Our Team

The Rural Development Institute (RDI) is a regional centre of excellence in applied research and information provision focused on strengthening rural communities in the Columbia Basin Boundary region of British Columbia. The RDI is supported through a partnership between Columbia Basin Trust and Selkirk College. The RDI is funded by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) through an 8-year partnership agreement. Selkirk College supports the operation of the institute through its infrastructure and specific capabilities, including the Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development (RIC) who serves as the RDI Lead Researcher.

DSC_9751Terri MacDonald is the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development and also leads the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute.  Terri holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia, and M.A. in Policy and Administration from the University of Calgary, and a B.Sc. and B.Ed. from Lakehead University.  [More]

Sharon Stoddart – Projects & Communications. Sharon has had a history of working in Chartered Accountant firms ending that career as an Insolvency Administrator with KPMG in Vancouver. Moving from the Lower Mainland to the interior, she joined the staff of Kootenay School of the Arts as the Marketing Coordinator responsible for school and program marketing, recruitment, events, alumni relations and extension programming. [More]

LaurenLauren Rethoret – Researcher: Water; air quality; climate; infrastructure; housing; demographics; research advisory and data provision services. Lauren Rethoret is a full-time researcher with the RDI, working primarily in the environmental and economic pillars. She holds a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management (with a specialization in land use planning) from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography (with a specialization in globalization, society and the environment) from Carleton University. [More]

NadineNadine Raynolds – Researcher: Recreation; heritage; culture;
arts; education and learning; civic engagement; safety.
Nadine Raynolds is a part-time researcher working with the RDI. She is an organizer, facilitator, and educator with nearly 20 years of experience working with environmental and social change organizations, from small community-based groups to national non-profits. Nadine has a BSc in Environmental Science and an MA in Environmental Education and Communication. [More]

Sarah-Patricia BreenSarah-Patricia Breen – Project Coordinator and Researcher: water; infrastructure; climate change; economic development; research advisory services.  Sarah is a doctoral candidate in Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, and has a Masters in Geography from Memorial University and an BA (honours) in Geography from Lakehead University. Her work experience includes the public and private sectors, as well as academia. Her research interests include drinking water, energy generation and transmission, and all things rural. Sarah serves as a board member with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. [More]

Lawrence PerepolkinLawrence Perepolkin – Web Developer. Lawrence Perepolkin, a Kootenay country local, completed Computer Information Systems and Technology at Selkirk College and went on to the University of Victory to complete a BSc in Computer Science. Over the last 25 years, he has worked through out Canada and the United States as a computer systems analyst and software developer. At the RDI Lawrence summarizes survey data, enhances web sites and maintains computer servers. [More]

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