You are here: Home » About Us » Advisory Council

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council (AC):

  • offers increased linkages and profile in the Orillia region and Simcoe County, in the GTA, and in the university community;
  • helps broaden and deepen the already considerable resources of the Conservancy from its staff, board, and volunteers; and
  • has already demonstrated significant benefits as the AC has boosted the following areas:
  • Fundraising – the AC
    • helped attract $16,000 from a major new foundation supporter in the summer of 2017 and assisted in renewing $10,000 from a foundation in 2016;
    • provided a boost to fundraising with a $5,000 challenge gift if we added 25 new monthly donors in 2016 – we were successful in meeting this challenge!
    • provided significant help in 2017 in approaching a foundation for $50,000 in support of the Black River Wildlands acquisition; and
    • donated $5,000 in 2017 to the Black River Wildlands acquisition campaign.
  • Outreach – AC members
    • Have increased linkages and opportunities with universities and other government and non-profit conservation entities/programs
    • Will be speaking at the pending Couchiching fall Toronto event about i) birding in the Carden Alvar and ii) a landowner’s perspective on working with the Conservancy

 

Advisory Council Members:

james-stewart

James K. Stewart, Co-Chair

James (Jason) Stewart has been extensively involved in fundraising and other volunteer work for charities since the 1980s, and in helping conservation causes for many years. Jason is the former volunteer president of a major Canadian health research foundation and of a Canadian charity supporting conservation and community development of a leading wildlife conservancy in East Africa. He is a board member of Earth Rangers and of The Youssef-Warren Foundation. In business, Jason has worked in financial markets, policy and research since the early 1980s.


Bob Sullivan

Robert Sullivan, Co-Chair

Bob is a dentist who has practiced in Orillia for over 30 years. He has served on numerous boards and committees locally and provincially associated with his profession. Currently he is serving in his 10th year on the board of directors of the Conservancy and is a past president of the organization. He acts as chairman of the investment committee and also is a member of the past presidents Heartwood Fund committee. A keen interest in environmental awareness and land protection are the reason his planning and management skills have been invaluable on the Board. He and his wife Wendy are proud parents of 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

 

 


Garfield Dunlop MPP for Simcoe North (photo: www.ontla.on.ca)

Garfield Dunlop

Garfield has been a life-long resident of the Village of Coldwater. Garfield, is a plumber by trade and is part owner of a 60 year old family business, Glen Dunlop Ltd. Garfield has served the community since 1980 as a Councilor, Reeve, Deputy Mayor, Warden and MPP for 16 years until the summer of 2015.

He is currently an advisor in Education and Community Safety to Patrick Brown, Leader of the Official Opposition. Garfield’s wife Jane is currently ward 2 councilor for the Township of Severn. Both are strong supporters of the Couchiching Conservancy, going back to its founding and helping to sponsor Guest Speaker David Suzuki at a fundraising and awareness event. As MPP, Garfield began the process which led to the Lake Simcoe Protection Act and advocated successfully against two county landfills that he feared would impact groundwater quality. (photo: www.ontla.on.ca)


jean-ironJean Iron

Jean of Toronto was president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) from 1995 to 2004 and editor of OFO News for 14 years. Jean received the Distinguished Ornithologist Award in 2016, and the Toronto Ornithological Club granted her Honorary Life Membership. She represented OFO on a team with The Nature Conservancy of Canada and The Couchiching Conservancy to purchase the Cameron and Windmill Ranches, leading to the establishment of Carden Alvar Provincial Park. A retired school principal, Jean now volunteers for Canadian Wildlife Service doing shorebird surveys on James Bay, and works as a guide for Quest Nature Tours.


Richard JohnstonDr. Richard Johnston

Wendy and Richard moved here in 1974  when he finished his specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster. They fell in love immediately with the beautiful natural surroundings of North Simcoe and the beautiful people who have such a strong sense of community and volunteerism. Richard has served a number of Boards, some which were related to his profession and others related to the community including the Board of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as Board chair of St Paul’s United church. Richard feels that The Couchiching Conservancy has an outstanding reputation that it should rightly be very proud of and he is very pleased to be joining this very dedicated, knowledgeable group of community volunteers.


Ellen Larsen

Almost 30 years ago Ellen found a weekend property in Carden and subsequently became aware of the amazing geological and biological diversity she had stumbled into. Upon retirement from the University of Toronto, Ellen had been spending almost all her time in the country as an amateur naturalist, and has long supported the work of the Couchiching Conservancy.  In addition to the Carden Field Naturalists and Kawartha Field Naturalists she is also a member of the Brodie Club in Toronto.

Although her professional research was in the genetics, development and evolutionary biology of fruit flies, Ellen currently devotes most of her efforts to various aspects of local lichen biology and sex variation in the semi-aquatic Arrowhead plant.


brendon_larsonDr. Brendon Larson

Brendon Larson has been a naturalist since his childhood in Carolinian Canada, and has been involved with biological inventory across the province. He is an associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. He has published extensively on topics related to the social dimensions of biodiversity conservation, and has been invited to speak around the world. He has served on several boards, including WWF-Canada, the Invasive Species Centre (as chair), and Ontario Nature (as president), and he is currently on the editorial board of the journal Diversity and Distributions.


bill-swinimer

Bill Swinimer

William(Bill) Swinimer moved to Orillia with his family in 1972 where he was just appointed manager of Scotiabank. After a career that included founding his own company, Uniplast Industries, Bill joined some Charitable Boards that included Soldiers Memorial Hospital for 3 years, The Hospital Foundation for 6 years and currently the Community Foundation of Orillia and area. Everyone in his family is, and always was, lovers of nature and supporters of the environment.  He and his wife  Sue have three children and 7 grandchildren.


DagmarDagmar Teubner

Dagmar brings a passion for conservation and the environment together with an important additional skills set to the AC. She adds to the already considerable expertise and experience of our membership. Dagmar provided the following when I asked for a brief description of her professional background and of her passion for conservation:

“While I live and breathe commercial real estate development, relying on my skills as a lawyer and CA/CPA, I have a continuous love for our wonderful planet and all that lives and grows upon it.  In my own small way, I do all that can be done to preserve and protect the marvels, big and small, that the Earth has to offer.”