The staff of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS) are dedicated to working collaboratively across Canada and beyond to take action against invasive species. Our team has a unique variety of work experiences and educational and cultural backgrounds that suit them to their roles with CCIS. They work to support our provincial and territorial chapters from a National level while also participating in other countrywide campaigns with an array of other government and non-government organizations.

Rebecca Lord (she/her)
Executive Director, CCIS National

Rebecca Lord, Executive Director of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species (CCIS), started working in the non-profit sector in 1994. Holding a Bachelor of Arts, Honours degree focused in Geography from Queen's University, she merges academic background with practical expertise. With a multifaceted skill set encompassing nonprofit management, negotiation, event planning, education, customer service, sustainability, and strategic planning, Rebecca provides astute leadership. Her oversight extends across projects, staff, and partnerships, ensuring effective project management, communications, branding, resource development, and strategic planning. Under her guidance, CCIS thrives through strategic direction, governance, and impactful program implementation. Committed to operational excellence, financial performance, and timely execution, Rebecca drives CCIS forward towards its mission.

Andy Telfer (he/him)
Advisor, CCIS National

Andy has worked in the nonprofit sector for 35 years, starting with environmental groups and expanding to experience diverse areas of impact-focused work. He has held leadership and advisory positions provincially and nationally. Andy's work as an advisor to CCIS includes revenue diversification planning, managing organizational development projects, strategic plan development, and other topics. Originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Andy lives in Victoria, BC where he enjoys hiking coastal mountains and training for triathlons. Andy holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from Conestoga College.

Bryan Dilts (he/him)
Marketing & Communications Manager, CCIS National

Bryan Dilts is a creative Marketing & Communications Manager at CCIS, tasked in designing innovative content marketing strategies. He is a dedicated environmental advocate, instrumental in shaping CCIS's outreach, brand presence, and efforts to raise awareness and mobilize action against invasive species in Canada. Bryan's broad expertise includes graphic design, web design, video production, content marketing and brand development. He translates complex environmental concepts into engaging, accessible content that aligns with CCIS's mission of combatting invasive species and preserving Canada's natural landscapes. Bryan is an avid outdoor enthusiast with a deep passion for his natural surroundings.

Chase Guindon (he/him)
Coordinator, Prince Edward Island Invasive Species Council (PEIISC)

Growing up in southern Ontario, Chase's love for nature developed while exploring crown lands on backcountry camping trips throughout his childhood. Following his studies at the Fleming School of Environmental Sciences he began his career in invasive species, spending five years focused on threats to the Great Lakes Basin. Chase moved to PEI in 2022 and quickly became involved with the PEI Invasive Species Council where he is grateful to be able to continue the work he is most passionate about. In his spare time, Chase enjoys playing music and gardening with his wife and children.

Chris Sullivan (he/him)
Project Coordinator, CCIS National

Hailing from London, Ontario, Chris now lives and works in Fredericton, New Brunswick. His work supports CCIS's national behavioral-change programs and is responsible for developing the National Invasive Species and Climate Change (NISCC) network. He holds a BSc in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Health, with years of conservation experience in the non-profit space, being involved in climate change research, species-at-risk work, youth program development and public engagement. Chris's perfect day would be spent on his converted school bus in some wilderness somewhere, drawing to his heart's content.

Claire Ferguson (she/her)
Outreach and Communications Coordinator, New Brunswick Invasive Species Council (NBISC)

Born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Claire holds a Bachelor of Science in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of New Brunswick. Through her work with local and national environmental and Indigenous non-profits, Claire has found a passion for community engagement as well as environmental and science communications. She is the Outreach and Communications Coordinator at the New Brunswick Invasive Species Council, where she engages the public and stakeholders on invasive species prevention at outreach events, in traditional media, and through digital platforms. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, gardening, embroidery, and photography.

Clay Cutting (he/him)
Invasive Species Technician, Prince Edward Island Invasive Species Council (PEIISC)

As a lifelong PEI resident and nature lover, Clay's work with the PEIISC allows him to make a significant contribution to PEI's wild spaces. He values learning and teaching, so sharing information about invasive species and furthering the PEIISC's mission allows him to engage with these values meaningfully and continue his mission of lifelong learning. While Clay's primary interest is in terrestrial plants, he constantly expands his expertise in working with insects, aquatic invasive species, fungi, and other groups. In his free time, Clay enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to live music, and finding the most beautiful place to set up my hammock.

Emily Mitchell (she/her)
Science Communications and Event Coordinator, Ontario Invasive Plants Council (OIPC)

At the OIPC, Emily organizes webinars, workshops and conferences. She is a passionate educator and uses her extensive knowledge on plant identification and conservation to create awareness on the impacts of invasive plants. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Science (Trent University) and a Master of Science in Environmental and Life Sciences (Trent University). Outside her role at the OIPC, Emily engages in activities that help ground and recenter such as meditation, spending time in nature, playing guitar and enjoying time with her fur baby Casper.

Gabby Nichols (she/her)
Programs Manager, CCIS National

Gabby's work as CCIS' Programs Manager involves building partnerships and working collaboratively with organizations across Canada to develop messaging and resources to support the implementation of six national behaviour change campaigns. Gabby joined the CCIS in the spring of 2020, bringing her experience of invasive species education and management from her previous roles within provincial government, municipal government, and non-profit sectors. Gabby holds a Masters of Environment and Sustainability from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor's of Bio-Resource Management from the University of Guelph, located in the city of Guelph, Ontario, where Gabby calls home today.

Hughstin Grimshaw-Surette (he/him)
Terrestrial Project Coordinator, Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council (NSISC)

Hughstin Grimshaw-Surette, from an early age, has had a strong interest in insects and plants. He holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and a Master in Applied Science in Biology from Saint Mary’s University. During his master’s degree, Hughstin researched ways to improve green roof habitats for insect pollinators. As the Terrestrial Project Coordinator for the NSISC, he is involved with invasive plant and insect surveys, invasive plant management, and outreach activities. He is passionate about working with communities to engage in discussions about invasive species and what we can do to protect native biodiversity.

Jennifer Yamazaki (she/her)
Project Lead, New Brunswick Invasive Species Council (NBISC)

Jennifer was born and raised in Michigan, where her appreciation for nature began early, inspired by family vacations to the state's northern regions. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Anthropology from Western Michigan University. After relocating to New Brunswick, Jennifer has volunteered for various nonprofit organizations and worked as an Environmental Consultant/Project Coordinator at Stantec and as Operations Manager of the McAdam Railway Station. For the past year, she has been with NBISC, motivated by the desire to preserve natural habitats for future generations. In her role as Project Lead, she aims to advance the mission of managing invasive species and building the organization's capacity. Jennifer enjoys gardening, camping, and spending time on Lake George, where she resides.

Julien Robertson (he/they)
Science Communication & Development Coordinator, CCIS National

Julien is the Science Communication & Development Coordinator at CCIS. He brings a range of experiences across various environmental fields including ecosystem restoration, advocacy, research and education. At CCIS, Julien applies his passion for storytelling to support CCIS' fundraising strategy. In his spare time, Julien enjoys creating experiences for people to learn about nature through stewardship. Julien is based in London, with roots in Aurora and Tiny.

Marta McDougall (she/her)
Administrative Coordinator, CCIS National

Marta joined the CCIS team in the winter of 2023. She has worked in government administration for the majority of her career but found her passion supporting non-profit organizations that build positive change. She has developed a love for creating processes and intuitive workflows that aim to build capacity while leaving room for individual work styles to thrive. Marta supports the CCIS team in the areas of administration, human resources, project support, supporting the Board of Directors, and as the point of contact for the various Chapters and general public. Personally, Marta involves herself in various creative pursuits ranging from digital arts, painting, and collaborative story telling.

Sharon Savoie (she/her)
Financial Operations Manager, CCIS National

Sharon joined CCIS in 2022. After 20 plus years in the private sector working in a variety of financial leadership roles, including as head of finance for a very successful mutual fund dealer for 12 years, she made the leap to the non-profit sector in 2016, most notably with the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada. Sharon is a CPA, CMA and also has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa. Sharon is responsible for the financial stewardship of CCIS and its operating chapters. She is an active supporter of her local Friends of Stittsville Wetlands Group, and also lends her support to her local animal rescue organizations. Sharon is Ontario-born and raised and now lives in Ottawa with her husband Paul and her feline fur babies Bernie and Yoshi. She also loves to travel and see the world by cruise ship.

Vicki Simkovic (she/her)
Program Coordinator, Ontario Invasive Plants Council (OIPC)

Vicki joins the OIPC with a strong background in ecology, invasive species, and restoration. Prior to OIPC she gained fieldwork experience in invasive species management through her role as a Field Assistant with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and a Conservation Technician with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. She also obtained her Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Western, where she studied the behaviour and genetics of an invasive termite species. She is passionate about increasing public awareness of invasive species and their harmful impacts. She has also been a lifelong naturalist and enjoys being surrounded by nature.

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