Meet our Ambassadors, Board of Directors ,and Advisory Panel

Ambassadors

Tim Stephenson

Vancouver, British Columbia

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 

Salina Derish

Fraser Valley, British Columbia

Salina Derish, a 4 year Chilliwack resident and lifelong British Columbian owns and operates PickEco Refills LTD.

Salina: SHE-E-O, director, founder, call her what you will, Salina decided to be the change she wanted to see in the world.  Bringing a zero waste shopping experience to Chilliwack has been one of her proudest moments.

Margaret McCullough

Victoria, British Columbia

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 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

Jordan Keenan

Quebec Region

Jordan first encountered the complexity of plastic pollution as a journalist covering a conference on the issue. He then joined the 5 Gyres Institute on an expedition through the North Atlantic Gyre from Bermuda to New York City collecting ocean samples the whole way and finding microplastics in every sample. The documentary A Plastic Ocean presents everything he has learned and more, and he is very excited to help spread this important resource and to work with Plastic Oceans Canada to create a wave of change in Quebec and across the country.

Board of Directors

John McCulloch

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.

Ian Merkel

Ian Merkel was born in South Africa and emigrated to Canada in 1975. He is a retired CPA, CA  who specialized in technology and has served on a number of N.P.O’s and Charities as a Director and Treasurer. Most recently he was Treasurer /VP of Reel Causes Society an N.P.O. screening and hosting social justice films for local Non Profits and Charities. He served on the board for over 5 years. He is President and the founder of the Vancouver Foreign Film Society an N.P.O. screening monthly international foreign films. He has participated as a documentary juror for  the Leo Awards and has run a number of film festivals in Vancouver. He continues to promote and advise film festivals locally. Since retiring Ian has volunteered with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.  For the past 4 years he has managed the volunteers for the environmental section of the Jazz festival working closely with recycling organizations and food vendors to reduce waste. Since the inception of the environmental program in 2015 the festival has seen a reduction of more than 60% in general garbage, plastic and non-organic waste .

Jodi Mossop

Founder and CEO of Barnacle Babe Productions Inc. (aka Barnacle Babes), an international magazine, web-series, Warrior Women of the Sea Conferences, she is also a catalyst of change for human development and ocean conservation, as well as a life-long lover of all things water. Jodi’s love for community, conservation and a never-ending quest for vibing higher, she continues her lifelong pursuit and passion of elevating the human race into a community of givers, lovers, and protectors.

Odessa Ingarfield

Over 20 years in the textiles (materials) and clothing industry has provided Odessa with insight into manufacturing, materials analysis, finished goods construction, chemical usage and global industry trends. Holding a degree in Textiles science and clothing design with double minors in Management and Linguistics she has worked with companies all over the world. Throughout her career she has always pushed for efficient and responsible manufacturing knowing the impact her industry has on the environment. She has and still works with companies including: Lululemon, Under Armour, SportChek (FGL Sports), Sweaty Betty, McKinsey, Volkswagon, LeChateau, Endasa Corp, to name a few
Truly understanding natural and synthetic materials and their joint need in the world helps her work towards a balance in the industry and help impart the importance of knowledge, reuse, recycling and conservative resource usages. Her goal is to reduce the use of primary materials, increase recycling and provide ecologically friendly alternatives. We cannot eliminate the use of plastics,  but we can better understand how to reprocess them while looking at alternatives that don’t reduce important wildlife habitat.

Max Wensel

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.

Eliot Cohen Perinne

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, near the Caribbean coast, Eliot grew up with a strong sense of belonging to the ocean. He spent is high school years diving and fishing throughout the coast and in close contact with the sea. 20 years ago the impact of humans on these fragile environments was already apparent and inspired an urgent sense of environmental advocacy. As an industrial designer who’s worked in the outdoor and sports industry for over 15 years, he believes in the power of organizations to lead change from within the industry and make an impact through more durable and responsibly made products. He is currently a Design Director at Lululemon where he co-founded an internal collective specifically aiming at reducing single-use plastic waste through education and awareness in the workplace, he is also involved in internal initiatives tackling sustainability and wellness in the product lifecycle.

Sandra Jara

Sandra has been a healthcare professional and practitioner of yoga for more than 20 years. As a Dentist with masters degrees in implantology, aesthetics, and clinical psychology, she has a passion for leading patients to improve their preventive health through positive habits. Also, as a yoga instructor, she encourages her students to discover how these practices increase awareness of mind and body, and to expand their yoga practice to their daily lives. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Sandra comes from a country of immense natural beauty and ancestral culture, as such she understands the urgency to preserve these values through education and advocacy. Through her volunteer work with different local organisations such as Yoga Outreach and various Neighbourhood Houses, Sandra is committed to spreading the word on all the different ways each person can care for the planet.

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 have 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.

Brock Macdonald

Brock Macdonald has been CEO of the Recycling Council of B.C. (RCBC) since 2006.  His involvement in waste reduction began in 2000 as the communications manager for stewardship agency Product Care. He joined RCBC as communications director in 2003.  Brock is a former educator and journalist who leads RCBC’s vision of a transition towards a circular economy as a key waste reduction and sustainable economic development strategy.

Adrian Midwood

Business and Sustainability Development advisor
Capt Adrian Midwood is the founder and director of Ocean Ambassadors. He left Canada at the tender age of 20 to chase waves and wind all over the world. Throughout his 20’s he worked towards instructor level for everything regarding the ocean, Surfing, Kitesurfing, Diving, SUP’ing, Sailing and on. Through this he developed a extremely powerful bond with the ocean and decided to focus his energy towards preserving the environment that had given him everything.
In 2010 he started making the shift towards conservation, and in 2012 he bought the Ocean Ambassadors flagship S.V. Moana, to have their very own low cost research vessel for carrying out community projects and facilitating research in the Pacific Island Nations. 
He has worked for and alongside international NGO’s, local and foreign government departments, hospitality and private sector with a huge focus on solutions to marine debris.
His work has involved developing social enterprise businesses, frameworks on plastic minimisation and redirection, legislation reducing plastic waste and enforcing reclaim rates, and building stakeholder networks for commercial applications to locally process waste plastics and up-cycle to a second life cycle product.
He is now working alongside Plastic Oceans Canada in an advisory role to develop the organisation in Canada with partnerships and is our chosen partner for Island Nation outreach and research.