Board of Directors
CBAL's Board of Directors is committed to literacy and lifelong learning and provides outstanding leadership to the organization. The board reflects the vast geographical region CBAL serves and the complex partnerships that allow CBAL to work efficiently and effectively in the Columbia Basin and Boundary communities.
Allison Alder - Chair
Chair, School of Academic Upgrading and Development
Allison is currently living and working in Nelson. She enjoys her work and the opportunity to pursue her favourite passions: service, learning, leadership and her first love, biology. She is in awe every day of the courage, tenacity and appreciation for learning that is apparent in the learners, instructors and volunteers she works with. She finds her work both humbling and inspiring.
Allison spends her time away from work playing, cooking, exploring, reading and engaging in conversation with family and friends. She has participated in many community initiatives - youth movements, literacy, community development and sports.
Allison came to the Kootenays in 1990 moving to Nakusp and teaching at Selkirk College as an ABE instructor. She became a literacy tutor in 1993 working at that time with Project Literacy West Kootenay, a precursor to CBAL. She thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity to work with literacy learners and relished the chance to work further with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy.
President, Elk Valley Métis
Jean Sulzer comes from a Métis lineage that is deeply rooted in the Red River and in recent generations, southern Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, she has a depth of understanding about Métis identity, Métis history, as well as the challenges and social issues facing Aboriginal families.
Jean has extensive experience in volunteering for not-for-profit agencies as a workshop facilitator, coordinator of healing projects and as a board member. She has many areas of interest including small business (paid work), economic development and Elk Valley community leadership. Jean lives in Fernie, where she met her talented husband while skiing 25 years ago.
Principal, Laurie Middle School
David Standing has spent 18 years as an educator, teacher and administrator at all levels from Kindergarten to Grade 12. David has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. He was a literacy coordinator while teaching in Fort Vermillion, Alberta where he established an interest in this area early on. David also has experience in the area of Special Education which provides a unique perspective to the challenges many learners face. David currently lives in Cranbrook with his wife and three children. He has kept his allegiance to the Edmonton Oilers.
Linda was an elementary school teacher in the Revelstoke district for 35 years. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria and has taught many ages, but most of her experience was as a teacher-librarian and Kindergarten teacher. Linda was lucky to work in a new school with an Early Learning wing dedicated to making connections and developing the best early learning practices. Over the years, she enjoyed the benefits of CBAL programs in her class, seeing firsthand the impact these fantastic programs had on her students and families in the community. She was very honoured to receive a Champions for Literacy Award in 2018.
Linda has been a member of the Revelstoke Early Childhood Development Committee and has sat on the Board of Directors for the Revelstoke Community Foundation for many years. Now that Linda is recently retired, has time to commit to another board. She is excited to be a part of the CBAL team as it gives her a chance to continue her interest in promoting the importance of literacy and lifelong learning. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband in Revelstoke. Linda is enjoying having more time to take advantage of all of the opportunities that Revelstoke has to offer, including downhill and Nordic skiing, mountain biking, the arts community and just being able to relax with a good book.
Jack Moes - Treasurer
Dean of Trades and Technology
College of the Rockies
Jack Moes joined College of the Rockies in September 2015 as Dean of Trades & Technology. His portfolio includes the college's Upgrading for Academic and Career Entry and Education and Skills for Employment programs. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in instruction and administrative roles at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. Jack and his wife Catherine much enjoy their new life and community in the East Kootenay. You might see them at craft fairs and markets around the region with art pieces based on Catherine's photography and unique mixed media style. Their five adult children and their partners are spread from Victoria to Quebec City.
Retired, last as Manager of Community Reinvestment and Corporate Responsibility
Current preoccupation: Farming
Kathleen Gabelmann’s work life included stints at the following: forest fire suppression; planting trees and silviculture contract management; commercial fishing; research, writing, editing and teaching at the University of Victoria (UVic); developing, directing and managing projects at UVic’s Institute for Co-op Studies; developing and managing a community reinvestment initiative at Northern Savings Credit Union (headquartered in northwest BC). The latter included establishing a range of community and regional partnerships, some committed to building and promoting opportunities for increasing literacy, especially financial literacy, and others focused on encouraging and supporting early years learning.
Since retiring from gainful employment in 2010, Kathleen has been renovating her home in rural Grand Forks, rehabilitating her small orchard, establishing gardens, and learning how to shepherd her flock of sheep. Kathleen qualified as a CBAL tutor in early 2012 and volunteered as a tutor for several years. She is a past director of the board of the Kettle Valley Food Co-op and of the Grand Forks Credit Union. She loves to read, eat good food, and finds time to do other things too.
Realtor, Coldwell Banker Rosling Real Estate
Owner, Railtown Coffeehouse
Karen has a very diverse work background ranging from biologist to farmer to publisher. She and her husband owned several small independent newspapers in the South Okanagan before returning to their roots in the Kootenays. Back in Nelson, Karen worked for Black Press as a Publisher and Regional Sales Director. It was during that time that she began her relationship with CBAL. She proudly has a CBAL Champion of Literacy award, that is shared with her husband, sitting on her office desk. Upon leaving the publishing world, she continued to sit on Nelson’s Community Literacy Planning Committee.
Now as a realtor and small business owner, she is thrilled to expand on that relationship as a part of the CBAL board.
Strongly believing in the need to give back, she has served on various boards, as well as volunteering for various sports and associations. Karen is currently sits on the board of directors for three other organizations: Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism and the Rotary Club of Nelson.
The mother of three adult children, Karen enjoys gardening, hiking, playing hockey and a good glass of red wine.