Board of Directors

ICSC is currently in development.  Until such time as ICSC is turning a profit, all directors will work on a volunteer basis.

Ian Gartshore – Founding Member and President

Ian Gartshore founded and led non-profit Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island for fifteen years, passionately helping educate Islanders about energy efficiency and advocating for Island generated clean energy as well as spearheading the formation of Island Community Solar Coop.  Ian was also a driving force in the development of Nanaimo’s first car sharing enterprise (Nanaimo CarShare), which was later acquired by Modo.  He holds a diploma in electrical-electronics from BCIT and owns an energy efficiency company called Shore Energy Solutions, Ltd.  Ian is also a marriage and family therapist, a community animator, cyclist, champion of a healthy Earth, and lover of life.

Tim Benoit – Treasurer

Tim Benoit is a retired forest industry tradesman who has been interested in alternative building technologies and renewable energy systems since the 1970’s. A long time member of co-ops since his youth in the Prairies, he is enthusiastic to to bring those principles to assist in bringing solar electricity to Vancouver Island communities. Having been a volunteer tax preparer and investor for many years, he will bring financial experience to ICSC.

Don Giberson – Secretary

Don is a professional life and business coach and President of DreamCrafters, Inc., a global training and coaching company. He is also a Community Engagement Facilitator and founder of Transition Nanaimo, a local social enterprise which is helping prepare Nanaimo to be a sustainable, resilient and thriving community in the lower-energy, post carbon future that is coming. Transition Nanaimo is part of the global Transition movement, which has over 1,400 Transition communities in 50 countries. Don is also a volunteer instructor with Vancouver Island University’s Elder College where he teaches a course on “Global Challenges, Local Solutions”.

Trent Whaley

Bio to come


Volunteer Members

Scot Merriam

A founding member of Island Community Solar Co-op, Scot is a mechanical engineer with a BASc from UBC and 35 years of experience in the wood fibre/chemical processing, energy and municipal infrastructure sectors.  In 2007 he launched SRM Projects Ltd. to pursue the development of renewable energy projects and has managed and engineered many developmental hydro power, wind power and tidal power projects as well as completing community energy and emissions plans for various BC First Nations.  He also worked for Viridian Energy Co-operative as their special projects and safety manager, developing core management and safety systems to allow the coop to grow to its next level.   With the help of a volunteer panel of subject matter experts, he assembled a comprehensive small solar PV system installation specification to support Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island’s Solar PV Demonstration Program as well as BC consumers and industry.  Scot’s mission is creating community wellness and he is a strong supporter of social enterprise, gladly using his technical and business skills to help develop Island Community Solar Co-op.

Kurt Fischer

Kurt earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA-Finance from the University of Illinois. After a 20-year career in corporate finance roles and entrepreneurship, he chose to work in the non-profit world. In particular, he wrote business plans for, helped found, and then manage two carsharing organisations: Hourcar in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota and, later, Nanaimo CarShare Cooperative, which after six years of independent operation merged in 2017 with Modo Carshare. Kurt’s desire to contribute to the community, his long-held feeling that deriving power from the sun seems just so plainly sensible, and his appreciation of the cooperative model brought him to ICSC. Today Kurt practices and teaches Tai Chi, helps Modo manage its Nanaimo fleet, with two brothers manages a long-time family farm in central Illinois, keeps up with nutrition and diet science, grows leafy greens at home, hikes, kayaks, and does his best to enjoy all Vancouver Island and Canada have to offer. Kurt and his wife Laurie immigrated to Canada from the US in 2009, by far the best joint decision they’ve ever made! He became a Canadian citizen in 2015 and especially appreciates that, for the first time in his life, candidates for whom he votes actually are competitive—sometimes even victorious!

Kalie Gossen

Kalie Gossen has been a member of Island Community Solar Co-op since its inception.  She has an MSc in Molecular Biology and works for the Federal Government as a Patent Examiner of biotechnological inventions.  She has lived in Nanaimo for over five years, settling here to be near family. Kalie is passionate about speeding up the transition to renewable and green energy in view of climate change, as well as improving self-sufficiency in local communities and the use of cooperatives to improve equity.  She has a solar installation on her home and looks forward to having solar energy become more affordable and accessible to all.