Friday, December 30, 2005

Cathleen Vecchiato's "Vechiatto's Voice" Bio & All Her LFP Columns

Cathleen Vecchiato Bio

"When I moved here, I attended the Surrey Writers conference and won 5 years in a row. I'd written a novel that made the publishing circuit in New York and still have an agent whom I keep in touch with occasionally. I'd like to write more, but I tend to overdo things and leave the hardest (writing) to last. Am writing environmental articles for a magazine out of Minnesota and also wrote for BC Parent for a long time."

Cathleen Vecchiato has been a Langley resident since 1997 and a Canadian citizen since 2003. A published writer and the recipient of 9 writing awards, her works have appeared in Storyteller Magazine, The Seattle Times, BC Parent among others. In addition to writing, she has taught English as a Second Language for 7 years.

Vecchiato, who received her BA in English literature from San Francisco State University and a post-baccalaureate TESL certification from Trinity Western University, has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sao Paulo, Brazil where she completed high school, the San Francisco Bay Area before coming to Canada.

Since moving to Langley, Vecchiato has become involved in the community in numerous capacities. She became involved in the Surrey International Writers' Conference where she has been the recipient of 5 awards and has volunteered her time at the conference. In addition, she served as a volunteer TA in Surrey Continuing Education's English language program. Currently, she is on the board of directors of Langley's non-profit Intercultural Harmony Society, a group formed to promote intercultural awareness and reduce racism within the local community.

She has also volunteered at BC Rivers Day, the Township's annual Arbor Day, and Critter Care Wildlife Society's annual open house, and tree planting at L'ecole Les Voyageurs in Walnut Grove. Her passion for environmental issues was the incentive for forming Langley Conservation Network, now called Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition. LCN's preliminary delegations to Council led to the creation of a Tree Protection Policy and a subsequent Tree By-law applicable to development parcels. In addition, she was part of the township-sponsored Brookswood Tree Task Force. Besides environmental issues, she has also served as Safety Chair for Belmont Elementary and designed safety concerns for the Safer Schools program. In addition, she has served as a public information chairperson for a non profit organization and has spoken at local secondary schools on a variety of topics.

"Citizenship gives me the right to vote," Vecchiato says. "and that is one of the best ways to express my opinion." She seconds the quote, "Apathy is a living sort of oblivion."

Cathleen Vecchiato agreed to become the 3rd contributing columnist with Langley Free Press. She is a very well recognized champion of the environment and community activist in Langley as well as in other adjoining communities. She has been a frequent fixture at Council meetings advocating for the environment and wildlife. She is always well researched, passionate and articulate on conservation matters. She has also contributed extensively to the print media over the years about balancing and conserving the natural beauty of our communities. LFP is very lucky and very thankful for her terrific contributions to LFP as well as a to our community at large.

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