The CDI team brings a breadth of knowledge and experience, and shares a commitment to working with communities, all levels of government, industry, business, the non-profit and voluntary sectors, and other researchers, to understand and realize the potential of BC’s non-metropolitan communities.
The core staff team at the CDI is complemented by Student Research Assistants and Volunteers, who assist the CDI while gaining community and economic development work experience; Faculty Associates, who are involved in specific projects based on their areas of expertise and research interest; and by Community Associates, who apply specialized skills and knowledge to the benefit of CDI projects.
Office: New Lab Building 8-141
Greg Halseth is a Professor in the Geography Program at the University of Northern British Columbia, where he is also the Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies and the Co-Director of UNBC’s Community Development Institute. His research examines regional development processes, rural and small town community development, and community strategies for coping with social and economic change, all with a focus upon northern B.C.’s resource-based towns.
At the Community Development Institute his work has included a wide range of community-based studies in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal places, the creation of a community transition toolkit, a large number of services studies looking at the needs of youth and seniors, housing research, a number of economic and community development studies, research on the voluntary sector and community capacity issues, and the Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project. Currently, Greg is part of a Canada-wide research study on long-distance labour commuting, which examines the impact on individuals, families, and community organizations of having a family member working for long periods outside the community.
Greg has served on the governing council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Advisory Committee on Rural Issues for the Federal Secretary of State for Rural Development, the Community Advisory Committee for the BC Ministry of Forests Mountain Pine Beetle Task Force, and other advisory committees.
Greg’s books include “Building Community in an Instant Town” and “Building for Success” which talk about rural and small town community development and community economic development, as well as an edited volume on the “Next Rural Economies” which includes contributions from 12 OECD countries. His most recent book is “Investing in Place: Economic Renewal in Northern British Columbia” which is published by UBC press.
Marleen Morris is the Co-Director at the Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Northern British Columbia. Since its inception in 2003, the CDI has worked with a broad mandate in community, economic, and regional development. As Co-Director, Marleen’s role is to develop and grow the CDI to ensure that it can continue to help build strong and resilient non-metropolitan communities and regions in BC.
Marleen brings to the CDI over 20 years experience in executive and senior management positions in the health, housing, and education sectors. She has also been appointed to several senior governance positions. Organizations she has been involved with include BC Housing, the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board (Vancouver Coastal Health), BC Winter Games, Vancouver City Planning Commission, United Way of the Lower Mainland, and the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. Marleen currently serves as Board President of St. James Community Services Society, one of the largest community service organizations in the province.
She also brings 10 years experience as President of Marleen Morris & Associates, where she worked in communities across BC helping organizations in the public, business, and non-profit sectors develop strategies for revitalization and change. Her experience in strategic and operational planning, board governance, community-based research, and facilitation add to the CDI’s capacity.
Marleen holds an MSc (Management) from HEC (France) and Oxford University (England) and a BA (International Relations) from UBC. Marleen’s research interests lie primarily in the area of multi-sectoral collaboration and change. A particular focus of her research is community and regional development. In 2008/09 she conducted a study of regional development agencies in the England, which became a paper in the CDI Publication Series in 2010.
Marleen comes from a pioneer ranching family and was raised in a small town in southeastern Alberta.
Krystin St. Jean
As the Senior Facilitator, Krystin’s role at the CDI is to work with communities across north and central BC to identify new opportunities for community resiliency and economic diversification and provide support to build capacity and help communities move strategies into action.
Before joining the CDI, Krystin was the Economic Development Officer for the Village of Burns Lake where she oversaw the establishment and operations of the Economic Development department and was tasked with creating a strategic direction for the community with an Economic Development Plan. Krystin worked to identify opportunities for the community and develop tangible goals and objectives to help the community begin to take action. Previously, Krystin was an intern through the Northern Development Initiative Trust Local Government Management Internship program and has also worked in both the private and non-profit sectors.
Originally from Burns Lake, BC, Krystin holds degrees from UNBC in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management and Northern and Rural Community Planning. Through her work in Burns Lake, Krystin developed an interest in communities in transition, the economic impact of non-profit organizations in rural communities and public administration. In her down time, Krystin spends as much time outdoors either hiking with her dog or fishing on the rivers of Northern BC with her partner.
Office: Fort St. John
Renée has many years of experience in social and economic development. Prior to joining the CDI, Renee worked as the Manager, Community Stewardship with Grande Prairie Regional College. She was responsible for the operations of four learning centres and worked with rural community stakeholders to deliver local credit and non-credit programming. Renée created partnerships with school divisions, adult learning partners and industry representatives to provide learning opportunities.
As Economic Development Manager with the Town of Hinton, she worked with business and government to identify and implement effective economic development strategies. Several initiatives focused on developing the regional tourism industry and marketing the community. While at the Town of Rocky Mountain House, she coordinated community social programs and events.
Having lived in a number of rural communities both in Alberta and British Columbia, Renée understands the struggles of small communities as well as the power of collaboration to overcome challenges and optimize community strengths.
Renée has a Bachelor Degree in Administrative Studies. A true believer in lifelong learning, Renée spends her down time exploring health, wellness and general interest learning opportunities. She also enjoys yoga, fitness classes, time with family and the outdoors.
Kaitlin Harrison joins the Community Development Institute as the Administrative Assistant. She comes to the CDI from the private sector where she has been involved in various industries. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brock University with a major in Political Science. At Brock she chose to focus more on the environment and municipal governments as they were of great interest.
Kaitlin is originally from Mississauga, Ontario and moved to Prince George, British Columbia in March of 2013. She enjoys getting outdoors as much as possible and thoroughly enjoys camping and boating in the warmer months.
Dr. Neil Hanlon
Office: New Lab Building 8-136
Dr. Neil Hanlon is an Professor of Geography at UNBC, with Adjunct Faculty status in the School of Health Sciences and the Northern Medical Program. He has been at UNBC since 2001. His areas of research interests include health and social service delivery in rural and remote locations, recruitment and retention of health professionals, and community adaptations to population aging.
Office: New Lab Building 8-335
Scott Green is an Associate Professor in the Ecosystem Science and Management program at UNBC. His formal training was grounded in sustainable forest management and environmental variation. Scott is an advocate of community-based research, believing that every “place” is unique; he uses community-directed processes through long-term partnerships to identify vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies that will promote holistic resilience and “best practices” reflecting contextual uniqueness. He currently works with the Teslin Tlingit First Nation in Yukon, addressing land-management issues, and with farmers in Smithers, BC, seeking to promote sustainable agricultural practices in the face of a rapidly changing environment.
Office: TAL Building Room 10-2580
A long time community activist, Dawn Hemingway is Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Social Work at the University of Northern British Columbia with an Adjunct appointment in Community Health and Gender Studies. Her teaching and research interests include aging, caregiving, community-based research and policy development, and northern/rural health/quality of life – especially women’s health. In addition to her role as CDI Faculty Associate, she is on the Leadership Council of the UNBC Health Research Institute, Co-Director of Women North Network/Northern FIRE: the Centre for Women’s Health Research at UNBC, Co-President of the BC Psychogeriatric Association, Council Member on Northern Health’s strategic Elder Program Council, and Provincial Director for the Board Voice Society. Dawn also serves on the Steering Committee of the Northern Women’s Forum and Stand Up for the North as well as on the Board of a local women’s shelter, sexual assault centre, committee addressing homelessness and a child and youth mental health agency. In recognition of her work, Dawn has received a number of awards including the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service and the Bridget Moran Advancement of Social Work in Northern Communities Awards.
Office: Lab 8-144
Phil is an Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management at the University of Northern British Columbia. He strives to encourage ecologically sustainable and socially just communities and environments through sound collaborative research and teaching, critical analysis, and innovative practice in recreation, leisure, and tourism.
Drawing on 35 years of local government experience, Fred Banham runs Fred Banham and Associates, which specializes in local government services, programs, planning, and governance. His career has included roles in city, municipal district, and regional district local governments in both BC and Alberta. He recently retired as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Peace River Regional District, a position he took on after being the Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Tumbler Ridge. Prior to that, Fred worked in a number of Alberta rural and urban local governments.
Fred has celebrated a number of achievements and memorable moments throughout his career in local government, including: the building and opening of a $20 million aquatic centre; acting as elections officer in establishing the newly incorporated District Municipality of Big Lakes in Alberta; the creation of the ‘Big Lake Country Tourism’ marketing partnership; paying off the $38.6 million municipal infrastructure debt for the District of Tumbler Ridge; facilitating the establishment of Lake View Credit Union in Tumbler Ridge after the closure of the Royal Bank; supporting the creation of the Peace region ‘Fair Share’, industrial tax share MOU with the Province of BC; the negotiation of a 70 year Peace region ‘Legacy Fund’ program with BC Hydro; and the establishment of local service areas for funding infrastructure projects like the Dawson Creek Multiplex, the Tumbler Ridge paleontology museum and research centre, and the UNESCO Aspiring World Geopark, to name just a few.
Fred is currently working on industrial benefit agreement initiatives for the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako and has also presented to the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation on the topic. He has been the vice-president of CivicInfo BC, and a past president of the North Central Local Government Management Association.
Fred believes in teamwork, professional affiliation, career training opportunities, and mentoring. When not working to help local governments and communities grow their potential, he enjoys a variety of sporting activities including hockey, camping, quading, snowmobiling, and family events with his wife Brenda, two daughters and their husbands, and three grandchildren.
Clare Mochrie specializes in strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, project management and performance assessment. Her focus is on helping clients to define their priorities and identify opportunities to maximize their reach and positive impact. Towards this end, she facilitates strategic planning processes, analyzes and develops policy, undertakes risk and impact assessments and conducts research and consultations. Clare has a particular interest in helping organizations and communities become more sustainable in their operations and impacts.
Clare has experience working in all sectors, managing different interests and facilitating communication between multiple stakeholders. She has a strong understanding of how governments at the provincial, federal and municipal level operate, how decisions are made and influenced - and how policies are developed. Clare also has experience in the academic and not-for-profit sectors and has experience working with Boards of Directors, managing volunteers and soliciting grants. She has worked at the Director level in a multinational corporation providing counsel on stakeholder and government relations. She also has experience working at the grassroots level with communities and First Nations.
Clare holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and a Masters of Planning from the University of British Columbia. She also has training in program evaluation (Canadian Evaluation Society), carbon finance (U of T) and social auditing (AccountAbility).
With 30 years' experience as a community college leader and administrator, Cathe Wishart now runs c.wishart consulting, providing strategic support to community-based institutions and organizations. Much of her work is on analyzing organizational structures and systems, and developing collaborative strategic thinking and planning. Vice President of Community & Student Services at the College of New Caledonia for 10 years, and Director of Community, Industry & Business Initiatives at CNC for 13 years before that, Cathe has extensive experience with community partnerships, bringing complex projects to fruition, and designing effective systems for smaller organizations to achieve their goals. Cathe was born in northern Ontario and raised in northern BC. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism & Political Science from Carleton University and a Master of Education (Policy & Administration) from the University of Calgary.