About Us

GMB Services, established in 1999, is a family business in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. It draws on the expertise of our Principal Associates Nicholas Gere and Elfi Berndl. Other family Members are involved depending on the enterprise. We are an eclectic service provider and each member of our group has a wealth of experience and talent in a number of areas. We are doing what we love doing and it shows!

Elfi Berndl, M. Ed.

Elfi Berndl has over 25 years experience in teaching in Ontario secondary and elementary schools. She obtained her Masters from OISE in Educational Administration and is an on-line instructor of the Junior ABQ Course for an Ontario University.

An avid rockhound, she established a public service website about rocks & minerals geared towards kids in 1999 called www.RocksForKids.com. With more than 3 million hits, this website has reached many people interested in beautiful rocks and minerals. Currently Elfi is in the process of enhancing the site through digital photography.

As an artist and an environmentalist, she enjoys the creativity of working with found objects.  GMB Webs and GMB Toys are also areas in which she is involved. She has had a love for “mucking about” and making things since childhood. She is actively involved in the GMB Toys Family Workshop and enjoys working with hand an power tools. Currently the band saw is her favourite but the lathe is her next endeavour.  She enjoys carving and creating interesting useful items from found objects in her workshop. Elfi has led Toy Making for Beginners - Wooden Puzzles  and assisted in a number of other woodworking seminars at Lee Valley Tools. She is the inspiration behind new toy development at GMB Toys.

As an educator, Elfi has continued to teach even after her retirement from public education. She is an online instructor for Queens, has provided teacher training workshops since 2002 and mineral workshops for PDACMM, the Prospectors & Developers Asociation of Canada Mining Matters. As a co-presenter of Rock Talks by Rockhounds and Pulleys & Gears: Simple Machines for Kids, Elfi created the programs,  coordinated the visits and prepares the activities & handouts. She presents Agate Art and other lapidary workshop to adults. And in her most recent endeavour, she is working on The LIVRA Project - a project which will help students in remote areas to learn via the internet - with or without schools. To this end, she is working on a new web site www.AAKids.ca . Drop by and send her your comments. Many hands make light work!;-)






  Nicholas Gere, BES, B.Arch.

Nicholas Gere, a retired architect and community college teacher, is now able to pursue his other interests through GMB Services. He has turned his design talents and love for rocks and working with wood into a second career.

Nicholas, a trained artist, loves to work with his hands and does woodworking. He designs and crafts one-of-a-kind wooden toys,  Rocking Animals  and furnishings in the GMB Family Woodworking Shop. His artistic designs bring the GMB Toys to life. His Woodworking & Rocking Toy Plans have been sold to happy woodworking hobbyists across North America. He leads Woodworking Seminars at Lee Valley Tools from time to time, and provides individual one-on-one woodworking instruction  and helps others handcraft their own heirloom rocking toy.

An experienced Field Trip Leader, creative Toy Designer and enthusiastic rockhound, Nicholas has been the chief Presenter for Rock Talks by Rockhounds and Pulleys & Gears. He is the past president of the Ontario Field Trippers Guild. Having been involved in mineral collecting, Rock & Mineral clubs and Rock Art Workshops for years, he enjoys bringing his love for amateur geology to the classroom. He prepares mineral specimens for www.RocksForKids.com.











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