Meet the Board
Gordon Tate, President
Gord spent his early career working in recreation in Northern BC and HRM. He owned a kayak outfitting company before landing in the Municipality of Chester for the past ten years as the Active Living Coordinator. In this position, Gord tries to inspire and activate citizens, and create a culture of physical activity that is supported by the built environment and policy changes that are needed to sustain the change.Gord has an unwavering belief that recreation is essential – for individuals, families, and communities. With RNS he will use this belief to advance the awareness and value society places on recreation as a means for social connection, appreciation of the natural world, and path to personal wellness.In Chester, Gord takes the lead on event planning for community runs/walks, bike rides, and hikes. He writes and edits the Municipal Recreation Guide which is used as a platform to spark citizens’ curiosity to explore our community, and to highlight the importance of recreation in our lives.He has been one of the developers of Steps to Connect - a program that helps citizens align their personal values to recreation opportunities in their communities and craft personal and social connections to activities that are meaningful, enjoyable, and attainable. He has also contributed to the creation of the South Shore Active Communities’ children’s outdoor play modules.As a member of RNS, in the past Gord has served as Program Committee Chair, Conference Chair, and a presenter. In 2018 he also served on the Provincial Recreation Organization review panel, which provided him with an invaluable window into the successes and challenges of the PRO community.He has served for several years on the NSFM Active Transportation Committee, and the NS Connect provincial management team. He currently volunteers on the Board of Our Health Centre in Chester and is logistics lead for the annual QEII Foundation’s Ride for Cancer.Lastly, Gord thinks his family is cool and doesn’t understand why more people don’t play bike polo.
Heather Kelday, Past President
After a 15 year long voyage working in the fields of experiential and outdoor education, Heather is still pushing the boundaries of her own journey at the helm of the Nova Scotia Sea School as Executive Director. Heather’s adolescence summer camp experience led her to pursue a career in outdoor recreation and she attended Lakehead University where in addition to mastering a variety of technical skills in paddling, climbing, hiking and winter travel, she also obtained a Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation and a Bachelor of Natural Science and proceeded to obtain a Bachelors of Education in 2005. In her 6th year as Executive Director for the Sea School, Heather is interested in increasing participation outdoors and facilitating networking opportunities for the outdoor professional community. In 2014, she chaired the 6th Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium conference in Atlantic Canada and has participated in the Outdoor Advisory Council for over a year. She brings a unique perspective on risk management and program planning through her work at Sea School and in the field of experiential education.
Mark Muise, VP Finance
Mark has over 20 years experience as a professional accountant and takes pride in being a good steward of the resources of not-for-profits. Mark is also an advocate of inclusive recreation for everyone regardless of the abilities they possess. Mark enjoys many recreational activities such as running, lawn work and especially pick-up hockey.
Misty James, Vice President of Monitoring
Misty returned to Municipal Recreation as Community Recreation Coordinator with Yarmouth Recreation 10 years ago after being employed in the IT field for several years and is excited to be part of the recreation community. She has a passion for the outdoors and especially enjoys working with youth In leadership development. She has been involved with synchronized swimming at a provincial level for the past 25 years as a coach, evaluator and director of the provincial team program. Her spare time is spent both outdoors and in; kayaking, fishing, boating and hiking or crafting and gaming. Whatever it is, it is always an adventure.
Clare Steele, Recording Officer
After a six year career as an Elementary Education teacher, Clare returned to her Recreation roots 3 years ago as the Recreation Coordinator in Westville. Clare brings with her experience working with youth in a variety of areas including onboard Disney Cruise Line as a Youth Activities Counsellor. Clare’s passion for youth and community development are always at the forefront of her work and she is passionate about empowering youth to live an active and balanced life. In her spare time Clare can be found teaching yoga, paddling, or on a nearby trail with a couple of four-legged sidekicks.
Britt Vegsund, Director At Large (2 year)
Britt Vegsund is a physical activity promoter with a passion for research and learning outdoors. As the Project Lead for the Nova Scotia Active Smarter Kids Pilot, she is currently working with 6 elementary schools on the South Shore of NS to pilot a physically active teaching and learning method that was developed in Norway. The project aims to increase children’s daily physical activity levels, engagement in learning, and sense of belonging in school through fun, active lessons that take place primarily in the schoolyard.Britt is a strong believer in the power of collaborating across sectoral lines and knows that healthy communities flourish when everyone has a seat at the planning table.Transplanted from the west coast of BC, Britt has worked in the recreation sector in NS for the past four years.When not at work, Britt can be found sailing the Nova Scotian coast, hiking and cycling with her family, or planning her next big adventure.
Josh Kennedy, Director At Large (2 year)
Josh Kennedy is the Village of Bible Hill Parks and Recreation Director. Growing up in Cape Breton, Josh spent a lot of time in the outdoors. He spent a lot of time fishing, biking, and playing soccer and hockey as a child. Josh has worked in the recreation sector in NS for the past 10 years. Prior to becoming the Director in Bible Hill, he has worked in both Municipal Recreation in Colchester County and the Private Sector as a Recreation Director with Shannex. When not at work, Josh can be found playing or coaching hockey, golfing, snowboarding, kayaking, hiking and cycling with his wife and two boys.
Jeannine Faye Denny, Director At Large (1 year)
Jeannine is from the community of Eskasoni, the largest Mi'kmaq community in Nova Scotia. She is passionate about recreation and using it as a tool to support her community's wellbeing with a strong interest in improving the mental health of children and youth. A well respected leader in her community, Jeannine readily shares her knowledge of Mi'kmaw traditions with all those she encounters. When given the opportunity to personally recreate, Jeannine enjoys working out at the gym in her free time.
Mike McIsaac, Director At Large (1 year)
Mike is currently working as the Recreation Program Supervisor at the Canada Games Centre and has close to a decade of experience working in community recreation. He was a Physical Education Teacher for five years and also spent a year working in the Halifax Regional School Board’s Health Promotion Department as the Sport Animator facilitating partnerships between schools and the surrounding communities to help increase the amount of opportunities available for students to be physically active. Mike is passionate about offering youth the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences aimed at maintaining a physically active lifestyle and providing them with a framework for active, healthy living that is challenging, rewarding and fun.
Kevin Waters, Student Director At Large
Kevin Waters is a Recreation Management student in his second year at Dalhousie University. As a member of the joint degree program at DAL, he is able to learn skills in both the recreation and management sides of the field. Kevin is from Hubbards, Nova Scotia where he has been a member of the Chester Recreation and Parks Department Team since the summer of 2015. The first 2 summers in Chester were spent as Summer Staff where he facilitated programs for youth in his community. Since May 2017, Kevin has worked for the Chester Recreation Department as the Summer Manager. In his new role, Kevin plans the summer programs and activities and coordinate the summer staff accordingly. Kevin is also a coordinator for the Dalhousie Recreation Orientation, which provides a friendly camp experience for first year Dalhousie Recreation students to become engaged with their fellow classmates. Finally, Kevin’s love of sport has brought him into the Recreation field. He now currently is an avid gym member and is a volunteer assistant coach for the South Shore Sledge Sharks, which is a para ice hockey team located in Bridgewater. Kevin hopes to use all these experiences and his time at Dalhousie to pursue a career in Recreation post graduation.