Karla Rockwell is a human resources, recruitment and organizational development leader with over 30 years’ experience in the private, public and non-profit sector in both specialist and generalist roles. Earlier in her career, Karla managed a search firm and led physician recruitment and engagement with the Fraser Health Authority. In the past ten years, Karla has guided organizations through change management processes, manpower and succession planning, professional development, performance management and strategic engagement and retention initiatives. She has served as Vice Chair, HR and Policy Planning Committee Chair with the Delta Police Board; Director with the Canadian Association of Police Governance; Director, Training with Housing and Employment Opportunities BC; and is currently a board member with the Delta Hospital Foundation. Most recently, she has specialized in Aboriginal economic development and employment strategies, skills training and youth development; developing long-term human resource strategies and aggregate workforce profiles for the Gitxsan region of British Columbia. Karla is a long-time resident of Tsawwassen, BC where she has raised her family.
Sophie Pierre served her community of ‘Aqam (the St. Mary’s Indian Band) of the Ktunaxa Nation for 30 years, 26 as elected chief, and was the administrator of the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council for 25 years. She also served as the tribal chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, chairperson of the First Nations Finance Authority, president of St. Eugene Mission Holdings Ltd. and co-chair of the International Advisory Committee to the Indigenous Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy for the University of Arizona. Sophie Pierre was appointed Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission from April 2009 to 2015 by agreement of the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the First Nations Summit. She has also served on numerous boards and committees; local, regional, provincial, national and international.
Sophie was recognized with the Order of Canada in 2016. She also received the Order of British Columbia in 2002 and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the business category in 2003. During her tenure as chief commissioner, Sophie Pierre was awarded two honorary Doctorates of Law—in 2010 from the University of Canada West and in 2012 from the University of British Columbia.
Sophie now spends her time as an elder advisor to her community and to the Ktunaxa Nation.
Chairman of the Board, Chair of Executive and Finance Committee
Ross Beaty is a geologist and resource entrepreneur with over 45 years of experience in the international minerals and renewable energy industries. A graduate of the University of BC in geology and law and Imperial College in geology, Mr. Beaty is an internationally recognized leader in both non-renewable and renewable resource development. He has founded and divested a number of companies and remains founder and chairman of Pan American Silver Corp., one of the world’s leading silver producers, and founder and chairman of Alterra Power Corp., a mid-sized renewable energy company with solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power operations in BC, Texas, Indiana and Iceland. Mr. Beaty is also a well-known environmental philanthropist, primarily through The Sitka Foundation. He serves on the advisory board of the Nature Trust of BC, is a director of The Pacific Salmon Foundation, a director of Panthera, and is patron of the Beaty Biodiversity Center at the University of BC.
Vice Chairman, Chair of Strategy and Fundraising Committee
For over almost 50 years, Ric Careless has been a passionate advocate for British Columbia’s world class parks and wilderness. During this time, he led citizen campaigns that have protected four million hectares across British Columbia including: the Spatsizi – Stikine, Purcell Mountains, Babine Mountains, Height of the Rockies, Tatshenshini, Chilcotin Mountains, Cathedral-Snowy and Nitinat Triangle in Pacific Rim National Park.
Ric co-founded the Sierra Club of British Columbia in 1970, as well as the BC Wilderness Tourism Association in the 1990’s. Since 1989, he has served as the executive director of BC Spaces for Nature. Ric is the chair of the campaign for BC Parks, a multi-organizational alliance concerned with improving the resourcing of our province’s park system, and is also president of the BC Parks Elders Society. His consulting company, Ethos Environmental, has specialized on wilderness conservation and ecotourism policy formulation and strategy. For this lifetime of work, Ric has received numerous awards in Canada, the US and BC, where he is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia.
Les Doiron is a citizen and president of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government (Ucluelet First Nation) – one of five distinct First Nations of the Maa-nulth Treaty, which is the first modern-treaty to be concluded on Vancouver Island, and the first multi-nation treaty concluded under the British Columbia Treaty Commission process. A community-minded, goal-oriented professional, Les is passionate about giving back to his community and has shared a lot of his life with many individuals, on a professional and volunteer basis, alike.
Les is the chief executive of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government and is responsible for representing the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government at local, provincial and federal governments, and other First Nations and indigenous organizations – nationally and internationally; ensuring Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ citizens are fully informed on social, legal and political issues affecting the nation; and protecting and enhancing Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ aboriginal and treaty rights.
Les lives in Port Alberni, British Columbia with his wife Rosanne and their dog Joey. He feels grateful to have the opportunity to work to improve the lives of his people and self, and believes strongly in Henry Ford's statement: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Jim Standen was appointed the assistant deputy minister of BC Parks & Conservation Officer Service on October 14th, 2014. Previous to this, Jim was the assistant deputy minister of Environmental Protection Division for four years.
Jim started his career in government as an auxiliary fisheries technician in Kamloops in 1992. Since then, he has held positions in environmental stewardship, planning and assessment, environmental protection, strategic policy and water management. Prior to becoming ADM, Jim was director of the Regional Operations Branch for the Environmental Protection Division and chair of the Coast Region Interagency Directors Committee. During his 25-year career with the Ministry of Environment, he has had the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge of the business of the ministry and expertise in strategic planning, financial management and legislation and policy development. Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia, and studied accounting/business at UBC and Thompson Rivers University.
Jim was a trustee on the Saanich Board of Education from 2005-2014. He was vice chair of the board from 2011 through 2014, and chaired the Finance and Facilities Committee, Policy Committee and Human Resources Committee at various times. Jim was also a member of the Capital Regional District Roundtable on the Environment and Economy from 2001- 2003.
Jim shares a home in North Saanich with his wife, Penny, and kids Conor, Stephanie and Maddy.
Tim is a social entrepreneur in the business of making a difference. Wanting to combine his love for the outdoors and social work experience, he founded and is the executive director of the Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society. Tim is also the acting CEO for a private family foundation in Canada, which looks at the problems Canadian NGO’s face, helps find solutions, and funds the resources needed to have impact on a larger scale. In the last two years alone, they have invested more than $6 million into various NGO projects. Tim's passion for large-scale social impact has led him on a variety of other worldwide projects which include youth work stints in Haiti, South East Asia, and conservation projects in the Great Bear Rain Forest. Tim was awarded the 2010 BC Community Achievement Award from the Province of British Columbia.
Board Member, Chair of Human Resources and Governance Committee
Dana is chair of the Board of Partnerships B.C. and a director on the boards of TimberWest and the Capital Regional District Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project. Dana provides consulting services to a variety of public and private corporations related to strategic and business planning, natural resource development, social license, government processes, public infrastructure and governance.
Prior to her current roles, Dana served in the British Columbia public sector for 30 years, during which she held six deputy minister positions in natural resource and economic portfolios. She was also president & CEO of the BC Pavilion Corporation, Destination BC and the BC Lottery Corporation.
Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Forest Science, a Master of Science in Natural Resource Economics, and holds the designation of Chartered Director (C. Dir).
Board Member, Secretary Treasurer
Mr. Johnston, a lawyer, is a conflict prevention and resolution specialist who deals with a wide range of complex, multi-party, aboriginal, commercial, environmental, land use and public policy issues. Examples of Mr. Johnston’s mediation work include many of British Columbia’s CORE and LRMP land use processes, the Whitehorse Mining Initiative, the Canadian Roundtable on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Canadian Extractive Industries Operating in Developing Countries, the Great Bear Rainforest (over a seventeen year period), BC Hydro’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, numerous issues associated with fin-fish aquaculture in BC, the British Columbia Climate Leadership Team, and the discussions between a number of oil sands companies and environmental organizations that led to their mutual support of the 2016 Alberta Climate Leadership Plan. He is also a founding member and director of the COCO Cafe, an award winning social enterprise established to create skills training, employment and socialization opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities, and a director of the Nanaimo Association for Community Living.
Darcy’s longstanding interest in the relationships between people and place has fuelled a professional career that encompasses public service, non-profit leadership and consulting. She has worked with federal, provincial and local governments; Indigenous groups; NGOs; community associations; academic institutions; and businesses, bringing expertise in strategic planning, negotiations, communications and facilitation to help multi-party ventures define and achieve shared community development and conservation goals. In recent years, much of Darcy’s work has been directed at advancing collaborative marine planning and ocean ecosystem management on Canada’s west coast. Darcy currently manages the wabe consulting, and also serves on the boards of directors of Coast Opportunity Funds and of Ocean Networks Canada. Her academic background combines science and literature, and she has put both into practice as author and editor of a number of science textbooks and other publications.
The BC Parks Foundation was created in 2017 and began operations in 2018. While the Foundation itself is new, the combined track record of board members and staff includes:
- Creating and running companies valued at over $3 billion
- Serving as deputy and assistant deputy minister of numerous provincial government agencies
- Leading First Nations councils and organizations, including chairing the BC Treaty Commission
- Mediating and facilitating significant conservation initiatives including the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, Wild Salmon Policy, and the BC Climate Leadership Team.
- Running four major crown corporations with annual revenues over $1 billion
- Running and sitting on the boards of numerous foundations, school boards, non-profits and social enterprises.
- Leading campaigns to create over four million hectares of parks in BC and enabling more than $10 million in projects enhancing natural spaces.
To see results of the Foundation's initiatives, visit our "What" page.
The Foundation retains an auditor for its financial statements.
Founding Member & Champion
In many ways parks have made me who I am. As an Ontario boy, I thought of Algonquin Park as a kind of Nirvana. It denoted wilderness and nature in a pure form. Wolves roamed there. When I landed a job, ages 17-19, doing “chores” at the research station, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It also became apparent that the people who worked in parks, the rangers and naturalists, were an important part of the scene. They appreciate and protect nature for others to enjoy. These people became my role models.
BC parks are among the most spectacular in the world because this province is blessed with a great variety of natural habitats from mountains to marine. We need to use them or lose them but at the same time we must not love them to death with too many amenities. It will take vigilance and budgets to guarantee that our parks will be as beneficial to future generations as they are to us.
My life took a turn at 15 when I spent a summer in Manning Park, working as a member of the Youth Crew, building trails, fighting fires, maintaining the campgrounds. Splitting firewood in the sun, with room and board and three dollars a day the only financial reward, taught me that work is not about money; it's about pride, strength, perseverance and grit, values that would forge the foundation of my professional life. Altogether, I worked eight seasons for BC Parks, culminating in a much coveted position as the first park ranger in the Spatsizi Plateau, British Columbia's largest wilderness park. My job description was deliciously vague; public relations and wilderness assessment. In two four month seasons my partner and I encountered not a dozen visitors, leaving us free to wander, as we mapped the trails, surveyed the wildlife, ran the rivers, and established routes up all the major peaks. This prolonged apprenticeship with the Parks, all that I learned in E.C. Manning and Naikoon, Mount Assiniboine, Atlin Mountain, Mount Edziza, and Spatsizi Plateau, left me with both a deep appreciation of nature, and a profound sense of belonging, a spirit of place that is the essence of Canadian patriotism. In good measure, I owe my life and career to BC Parks. Surely the opportunities that I had in my youth, the chance to unburden an adolescent mind and reward the body with hard physical work, to experience for the first time the true miracle of nature, to seek the promise of transformation, even transcendence, as found only in the wild heart of the world, ought to be part of the birthright of every new generation of British Columbians.
My family did not have very many luxuries. Growing up as a child in East Vancouver, our weekend family time was exploring the numerous parks to the north and east of Vancouver. Free access to parks was essential for my parents to entertain and educate my sister and me. I love our parks to this day.
Dr. Sally Otto
From Ruckle Provincial Park in the Garry oak ecosystem to the glacier-fed lakes of Mount Assiniboine, the parks of British Columbia are truly majestic. Camping in these parks allows families, like mine, to experience nature directly and to pass along to our children a love of wildlife. The parks are also a critical refuge for the most endangered animals and plants. BC is home to the most species diversity of any province in Canada but also home to the most species at risk. Without well managed parks, we are likely to lose dozens, if not hundreds, of the animal and plant species that make BC so special.
Founding Member and Champion
I was born in Port Alberni and grew up on Vancouver Island. That was the era when family vacations meant packing the camping gear into the trunk of the Buick and heading off down one BC's brand new highways. It was pure exploration and discovery - the Cariboo, the Slocan Valley, the Big Bend highway, the Chilcotin - exploring the wonders of the province by day, and pulling in for the night at a BC Parks campground. Those experiences kindled my love of exploration and new vistas, which took me around the world as a scientist (biology PhD) then later as a technology entrepreneur. I founded the BC-based Tula Foundation in 2002 and set up Tula’s Hakai Institute in 2010. Hakai develops the tools, systems, people and insights we need to understand our coastal ecosystems in the context of climate change, and to deal with the consequences that are coming. We operate field stations at remote locations on the BC coast. We have our own scientific staff plus a large network that includes university researchers, government scientists and First Nations. For the past eight years we have enjoyed a very close and productive partnership with BC Parks via our Calvert Island field station, which is located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Dr. Andrew Day
Chief Executive Officer
Andy is an executive leader in resource and environmental management. Through his career, Andy has been responsible for leading Canada’s first oceans co-management board under the Ocean’s Act with four levels of government and ten marine sectors; leading the only Integrated Ocean and Coastal Management Strategy in Canada endorsed by all governments and marine sectors; and leading the development of ecological and human well-being indicators for Canada’s Pacific Northwest. Trained in law and with a doctorate degree, Andy has fished commercially, smokejumped and run a sustainable seafood company.
Chief Financial Officer / Chief Operating Officer
Sarah is an operations and finance executive that leads companies towards excellence, efficiency and maximum profitability. She spent most of her career growing fashion brands in New York City, and followed her love of the outdoors, waterfalls and camping to a very different life in beautiful BC. Sarah has an MBA in Strategy, Accounting, and Social Innovation and a BS in Finance and Marketing, both from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Dr. Melissa Lem
Director, Parks Prescriptions
Melissa is a family physician and board member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment who is frequently tapped by national media and environmental organizations to write and speak on the nature-health connection. Appearing on CBC TV’s Steven and Chris for four seasons, she continues to educate diverse audiences on air. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of British Columbia and was the inaugural winner of University College’s Young Alumni of Influence Award at the University of Toronto.
Communications & Marketing Manager
Colleen learned to tell stories at a young age while sitting around campfires at the most beautiful parks in BC. Over time, she graduated from telling terrible, not scary ghost stories to her family to engaging, passionate brand stories for non-profits, local businesses and global corporations. Colleen has an MA in Communication Studies from Arizona State University and a brain full of trivia and trivial information from various books, podcasts and general web sleuthing.
Manager, Events & Experiences
With over ten years of conference and event management experience in the public and private sectors, Ariele brings a deep appreciation for the diverse communities of people and environmental landscapes of our province. She has a BA in sociology from the University of Victoria and grew up exploring British Columbia's vast and various parks. When Ariele isn’t creating meaningful experiences for the parks community, you can find her camping, playing board games or exploring the globe.
Citizen Science Project Coordinator
Kelly’s love of coastal biodiversity, ecology and the outdoors comes in part from growing up exploring shorelines and forests on B.C.’s south coast. She further developed this enthusiasm with a BSc. in Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, followed by a switch to the east coast for a Master of Marine Management degree at Dalhousie University. Kelly enjoys connecting people with nature, spending time in natural spaces and forcing friends to stop on hikes so she can take photos and try to identify species.
Colleen recently made the move to the West Coast in pursuit of finding a balance between the hustle and bustle of city life and the grounding forces of the mountains, ocean and forests. After completing a BA in Sociology and Business she has made it her mission to contribute to companies and organizations that prioritize the wellbeing of society and the natural world. When not out hiking B.C.’s beautiful trails, she is curled up at home with a travel book planning her next adventure.
Special Projects Coordinator
Emma grew up in Vancouver as a daughter of European immigrants who couldn’t resist the call of B.C.’s mountains. Following her love of the outdoors, Emma has studied in Australia, Namibia, trekked through the Himalayas and completed a BSc in Natural Resource Conservation at UBC. She is fascinated by the challenges and potential of multi-party collaboration, has a particular passion for B.C.’s wild spaces and can be found on many weekends in muddy hiking boots.
Smart Park Designer
Mhairi is a university student passionate about the environment and preserving the natural beauty our world has to offer. Growing up off the grid in B.C.'s beautiful Georgia Straight, she has always felt deeply connected with nature and knows the importance of getting outside and unplugged. Mhairi is creative at heart and when she isn't out skiing Cypress or exploring the forest in Tofino she can be found drawing designs and writing about her adventures.
Steve fostered a deep respect and appreciation of the outdoors growing up in Vancouver's North Shore forests and mountains. Now a student at UVic’s Gustavson School of Business, he spends his free time surfing, climbing, skiing and biking in B.C.’s parks and is committed to promoting sustainable business practices – most notably creating a portfolio of carbon offsets to which his school committed nearly $20,000.
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And often, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.”
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