Meet Your Council
MAYOR AL MILLER
Al Miller has been living in Invermere since 1988. He and his wife Lucy have three children and own the Invermere Home Hardware Building Centre.
Al has been very active in the business community serving on several boards and committees. He has served as Chair of the IBC (Invermere Business Committee), as president of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce for three terms, and he recently retired as President of the Columbia Valley Rockies Hockey Club.
With a passion for community service, Al was elected as a Councillor in 2008 and 2014 before stepping into the role of mayor in 2018. Al believes in a strong social, economic, and environmental balance. His goal is to help guide Invermere into the future with strong economics, good social programs, keeping the environment top of mind. “Commitment to community” is his motto.
COUNCILLOR GREG ANDERSON
Greg Anderson was re-elected as a third-term Councillor in the October 2018 election. Originally from Alberta, Greg moved with his young family to Invermere in 1992 to assume an Operations Manager position with the former Invermere Forest District through the BC Forest Service, a position he held from 1992 through 2006 in which he was ultimately responsible for the East Kootenay region. In 2006, he moved into a newly created position as the Provincial Manager for the Ecosystem Restoration Program also with the BC Forest Service. Following 35 years in government, he retired from the Forest Service in April 2011.
Greg served as a School Trustee with the Rocky Mountain School District for four terms (1999 – 2011), also acting as the Board Chair for several years. He stepped down from the School Board during the 2011 municipal elections when he was elected to his first Council term in order to focus on his DOI Council responsibilities.
Greg has always been active in giving back as a volunteer in many community activities. He is a past-president of the Columbia Valley Old-Timers Hockey Association, past-president of the Windermere Valley Minor Baseball Association, he coached minor baseball for ten years and the DTSS High School Baseball team for many years, and as the School District rep he served as co-chair for the Mt. Nelson Athletic Park development committee. Since his retirement Greg has continued to represent the community as volunteer on Columbia Basin Trust “Environmental Advisory Committee” and on the “Technical Review Committee” for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund.
Among the many issues he would like to see addressed in the current term are: fully operationalizing the new multi-use Columbia Valley Community Centre; planning and securing funding to continue replacing aging town infrastructure; developing creative strategies to help address rental and affordable housing shortfall; continuing to encourage and support local economic diversification and development in town and throughout the valley. And reducing wildlife risk.
COUNCILLOR KAYJA BECKER
Kayja Becker feels fortunate to be able to say she was born and raised in the Columbia Valley. She left the Valley to attend college in Kelowna, but returned in the spring of 2014 as she knew Invermere was where she was meant to be. The same year she returned, she ran in the municipal election and, after narrowly losing out, she knew she wanted to dedicate herself to the town in any way she could.
Kayja began volunteering, and through that became familiar with some of the issue areas in the community as well as with the incredible local citizens who are so passionate about what they do. When the 2018 election began, she knew she wanted to represent those in the community who are often too busy in their volunteering efforts and find themselves unable to attend local government Q&A periods. Kayja always tries to filter her decision-making through the lens of “how does this impact those with no government voice”, such as the environment, animals and youth.
Kayja lives with her partner Shane in Invermere and their a little rescue dog named Juan Diego who ensures she gets out walking the town daily. She looks forward to her first term in local government and encourages anyone reading this to reach out as she would love to hear from you.
COUNCILLOR UTE JURAS
Born and raised in Germany, Ute Juras immigrated to Canada with her parents and sister in 1982. In 1988, she moved to the Columbia Valley, starting out in Fairmont and then moved to Canal Flats where she raised her two daughters. Ute enjoyed many volunteer positions in Canal Flats such as Brownies, helping produce the local newsletter and as an executive of the Parent Advisory Council, to name just a few.
When Canal Flats incorporated in 2004, Ute saw an opportunity to work for her community and successfully ran for Council as a Councillor. In 2011, she was elected Mayor of Canal Flats, a position she held for two terms and she is proud of the legacy she left behind. When circumstances in her life changed in 2016, Ute found a new home in Invermere where she had worked for 10+ years. She never expected to be warmly welcomed and embraced the way she was and this prompted her to want to give back by running in the 2018 election when she successfully joined the District of Invermere Council as a Councillor. Just prior to the 2018 election, Ute was appointed as a director for Family Dynamix. After being elected, Council appointed her to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and the Imagine Invermere Committee.
Ute is proud to be a part of Invermere’s amazing community and to have the opportunity to serve the people of Invermere.
COUNCILLOR GERRY TAFT
Gerry Taft is proud to be born and raised in Invermere. Gerry was first elected to Invermere council in 2002 at the age of 20. After two terms on Council, Gerry was elected as Mayor in 2008. After three successful terms and ten years as Mayor and as a Director on the Regional District of East Kootenay (which makes Gerry the longest serving Mayor in the history of Invermere), Gerry decided to take a step back and run for a council seat in the October 2018 municipal elections.
Gerry has extensive business experience, from selling Lego in his Grade 3 classroom, to founding and operating Gerry’s Gelati for 13 years (before selling the business in 2016). Gerry is now working full time as a REALTOR® and is enjoying sharing his passion for the community and his belief in investing in the community on a daily basis.
Gerry has been elected a number of times by his local government peers to the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). Gerry is current a Director at Large with the UBCM and serves on the Environment and Resolutions Committees.
Gerry lives year-round in Invermere with his partner Nozomi, their children Kelvin and Veronica, and their lazy dog Piper.