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.
An experienced and educated professional, passionate about building community and adventures in nature, Jenn ignites talent and leadership within the Power To Be team to accomplish wildly audacious goals. Her experience from the tech, retail and recreation sectors matched with an impressive 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. When she’s not wearing her director hat, Jenn finds solace in volunteering for Every Step Counts, laughing with friends on climbing trips and cycling with her young 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 a Graduate Certificate in Professional Communication 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 the people within 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.
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 brings Power To Be qualified experience working with individual and group therapeutic activities such as wheelchair mobility training, exercise classes, individual prescribed exercises, cognitive groups and social groups to restore, improve, and maintain patient’s functional abilities. Leading a life that defines active recreation, travel and inclusiveness, she’s routinely planning excursions to enjoy the great outdoors via hiking, trail running, swimming, mountain biking, triathlons (add infinitum). This year she organized a group Summit Series to climb a mountain a month, everything from local hikes to peaking Golden Hinde. Her quote to live by come from Helen Keller: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
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.
A rider of wild waters, knower of secret places, mountain tamer and untracked powder slayer, Duncan spends more time sleeping outside than in since working with Power To Be. With an impressive catalogue of international travel and treks from New Zealand, Borneo, Everest Base Camp to Desolation Sound (and many in between) matched by a CV that would make Survivor Man blush, Duncan has shaped the Wilderness School into a successful program making a positive impact in the community. Highly certified as a Paddling and Canoe Guide, Climbing Instructor, Leave No Trace Master Educator, he also has a bachelor of education degree in outdoor education, English, and drama.
Gaby is an ebullient, all-weather adventurer. Teethed on Vancouver Island’s wilder places, Gaby accrued extensive leadership experience as camp counselor, kayak guide and leadership development instructor. French bilingual, she has traveled to Costa Rica, France, Mexico and the Australian outback, occasionally puncturing her pursuit of the endless summer with winter activities such as skiing, mountain-camping and puddle-jumping. Inspired by the role-models who helped shape her early education of the outdoors, Gaby views leadership as nurturing the creative ability to find opportunities within any challenging situation. With an accomplished portfolio of wilderness certifications, Gaby blended her dedication to ecotherapy with her BA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria. Having volunteered with Power To Be for more than a quarter of her life, Gaby aspires to enable others to find confidence in their passions for nature and outdoor recreation.
An explorer at heart, Gillie’s story is one of travel and writing. Adventures took her Toronto to Australia to Taiwan and Whistler before she returned to her hometown of Victoria. A noted writer, she has been shortlisted twice for the Writers Union of Canada awards and received a National Magazine Awards honourable mention. She is most proud of her work establishing Every Step Counts, a walking and running program for adults who self-identify with challenges with mental health, addiction, poverty and social isolation. With a deep connection to nature and time outside, Gillie enjoys hiking, running, beach scrambling, SCUBA diving, kayaking and looking for more to discover.
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.
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.
A selfish do-gooder, Megan has spent her life travelling around the world looking for the next opportunity to work with youth and people with diverse needs and connect them with nature. Taking her passion for camping, paddling and adventure, Megan also brings a ton of expertise and education with a BA in social work, extensive wilderness and paddling training, and leadership facilitation to 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?”
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 is currently pursuing a BA in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University, and has travelled the globe by foot and sail.
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.
Robbie has spent a lifetime learning from nature’s classroom. Born in Powell River, his childhood instilled a love for the outdoors and activities such as kayaking, canoeing and camping. His education follows a similar path. With certifications and training in activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving and first aid, he also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Health Education and is pursuing a Masters in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria. Keen to explore the world around him, he started travelling solo at 19, volunteering and working in Costa Rica, Chile, Hong Kong, France and the UK. Robbie is inspired by nature-based learning opportunities and committed to helping others share in those experiences.
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.
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.
Owner and Operator, Dwyer Tax Lawyers
Blair believes in little acts with big results. “I want to be remembered as someone who brought a small bit of additional happiness to someone else or who made someone else’s load a little bit lighter,” he says. A tax and estate planning lawyer, Blair is a member of the Victoria Estate Planning Council, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Canadian Tax Foundation. On behalf of the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (Amsterdam), he wrote and regularly updates the Canadian volume in their collection on the tax systems of the world.
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.
Owner and Operator, Innovative Fitness Victoria
Jeff’s passion for health and fitness is strengthened by his commitment to helping others achieve their goals. As the owner of Innovative Fitness Victoria, Jeff is a passionate teacher who excels at empowering individuals to get outside of their comfort zones. Jeff hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the Grand Canyon, and completed the West Coast Trail in three days (twice). An avid cyclist and runner, he has competed in multiple races. He seeks out adventures to challenge himself and contribute to team efforts.
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, 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.