Meet our Team
and Board of Directors

Team

Adrian Midwood

Executive Director

Originally from the Greater Vancouver Area, Adrian went travelling at a young age and didn’t stop until he came home and took on this role. He is a 200-ton ocean rated Captain, professional-level SCUBA diver and small NGO and Business owner from his time in the south pacific islands. His experience on and in the ocean gives him the inspiration to fix this issue and his professional background empowers him to understand how.

For the past 7 years, Adrian has worked directly on waste plastic remediation programs such as:

• developing government programs for Fiji and Tonga on education and waste collection
• building infrastructure and job creation for local rural communities centred around valuing plastics
• social enterprise valuing waste plastics to prevent them from entering our ocean
• creating voluntourism opportunities for people to get engaged on the ground
• A TEDx youth talk
• collaborating with most major international NGOs and foreign embassies based in the South Pacific on frameworks for waste plastic remediation.

Genevieve Wakutz

Communications, Accounts and Social Media

Genevieve studied English Literature, Environmental Studies and Forest Conservation at the University of Toronto and graduated with a BA Hons. in 2018. Her passion for conservation and increasing awareness of critical environmental issues led her to Plastic Oceans. Based out of Southwestern Ontario, Genevieve combines her passions and education to coordinate communications for Plastic Oceans Canada.

Looking forward, her adventure goals include scuba diving through the Great Barrier Reef and hugging a Giant Sequoia on the west coast. She wants to spend her life protecting nature and supporting its growth, so that future generations can experience our world’s natural beauty.

Rachel Stewart-Dziama

Guide, Education

Growing up in Ucluelet, British Columbia, and spending much of her summers in Nova Scotia, Rachel fell in love with wild places and oceans on two coasts. With four seasons as an interpreter with Parks Canada, she has an understanding of ecology and how the delicate balance of natural systems can inspire people to help create positive change. Rachel is presently wrapping up her Bachelor of Science in geography and anthropology at the University of Victoria. With camera in tow, Rachel is often hiking or kayaking. She also enjoys travel and has just returned from a field school in Tanzania.

Nate Slaco

Staff Filmer

Nate is a Vancouver based filmer and story teller that has a passion for conservation. He joined our team to help create clean shorts explaining our interactive experiences and events.

Together we aim to start meeting up with organizations and groups across Canada to tell their stories and how they tackle plastic pollution.

You can see his work here.

Maria Featherstone

Education Coordinator

Maria is an Education Coordinator and began her journey with Plastic Oceans as an Ocean Guardian in the lower mainland of BC. She’s very excited to move into the role of Education Coordinator and lead new Ocean Guardians as they continue to educate students on plastic waste awareness, and sow the seeds for action.

With a BA from Simon Fraser University in English and Communications, and a background in local, non-profit, cultural and business improvement societies, Maria has always steered her endeavours to align with a passion for sustainable living. She didn’t know where the journey would lead when she contacted the POFC to screen the film for her daughter’s class, but when she saw the impact of awareness first hand, she wanted to show this film to as many students as possible.

She emailed every school in her district and soon visited more than 40 schools with an overall attendance of more than 10,000. She knew her actions mattered. For some, sustainable living is already part of their daily lives, for others, it’s a new adventure, but it’s always important to remember no action is too small. Start small, and keep going!

Board of Directors

John McCulloch

President

John McCulloch was until 2011 Managing Partner of the ‘OneWorld’ global airline alliance. Prior to that he was Head of Group Marketing for HSBC worldwide, and before that spent 15 years with Cathay Pacific Airways and the Swire Group based out mainly out of Hong Kong and Japan.

He has a law degree from Cambridge University, and now runs his own consulting and advisory business in Vancouver, also working as a volunteer with various not-for-profit organisations and local charities.

Andrew Mason

Chair

Andrew Mason is a British semi-retired physician who has worked in the UK, New Zealand and the USA as well as several communities across BC as a diagnostic radiologist.

During those years Andrew served on many local medical committees and organizations. Recently he was Chair of the board of the Canadian Association of Radiologists for five years and previously he was a board member for three years. During this time he developed an interest in governance in relation to the non-profit sector and helped evolve the new governance model of the CAR.

Andrew volunteers for Partners for Surgery, a Guatemalan NGO, that serves the underprivileged Mayan Indian population. He undertakes regular trips to the rural areas of Guatemala in order to help the team provide triage and diagnosis prior to possible surgery. He enjoys outdoor activities and is therefore concerned about environmental issues.

Max Wensel

Treasurer

Max Wensel is the Senior Financial Analyst at Pacific M&A and Business Brokers, where his areas of work include business planning, corporate development and strategy, forecasting, and data analysis. He attended the University of Calgary with an initial desire to work in the fields of ecology or marine biology. After making a career switch into finance, he found a need to continue to explore his passion for environmental and ecological causes through volunteerism and engagement with non-profits and charitable organizations which brought him to Plastic Oceans Canada. An avid lover of nature, Max can often be found sailing, kayaking, or on extended hikes throughout the Pacific Northwest and Rocky mountains.

Julie Strilesky

Secretary

Julie has over ten years of experience in both the private and public sectors. Having worked in the sustainability field for lululemon and the BC and Ontario governments, she is an inspired leader who is adept at communications, project management and consensus-building to achieve results. She studied international development and political economy and Queen’s University and the London School of Economics. Julie has recently traveled to South America and Europe, and volunteered with refugees in Greece. She enjoys teaching and practicing yoga, cycling, and everything outdoors.

Tim Stephenson

Education

Tim Stephenson, a science teacher at Walnut Grove Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia was a recipient of the Prime Ministers Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018.

He is an environmental champion who gets his students excited about science. Shaping his teaching to encourage students to engage in science 24 hours a day, he uses SnapChat, Twitter and a very popular course on astronomy to get students talking about science and connecting it to their life.

Outstanding Achievements

  • Created only astronomy course in school district, which students flock to; course led to public outreach opportunities such as star parties and solar eclipse viewing.
  • Lead a year-long research project in the high school, studying the effects of ocean acidification and rising water temperatures on corals and crustaceans.
  • Inspired by Tim, students launched the Engineering Club, meeting regularly after school to transform single-use plastic items bags into permanent and useful objects like plastic bricks.
  • Coordinated science-based field trip to Hawaii to teach students about geology, astronomy, marine biology, agriculture, and the history and culture of Hawaii
  • Was featured at a local TEDx event, speaking about the importance of teachers, the near future of the environmental sciences, and the joy of learning

 

Advisory Panel

Daniel Rotman

Master Recycler Vancouver

Daniel has an M.A. in Conflict Resolution and his mission is to engage in society’s large, multi-party, cross-sector problems. This has brought him to the world of waste, where he now operates a consultancy at the crossroads of waste management and behaviour change. He has experience working in waste planning, private recycling and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). He has also co-created and has been co-facilitating the Master Recycler Vancouver program since 2015, empowering new waste reduction and prevention champions. (See http://www.masterrecyclervancouver.ca/about/).

Daniel also sits on the Board of Directors with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC, see http://www.spec.bc.ca/) and re:FILTER (see https://www.refilter.ca/).

Daniel is thankful to be able to live and play and work on this beautiful land and strives to live in a way to protect it for generations to come.

Dr. Peter Ross

Dr. Ross is an international expert in ocean pollution, having published over 140 scientific articles and book chapters.

He is the Director of the Ocean Pollution Research Institute out of the Vancouver Aquarium, which is an Environmental Microplastics Facility dedicated to developing new techniques and insight into the source, transport, fate and effects of microplastics in the ocean.

His team has published ground-breaking studies documenting the widespread distribution of microplastics in the NE Pacific Ocean and ingestion by zooplankton.

He served as a Research Scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada between 1996 and 2013. He leads research on a variety of different pollutants in marine ecosystems here in the Pacific as well as in the Arctic and has provided advice in support of the regulation, management, and disposal of chemicals of emerging concern in Canada.

Margaret McCullough

Political & Education

Margaret has been a senior biology and science teacher in Victoria for 39 years. In 2014 she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Margaret has been a science and Biology teacher in Victoria for 39 years. She holds an Honours degree in Genetics and Biochemistry, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and has a UNEP Certificate for expertise in Marine Litter.

Margaret founded Fin Free Victoria with Rob Stewart and has worked with school students for many years on environmental campaigns such as Fin Free, Banning the Trophy hunting of Grizzly bears and the Ban the Bag campaign.

During these campaigns she empowered her students to work with their communities, NGOs, and politicians at the provincial and federal levels- the end goal being legislation. They achieved successes with a ban on Grizzly Bear trophy hunting in BC, and the use of single-use plastic bags in Victoria, and adoption of the national plastic reduction strategy.

She is now a schools coordinator for Surfrider Vancouver Island, and has started a single-use plastic-free schools BC campaign, and is working with MPs to implement the national plastic reduction strategy.

Outstanding Achievements

  • Awarded a UNEP Certificate for expertise in Marine litter.
  • Founded Fin Free Victoria with Rob Stewart
  • Founded Kids for a Plastic Free Canada

 

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