Vancouver – May 19. 2023 – On Saturday, the Vancouver Alpen Club held their AGM Saturday, April 29th, 2023 at 2:00 pm in the Jaegerstube. Before that, starting at noon, all members were invited to come check out the keepsakes and memorabilia in the restaurant or upstairs in the ballroom, which were available to purchase by donation. As a member of the Alpen Club, I was excited to volunteer and brought home a whole box of goodies, which included items like a plaque from Expo ’86, a replica of a San Franciso Tram and other assorted things like that. Kecia, President of the European Festival Committee, member of the German Canadian Business Association and former Superintendent of the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, was also there volunteering up a storm.
During the AGM, Justin Hoffman, President of the Vancouver Alpen Club, introduced the updated building information and then I had to leave. While I was gone, the members voted for the incoming Board and I am excited to report that Steven Seewald is now a new member of the Board of Directors! I wouldn’t have been able to vote, as my status is still “Associate Member”, which you have to be for 5 full years before transitioning to a full member. Even though the physical building is going to be torn down, the Board is still hoping to find more member who will support the club by raising funds or volunteering at events, so if you are interested, contact Steven Seewald!
Congratulations, Steven! This is the perfect opportunity to introduce the New board member and help you all get to know him.
Where were you born, where did you grow up and where did you finish your education?
I was born in Vancouver BC from Austrian parents as the middle son of three brothers. All my education was in British Columbia where I completed a trade qualification as a Carpenter Journeymen, a degree in Environmental Engineering, and continued on to study a Masters of Science in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene at UBC
How did you get involved in the German Community as a child/teen/adult?
Our family has always been involved with both the German and Austrian Community. I began to actively integrate into this community in the mid 1990 when I joined the German Canadian Business Association. Later, I joined the Austrian Vancouver Club and the Edelweiss Dancers (Schuhplattlers). In 2016 I assisted several dancers from the Edelweiss Dancers in transitioning over to the Vancouver Alpen Club where we remain and under-group still today.
I continued my support to the Germanic Community by joining the Vancouver Westside German School as Secretary for the first year, then was elected President, a position that I hold for the last three years. I continue to support all of our clubs and associations, even when asked upon transform in to St Nikolaus on December 6 every year.
What do you do for a living and where is your company?
Employment wise, I am the President and CEO of ALARA Environmental Health and Safety Ltd., an environmental engineering and occupational hygiene consulting company that I founded in 2002. As an engineer, I have the unique ability to help clients resolve environmental liabilities and as an occupational hygienist, I assist in protecting people’s health in the workplace.
When did you become a member of the Alpen Club and what do you especially enjoy about it?
I initially began visiting the VAC in my youth and officially became a member in 2016. The VAC is a special place for me as it has been a constant in my life. It is and has been a unique and friendly place where I could experience the various different cultures from Germany and even relish their good food.
What is your position at the VAC and what are some future goals you are hoping to realize?
My current position in the Vancouver Alpen Club is the Leiter of the Alpen Plattlers Schuhplattler Subgroup and a Board Director in the overall Vancouver Alpen Club. My goals are to ensure that our club’s redevelopment will provide us a modern usable space that can effectively serve our community for the foreseeable future.
What are some future plans, besides the Alpen Club in terms of the German Community?
I have been working with the Deputy Consul General of Germany to create a Dachorganisation. Our hope is that the Dachorganisation will assist all German speaking organizations in promoting each other, the German language and culture.
What is the best way for a member of the public to contact you?
The best way contact me is through my personal email StevenBSeewald@gmail.com
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