CPAWS Trustees

Oliver Kent, President

Oliver Kent has been a trustee of CPAWS since 2006, and was national Treasurer until being elected as President in 2009. He was previously Treasurer of the Ottawa Valley chapter. Oliver spent most of his 35-year professional career as a partner in the management consulting practice of Price Waterhouse, which became part of PricewaterhouseCoopers and was later acquired by IBM. He provided advice to federal, provincial and municipal governments and Crown corporations across Canada on business, operational and technology strategy; program management; and the implementation of change. He also had local and national leadership responsibilities for consulting in the public sector. When he retired from IBM in 2008, Oliver returned to graduate school and earned an MA in Economics focusing on resource and environmental economics. He also has a BA in Economics, an MBA, and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). Oliver has been an outdoor enthusiast for five decades. He has enjoyed canoeing, backpacking, cycling, cross-country skiing, and running in every province and territory of Canada. He spent Christmas of 2008 climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with his daughter. His wife, Martine Jaworski, is a paediatrician focusing on learning and behavioural issues. Together, they have three adult children.

Marie-Eve Marchand, Chair, Conservation Committee

Marie-Eve Marchand is from Lac St-Jean, Quebec and now lives in Banff, Alberta. She has a business degree, a Masters in Environmental Sciences and has extensive experience with non-profit management, advocacy and communication. She started with CPAWS Quebec in 2004. As a former Executive Director of the CPAWS Quebec chapter she helped develop the idea of Wilderness in French “Nature sauvage” and played a key in role to initiate the Quebec government’s commitment to protect at least half of Northern Quebec.  She also received the Golden Leaf Award from the Canadian Council on ecological Integrity for the work she led to protect the Dumoine watershed for both CPAWS Ottawa Valley and CPAWS Quebec. She became a CPAWS National Trustee in 2009, and she is participating in the major donor campaign, on the Executive Committee and chairs the National Conservation Committee.  She is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WPCA). She is currently working in a campaign to bring the plains bison back to Banff National Park in Canada as well as working on the Nature Needs Half program with WILD Foundation, USA.

Alex Abboud,Chair, 
Engagement Committee

Alex Abboud has a passion for nature and the outdoors dating back to childhood camping and hiking trips throughout Canada. He lives in Edmonton and became involved with CPAWS in 2007, serving on the Northern Alberta chapter board from 2008-11, and as chair of the Northern Alberta board from 2008-10. He became a Trustee of the National organization in 2011, and presently serves as Chair of the Engagement Committee.  Alex has 10 years experience in communications, government affairs, and stakeholder relations. He is the Director, Communications & Fund Development for Homeward Trust Edmonton, a large non-profit in the human services sector. Previously, he worked at City Hall in Edmonton, and on post-secondary issues as Vice-President External of the University of Alberta Students' Union in Edmonton, then as Executive Director of Students Nova Scotia in Halifax. He has been an online contributor and blogger for local, national, and international sites on the topics of politics and urban development. In 2013, he was recognized by Avenue Magazine as one of Edmonton's Top 40 Under 40 for his contributions to the community. Alex is a marathon runner, and also enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing.

Andre Valillee, 

Andre Vallillee joined the Metcalf Foundation as Environment Program Director in 2014, bringing to this role extensive experience in environmental philanthropy, environmental planning, and capacity building strategies. Prior to joining Metcalf, Andre worked for five years as a Program Manager with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, overseeing the province-wide environmental grants portfolio and serving as the Foundation’s Strategy Lead for the environment sector. He is Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and currently serves on the National Board of Trustees of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund’s Grants & Programs Committee. Andre received his Bachelors in Environmental Studies and Political Science from the University of Victoria, his Masters in Planning from the University of British Columbia, and completed an Executive Education program in Leadership and Organizing through Harvard Kennedy School.

Laura Colella

Laura is a lawyer and has been a member of the Quebec bar since 2005. In addition to her LL.B., Laura has diplomas in civil and commercial mediation as well as in special education. She currently works with the federal government, in the field of criminal and administrative law and has previous experience in civil litigation. Over the years, she has been deeply involved in her community, both in Montreal and in Ottawa. She has worked with numerous non-profit organizations with a social vocation, sitting on boards of directors and offering strategic and legal advice. Laura is a bilingual relationship builder, with extensive political and communications experience. Her focus is building a strong community through civic engagement.

Mike Robinson

Mike Robinson is the principal of Michael Robinson Consulting, a management consulting practice advising boards and senior management on issues in the cultural sector. He attended the University of British Columbia and University College, Oxford, and holds degrees in Anthropology and Law. During his 30- year career in Calgary he worked as a senior regulatory compliance officer in the energy industry, a professor and research institute director at the University of Calgary, and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Glenbow Museum. From January 2009 until December 2014, he led the start- up of the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver, now a dynamic player in the local arts scene. He divides his time between Skelhp House on the BC coast and Vancouver, and writes a Sunday opinion column for Troy Media. He is currently working on a book about the process of thoughtful retirement. Mr. Robinson has chaired the boards of the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Polar Commission, co- chaired the ImagineCALGARY sustainability process, and led the Calgary Bow Valley Centre Redevelopment initiative. In 2004 Mr. Robinson became a Member of the Order of Canada.

Philippa “Pippa” Lawson, Chair, Governance Committee

Pippa is based in Whitehorse, Yukon where she works part time as a government lawyer and part time as a consultant on privacy and consumer protection issues.  Before moving to Yukon with her spouse in 2008, Pippa spent over 17 years as an Ottawa-based national and international consumer advocate, first as counsel with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and then as founding Director of the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa.  Initially on the board of CPAWS-Yukon, she joined the National Board in 2010.  Pippa is an active outdoors person and is most happy skiing, hiking or paddling in the unspoiled backcountry.

Amy Roberts

A Government Affairs and Corporate Responsibility professional, with years of experience working on legislative policy and in political arenas.  Amy is currently the Director of Sustainability for Mountain Equipment Co-op, working to reduce their environmental footprint at the product and corporate level and ensure responsible sourcing practices.  She also brings to CPAWS experience leading private sector initiatives focused on the conservation of public lands, and funding for parks and trails.  Amy’s love of the land was fueled by rock climbing and backcountry skiing, and she has since served on numerous boards and associations representing the outdoor industry and promoting human-powered recreation and the preservation of landscapes.

Cathy Wilkinson, 
Vice President

Cathy Wilkinson is a displaced Prince Edward Islander now living in Ottawa. As a consultant, she has worked on a range of environmental issues for a wide variety of North American conservation organizations, foundations and government agencies.  She has extensive experience with Canadian conservation issues and associated partnerships, including past service as Executive Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative, where she spearheaded the development of the Canadian Boreal Forest Framework and the establishment of the Boreal Leadership Council. Her previous experience also includes acting as a policy advisor to two former Environment Ministers. She spends as much time as possible sharing her love for hiking, cross-country skiing and nature in all of its forms with her young family.

Vincent Castellucci

After 45 years as a professor and researcher of neuroscience, Vincent decided to return to his first love, ecology.  Having discovered that CPAWS shares his values he joined the chapter board in Quebec. His background includes years of experience as department chair and vice-dean of a large faculty at the Université de Montréal, and as a member of several boards, including Brain Canada, a centre of excellence in neuroscience and granting body for millions of dollars in research, experiences which have enabled him to develop networks in the corporate, government and academic sectors.  This background has also provided Vincent with considerable experience in management and governance, and in fund-raising.

Bob Halfyard

A newly retired landscape architect, Bob brings extensive expertise and experience in planning, designing and managing parks and protected areas across Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Parks, Nunavut Territorial Parks and the Canadian Arctic.   His experience also includes directing the establishment of two large wilderness reserves and numerous smaller ecological reserves, and he has authored management plans for terrestrial and marine protected areas, reserves and parks.  Bob has served on a number of boards, often in an officer position, including the boards of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas, and he is currently Vice President of the CPAWS Newfoundland Chapter.

Nikita Lopoukhine

Nik brings to the board deep conservation & ecological experience, including development of land mapping of ecosystems  (Waterton Lakes National Park, Gatineau Park, Pukaskwa National Park) and the first ecologic land classification efforts in Labrador (for Torngat Mountains National Park and Mealy Mountains National Park).  He retired from Parks Canada in 2005 as Director General of National Parks. During his career with Parks Canada he was responsible for leading the development of current fire management strategies, climate change awareness, and ecological restoration & monitoring.  After retirement from Parks Canada, he chaired for two terms the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and currently serves on the board of the US Wildlands Network.  Author of many publications, in 2012 he received the CPAWS Harkin Medal for lifetime achievement in conservation for promoting scientific discussion & conservation within Parks Canada and for promoting Canadian conservation & park values globally. As well, Nik was awarded the Golden Leaf Award by CCEA in 2013 and the Brandwein Institute Medal in 2014.

Nik is very familiar with CPAWS and looks forward to continuing to contribute to national parks and wilderness issues, including marine issues, ecological integrity, connecting the next generation to nature, and greater involvement with indigenous peoples.

Amber Nicol Amber is a professional land use planner with a diverse range of policy and strategic planning experience, primarily focused in environmental planning and community sustainability. Raised in the BC interior, she has lived and worked in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Northern Alberta. With her move to BC this summer, Amber is departing as President of the board of the Northern Alberta chapter of CPAWS, where she led the chapter through a rebuilding/re-energizing process over the past 3-4 years and acted on a volunteer basis as the chapter’s Executive Director during transition periods.  In addition to her professional experience in conservation, Amber brings to CPAWS significant training and/or experience in board governance, human resources, fundraising, and financial management.


Lavinia Mohr

Lavinia is a senior executive with an international NGO that works with secular and faith-based partners in 120 countries to promote communication for social change.  Over her almost 30-year career, she has worked in senior management positions with several NGOs at the local, national and international levels in BC, Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta.  Lavinia is Treasurer of the CPAWS Wildlands League board and also serves on the board of the Toronto Field Naturalists.  Fluent in French and Spanish, she brings to CPAWS a depth of experience in non-profit organizational and financial management, human resources and board governance.

Elmer Ghostkeeper

Elmer is a community leader, author and independent consultant on social, cultural, economic and political matters. He specializes in the partnering of aboriginal wisdom with western scientific knowledge for holistic learning. Based in Northern Alberta, Elmer is a councilor for the Buffalo Lake Metis Settlements Council and sits on an Elders Wisdom Circle. His significant contributions to the social, political and cultural fabric of the Metis community in Canada were recognized with an Order of the Metis Nation awarded to him in 2004. Elmer is a strong supporter of CPAWS and its vision for protecting 50% of Canada’s land and water mass. He is fluent in Michif (a blend of Cree and French) as well as English