We are a passionate team, driven by a shared commitment to our community. With our combined experience and love for the outdoors, we support our participants day in and day out to deliver the best possible adventures they can experience, while connecting the community and changing the definition of ability.
Tim has been involved in youth work and the non-profit sector for nearly 30 years. Initially supporting young adults with disabilities at a summer camp as a teenager, Tim’s passion for the outdoors and supporting others led to a leadership program at Yamnuska Mountaineering School in Canmore, Alberta. This is where the inspiration came to help youth and families living with barriers climb their own mountains. With the help of a small government grant in 1998, the Power To Be adventure began and has grown to reach more than 8,000 youth and families to date. Maintaining an avid love of the outdoors, adventure and humanitarian work, Tim’s recent highlights include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and travelling to support Haiti relief. His greatest accolade, among many in recent years, came in 2011 when he received the British Columbia Community Achievement Award from the lieutenant-governor of B.C.
As a fifth generation Vancouver Islander, Dana knows the power of getting outside and sharing those experiences through stories. She spent 15 years at CHEK Television, where she led a team responsible for covering Vancouver Island’s news. She is a Jack Webster Foundation Award winner and a Social Media Award for Excellence in Engagement winner. She applies her skills for connecting people to stories that inspire and opportunities to change lives. An enthusiastic B.C. Lions fan, she spends her downtime cheering for the team and exploring.
Jay’s very fabric is sewn from the love of the outdoors. For more than 19 years, he has sought the restorative qualities of the natural environment and worked to support populations that can benefit from connecting with themselves through the power of nature. His appreciation for key mentors in his life has contributed to values of community responsibility, integrity, self-worth, leadership, and compassion, which he distils into all programs as Power To Be’s Director of Programs. Holding a BA in Outdoor Recreation with honours from Lake Head University, Jay’s leadership over the dynamic committed team of youth workers and outdoor professionals ensures he will make this world a little better than when he came into it.
Jenn is passionate about building community and adventures in nature. Her experience from the tech, retail and recreation sectors matched with a BComm Honours from the University of Ottawa and a Graduate Certificate of European Management from Ecole Superieure du Commerce de Rouen has earned her a reputation as a tenacious solutions-oriented and people-focused business leader. Outside of work and based in Victoria, Jenn is a board member with the Child and Nature Alliance and champion for outdoor play, a passion that informs her weekly micro-adventures with family. Jenn’s leadership is rooted on the belief that character is what you do when no one is looking.
Hailing from an East Coast fishing town, the ocean has always felt like home for Alli. After graduating from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition she set out to travel the globe and learn more about other cultures. With the mountains in her backyard and the ocean in the front Alli is happy to call Vancouver home. She brings a wealth of experience as a canoe and backpacking guide, sailing instructor, personal care worker and youth activities manager. She believes that everyone should have the opportunity to feel first hand the sense of connection that nature provides. The ever changing view from the tent door drives her adventures into nature where she seeks the stillness of the forest and the energy of the waves of the Pacific.
Amy fosters shared experiences through the art of storytelling. With a BA in English and History from St. Francis Xavier University, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College and graduate certificate in professional communication and project management from Royal Roads University, her experience in print and new media is what guides her in sharing authentic stories. By empowering the voices of others, she specializes in marrying people with projects to ensure messages are representative of a community. Drawn to West Coast beaches and forests, Amy counts herself lucky to call Victoria home.
A self-proclaimed student in the school of life, Andrea’s curiosity has taken her from Canada to Nepal, South East Asia and Japan, seeking experiences that enrich community and self along the way. Rooted in lessons from her mother’s work in respite care, she values compassion, tolerance and resilience. Combined with her love for nature and a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management from Capilano University, Andrea finds inspiration in connecting people with the natural world and knows the value of dreaming big to see what is possible.
Growing up on Galiano Island Ashleigh explored our local coastlines and trails, while her school breaks were spent further a field backpacking in South America and Europe. Since, she has had the opportunity to travel further including Antarctica, South East Asia, Nepal, India, and Australia. Holding a BA in Recreation and Health Education from the University of Victoria, she brings her experiences working at The Boulders Climbing Gym and the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island to her role supporting volunteers. A former Power To Be volunteer herself, she loves seeing how outdoor experiences bring people together and creates community.
Brian is a problem solver by nature. Born and raised in Montreal, his passion for the outdoors and exploring has taken him to every province in Canada. He looks at the world with an eye for how things work, drawing him from a background in forest recreation and civil engineering to architectural engineering and project management with a focus on the construction industry. His focus on continual learning and teaching pairs well with his commitment to family and time dedicated to being a volunteer firefighter.
Combining her love of wilderness and ocean with a passion to support people living with cognitive, emotional, neurological and complex needs, Carinna has embedded her knowledge and years of experience to create profound connection and transformations through nature at Power To Be. Holding a BA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, Carinna trains staff in behaviour management communication strategies and non-violent crisis intervention. She has been at the helm of the Adaptive Recreation program since 2005, developing, expanding and resourcing Power To Be with staff, students and volunteers to inspire greatness and be stewards of positive change.
A passionate advocate for people living with barriers, Carolyn wants everyone to experience the brilliance and power of nature. Holding a degree in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and several certifications ranging from personal trainer to first aid, Carolyn has experience working with individual and group therapeutic activities such as wheelchair mobility training, exercise classes, and social groups to restore, improve, and maintain patient’s functional abilities. Leading a life rooted in active recreation, travel and inclusiveness, she’s routinely planning excursions to enjoy the great outdoors via hiking, trail running, swimming, mountain biking, canoeing, backpacking and more.
Growing up in Brentwood Bay, the ocean, beaches and forests were Clay’s playground. Through an early introduction to skills and love for outdoor recreation through the Metchosin Camp’s boys leadership program, several well-deserved scholarships and opportunities ignited his pursuit of youth work and outdoor recreation that has served the community for 10 strong years. With a BA in Recreation and Health from the University of Victoria, a long list of paddling, first aid, and wilderness certifications, and accolades including the United Way Youth Now Award, Youth Worker of the Year (2010), Clay creates opportunities for participants to realize their goals.
Clinton has followed white water rivers throughout his life, bringing him from Ontario to B.C. where he is now cultivating an appreciation for the ocean. A love of paddling and travel has seen him explore North America via raft, kayak and canoe. With more than a decade of experience in the field of wilderness therapy focused on mental health issues, he sees nature as a place where people can learn, grow and heal.
Growing up on Bowen Island off the coast of B.C., Corra-Rose was regularly immersed in nature, helping her to be appreciative and present in each moment. Corra-Rose has a Diploma in Business Administration and Hospitality from Vancouver Community College. In her previous roles she worked on of both private and public charities; assisting the philanthropic intentions of donors, cultivating national awareness, and managing administration for all donations. Her passion for connectivity and nature was what brought her to Power To Be. Corra-Rose practices Santosha style yoga daily, focused on the practice’s core belief: Contentment for all that we have and appreciation for all that we are.
An organizer by nature, Danica is driven to explore the world around her and refine systems along the way. An avid traveler who grew up in Saskatoon, she found her true home on the West Coast of B.C. With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Danica is well suited to her role as she is wired to understand and hone process while supporting people, all with a focus on making the world work better. Drawing on her family, she knows the value of a strong support network when exploring new things. When not in the office, Danica can be found outside, with friends and family at her side.
Raised in the Toronto area, Ellen has been a West Coaster for 30 years. An avid traveler, she loves to visit small towns in Europe and Central America, exploring by foot, by bike or by water. Closer to home she can be found near the water, on her yoga mat or immersed in good conversation around the dinner table. With more than two decades of building businesses in Victoria, she balances delivering on strategic plans with supporting the goals of those around her. As someone who loves to be immersed in nature, Ellen is in awe of the work Power To Be does to ensure everyone can spend time in nature.
Raised in Cottage Country (otherwise known as Peterborough, Ontario), Em is passionate about connecting people to nature. She has travelled to Europe, Central America, and all over North America, making the trans-Canada road trip three times before settling in Victoria in 2010. With a background in drama and music, Em double-majored in psychology and sociology at the University of Victoria, before completing her Post-Grad in Therapeutic Recreation at Fleming College. With a lifetime of outdoor experiences, her certifications include sea kayaking, canoeing, and wilderness first aid. When she isn’t leading programs, you can find Em hiking through the forest, paddling down a river, or cheering (loudly) for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Graham’s love for running rivers and nature flows from his childhood spent exploring the lakes and forests of Peterborough, Ont. He started guiding canoe trips in 1998 and has since led whitewater rafting and kayak instruction on the Ottawa River, and guided multi-week expeditions in the Yukon and Northwest Territories prior to joining Power To Be. In addition to his outdoor experience, he holds a BA in International Development from McGill University and an MA in International Affairs from Carleton University. Graham has travelled throughout North America, Mexico, and Eastern Africa. Calling Vancouver home since 2015, when he is not in a boat he can often be found hiking, skiing or mountain biking on the North Shore.
James is a jack of all trades, an adaptable talent he lends to ensuring Power To Be’s IT and project logistics run smoothly. With experience in customer service, marketing and communications, he blends multi-tasking with humour to co-ordinate a wide range of support needs for the team. An avid cyclist and hiker, James can often be found exploring the wilds of Vancouver Island with friends, human and canine.
Drawn to the water, Jasmine is a lover of nature and adventure. Born in Ontario, she spent time in Alberta before family ties brought her to the West Coast. She connected with Power To Be as a kayak program participant more than a decade ago, and since joining the staff team has brought her organizational skills and desire to connect people to her role with the Board of Directors. Jasmine actively gives her time to supporting accessible communities, both through her involvement in the Ogden Point breakwater safety railings initiative and through time working with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre. She is motivated by her passion to inspire others to experience the healing power of being in nature. She was a 2015 Courage To Come Back Award finalist.
Jason is an explorer at heart whose travels seem to always lead back to the mountains. Originally from Virginia, USA, he has traversed 18 countries on five continents. With an educational background in business and secondary education, he is currently pursuing a M.S. in Organizational Leadership. His certifications range from adaptive ski instruction to kayaking, big canoe sterner and wilderness first aid responder. As an outdoor educator he has seen firsthand that people are frequently capable of more than they realize. He strongly believes in human-powered recreation and the power of nature to change lives.
Jodi is passionate about connecting people to opportunity. With a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University, she has worked with organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation to connect supporters to meaningful opportunities in their community. An Ontario native drawn to the ocean, Jodi made her home by the sea in New Zealand before moving to Victoria. On her off hours, she can be found on her yoga mat, hiking, biking, camping or on the water.
Vancouver Island’s brilliant coastline and lush forests stole Kendal’s heart after moving out west from Calgary, AB. Kendal holds a BA in Recreation and Health Education at University of Victoria and has grown roots through various non-profit communities in B.C. Kendal has held significant coordinator roles through Recreation Integration Victoria, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, Muscular Dystrophy Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters Victoria. She believes in the incredible power of volunteerism and brings creativity and positivity to the goal of creating connection and building vibrant communities. When she’s not in the office, Kendal finds herself exploring outdoors, teaching dance or on her yoga mat.
A round-the world trip landed Lisa in Victoria, which she describes as an outdoor enthusiast’s oasis. Driven by work with meaning, Lisa is the often people’s first point of contact at Power To Be. Her passion for nature has seen her working for Greenpeace and Western Canada Wilderness Committee, and her love of good food led to co-ownership of an organic café. As mother of two and the understanding that comes from raising a child with a rare disease, Lisa blends empathy for people and a passion for nature into all that she does.
Raised in France, Manue is inspired by her family, who showed her from a young age that so much is possible with the right support. Together with her brother Pierre, who had Cerebral Palsy, she spent her childhood adventuring in the Alps, camping, hiking and skiing. She moved to Canada a decade ago, with the intention of staying a year before she fell in love with the West Coast. With a BA focused on adaptive physical activity and recreation, she is a certified ski instructor and badminton coach. Her favourite word is “yes,” as in “yes, we will take you there, yes, we will find a way and yes, we will make that happen.”
Growing up in the Okanagan Valley with snowy winters and hot summers, Megan spent her youthful years adventuring. Now with two boys of her own, spending time outdoors is a foundation of her family time. Megan combines her passion for camping, paddling and adventure with a BA in Social Work, and wilderness and paddling training, to offer leadership in our programs. In her words, “I want my ability to make others laugh, feel cared for and loved to be remembered. I want to accomplish great things through tiny moments. What drives me is my desire to support others. What’s the world mean if we don’t have one another for support?”
Driven by his passion for inclusion, Mike has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of education and outdoor recreation. With an educational background from the University of Victoria focused on information management, he is also trained as a professional facilitator and a certified visual language interpreter. Mike is passionate about education for marginalized youth. He has experience working as an interpreter, educator and instructor, as well as a manager and program advisor to schools, community organizations and municipal parks and recreation departments. A team player, Mike uses his knowledge and experiences to support the Power To Be program team to continue to reduce barriers for people.
With previous incarnations as a whale-watching naturalist, a bear conservation officer, a park attendant and administrative assistant, Naomi has a knack for communicating with people and connecting them to the information they need. With wit and charisma, her role on the development team is vital to strengthening the connections between Power To Be’s supporters and mission, and keeping the details accounted for. She holds a BSc in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University, and has travelled the globe by foot and sail.
Natasha’s love of the outdoors was fostered in the campgrounds of B.C. and Alberta. With grandparents who were campground hosts, she developed her ability to connect with people from all walks of life at a young age. With a passion for empowering people, she is experienced in corporate and non-profit team training, organizational development, personal and professional coaching and workplace wellness. A Certified Career Development Practitioner and Facilitator, she is also certified as: a Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Instructor, a Motivational Interviewer, a Compassion Fatigue Educator and Resiliency and Recovery Coach. An avid runner, she loves travelling, National Parks, NFL Football and making people laugh.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Paul’s life has always been connected to nature. Influenced by his Maori culture, he has sought out land and sea, learning about the geography and what lives within it. His path took him through the military, volunteer relief work, parenting, youth justice and physical literacy programs before arriving at Power To Be. With a respect for the natural world and his place within it, Paul is inspired by adventure and the diversity of people he meets. In Maori language, a traditional greeting is “Kia Ora!” which means “Be full of life!” It’s a sentiment Paul strives to embody in his actions and encourage in others.
Penni is an Island girl, born and raised. Happiest when the ocean is in sight, she is deeply rooted in family (hers includes her husband, two boys and a miniature dachshund named Ruby). Her career path has taken her from a successful 12-year stint as a hair stylist and into the role of office manager for an architect’s firm. Having honed her bookkeeping and office systems skills over the last decade, she is a perfect fit for the Power To Be team with her people-first approach to balancing the books. Her words to live by come from Maya Angelou, who said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The relationships she nurtures in all aspects of her life are the measure of her success.
Growing up on the West Coast and later travelling the world, Sarah finds great peace and solitude in the forests, rivers and oceans. The Lao Tzu quote, “Silence is a source of great strength” is one Sarah holds close to her heart. Through a lens of understanding and compassion, she provides a safe space for youth and families to disconnect from daily distractions and reconnect with the healing qualities of nature through outdoor wilderness programming. Her unique approach to facilitation supports youth and families in recognizing their capabilities, strengthening their relationship with themselves and each other.
Simon’s journey in the professional outdoor industry spans more than 10 years from rural north Yorkshire (his home town) throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and now North America. Holding a BA with honours in Outdoor Leadership and a Diploma in Adventure Tourism with more than 8,000 hours of soft skill training, Simon also carries a host of certifications in paddling, guiding and instructing that help him stay close to his roots of living simply, happily and taking little from the earth, while teaching others to do the same.
Sylvia’s commitment to more than 10 years of working in child and youth care is matched only by her unwavering love of time spent outside. Holding a BA in Sociology from the University of Calgary, coupled with professional development in suicide and therapeutic crisis intervention, wilderness first aid and former board involvement with the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta, she is a member of the Wilderness School team. Living her own philosophy of “inspiring everyone around me to focus on the positive, be not afraid to try new things and challenge those that tell them they can’t do something,” Sylvia makes the most of her time competitive cycling, traveling the globe (including winning the Women’s 2013 Bermuda Grand Prix of cycling) and getting off the grid at the family cabin on Powell Lake.
Like a walk in the woods, Tanya’s path to Power To Be has been meandering and adventuresome. From her adolescent home in the Yukon, through Alberta where she attended college to Victoria where she calls home, Tanya has been collecting the administrative and writing experience that she brings to her position as Grants Associate. With a diploma in communication arts and a BFA in writing, she can tell stories well. She has worked in both non-profit and for-profit enterprises including a daily newspaper, arts and cultural festivals and even as a student customs inspector. Growing up in the Yukon helped forge Tanya’s deep appreciation and respect for nature. The rain forests and wild coast of Vancouver Island opened up a world of giant trees and new bird species for Tanya to explore.
Inspired by the great outdoors, Trina uses a creative eye to bring Power To Be’s brand to life. She holds a BA with a Major in graphic design and uses her past agency experience and award accolades to influence her design work. An outdoor enthusiast, Trina can often be found on the water in her kayak or surfski and marked a new record for herself by kayaking 55 kilometres across the Georgia Strait. When not exploring the coastline, she can be found immersed in the forest, hiking and camping.
Owner/Operator, Mike Shannon & Associates Inc.
Michael has a 30-year background in executive business management and operations experience in telecommunications, electronic contract manufacturing and a variety of enterprises, from start-ups to multibillion-dollar corporations. He has been responsible for global operations, multi-facility management, strategic business definition and execution, project management and product development/commercialization, and customer management and sales. He is the Capital City Volunteers board president, a BCIC/ACETEC lead mentor and VIATeC board past vice-chair.
Chairman, The Alacrity Foundation
Owen builds community in everything that he does. From technology start-ups to organizations dedicated to improving children’s heath and education, he is an active volunteer and mentor. A general partner at Wesley Clover, he also sits on boards for several technology companies and Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. “I have the privilege of seeing the value and quality of its work firsthand,” he says. “I am excited to lend my expertise at the board level to support that.
Vice-President Finance, Redbrick Media
Brad wants to be part of things that make the world a better place, specifically in areas that generate opportunities for youth. Currently the CFO of Helm Operations, Brad has worked in a financial capacity for many organizations including Custom House, FriesenPress, Moneda Resources Limited and Marv Holland Apparel. He is a board member with VIATeC. Like many people who are passionate about the outdoors, his bucket list of places to go in B.C. is still too long for his liking and the list of amazing places to go worldwide is even longer.
Senior Manager, Canadian Western Bank
Adam is rooted in his community through professional and personal pursuits. A senior account manager in business banking for HSBC, Adam has applied his acumen to advance business goals and help youth better understand investing opportunities. “I truly believe that life is about giving back to the community you live in,” he says. Adam is a member of the Tourism Victoria finance and membership committee, and has previous volunteered with the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement. An avid surfer, Adam can most often be found on the water.
Alex was born and raised in Victoria, before pursuing her education elsewhere in Canada. She holds a Juris Doctor from University of Calgary and a BA in Political Studies from Queen’s University. Called to the bar in 2010, she practices law focused on litigation and conflict resolution. She is a public representative on the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia and is a volunteer debate coach for high school students. She can often be found near the water, beach combing, kayaking and sailing.
Cardiologist, BC Children’s Hospital
Brian applies his medical and leadership skills to his desire to improve people’s quality of life. “I hope to make a difference in the lives of individuals with physical and developmental health challenges,” he says. He trained at the University of Calgary, Children’s Hospital and the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. His practice ranges from the prenatal cardiac evaluation to the care and follow up of children with congenital heart defects through to their adult years. Brian works with Island Health and B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Organization Development Consultant
Cara has more than 19 years’ experience in Human Resources in both the public and private sectors. She is an alumnus of the Education Faculty at the University of Alberta; the Human Resource Management program at Grant MacEwan University; and the Master of Arts in Leadership program with Royal Roads University. Prior to moving to Vancouver Island and joining University of Victoria in 2015, Cara began a consulting career working for the Calgary Stampede and worked with the University of Alberta, Servus Credit Union and the Government of Alberta. Cara dedicates herself to building positive, genuine relationships with people from diverse backgrounds throughout the community. A values-based leader, she takes a collaborative approach to the creation of engaging change and learning solutions for individuals, teams and organizations.
Chief Financial Officer, Tiny Capital
With a passion for travel and anything that gets the blood flowing and the heart racing, you never know where you are going to find Carla – from the slopes seeking out powder stashes, or the peaks of the Himalayas. Carla holds a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria. As a Certified Professional Accountant, her expertise is built on the foundational skills gained during her five years with Deloitte in Vancouver. Carla has returned to her hometown of Victoria to work with Tiny Capital as their Director of Finance. Carla believes in empowering people to overcome barriers and experience the magic of adventures in nature.
Chair, Canada GardenWorks Ltd.
John’s career spans senior management positions with a national Canadian retailer to building one of the leading independently owned retail garden centre companies in Canada. He has played a leadership role in several business, community and philanthropic organizations, in addition to serving as a director on public and private corporations. He is a believer in building strong partnerships and leadership by example. A keen athlete and avid outdoorsman he values the experiences and lessons learned from sport and recreation.
Principal, Bright Blue Strategies
Linnea is a coach at heart, eager to share insights from her 20+ years of experience. Originally from Calgary, she moved to Victoria to take advantage of the West Coast lifestyle. Linnea is an alumna of the University of Victoria (B.Sc.), UBC’s Residential Program for Executive Development, the Banff Centre and the Schulich School of Business in Toronto (Operational Risk Management). She has worked for The City of Calgary, and Canadian Golf Foundation, and now independently consults in strategic planning, communications and risk management. Linnea believes that a connection with nature is essential to stay grounded and maintain perspective. She strives to make a difference with individuals and her community as a whole.
Founder & President, Stride Properties
Matt Peulen is a business leader and innovative housing developer on Southern Vancouver Island. He gained expertise in land acquisition, financial analysis, planning and development over more than 15 years of working in the development industry. Since starting Stride in 2016, Matt has created unique partnerships for affordable housing and built a variety of quality housing projects. Matt is a dedicated volunteer and business mentor, recognized with a variety of business and leadership awards including a 2018 Douglas Magazine 10-to-Watch award.
Principal, Little Tree Communications
Paul is a communications leader with a deep commitment to strategy and story. He has worked in media, public service and universities. He holds a Diploma of Technology, Broadcast Journalism from BCIT and a BA in Communications from Carleton University. He and his partner are raising four active and community minded children. Paul volunteers on island based social enterprises focusing on community health and the environment. He has served on boards for the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, the Saskatchewan Science Centre and Kramer IMAX Theatre. Biking makes his world go around.
Executive Coach, Heads College Consulting
Simon is dedicated to education, connecting people to knowledge first as a teacher and headmaster, and then as a consultant. Following his early postings in Ontario, where he taught Power To Be Executive Director Tim Cormode, he moved to Vancouver Island in 1990. His career has transitioned from providing leadership for schools to an opportunity to use his executive coaching training to help other heads of schools bring out the best in their teams. Bruce-Lockhart holds a BA in English from Yale University and a Certificate of Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. With two Arctic canoe trips undertaken, he can now often be found sailing the waters around Vancouver Island with his wife.