Meet the Staff

  • Elanta, Mary Anne, and Elya – the Facility Quality Control trio!

  • Dispensing diet (codling moth food) at the facility!

  • Facility staff monitoring air quality!

  • Elanta counting exuviae! These are exoskeletons and related structures that remain after molting.

  • Some Central Okanagan Field Staff

  • Michelle filling cages!

  • Shawn and Kelly, Field Supervisors

  • Processing “books” of codling moth eggs!

  • Paul doing room checks!

The SIR program is run by the general manager, 22 full time staff and about 70 seasonal staff.

  • Michelle Cook - General Manager

    Michelle is the General Manager of OKSIR. She started working at SIR in 2016 as a Project Manager where she helped implement the BC Decision Aid System (BC DAS) and the launch of sterile insect release by drone. Michelle was then employed in the role of Operations Manager until moving into the GM role in March 2024.

  • Peter Rotheisler - Operations Manager - Kelowna


    Operations Manager, Peter Rotheisler spent his childhood in Oliver, B.C. and graduated in 1995 from Souther Okanagan Secondary School. He spent his summers working on farms and in packing houses. Peter graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Masters of Science Degree in Earth and Environmental Science in 2004.

    Early in his career, Peter worked as an Environmental Consultant with Summit Environmental Consultants and as a professor with Okanagan College. He then moved on to work with the Regional District of Central Okanagan, working his way up to Manager of Environmental Science. Just before joining the OKSIR team, he took a management position with SNC Lavalin.

    Peter has a young family land enjoys spending time with them skiing, cycling, and hiking.

  • Evan Esch - Entomologist - Kelowna

    Evan EschEvan is passionate about bugs and all things creepy-crawly. He is a Professional Agrologist (PAg) and works as a fruit tree pest management advisor and offers extension services at SIR.He studied Entomology at the University of Alberta, where he completed a Master of Science. Evan started with SIR in 2015 and his work also involves collaboration and coordination with other scientific and government organizations. With his background in science and data analysis he helps translate difficult to understand information into practice. Having grown up in the Prairies, Evan is amazed at what is able to grow in the Okanagan and loves getting his hands dirty in the garden, nurturing vegetables and flowers.

  • Tanya Littley - Office Manager - Kelowna

    Our Office Manager, Tanya Littley, joined the OKSIR team in January 2024. She provides administrative support to the SIR Program (both facility and field operations). Her early career was spent in an administrave support role with the Canadian Armed Forces follwed by a clerical posistion with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and some work in the private sector.

    She’s lived in the Okangan for over 35 years and enjoys spending time with her family and outside in the Okanagan sun.

  • Kelly Carmichael - Field Supervisor/Compliance - Peachland to Winfield

    Kelly started with the program in 2009 as a monitor and is now a Field Supervisor and Compliance Officer. Kelly oversees a field crew during the growing season. Growers should know that Kelly is there to help them get the best service they can from SIR, which in turn will give them the best quality product. Kelly says “giving grower’s information about the program helps them to understand the services, benefits and results a program like SIR provides to the area.” Kelly enjoys working for SIR because the program benefits all people in the valley, residents and growers alike, by reducing the use of pesticides and helping produce better quality fruit. In Kelly’s spare time she likes to head to the woods on her ATV to escape the rat race.

  • Shawn Fennell - Field Supervisor/GIS Technician - Kelowna

    Shawn FennellShawn helps keep the everyday field operations running smoothly in Kelowna during the field season. Shawn is also responsible for much of the GIS mapping including the Neighbourhood Maps produced for growers. Shawn was born and raised in the North Okanagan. He is a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio) with a biology degree from the University of Victoria. Shawn likes working for SIR because with a variety of tasks and challenges there is rarely a dull day! In his free time, Shawn enjoys camping, spending time with family, and an occasional craft beer.

  • Nicole McCann - Field Supervisor - Coldstream to Salmon Arm

    Nicole McCannNicole started with the SIR program as an urban and orchard monitor in 2006. She is now the Seasonal Field Supervisor for the Vernon to Salmon Arm area. Nicole spends her days out in the field overseeing both orchard and urban properties to ensure growers and homeowners are controlling codling moth infestation and keeping their host trees in good care. This helps to ensure they are receiving the full benefits that the program provides. Nicole says “What’s not to love about working for SIR! It’s environmentally friendly, the scenery is fantastic and you get to meet great people on a daily basis.” In her spare time, Nicole loves spending time with family and friends, boating and reading.

  • Bruce Garska - Field Supervisor - South Okanagan

    BruceBruce is a Field Supervisor for the Oliver, Osoyoos and Similkameen areas. Bruce has lived in the South Okanagan most of his life and began his career working in the forestry industry. Bruce has been working for the SIR program since 1995. He has extensive experience with all area of field operations and has done a number of jobs for the program including working in the moth rearing facility in Osoyoos, releasing moths in orchards, trapping, communicating with growers, ATV maintenance and training staff. During his many years with the SIR Program, Bruce enjoys being out in the orchards in the beautiful South Okanagan valley best. In his personal time, Bruce loves exploring more of the Okanagan outdoors by camping and fishing.

  • Su Wolfe - Field Supervisor - Oliver, Osoyoos, Cawston, Keremeos

    Su joined SIR in 2022 working in the QA/QC lab at the facility. In 2024 she became a Supervisor with the field program.

  • Colleen Blatz - Urban Supervisor, South Okanagan

    Colleen helps urban home owners with the care and management of their backyard apple and pear trees. She works in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.

  • Facility Staff - Osoyoos, BC

    Scott Arthur - Facility Manager

    Scott ArthurScott is the Facility Manager of the SIR Program’s world class Codling Moth Mass Rearing Insectary in Osoyoos. Scott and his team are capable of producing up to 2 million sterilized moths per day. Scott enjoys camping, gardening, and travel with his wife and two Mini Schnauzers. Scott also enjoys playing Ping Pong during his lunch breaks and will be happy to tell you who won!

  • Elya DeVolder - Quality Control Lab Supervisor

    Elya has been with SIR since 2019, she started as the Facility Assistant and has now moved into the position of quality control lab supervisor. She has her bachelor’s degree in honours zoology and a minor in math.  She has always had a passion for animals and enjoys the challenges that come with working with living species.  Elya enjoys birding, crafting, playing board games, and biking in her free time.  Elya always manages to come out of stores with more things than she went in to get.  Elya likes Staples’ cookies.



  • Elanta Algadzis - Quality Control Technician

    Elanta moved from Cochrane, Alberta to join the SIR team in 2022.  Elanta has a bachelor’s degree in ecology and a minor in natural science. They are fascinated by all kinds of invertebrates and living organisms.  Elanta enjoys being the go-to person as the facility assistant and loves the variety of tasks that the role brings.  During their free time, Elanta enjoys caring for their cat, lizard, and aquariums.  Elanta named the QC lab’s resident cricket who used to live under the fridge, his name is Jared.

  • Garnet Watkins - Maintenance Supervisor

    Garnet is the Facility Maintenance Supervisor and has been with SIR since 2018.  He went to school in Vancouver to become a journeyman plumber, and studied power engineering in Alberta, shortly afterwards he saw an opening at SIR and knew it would be a perfect fit.  Garnet has an impressive ability to fix things and find creative solutions.  Garnet enjoys spending time with his wife and son, as well as getting outside for a round of golf.  Garnet likes to play ping pong during his lunch break, but he won’t tell you who won.

  • Crystal Hanley - Rearing Supervisor

    Crystal is a rearing supervisor and has been with SIR since 2015.  She is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the rearing department and its staff.  Crystal is a hard worker and dedicated supervisor; she can also fill cups faster than anyone!  She enjoys kayaking, making glass mosaics, and taking her dog for walks.  Crystal ain’t afraid of no ghosts.


  • Terry Hartmann - Maintenance and Weekend Rearing Supervisor - Osoyoos

    Terry is the maintenance and weekend rearing supervisor; he has been with SIR since 1998. He is a 5th class power engineer and ensures that the machinery and equipment is operating properly at the facility.  Terry enjoys going to the beach and boating, sledding in the winter, riding motorcycles, as well as working outside and doing DIY projects.  Terry has discovered infinite uses for duct tape.

  • Paul Dias - Dispensing Supervisor

    Paul has been with SIR since 2003, he previously was the facility’s primary cook and has since transitioned into the role of dispensing supervisor.  He is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the dispensing department and its staff.  Paul enjoys spending time with his family and his dog, and can often be seen playing a round of golf.  Paul does not eat Staples’ cookies because he thinks they are questionable.


  • Chanda Moura - Rearing Technician

    Chanda has been with SIR since 2007, she is a dispensing master and cleaner extraordinaire!  She ensures the building is spic and span and that the diet is dispensed evenly and consistently to produce happy moths. Chanda enjoys spending time with her family and dog, Loki.  Chanda enjoys getting matching Disney inspired manicures with her daughter before they go on family vacations to Disneyland.

  • Tom Hallett - Facility Production Labourer

    Tom has been with SIR since 2015, he is one of our cooking and ingredient experts, whether cooking 28 kettles in a day, weighing ingredients, or moving materials with the forklift, Tom can do it all!  He is also able to help out elsewhere in the facility when he is needed.  Tom is a powerhouse who can wash trays faster than anyone!  Tom enjoys powerlifting, video games and eating roast chicken. When asked to write an answer, tom will always write “something” unless it is a value over 9000!!!

  • Debbie Fiddler - Facility Production Labourer

    Debbie has been with SIR since 2018, she is our egg prep expert, ensuring the moth eggs are handled and processed properly, and monitoring for any abnormalities.  Debbie is originally from Alabama and loves southern cooking, she also enjoys gardening and doing puzzles.  She is a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady and has established a home-based rescue for feral cats.  She was bit by a brown recluse spider when she was a teenager and did not gain any superpowers…that we know of.