Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Ottawa Riverkeeper is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization and provides guidance to the Riverkeeper and Executive Director. Our board members have extensive and diverse expertise, but all share a concern and passion for of the Ottawa River.

Geoff Green, C.M.

Geoff Green, C.M.

Chair

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Geoff is the founder and director of the Canadian-based organization Students on Ice, a pioneering program dedicated to taking high school students from around the world on learning expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
Geoff has been leading expeditions and adventures from pole to pole for the past decade and organizations such as the Discovery Channel, World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon and the Smithsonian Institution have enlisted him to lead their groups into the world’s most remote and exciting regions. In December 2012, Geoff was appointed to the prestigious Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. This was in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to his community and to his field “for his contributions as an environmental educator and explorer, notably his commitment to conservation issues in the Arctic and Antarctic.” He is an international ambassador for several organizations including Canada Goose, Jardin des Glaciers and the Mingan Island Cetecean Study. Geoff lives in Chelsea, Québec on the Gatineau River. To learn more about Geoff, visit www.geoffgreen.ca. Close

Jean Perras

Jean Perras

Vice-Chair

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Jean Perras is an expert in policy and strategic planning. He is also an expert in sustainable international development. Perras has served as municipal councilor, deputy mayor, and mayor of the Municipality of Chelsea (Quebec). He has also served as warden of the Regional Municipal Authority (MRC) des Collines-de-l’Outaouais and vice president of the Green Municipal Fund of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Jean has advised many national and international institutions including the Canadian International Development Agency, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, the United Nations Development Program and the Development NGO Liaison Committee of the EU. From 2001 to 2006, he chaired the Canadian National Advisory Committee of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. He is currently engaged as a strategic planning and sustainable development advisor for the Municipality of Blanc-Sablon, Quebec. Mr Perras was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II diamond Jubilee Medal for dedicated service in strengthening municipal governments in 2013. Close

Mark Patry

Mark Patry

Treasurer

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Mark is a chartered accountant and is currently a partner with Welch LLP, an Ottawa-based public accounting firm. Fishing has always been Mark’s passion and he gets out on the river regularly.
Mark is a member of Muskies Canada as well as the Ottawa and Kingston Field Naturalists’ clubs, where he pursues his new passion of birding. Over the years, Mark has witnessed many changes in the river that affect fish and their habitat including invasive species, shoreline development and increased boat traffic. Close

Megan Conway

Megan Conway

Secretary

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Dr. Megan Conway is the Chair of Health and Community Studies at Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley. She has spent the last ten years working in Waterloo Region and Toronto and loves leading organizational and community change projects.
She has a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo with a focus on evaluating place-based poverty reduction initiatives. With a B.Ed from Queen’s University and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge her educational background is eclectic. Megan grew up on the Ottawa River—teaching swimming in it, spending summers by it and watching it ebb and flow in each of the seasons. She is passionate about places and the environment and how youth can be engaged more directly in taking environmental action. Close

Alexandra M. McGee

Alexandra M. McGee

Director

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Alexandra M. McGee was a Canadian National Whitewater Canoe Slalom Team Member from 2009 until 2016. A few of her most memorable results were when she placed sixth at the 2011 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia and fifth at the 2012 World Cup in Pau, France.
Other than paddling, Alexandra has also taken interest in international and national conflict studies and humanitarian issues. From 2010 until 2016, she completed her Bachelors in Social Science with Honours in Conflict Studies and Human Rights with a cum laude distinction. Alexandra understands how powerful and special our water ways are. Her experiences on the water have shaped how she views the world and everything in it. She knows that there must be balance and is aware that now more than ever we must fight to protect the water and our home. Alexandra believes we must take action to protect our water and our rights and in 2016 she travelled to North Dakota to show her solidarity with Indigenous Water Protectors who are rising up to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline pipeline. Alexandra’s interest in human and environmental rights is what inspired her to apply for the JD-MA program. She is currently studying in a prestigious joint degree program; where she will go on to receive a Common Law degree from the University of Ottawa while also obtaining her Masters of Arts in International Affairs from Carleton. During her time there, she has also been elected as the French/Bilingual Executive Member for the Indigenous Law School Association (ILSA). She wants to do her part in securing a better future for future generations as well as all of mother earth’s gifts. Close

Fiona McKean

Fiona McKean

Director

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After several years as a manager at Global Affairs Canada, Fiona dramatically switched course and now owns and operates The Opinicon.
In charge of design, marketing, finances and more, Fiona has ignited the renewal of the historic lodge on the Rideau Lake System while reinventing it as an engine for social growth. Close

Philip Rimer

Philip Rimer

Director

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Phil practices in Dentons Canada LLP’s Real Estate, Infrastructure Development and Financial Services Practice Groups, primarily on behalf of institutional stakeholders (including pension funds, banks and public sector entities) in commercial real estate and infrastructure projects.
In addition, Phil has extensive experience in transactions structured under the Financial Administration Act and aboriginal stakeholder transactions (primarily “renewable energy” and “on reserve” infrastructure projects).
Phil has been recognized by: • The Best Lawyers in Canada, as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the areas of Banking and Finance Law (2010–2017), Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law (2013–2017) and Real Estate Law (2012–2017) • The Best Lawyers in Canada, as “Lawyer of the Year” in Banking and Finance Law, Ottawa (2014 and 2017) • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the areas of Property Development (2013-2016) and Banking & Financial Institutions (2016) • Lexpert Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers (2014-2016), as one of “Canada’s Leading Infrastructure Lawyers” • PLC Cross-border Corporate Real Estate Handbook 2010/11 (final year of publication), among Canada’s leading real estate lawyers Close

Bob Slater, C.M.

Bob Slater, C.M.

Director

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Dr Robert Slater is an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Policy at Carleton University. Dr Slater was a Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister Policy, Assistant Deputy Minister Environmental Protection, and Director General for Ontario Region at Environment Canada.
He helped establish the NRTEE and the International institute for Sustainable Development. He was a key player in the Acid Rain Agreements, Canada-US Accord on Air Quality, and the 1990 Green Plan. He helped prepare for Canada’s role in the UN conference on the Environment in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He played a major role which led to the Canadian Environmental Protect Act and the Species at Risk Act. Additionally Slater also chaired the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board from 1976-1982. Dr Slater was a cofounder of Pollutech, an environmental consulting company. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2009. Close

Peter van Roon

Peter van Roon

Director


Colleen Westeinde

Colleen Westeinde

Director

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Colleen earned her civil engineering degree at Western University in London, Ontario and practiced in Vancouver. She returned to Ottawa with her family in 2001 and now manages Clearly Solar Energy.
Colleen enjoys swimming in, paddling through, running beside and biking along the Ottawa River to keep her sane and invigorated. Colleen is passionate about environmental stewardship, cross-cultural understanding, building strong communities and youth engagement. Her parents taught her the importance of making a difference in her community, which is a message she hopes to pass on to her five children. Colleen has been a life-long volunteer, for which she was rewarded the Governor General's Caring Canadian award. Colleen helped sponsor and support a Syrian refugee family in rebuilding their lives in Ottawa. She organizes a fundraising gala for the St. Joe’s Women’s, volunteers with Soup Sisters, and has welcomed two former refugees into her family. She helped launch the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program that brings together pro-bono lawyers and private refugee sponsors across the country. Her decades of community service include being involved locally and nationally with the global peace organization CISV International, running fun international awareness and fundraising events at her children’s schools, supporting families in crises, managing youth sports teams, participating on many school parent boards and organizing their fundraisers, canvassing for March of Dimes and the Cancer, Arthritis and Diabetes Societies, organizing a Blockwatch group, and – many moons ago - student governance. Close

Celine Whiteduck

Celine Whiteduck

Director

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Celine is an Anishinabekwe from the community of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. She is a mother of two amazing teenage daughters, which she feels is her greatest role in life. She is also a high school teacher/coach at the Kitigan Zibi School for over 21 years and always encourages youth to find their individual gifts and share them with the world.
Celine and her husband Jan Cote launched the Kitigan Zibi Canoe & Kayak Club to bring paddling back to her community over 10 years ago. She also co-organizes an annual reconciliation paddle called “Chimeda”, which means paddling together. It brings the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Wakefield & Chelsea together for the love of the water, paddling and to create meaningful relationships.
As an Anishinabekwe Celine acknowledge that Water is Sacred, as children are Sacred. She feels her role as a woman is being the connection to the spirit of water, as a child bearer. She also knows that she has responsibilities to protect and nurture water. As Water is Life.
As Celine learns the teachings of the Water (Nibi), she acknowledges her role as a Keeper of the Water. She understands that it is important that we all gain knowledge through academic and traditional understandings. Always, reflecting on the wisdom that is shared by all, which will allow us all to further grow and understand the Natural Truths of Mother Earth. All is connected…. We are all related….
The Earth is said to be a woman. In this way it is understood that woman preceded man on the Earth. She is called Mother Earth because from Her come all living things. Water is Her life blood.
It flows through Her, nourishes Her, and purifies Her.”
The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway
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Tracey Clark

Tracey Clark

Director

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Tracey Clark is the President & CEO of Bridgehead Coffee. Bridgehead is a proud local company that serves exceptional coffees from small-scale growers at nineteen coffeehouses in Ottawa including its signature Roastery.
Tracey has long been an advocate for social and environmental issues that affect our community and is particularly passionate about the issue of plastics in our water. She is an outdoors enthusiast, reader, cook and sometimes forager. Close