There are so many people who have contributed to the Sunshine Coast Trail project over the years – building and maintaining trails, building huts, advocating for land and forest protection, offering financial and in-kind donations, helping to publicize the hiking trail, using and spreading the word – it is truly a community effort. But here we’d like to recognize the unique contributions of the board of directors – several of whom have been serving since the beginning of qPAWS in 1992.

2023/4 Board (`12 members)

Jesse Newman, President

Jesse began volunteering in 2016, became a Board Member in 2017, and took on the role of President in 2020.  Much of the credit goes to Eagle Walz for getting Jesse actively involved, advocating, and volunteering for qPAWS and the SCT.  Jesse wishes to continue the incredible dedication and tradition of qPAWS’ co-founders and other highly influential board members who have contributed over the last few decades.

Eagle Walz

Eagle Walz: Past President

A Co-founder of PRPAWS, Eagle has spent the past 25 years nurturing and actualizing the dream of the SCT through countless hours of planning, advocacy, public relations, meetings, negotiations, correspondence, as well as trail and hut building and maintenance.

Scott Glaspey

A Co-founder of PRPAWS, Scott has spent the past 25 years nurturing and building the dream of the Sunshine Coast Trail. Known for his great sense of humour, and his tireless trail building and maintenance, he’s also the official camp cook.

Anna Akkerman, Treasurer

Anna Akkerman moved to Powell River in 2022 but has been hiking in the qathet region for many years .  She assumed the role of Treasurer in 2023 and works alongside Jocelyn Waltz, the qPAWS’ bookkeeper. Anna and her family have been working their way through all sections of the SCT little by little but keep going back to their favourite places as well. She is so grateful to be able to contribute to the continued maintenance of this amazing trail.

Dave Bedry

David Bedry

Dave Bedry moved to Powell River with his wife in 2007. Since 2012 he has been helping with hut construction and trail work; he became a director in 2017. Dave views his contributions of labour as his form of tithing to something that contributes to his spiritual well-being. Many pictures of the SCT on Facebook are his.

Jim Simonetta

Jim was born and raised in Powell River. As a kid growing up Jim liked to build trails, so once he retired from teaching, the qPAWS Sunshine Coast Trail crew was the perfect fit. He thoroughly enjoys the trail building, hut/outhouse construction and the awesome camaraderie of the crew.

Jim Stutt

Jim Stutt: Builder

When you visit the huts along the SCT, it is Jim’s vision that greets you. Jim designed the huts, improving and tweaking each one as they were built. He supervised the building of all the huts and has also spent countless hours building and maintaining trails.

Keith Laughton

On and off, Keith has been involved with qPAWS since 2014, when he did a solo trek of the trail’s 180km over 10 days.  An avid international trekker and backpacker, the Sunshine Coast Trail helped inspire Keith to abandon his nomadic ways, and put down roots in qathet.  Wearing many hats with during his volunteer tour of duty, Keith has been involved with the coordination of the Marathon Shuffle, joins the trail and build crews whenever his paid job permits, and works backstage to ensure protection of the world class SCT for future generations. He says, “Volunteering with qPAWS not only offers the opportunity to shape and improve one of the best hiking trail experiences in the world, but it also allows being part of a team of incredibly talented volunteers who share the same passion for hiking and forest preservation.”.

Monty Tyrwhitt-Drake

Monty Tyrwhitt-Drake: RESEARCHER

Co-founder of PRPAWS,  remembers thrashing around in wet salal looking for trail routes for what became the SCT.  Monty has been a strong advocate for the trail over the years, providing invaluable research to promote and protect the SCT as well as the environment in general. Monty admires John Clark and Ardea herodias fanini.

Tom Koleszar

Tom was born and raised in Powell River and returned after a long study and work career to retire in the community. Tom spends a lot of time in the local backcountry and started volunteering on the SCT in 2018. After a few years of enjoying both the trail and construction work he joined the board in 2021.

Ean Jackson

Ean was introduced to the PRPAWS team in 2003 when he and some pals tried to be first to run the 180km Sunshine Coast Trail non-stop. For years, he promoted the trail from afar. Since moving to Powell River in 2021, he’s taken on the tasks of managing the Marathon Shuffle and this website.