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.
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
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
As a co-presenter of
Rock Talks by Rockhounds and
Pulleys & Gears:
Simple Machines for Kids, Elfi created the
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, 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
and furnishings in the
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
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