National Board of Directors
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is governed by a National Board with support from seven Regional Boards. In total, more than 120 representatives from the scientific and business communities across the country are involved in ensuring the effective governance and management of NCC.
The National Board of Directors is composed of 16 volunteer members made up of a diverse group of leaders who bring a variety of talents, experiences and expertise to the governance of NCC.
The Board's primary role is to oversee management and ensure NCC's affairs are being conducted in a way that achieves its objectives. Directors of the Board are elected by the Members of the Corporation for a term of three years, and are eligible for re-election provided that they have not served more than six consecutive years.
Elana Rosenfeld, Chair
Kicking Horse Coffee, CEO & co-founder
Elana Rosenfeld is the CEO and co-founder of Kicking Horse Coffee, situated in Canada's Rocky Mountains. Elana promotes values-driven business, not business-driven values. This ethic has propelled Kicking Horse Coffee to gain recognition as North America's #1 Organic & Fairtrade coffee company, Canada's Most Trusted Brand (Coffee/Tea Category) and Canada's Best Place To Work.
Elana is committed to embedding sustainability principles into all areas of business; to developing better, healthier options for coffee farmers and coffee drinkers alike. She devotes considerable capacity to working with organizations who conserve, protect and enhance the world's natural values.
Elana lives, works and plays in the mountains, and enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking and meditation in her natural surroundings.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and Kicking Horse Coffee have been proud partners for over a decade.
Mike Pedersen, Vice Chair
Chair of the board, Business Development Bank of Canada
Mike Pedersen serves on several boards of directors after a long career in financial services.
He is currently the chair of the board, Business Development Bank of Canada. Until 2017, Mike was president and CEO, TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, a top-ten bank in the United States. He was also responsible for overseeing TD Bank Group's environmental strategies and activities for 10 years. Prior to that, he held senior leadership roles managing large businesses around the world. He is also a former chair of the Canadian Bankers Association.
He continues his long-standing involvement in not-for-profit work in Canada, including the environment and sustainability. He and his family are passionate about conservation and Canada’s outdoors, and have canoed, kayaked and hiked all over the country for decades.
Mike is proud to serve on NCC’s board.
Bruce MacLellan, Past Chair
CEO and co-founder, Proof Inc.
Bruce MacLellan is a business owner and entrepreneur. The Proof family of companies employ over 175 people in five offices in Canada and the United States. Having co-founded and operated several communications companies, Bruce mentors the management group as they counsel marketers and leaders on reputation, consumer insights and integrated marketing. A passionate Canadian, he is proud to have visited every province and territory of Canada on numerous occasions.
In addition to private company boards, he has served on several not-for-profit boards in the medical research, education and environmental fields. Bruce has volunteered at all levels of natural habitat protection. He has chaired a local land trust board in eastern Muskoka, served on NCC's Ontario Board and was awarded the Vision Award in 2016 by the Ontario Land Trust Alliance for his work in conservation. He joined NCC’s National Board in 2013 and became chair in 2017.
Catherine Grenier, President & CEO
Catherine Grenier joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as its president and CEO on September 28, 2020.
An award-winning leader, Grenier has held executive positions with some of Canada’s foremost nature conservation organizations. Prior to joining NCC, Grenier served as vice president for national parks operations with Sépaq. She was responsible for the management and development of 27 Quebec parks and resorts. Grenier mobilized the Sépaq team to generate an increase of more than 40 per cent in visits to the province’s parks network.
Prior to joining Sépaq, Grenier held senior roles with Parks Canada. Among her achievements there, she led the process to create Canada’s first national urban park, in Toronto’s Rouge Valley.
Grenier holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Carleton University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Ottawa. She received the 2016 Award of Excellence from the Canadian Parks Council in recognition of her community leadership. Her work in protected areas has been recognized with several awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Grenier says she is thrilled to be joining the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “I am honoured to have been selected to lead a team which is shaping the future of conservation in Canada,” she said. “This is such a unique opportunity to accelerate the scope and scale of conservation in our country, to connect with Canadians, and to build lasting support for nature. I can’t wait to get started.”
Grenier took over the position from John Lounds, who led the organization through 24 years of exceptional growth and success.
Michael Paskewitz, Executive Manager & Corporate Secretary, Office of the President and CEO
Michael Paskewitz is the executive manager and corporate secretary in the Office of the President and CEO at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). He brings 10+ years experience in non-profit management, public affairs, governance and communications, and a passion to make Canada a world leader in nature conservation.
He has a BA in political studies and media from Queen’s University and is completing the master of Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership program at Carleton University. Prior to his time at NCC, he worked to enhance the public affairs and organizational capacity of international non-profits, including the Canadian Executive Service Organization and as a board member with the Ontario Council for International Cooperation. This also provided him the opportunity to work internationally, including in Guyana and the Philippines. He has also spent time in Ottawa working as a political staffer in the Leader’s Office of a federal political party. His public affairs work has led to positive public policy outcomes for environmental and international development efforts.
Michael developed his passion for nature during his upbringing in Hong Kong and Manitoba, where he regularly hiked Hong Kong’s many mountains and spent summers by Lake Winnipeg.
Founder, Silver Lining Marketing
Alexandra Blum is a marketing executive, specializing in building brands with purpose.
She is the founder of Silver Lining Marketing, a customer experience company known for taking brands from relevant to remarkable by increasing their emotional connection with consumers through hospitality-inspired training and brand strategies.
Alexandra has served as chief marketing officer of Tricon Capital Group and spent over a decade at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, including in the role of vice-president of Global Communications and Partnerships. Alexandra has served as a Board member of Butterfield & Robinson and the Ivey Business School Alumni Network.
Her parents, who both loved the outdoors and all the benefits it brought their physical and mental health, inspired her love of nature. Alexandra is a proud supporter and firm believer in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s vision, and its value as a marketing partner to Canada’s most admired companies.
Alexandra lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband, Oliver, and son, Max, and loves her morning walks with family dog, Erin.
Barry W. Worbets
Senior fellow, Canada West Foundation
Barry spent over four decades working at the intersection of the environment and business. He has a deep understanding of “land and water” history, science, policy and stewardship in Canada. Recently he was one of 14 Canadians that served on a National Advisory Panel for Conservation 2020, which informed provincial and federal ministers on how to conserve, by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial areas and inland waters through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. He has worked with Indigenous groups across Canada for his entire career.
He is one of the founders of Western Ranchlands, which currently owns and operates the 14,000 acre Tomahawk Cattle Ranch. In six oil and gas companies, he built industry-leading teams to deliver top quartile Health Safety and Environmental performance. He also spent several years as Senior Fellow with the Canada West and Max Bell Foundations informing land and water policy in Western Canada. Barry feels privileged to be currently chairing the Alberta Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Chloe Dragon Smith
Canadian Parks Council
Chloe Dragon Smith is a young Métis woman from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Of Chipewyan and European heritage, she grew up close to her Indigenous cultural values and learned traditional skills for living on the land. This northern upbringing helped shape her values today.
Chloe holds a degree in Earth sciences from the University of Victoria. While educated in science, she is keenly interested in and has found her niche working with people on the social/cultural benefits of the natural world, particularly where those values meet science and conservation.
Chloe works with the Canadian Parks Council. Among other work, she co-chaired an intergenerational citizen working group that created a document called The Nature Playbook: Take action to connect a new generation of Canadians with Nature, which she continues to share across Canada. This project spans the continuum of nature, reaching all generations in cities, regions, states/provinces and countries. Chloe was also recently appointed to the National Advisory Panel for the Pathway to Canada Target 1.
Céline Legendre is a partner at Osler and part of the firm’s National Litigation group. She studied political science and law at the Université de Montréal.
Céline is passionate about nature. She has been associated with the Nature Conservancy of Canada since 2016 as a Regional Board member and recently as a National Board member. She spends as much time as possible outdoors with her family.
Dave Phillips enjoyed a 40-year career in natural resource management with various agencies and ministries in Saskatchewan. His early work focused on managing Ducks Unlimited Canada's Cumberland Marshes Project between 1979 and 1985, developing a long-term project operating plan to optimize fur and waterfowl production within this 150,000-hectare (370,658-acre) marsh complex.
He served as assistant deputy minister with Saskatchewan Environment between 1998 and 2008, and as director general responsible for environmental adaptation and practice change with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada between 2008 and 2013. Over the course of his career in natural resource management, he has developed extensive experience in Indigenous relations, operational planning and policy development.
President, MFDA Investor Protection Corporation and corporate director
Dorothy Sanford has a long association with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, starting in 2001 when she joined the board and became chair of the Audit Committee until 2007. She re-joined NCC's Audit Committee in 2013 and the board in 2016. She is deeply committed to supporting NCC's mission of preserving Canada's natural landscape.
Dorothy is a fellow of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants, and had a long and distinguished career as a securities regulator. She currently runs a compensation fund for mutual fund dealers and serves as a corporate director.
West Vancouver, BC
Janice Wattis’s love of nature led her to study earth sciences and to work as a park interpreter for the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba. She studied law in Victoria, BC, practising for many years in Vancouver and Oakville, Ontario. Most recently, Janice served as vice-president, legal with an international engineering firm, providing professional services in the natural resource industry sectors. She has wide experience in risk identification and management, compliance matters and professional management.
Janice has been a long-time supporter of NCC and was thrilled to join the BC Regional Board in 2015. She has also served on the Chimo Community Services Board (Richmond, BC) and the PTA of St. Gabriel’s School (Bridgetown, Barbados). She has participated in Vancouver’s Giving Circle and has raised funds for other charitable organizations, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
In her spare time, Janice hikes, swims, kayaks, snowshoes and travels.
Retired investment broker
John Grandy is a very engaged member of the Ontario Regional Board and a major donor to the Ontario Region. He and his wife, Meg Salter, have opened their home twice to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to host donor cultivation events. John is a retired investment broker for high net-wealth individuals. He is in his 70s and very active. John heard about NCC's Greiling Estate project at Cabot Head from Marlene Rothenbury, with whom he participates as a hiker and supporter of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. John has visited the Bruce every year since he was very young — since his great-grandfather bought a cottage at Red Bay. John and Meg bought 10 hectares (25 acres) of land at Petrel Point about 10 years ago, which they donated to Ontario Nature.
President, NS division, Canadian Mental Health Association
Chester Basin, NS
Kevin currently resides in Gold River, Nova Scotia, and brings a broad range of expertise to the Atlantic Regional Board. He served as the deputy minister of various provincial departments, including the Department of Environment, and was the president of the Canadian Society of Fundraising Executives - Nova Scotia chapter. Kevin has also served on the board of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, where he gained a deep understanding of the science, securement and stewardship process in a land trust.
Kevin currently serves as the president of the NS division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and sits as Nova Scotia's representative on the national board of CMHA. Kevin has successfully led large, multifaceted projects of provincial, regional and national in scope by building productive relationships with provincial and federal governments, community leaders and a broad range of stakeholders.
Kevin has held positions of increasing responsibility while overseeing budgets upwards of $3.8 billion and building policy and planning initiatives affecting over 6,500 staff. He has developed legislation, merged cultures and services, and provided strategic recommendations and negotiated major settlements around complex issues such as Westray, Bill 68 and the Canada – Nova Scotia Offshore Accord.
Former executive president, Léger Marketing (AB)
Maureen McCaw is the former executive president of Léger Marketing (AB) and president and founder of Criterion Research. She is currently chair of the CBC Pension Fund and board member with Suncor Energy and CBC Radio-Canada. She is also the co-chair of Women United, United Way. Maureen is a past chair of Edmonton Airports and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. She completed Columbia Business School’s executive program in management and finance and holds an ICD.D.
Senior Scientist, International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area
Since 1992, Michael has worked at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a research facility located near Kenora, Ontario. At ELA, Michael has led and participated in multiple whole-ecosystem studies and experiments on the effects of human activities on the environment, especially fresh water. He led the transition of ELA from the federal government to the independent not-for-profit International Institute for Sustainable Development.
Michael has a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University, an M.Sc. from Indiana University, and is an adjunct professor at the Universities of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Lakehead and Trent. Michael has been associated with NCC since 1992 as a regional Board member, regional co-chair, Conservation Committee member and national Board member. He is passionate about nature and spends much of his spare time mountain biking, skiing, hiking and canoeing.
Rob Prosper spent his 38-year career at Parks Canada, advancing ecosystem conservation, establishing new National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas and normalizing a culture of Indigenous reconciliation in the Agency.
As vice-president responsible for protected areas establishment, Rob was responsible for establishing and/or bringing under legislative protection Sable Island, Ukkusiksalik, Qausuittuq, Lake Superior, Naats’ihch’oh, Tallurutiup Imanga, Thaidene Nene and Akami-Uapishk-KakKasuak National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas.
As the federal lead for the Pathway to Canada Target 1, Rob has been instrumental in changing the way future conservation is undertaken in Canada and was the driving force behind the Indigenous Conserved Areas element of Canada’s Nature Legacy.
On the international stage, Rob was the Agency lead for the Convention on Biodiversity, the World Conservation Congress, the International Marine Protected Areas Congress and twice represented Canada at the World Protected Areas Leadership Forum.
Rob is the recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, a two-time recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence, was awarded the Canadian Parks Council Award of Excellence and is a two-time fellow of the Salzburg Global Forum.
Rob is a member of the Acadia First Nation and currently sits on the Innu Cooperative Management Board for Mealy Mountains National Park.
Mont Tremblant, QC
Robert Rabinovitch is the retired president of CBC/Radio Canada and as well the former chair of the board of McGill University.
Robert had a distinguished career as a public servant, where he was deputy minister of Culture and Communications and undersecretary of state. After government, Rabinovitch went to Claridge inc. where he was chief operating officer, sat on several boards including Cineplex, and was treasurer of several foundations.
Trading on his experience in Finance (he holds a PhD in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania), Robert has continued to work with not-for-profit organizations, in particular with investment management.
Tamar Pichette has law degrees from Oxford University, England, and Osgoode Hall, Toronto, and a B.A. in political science and psychology from Vassar College, NY. Tamar practised commercial litigation and contract law in Toronto, and has served on several Boards, both in Canada and the United States, including the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, where she chaired the Compliance Committee, as well as teaching at the Ontario Bar Admission course. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Vassar College in 2015, and was most recently Chairperson of the Board of Directors of JobTrain, a California Bay Area organization dedicated to helping the disadvantaged rebuild their lives through vocational training.
In her time at JobTrain, Tamar worked closely with committee chairs to reformulate board governance toward more effective use of board members’ skill sets across organizational requirements and worked closely with the CEO to recapitalize the organization to deliver on its strategic plan and on strategic planning. Over the past six years, she has been involved with the establishment of Kenauk Nature, in Montebello, QC, as a conservation territory, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Tamar now lives in London, UK, with her husband, Patrick.
Wayne King is a 35-year veteran of the high-tech industry and is the president and founder of InfoMedia Systems Group in Ottawa, Ontario. InfoMedia Systems Group is a cloud solutions and consulting firm with expertise in Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Google and Amazon cloud-based applications and services. it provides end-to-end virtual office and hybrid business solutions for any size organization.
Wayne has an honour’s bachelor of mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo, and a master’s of business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
He lives in rural Ottawa, where he and his family enjoy many outdoor activities, including camping, kayaking, scuba diving, skiing and motorcycling.