West Kootenay EcoSociety has hired a new Executive Director, Montana Burgess, who starts on May 10. Burgess brings a decade of organizing and organizational development to the West Kootenay EcoSociety.

“I’m looking forward to working with our community to achieve a future with clean air, water, and land, while supporting healthy food, green jobs, and thriving wild places,“ said Burgess.

Burgess’ passion for her work came from growing up in a low-income family that ran a community coffee shop and roasting business in Kamloops, BC.

“I didn’t have the opportunities other kids had because of our financial situation. I knew what fairness and equity meant at a very young age. I’m very motivated by social justice. I also know the value of vibrant community because of my parents’ commitment to support organic, fair-trade and local foods, and to support local artists and activists at our coffee shop.”

Burgess hopes to build on the work of out-going Executive Director, David Reid, to refine the programs and advocacy of the West Kootenay EcoSociety and build additional capacity, working with the staff, Board of Directors, and members.

“My vision for the West Kootenay EcoSociety is to lead on advocacy for the Kootenay region using community organizing, strategic communications, and a dedication to community relationships with leaders and our grassroots to deliver successful community projects and programs. The EcoSociety has proven our ability to organize around key environmental issues and take on important challenges,” said Burgess.

“I’m very excited that we’ve hired Montana as our new Executive Director. Montana has been our Community Organizer for the past year, and I am excited to see her lead our great community work on conservation, climate and food issues in the West Kootenay,” said outgoing Executive Director, David Reid.

West Kootenay EcoSociety’s Annual General Meeting takes place on May 12 at 6pm at Expressions Café in Nelson. The community is invited to the meeting to sign-up as members and meet the new Executive Director.