Board of Directors
Meet the team of dedicated people who help make Abbotsford Agrifair "The Best Little Country Fair"
Bob Street, President
I was born in Edmonton, Alberta and grew up in Innisfail, Alberta - Home of the Daines Rodeo- relocated to BC in 1974 . I started working for the PNE in 1979 as a member of the jump crew. Twenty three years later I was volunteering as Chairman of the Pacific Classic Horse show and my PNE work title was then Venue Operations Coordinator. Being involved with horse shows and rodeos for forty years I feel I have a great appreciation for all equine disciplines and can help create a Horse show and fair our guests will be excited to see.
I am self-employed, self-motivated, and am pleased to meet the obligations and time commitments required for this volunteer position. In the past ten years, I have missed only three Agrifair meetings, as I feel that Agrifair is worth the commitment of my time and efforts. I commute from Coquitlam to Abbotsford on a regular basis to be involved with the fair. Agrifair has an incredible legacy, and I believe - with your support - a bright future in which to we can be proud.
Ernie Silveri, Past President
Occupation: General Manager, Western Hatchery
I live and work in Abbotsford and have been the General Manager at Western Hatchery for 29 years. I’ve been a director on the Abbotsford Agrifair board since 1997. My roles have included President, Past President and Chair of several committees including the VIP Lounge and Sponsorship. I have seen many changes over the years and feel things are only getting better. I am proud of the direction the fair is going and growing. I believe Agrifair is in a growth spurt, with growing pains attached. I feel that with my strong committee ties, experience with the business community and the fair, as well as my ability to connect with sponsors and City enables me to serve Agrifair well.
Stephanie Nelson – Vice President
Occupation: Executive Director of the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission.
I have been with the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission for 14 years and a part of the Agrifair Board of Directors for 6 years. I have strong ties to agriculture as I was raised on a chicken farm and now work in the chicken sector. I consider myself an Ag advocate. I love Abbotsford! I work and live here and think community involvement is so important, especially community involvement that showcases where food comes from! I love serving your community in this capacity where I can contribute my unique perspective from my own experiences in the Agriculture field.
Bethany Hill - Secretary
Hello my name is Bethany Hill
I have been coming to the Abbotsford Agrifair with my Family since I was a small child the animals and rides were always my favorite part. Since about 2009 I have been an exhibitor/ competitor in the Open Horse Show, In 2015 I started to volunteer with the horse shows at Agrifair and have been involved ever since.
Now along with sitting on the Agrifair Board of Directors for 2020/2021 I am also a member of the Abbotsford Agrifair, Chilliwack Riding Club, Horse Council of BC, and Langley Riders Society where I am the current Promotions Director and former Rodeo Queen, Cowboy Obstacle Challenge coordinator and Assistant to the Show Director.
I am a Dairy Herdsman at Corners Pride Farms in Chilliwack and have a deep love and appreciation for Agriculture in BC I think it's very important that Agrifair gives people a chance to learn about where all our food comes from, and how much care goes into producing it.
I look forward to helping with and enjoying many more years of Abbotsford Agrifair.
Mike Woodard- Treasurer
I am the associate national director of FamilyLife Canada, a non-profit organization committed to bringing help and hope to marriages and families. I have a long history of serving and holding executive positions on boards ranging from condo, church, soccer, and riding association boards. I am a father of four and grandfather of two. I enjoy being active, cycling, and backpacking top the list.
What sold me on the fair was seeing families having so much fun together. What a great family and community event! I am glad to be part of it.
Cindy Rowell -Director- FVAFMA
Originally a "City Girl" Cindy, her husband (Dave) and their two daughters (Krystal and Jennifer) moved to the "City in The Country" to live the best of both worlds.
Cindy has a passion for giving back to her community, and a desire to make a positive difference in the city through the many volunteer hours that she dedicates to a variety of local organizations. Her passion for Heritage and History in the community is what drew her to become involved in a fair that dates back more than 100 years. Cindy has sat on the Agrifair Board for many years and is also the Education & Media Coordinator for the Fraser Valley Antique Farm Machinery Association, and President of the Matsqui Community Hall, as well as an international lecturer, instructor, and event facilitator.
“I am proud to be involved with this organization that gives back to this community in such a unique way. This year the Agrifair Board of Directors and Staff are working hard on all kinds of new and exciting ways to entertain and educate the community. We are driving to entertain you at this year’s event, so be sure to mark your calendar and attend the inside out parade! "
Armand Herie – Director
A little about myself. I have lived in Abbotsford for 30 years after moving from Manitoba. When in Manitoba I was a Scout leader for 4 years and received a letter of thanks from Scouts Canada for my work in establishing a new scout group in the city of St. Boniface.
I also received a commendation from the Mayor of the city of St. Boniface for my work in the community.
I currently work as a Supervisor at the Abbotsford Mission Recycling plant.
After my 35-year career with CN Rail, I worked several years at Tradex in Abbotsford. I held a few positions there including Duty Manager, this gave me an opportunity to develop my customer service skills, both with the public and Show Management. I had worked at Agrifair as a contractor during the last several years managing the Gates.
I have been active in the community doing volunteer work and chairing Parent Teacher Committees, coaching rugby, baseball, and badminton.
I believe my years of experience will serve the board well, should I be given the opportunity to serve.
Gwen Settle – Director
Gwen Settle was born in Dartmouth, NS, lived much of her life in various parts of Ontario, back to Nova Scotia, briefly in Calgary, then back to Ontario again until finally moving to British Columbia in Sept 1983. Abbotsford became her home in August 2000.
Gwen’s background is just as diverse as her moves. After serving as a Naval Operations WREN in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Cold War in a trade classified as Top Secret, she has worked with a cattle breeding association, a wine & spirits agency, and a couple steel plants – just to name a few - including running her own freelance legal secretarial business for several sole practitioners in Vancouver for more than a decade. She has done bookkeeping, payroll, proofing, secretarial, human resources, and administrative work.
Active in the community, she was the “face” (or rather “The Hat”) of the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market for over 17 years. She is Treasurer of Matsqui Community Hall, a board member of Agrifair, President and Acting Treasurer of Friends of the Abbotsford Libraries, and a long-time member of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce (including serving on the Agriculture Committee). As of May 2021, Gwen is the Content Coordinator of the Mountain Neighbours magazine here in Abbotsford.
She is a past Hospitality Chair for Operation Red Nose and was quite active in the Abbotsford branch of Optimist International. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Abbotsford Branch #15, and is a registered speaker with The Memory Project (part of Historica Canada).
Gwen has a special bond with her granddaughter and participates in many of Gwen Jr’s activities. A lover of music and dancing, she tries to get to Suburban Swing in Abbotsford as often as she can. Reading, movies, enjoying the company of good friends – all are special pleasures which further enrich her life.
Lili Krause – Director
I have lived in Abbotsford most of my life and grew up on a small hobby farm. We had many different animals from a horse, dogs, cats, rabbits and even a few chickens. Our family often attended Agrifair and I have great memories of rodeos, rides and all the great fair food! I have volunteered at the Agrifair LEGO® exhibit for the past 8 years and it has been such a great community event. Spending time volunteering in the community has always been valuable to me. I have been on local Parent Advisory committees at several public schools as vice president, secretary and events coordinator in Abbotsford, been a group leader at girls club, helped with costume and set design in schools and worked with a number of non-profit organizations to put on large events. Past experience being part of Event Coordination teams include BC Western Games, BrickCan, Pioneer Girls, AbbyLUG, and the Agrifair LEGO® Exhibit. I currently run my own business organizing LEGO® Brick Building Workshops and providing learning support to a BC Distributed Learning program.
I hope to use my years of event planning experience to help make this year's fair one to remember. I love being able to give back to our community and am looking forward to helping celebrate our wonderful city this summer at Agrifair!
Joanne Smid- Director
Hello!! My name is Joanne Smid and I have lived in Abbotsford for over 35 years. I love the diversity of our city. There really is a lot of things to do here....you just have to look.
I have owned my own hair salon for the past 18 years. My first was “Anne’s Hairstyling” and when I moved to a new location, I changed the name to “A Captured Look Salon and Spa”. I am a chair rental-based salon and I love helping women own their own businesses.
I have been the secretary of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion for over 9 years. I find that quite rewarding.
A few years ago, I decided to volunteer at the Agrifair. I have attended every year for many years and decided to help out. I am enjoying being a part of such an amazing event that has been going on for so many years and is an important part of Abbotsford’s history. I have been on the Agrifair Board of Directors since 2019.
Graham Vanstone - Fair Manager
First, I want to thank the Board of Directors for the opportunity to be a part of the Abbotsford Agrifair. My first experience with the Fair was back in 2009 when I was the Treasurer for four years. In the years that followed, I served in various non-board roles. I have spent more than 20 years in the Event / Tourism Industry, working with some of the largest and most well-known events and facilities. It is my honor to be the Fair Manager of the "Best Little Country Fair.
I look forward to making 2021 an event filled with fun and excitement.
Jhammi-Leigh Gunnerson – Agriculture Coordinator/Office Assistant
Having a passion for events at a young age I knew It would be something I would want to do as a career. I have worked with Ridge Meadows Home Show for 10 years as the Student Program Coordinator and Staging Supervisor. I have also spend time working on weddings and other smaller scale events. I knew I wanted to further my career, so I recently completed my education in Event Planning . This has brought me to the Abbotsford Agrifair this will allow me to continue my career and pursue my dream of being an Event Planner.
Sara Gildemeister, Agricultural Coordinator
On Maternity leave, return in 2022
If you have any questions about our board of directors, please contact us.