2023 CPAWS AGM Notice and Nominations for the National Board

The CPAWS Annual General Meeting will be held by video conference on Monday, September 25th, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

To confirm your attendance, please contact CPAWS Administrative Coordinator at [email protected]. She will provide the virtual meeting login information and circulate the AGM agenda and other corresponding materials in advance of the meeting.

Nominations for the CPAWS National Board

Under CPAWS’ bylaws, members of the Board of Trustees are elected for three-year terms. Trustees can be re-elected for a maximum of nine years. All trustees are volunteers.

Each year, the CPAWS Board Development Committee recommends candidates to fill vacancies arising from Trustees reaching their term limits or deciding to resign. The Committee follows policies which are intended to ensure that the Board has a combination of relevant skills, experience at the chapter level, and geographic balance. It seeks suggestions through the CPAWS website and from current and past Trustees, Chapter Directors, and friends of CPAWS.

Proposed Nominees for Election to the CPAWS Board of Trustees, September 2023

The Board Development Committee is proposing five candidates for election as national Trustees this year. The Board will continue to seek candidates to fill vacancies who meet gaps in the Board’s current composition, and under its bylaws may appoint Trustees to serve in an interim capacity until the subsequent AGM.

Michael Wong, Quebec (standing for a first term)

Michael has over 30 years of experience with the federal public service of Canada, as a scientist and senior executive at Environment Canada and Parks Canada. For over 15 years, he directed the development and implementation of natural resource conservation programs in Canada’s national parks, marine conservation areas and other protected areas, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as the Executive Director for Ecological Integrity at Parks Canada. As the Regional Chair for North America for the IUCN World Commission on Protected Area (2012-2023), he provided leadership in the Inspiring a New Generation theme at the 2014 World Parks Congress and co-chaired the IUCN Task Force for #Nature for All. Michael is a recipient of the 125th Anniversary Confederation of Canada Medal (1992) as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) honouring Canadians who have made significant contributions to fellow citizens, to their community or to the country.

Dolorès André, Quebec (standing for a first term)

Dolorès André is a member of the Innu Nation from the community of Matimekush-Lac John located in north of Quebec, Canada. She resides in Montreal and has extensive experience with the environmental and cultural challenges faced by indigenous peoples in Québec. For the past 8 years, she has volunteered in this field and is now acting as the Project Manager of Uapashkuss, a non-profit organization working toward the recognition and protection of Innu natural sacred sites. Dolorès possess 26 years’ work experience as Coordinator for the Montreal Urban Service of the First Nations Human Resources Commission of Quebec and was also involved in various boards and working committees in implementing programs and services for the on and off reserve communities in Quebec.

Alexandra Tzannidakis, Ontario (standing for a second term)

Alexandra is a senior lawyer in the Charitable and Not-for-Profit Law group at KPMG Law LLP in Ottawa, where she has specialized in tax and charity law since 2013. She works with organizations of all sizes across Canada to help them navigate the complex world of taxes, corporations, governance, and non-profit/charity regulations. She has served as a member of the executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Charities & Not-for-Profit section for several years, as well as a director of various socially minded charities. She frequently speaks and writes on topics of interest to charities and non-profit organizations, and her work appears in high-profile industry publications.

Jennifer Smith, Quebec (standing for a second term)

Jennifer brings over a dozen years of experience with environmental non-profit organizations, including in governance and in local and national conservation issues. Born and based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/ Montréal and fluent in French, Jennifer served as a board member for SNAP Québec for 6 years, including as president, vice president, and director of the Planning and Conservation Committee. In addition to SNAP Québec, she has worked for CPAWS Nova Scotia and CPAWS National Office and has volunteered with CPAWS New Brunswick and CPAWS Southern Alberta. She is a founding member of Pour nos enfants / For Our Kids Montréal, a group of families working on solutions to the climate crisis and has also worked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Alberta. With a master’s in biology, Jennifer currently works as an editor in the sciences.

Charles Côté, Quebec (standing for a second term)

Charles Côté is a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Previously, he was a journalist for more than 20 years, covering the environment at La Presse in Montreal for most of his career. He was trained in law, graduating from Université de Montréal (LL.B. 1989). He practices many outdoor activities, hiking, canoeing and cross-country skiing with his wife and two teenage children.

Denise Withers, British Columbia (standing for a second term)

Denise is a leadership coach who’s been helping social and environmental changemakers grow their impact for 35 years. She discovered her passion for wilderness as a white-water kayaker on the Ottawa River in the early ’80s and has spent her life finding ways to explore and protect it ever since, as an award-winning filmmaker, non-profit leader, and change consultant. Working with clients from governments and educators to scientists and start-ups, Denise has done things like promote clean energy, protect endangered species, preserve ecosystems, advance Indigenous health care, and accelerate climate action leadership. Her storytelling work has inspired millions of people around the globe to take action for good, through media channels that include Discovery, CBC, National Geographic, the UN, and Financial Post. Most recently, she helped an ocean non-profit almost double its size, revenue, and impact in less than a year. Denise has served on several boards, including spending two terms as Vice-President of the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC. For fun, she hikes and paddles the wet coast of Vancouver Island with her two dogs and starts campfires in the rain.

Other Candidates

While the Board Development Committee makes every effort to put together the best slate, our bylaws allow any member who feels that the slate falls short of the needs of CPAWS to submit alternative candidates. Any such nominations should be submitted no later than August 21st, to Sandra Schwartz, National Executive Director, at [email protected]  Nominations must include the name of the nominee, their written consent, address, phone number, email, a brief biography, and the signatures/support of 25 members of CPAWS.

Thank you for your support. On behalf of the National Board of Trustees and the CPAWS team, we look forward to your participation in the CPAWS 2023 AGM.