NEAT staff live and work in the communities we serve. We each strive to be leaders in our field and we are committed to being knowledgeable about the local environment. Each staff member brings a distinct skill set to their position which sets NEAT ahead of the rest.

Executive Director

Karen moved to Fort St John in the November 2007 and explored much of the city on foot, children in tow. Growing up she learned that recycling, composting and water conservation are part of our responsibility to provide a better environment for the next generation.

The seven years she has worked with NEAT has solidified her belief that environment and economy can coexist in a mutually respectful relationship. Karen has worked extensively analyzing stewardship/EPR programs within the province and has started food security programming that takes place throughout the region. She truly identifies with this quote from Albert Einstein “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” She tries to incorporate this wisdom into all of the programming she designs.

Karen went to Trent University, where she got a BAHons in International Development Studies and Cultural Anthropology. She completed her Master’s Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo in 2014 and is looking forward to the next challenge.

ASHLEE PURCELL • Bookkeeper/NEAT Finds Manager

Ashlee joined NEAT in 2016 and brings a strong financial background to our team. She co-owns a consignment store with her Mom in Vancouver and has been living a reuse based lifestyle for years before joining our team.

SUSAN MCGARVEY • Education Coordinator

Susan is a passionate educator who grew up in Indianapolis and taught remedial reading in Pohnpei before moving to Fort St John. Susan loves working with pre- and elementary school aged children and their families to inspire positive actions. She is often seen in local schools teaching about food security, consumerism, waste reduction, and recycling. She is a passionate advocate for education and sustainability.

KRISTY DE VUYST • Community Outreach

Kristy moved to Rolla, BC just north of Dawson Creek in 2012 to buy a farm with her family. Their goal is to create a sustainable, waste free life where her kids are an active part of producing the food they eat by milking goats, collecting eggs, gardening, and spending lots of time outdoors every day.

She is passionate about reducing the waste in her home by using cloth, glass and reusable products, making her own green cleaners, soaps and canning and she loves long walks in the forest with her goats.

Kristy graduated with a Diploma in Geomatics Engineering from BCIT in 2005. She went on to take courses in Survey Law, and Cadastral studies. She also studied English Literature, Ethnobotany, Cultural Anthropology and Archeology at OUC in Kelowna and is very interested in history and homesteading.

Emily Kitchin • Community Outreach

Emily has joined the team at NEAT. She has returned to Fort St. John after a year back in her home country of Australia.

Emily is passionate about Green Living and strives every day to make better choices for the environment. She loves long hikes in nature, cooking with fresh produce and reading lots and lots of books.

Emily looks forward to working in the community, learning how you want to make a change and incorporating that into her own Green Living experience.

Karen’s Articles

Ashlee’s Articles

Kellye’s Articles

Kristy’s Articles

Emily’s Articles

NORTHERN • Where we live and work.

ENVIRONMENTAL • What we care about.

ACTION • We don’t just talk, we do!

TEAM • We work together to reach our goals.


NEAT is a non-profit group dedicated to helping residents, schools, and businesses of Northern British Columbia live greener lives. NEAT primarily provides environmental education, but also assists organizations and institutions to develop strategic plans for reducing waste and conserving resources.

NEAT was formed in 1989 as a volunteer community group with the original mandate to lessen the environmental impacts of the local waste-stream. Since then, NEAT’s mandate has expanded from our original focus on solid waste reduction to encompass all aspects of the urban environment with the broader goal of developing sustainable communities.

NEAT is an award winning organization with a very positive public image. As a grassroots, not-for-profit organization, NEAT enjoys strong community support. This is demonstrated by public participation in its environmental education initiatives. NEAT’s programs are designed to inspire personal involvement and engagement, while fostering sustainability our communities.