research data for grant applications; and attended Free Geek's BAN talk at SFU.


3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?

  • Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) - Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board for BC and the Yukon (CEAB). Member Director CEAB.
  • Assoc. of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. (APEGBC) - Chemical and Environmental Engineering Registration Review - Member
  • APEGBC - Advisor – Roster Steering Committee Applications Sub-Committee
  • APEGBC Licensed Site Professional Program
  • APEGBC Investigations Committee
  • Engineers-in-Training and Geoscientists-in-Training (EIT/GIT) Seminars, APEGBC. EIT/GIT Online Reviews
  • Academic Outreach Program, APEGBC, Sea-to-Sky Branch. Member.
  • Division for Advancement of Women in Engineering and Geoscience (DAWEG) Mentoring Pilot Program, BC - Mentor
  • Battered Women, Triage Society, Vancouver, BC
  • Beauty Night Society, Vancouver, BC.
  • Shelter Shindig, North Vancouver, BC


4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service. My research focus is on previously unanswered questions regarding how these compounds (BFRs) reach the environment, how they are being transferred from waste streams to air, water and soil, and how they are transported to distant locations, such as the Arctic.

Extensive professional network; entrepreneurial experience; public speaking ability; experienced in the computer recycling industry and sophisticated about Canadian e-waste issues; enthusiastic; committed to public service, mentoring experience, sense of humour and active lifestyle, HR experience, creative.


5. Current occupation and/or employment.

Chemical engineer - principal engineer at URS Canada, an international engineering services company


6. Professional bio

I earned my M.Eng. Civil/Environmental Engineering in 1993 at the University of British Columbia and her B.Sc. Chemical Engineering in 1988) at the Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City.

After practising engineering for many years, I have returned to university to work on my PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC. I'm completing my thesis on the fate and transport of brominated flame retardants (PBDEs-Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers) leaching out of electronic equipment and furniture, to determine inputs and outputs, waste streams, environmental occurrence, and ultimate accumulation in the Arctic (it is thought that PBDEs are just as toxic as PCBs and should be substituted. Waste electronic equipment is considered the biggest solid waste management problem facing the planet right now.) Because of the applicable nature of this research, I ran an electronics recycling company based in Calgary (36ZeroWaste Group Inc.) starting in 2007 with 4 other partners.

With 15 years of experience, I've specialized in environmental site assessments throughout the American continent, including due diligence, compliance and waste audits, impact assessments, site remediation; environmental forensic investigations; and project management on local and international projects. I am a part time lecturer on environmental forensics in the Centre for Forensic and Security Technology studies department at BCIT, have published studies in environmental forensics, and perform investigations in this area.

My research was aired on BC’s Knowledge Network, The Leading Edge Series in February 2007 – the segment is viewable online anytime. It is called “ctrl+alt+delete”.

I was awarded the 2003 Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) - Manulife Financial Scholarship Award for excellence in the engineering profession and to support advanced studies and research; the 2004 Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation – Claudette Mackay Graduate Scholarship in recognition of efforts to promote engineering as a career to young women by acting as a role model for the profession and for exemplary work in the field of engineering; the 2005 SCS Engineers Scholarship Award for Solid Waste Management (SWANA), and most recently the 2005 Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) Scholarship which recognizes excellence in doctoral students in waste management research and education.

In addition to being a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) and Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon, I have been an active member on CCPE’s committee of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) for BC and the Yukon since 2001. I was named to the Environmental Appeal Board of BC (November 2007).

I returned to work in June of 2008 while finishing my PhD thesis, and am currently a Principal Engineer at URS Canada, an international engineering services company.

Boris Schaffer

I look forward to putting my name forward for Free Geek's 2009 Board of Directors.

Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?
  • Since 1992 I have been involved with Rotary. I have been on the board of the Vancouver Arbutus Rotary Club for several years, and have held the positions of secretary and currently president-elect.
  • Currently I am actively involved in supporting the Voices of Nature School Program, led by Holly Arntsen. This educational program inspires children to become aware of environmental and sustainability issues. [1]
Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.

I believe that my previous experience as a business owner of: an e-waste recycling company (36Zero Waste Group), insurance (Hamilton Insurance Services Inc.) will serve the board well.

Current occupation

President of Hamilton Insurance Services Inc.