My wife Annebeeke and I have been calling Salt Spring our home since 2007. Our two children Emily and Wynn were born here, and we plan on continuing to raise them in this truly special part of our planet.
Born in 1975 in West Germany, I grew up during the Cold War. Our emergency services were extensive and designed to cover scenarios like chemical and nuclear warfare on a scale that is hardly imaginable today. I was drawn to those environments early on and served in several fire departments and disaster response units from the age of 15.
My professional career began as a MARS officer in the German Navy, graduating from Munich Military University with a degree in Educational Sciences. I came to Canada in 2004, and soon decided to stay. Initially living in Vancouver, I started a construction company that specialized in concrete work for high rise construction. Since 2009 I have been building international cannabis businesses, bringing two of them public.
As a Canadian Citizen since 2015, and I am grateful to be part of our diverse, progressive and peaceful people.
What brought you to the area?
We believe that Salt Spring is the best possible place to raise our children.
What one thing about Salt Spring would you tell someone who has never visited the island?
Come for our annual Apple Festival or the Fall Fair to get an authentic Salt Spring experience.
If you could change one thing about Salt Spring, what would you change?
I would bring the Organic Golf Course with all its sheep back.
Which well known person, living or dead, do you think would be a good addition to the island?
Chris Hadfield. To constantly remind us that our earth is small, round and vulnerable.
What do you think the number one community issue on Salt Spring Island is right now?
While our population has been continuously rising over the last few decades, our infrastructure and governance is stuck in the past. Young families can't find affordable housing, businesses must leave the island and we struggle to retain professional services like doctors and nurses.
At the same time, our environment and our way of life are endangered like never before. We see busloads of day tourists, record droughts and dramatically increased tanker traffic, to only name a few of the issues. Our island needs to align its vision for the future, so we can as a community prepare in the best possible way for what is ahead of us.
Which elected position are you seeking?
Fire Board Trustee
Why should Salt Springers vote for you?
- I understand the operations of fire and emergency service;
- I have been managing large scale construction and infrastructure projects;
- I have experience with board oversight and large budgets;
- I am familiar with the special character and the specific needs of our island;
- I will dramatically lower the median age of the Fire Board and
- I'm here to stay, and I care.
Is there a really good interview question we should have asked you?
Is there a risk of foreign interference at the 2019 Salt Spring Fire Board Trustee Election?
How would you have answered your question?
Good news: Absolutely not. Nobody outside of Salt Spring Island really cares how we structure and manage our fire service. We are completely on our own.