British Columbia Regional Board of Directors
The BC Region is guided by a dynamic board of professionals whose expertise touches on all aspects of our conservation work. These highly respected individuals volunteer their time to assist the Nature Conservancy of Canada in making the best decisions for conservation in British Columbia.
Shamir B. Alibhai
Shamir B. Alibhai has a long history as a senior executive in the international real estate and gaming and hospitality industries. Currently he is senior vice-president, investments & operations, Larco Investments Ltd. and CFO, gaming & hospitality, Larco Group of Companies. Shamir’s board involvement includes chairing admissions for Harvard College in British Columbia, sitting on the board of Pearson College of the Pacific and representing Canada on the Owners Advisory Council, Sheraton Hotels Worldwide. Shamir holds an MBA from Harvard University and an Honors BA in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.
Ian Barnett has worked across Canada in land and water conservation for 38 years as a biologist and senior executive leader at Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He has an avid interest in birds and the outdoors and wide-ranging knowledge of natural history and conservation initiatives across the country.
Ian has travelled extensively throughout Canada’s provinces and territories on foot, bike, canoe, kayak, horse, aircraft and automobile. He has also pursued his bird and wildlife interests in Africa, Australia, South America, Central America, the Arctic and throughout the US and Mexico.
Ian makes his home in Kamloops, BC, and enjoys diverse year-round outdoor activities with his wife, four daughters and six grandchildren. He recently retired and continues to pursue and share his passion for conservation and the natural world.
Lesley Bentley grew up in West Vancouver, spending her summers sailing the BC coast. As an adult she became an avid hiker, boater and nature traveller.
Professionally, Lesley began work at the CBC as a radio producer for a BC-based current affairs shows. Later she moved into the volunteer sector, where she has been a board member of the Vancouver Museum, St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church and St. George’s School, serving as board chair for three years. Most recently, she has climbed in the Purcell Mountains and hiked the Nootka Island Trail. Her summer 2018 plans are pending.
Kristine Ciruna has worked across Canada and the U.S. in the fields of biodiversity conservation and natural resource management for 20 years. Her career has spanned work in both the environmental non-profit and public sectors.
She calls Victoria, BC, home and is currently a director with the B.C. government. She previously served on the boards of Trout Unlimited Canada, BC Forest Science Program and the Forum for Research and Extension in Natural Resources.
Kristine was awarded her doctorate in the field of ecology from the University of Toronto.
J. Michael Gallagher, Ph.D.
Dr. J. Michael Gallagher is chair of the board of NGV Global, as well as an advisory board member for Agility Fuel Systems, a leading natural gas fuel systems company. He is a former senior advisor, president and chief operating officer of Westport Innovations, where he worked to encourage the global adoption of natural gas in clean transportation systems, and former board chair of Cummins Westport Inc. He serves on the boards of the Vancouver Opera Foundation and the Health Arts Society, and sits on both the national and regional (BC) boards of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Robert M. Redgate
Bob is the retired executive vice-president of Talisman Energy, an international oil and gas company, where he was responsible for a range of corporate services. He is a wildlife biologist (BSc) and environmental planner (MEDes) by training. Bob has been and is involved in numerous volunteer activities and is the former national chair of Trout Unlimited Canada and former board member of the Calgary Zoological Society.
Bob lives in West Kelowna.
Robert M. Shaunessy
Robert M. Shaunessy brings extensive business experience to the NCC BC Region board of directors. Bob has been a co-founder and/or director of a number of corporations, including Rio Alto Exploration Ltd, Trigger Resources, Midway Energy Services, Renaissance Wine and Spirits and Rondo Exploration Ltd. Currently, he is the owner and co-founder of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Ltd and the president and CEO of Shaunessy Ranch Ltd. Since 2013, Bob has focused on serving on not-for-profit boards (generally as an advisor on advisory board positions), such as the Columbia Valley Hospice Society, Western Sky Land Trust and the Greenways Trail Alliance. Bob lives in Invermere, BC.
Janice Wattis is vice-president, legal, mining and metals, Americas of Amec Foster Wheeler Americas Limited — a multinational engineering and project management company. A senior solicitor with extensive experience in advising clients on a broad range of matters in many different industries, Janice provides management and project teams with advice on legal matters, as well as monitors and advises management on legal trends and changes in the law. Janice lives in Vancouver.