Board of Directors

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Board of Directors

 

Tom Via | Chair

Tom is an internationally experienced Senior Business Executive having led and successfully grown businesses across a diverse retail, wholesale, e-commerce and sports/ entertainment formats within Australia, Canada and the United States.  In his current role, Tom serves as President – Chief Operating Officer for Woodbine Entertainment. Tom is a strategic thinker with a strong bias for working collaboratively with colleagues, participants and stakeholders where desired outcomes can be achieved. Tom moved his family to Canada in 1999, proudly becoming Canadian citizens in 2005 and shares a Port Dover home with his wife Laurene. They have been homeowners in Norfolk County for over 20 years and are avid Lake Erie boaters. Tom is committed to working with the Long Point World Biosphere Region board,members and supporters to promote conservation and preserve the amazing biodiversity of our Biosphere and Lake Erie ecosystem for generations.  Tom can be reached at chair@longpointbiosphere.com

 

Brian Craig | President

Brian’s varied interest have led to careers as a musician with a southern rock band that toured Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, a teacher with the Oxford County Board of Education, a Senior Science Advisor with Environment Canada’s Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network and most recently until retirement as a Restoration Ecologist and Project Manager with Parks Canada.  Brian sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association, the Carolinian Canada Coalition, and is the Past President of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve. He has degrees in Geography, and Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario, and Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University. Brian’s passion is working with community members in Norfolk County and the Long Point Biosphere to ensure social, cultural, economic and ecological sustainability for future generations. Norfolk County is the best place to live in the world! Brian can be reached at president@longpointbiosphere.com

 

 

Paula Boutis | Vice-Chair and  Secretary

Paula Boutis has spent over 20 years supporting conservation efforts in the voluntary sector and is delighted to bring her skills and passion for environmental conservation to the Long Point Biosphere Region. As a practicing environmental and municipal lawyer and former member of the Ontario Municipal Board (now the Ontario Land Tribunal), she has also dedicated much of her professional life to environmental stewardship efforts. Her time living in Norfolk County deepened her interest in conservation efforts by introducing her to Long Point’s incredible biodiversity and conservation culture. In addition to the LPBR board, Paula sits on the board of Inclusion Action in Ontario, an organization dedicated to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in education & community, and the Delhi Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time, she enjoys tending to native plant gardens and going for long walks.

 

 

Andrew Couturier  Couturier | Director at Large

Andrew Couturier is a Senior Analyst with Bird Studies Canada in Port Rowan. He sits on advisory committees for a multitude of national and international conservation initiatives, directs Bird Studies Canada’s GIS Laboratory, and leads one of BSC’s signature national programs, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA). The Long Point World Biosphere Region, located at one of the premier bird migration corridors in North America, is among Canada’s most significant IBA’s, so Andrew’s appointment to the Board is a natural fit.

Andrew holds a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Guelph focused on landscape ecology, rural planning, and cumulative effects assessment. He has been with Bird Studies Canada since 1997, following brief appointments with Agriculture Canada, Parks Canada, and private consulting. His work is featured regularly in scientific papers, books, popular publications, websites, and field guides. A strong supporter of the non-profit sector, Andrew’s diverse interests include photography, nature, birding and music. He is delighted to join the Board and contribute to the next phase of its evolution. Andrew joined the Board if Directors in 2017.

 

Wesley Wilson, B.Eng | Director at Large

Wesley Wilson is a Structural  Designer with John G. Cooke and Associated in Hamilton. He sits on advisory committees for a multitude of regional, provincial, national, and international engineering, sustainability, and heritage conservation initiatives. Wes leads a number of programs currently operated through Ontario Barn Preservation, the Delhi and District Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. He serves as an Associate member on a series of International Council of Monuments and Sites committees advising UNESCO and the United Nations. As a dedicated member of the Norfolk County community, being born and raised here, he is heavily engaged with the heritage and culture of our community bringing to light the environmental and built heritage of the Biosphere Region.

Wes holds a degree in Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering from Carleton University focused on the conservation of existing buildings, heritage structures, and the construction of new and existing sustainable structures and landscapes. His work is regularly featured in scientific papers on heritage conservation and existing building rehabilitation. Wes’s passion is working with community members and organizations across the region to ensure environmental, cultural, societal, and economic sustainability for future generations.

 

Stephanie Giles | Director at Large

Steph Giles is the Program Coordinator at ALUS Norfolk, where she works with farmers in Norfolk County to target marginal areas on the landscape and restore them into natural habitat. Steph is responsible for securing and managing the program’s funding, coordinating ecological restoration projects, and overseeing the program’s general operations. Steph has been with ALUS for 4 years, but has always had a vested interest in protecting Norfolk County’s rich environment. Prior to working with ALUS, she worked as an Environmental Education Assistant at Backus Heritage Conservation Area, and a Wine Tasting Guide at Burning Kiln Winery while completing her schooling. Steph holds a degree in Environmental Sciences from McMaster University, in addition to obtaining an Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College. Steph has lived in Norfolk County her entire life, and is passionate about exploring the county by means of jogging, boating, snowmobiling, and cycling.

 

Dick Bourgeois-Doyle | Director at Large

The former Secretary General of the National Research Council of Canada, Dick is a writer and science administrator with an interest in innovation history, research ethics, and gender issues in technology. A three-time winner of the NRC Canada Outstanding Achievement Award for public awareness of science, Dick has served on a number of national and international bodies dedicated to the promotion of science, recently on the EU Path2Integrity International Advisory Board (Chair), the International Council for Science – Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science (ICSU CFRS), the Human, Social and Natural Sciences Sectoral Commission of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and the Organizing Committee of the (3rd) World Conference on Research Integrity. He also acted as chair of the Universality of Science Thematic Session at the World Science Forum (Jordan) 2017, Chair of the NRC Centennial: 100 Years of Innovation for Canada, Board Member and Interim Chair of the Foundation for Student Science and Technology, and Chair of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Public Affairs and Communications Committee. Before joining NRC in 1987, Mr. Bourgeois-Doyle was Chief of Staff to the Canadian Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. A former broadcaster and journalist, he has written a number of books on science history and innovation and contributed to many conferences, TV features, articles, and radio programs on the history of science and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics) and a Master of Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies.

 

Janet Dassinger | Director at Large

Janet is a resident of Long Point who is passionate about conservation and the role of biospheres in sustainable development. In her role as a Senior Research Officer with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Janet provides support to municipal workers in collective bargaining and legislative and policy analysis. 

She also has extensive background in the not-for-profit sector, having acted as an executive director and coordinator of organizations and projects at the municipal, provincial and federal level in the area of worker education and training, including grant writing and fundraising. 

She has advanced degrees in Labour Studies and Social Work from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

 

 

Michael VanSickle | Treasurer and Director at Large

Michael is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in International Accounting and Finance. 

He has extensive experience in financial planning and reporting both for non-profit organizations as well as for municipal government.  He currently serves as a Supervisor in financial services for the Corporation of Norfolk County. 

His volunteer contributions include coaching minor hockey, working in the Port Dover food bank, and other community organizations in the Long Point region.

Angelle van Kleef | Director at Large

Angelle grew up on a farm in a rural area in the Netherlands. She graduated with a BSc in Horticulture.
She consulted for the Dutch government, advising Dutch greenhouse growers on all aspects of their business. In 1988 Angelle and her husband Clen started their own greenhouse business.
They raised 2 children, Mats and Estelle.

In 1999 they immigrated to Canada. They bought a farm near Nixon, On, where they started a new greenhouse business growing potted plants.
In 2008 they participated in one of the first ALUS projects converting marginal farmland into Tall Grass Prairie and Oak Savanna. In 2012 they converted an irrigation pond into a wetland. They participated in multiple research projects of the Universities of Guelph and Toronto. In 2010 she became an accredited RX-100 L.C.P.B. worker doing prescribed burns. They are supporters of Birds Canada and participate in Bird Feeder Watch. Angelle served as chair of the Norfolk Owners Woodlot Association and she is a member of the Norfolk Field Naturalists.
She joined the board of Flowers Canada Ontario, the Marketing Board for growers of flowers, potted plants and bedding plants, where she served as secretary. She joined the board of Ontario Flower Growers co-operative auction.

After retiring from greenhouse growing, they moved into the Long Point-Walshingham Priority Place along Charlotteville Road 7.
She started volunteering with the Long Point Basin Land Trust in their conservation efforts.

She is a member of the Rotary Club of Simcoe, where she is the secretary. In her spare time, she likes to help out Estelle and Mischa in Meuse Brewery and Market. Her hobbies are to travel, read, keep up with world news, and play the violin.

 

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