Gord James, Chair, Finance Committee Member
Gord recently retired after working at Suncor Energy for 25 years, spending the last 10 years as the corporate controller. He used his skills as an accountant in the CPAWS office and was so successful he was asked to join the Board. Over the years, Gord has volunteered for a variety of organizations and has always had a love of wilderness. His job at Suncor took him and his family from Toronto to Calgary in 1995. Gord spent much of his time in the parks in Ontario, and here he has enjoyed living near the mountains and getting to experience a different landscape. He is passionate about hiking, cycling and running.
Phil Nykyforuk, Vice Chair
Phil is a partner in the Advocacy Department of the law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in Calgary. He has practiced law for 20 years and has resided in Calgary since 1993. Phil was an active volunteer with CPAWS in its campaigns to protect the Whaleback and Spray Valley in Kananaskis. He regards CPAWS Southern Alberta as an important and effective voice for the many Albertans who wish to protect and preserve our wild landscapes and the species that inhabit them. Phil welcomes the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors and working to ensure that his children and grandchildren have the same opportunity to experience the wonders of nature in our province. Phil enjoys hiking, cycling, jogging, bird watching and nature photography. He and his family are frequent visitors to Alberta’s National and Provincial Parks.
James Early, Director, Engagement Committee Chair
James is a lawyer in Calgary, Alberta and has practiced law since 2006. As a civil litigator, his areas of interest include environmental, human rights, employment and personal injury. James also performs pro-bono (free of charge) legal services for environmental charities and non-profit organizations. James has previously served as the Chair of the Friends of Kananaskis Country, and currently volunteers as a coordinator with the Calgary Folk Music Festival and serves on the Advisory Council for the Friends of Kananaskis Country. James is also a member of the Calgary Horticultural Society and the Alberta Mycological Society. His hobbies include travel, camping, hiking, kayaking, canoeing (basically anything outdoors), guitar and photography. James is also a Tweeter, Instagrammer and blogger both in relation to environmental issues, environmental law and travel. He lives in Calgary with his wife, Sylvia, his son, Jacob, and their dog, Maple.
Doug Firby, Director, Conservation Committee Member
Doug Firby is Editor-in-Chief of Troy Media, Canada’s largest independent source of online news, features and commentary. He has more than three decades of experience of writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and online publications in Ontario and western Canada. He is also an award-winning editorialist. When he was Editor of the St. Catharines (Ont.) Standard, the newspaper won its second-ever National Newspaper Award. And, like many writers, he has a handful of half-drafted novels languishing on his computer.
Jim Donohue, Treasurer
Jim retired in 2015 after a 30-year career in IT, Operations, and Finance most recently as Controller – Western Canada for Rexel Canada. Growing up in northern Ontario (Thunder Bay) meant nature was always at his back door. Time spent living in Vancouver, Toronto, and now Calgary has helped him realize that nature cannot be taken for granted, but rather should be cherished and protected. He views joining the CPAWS Board as simply an opportunity to do the right thing in the right way!
Andre de Leebeeck, ICD.D. Director, Board Secretary, Finance Committee Member
Andre is currently consulting in the oil and gas sector after 40 years with various energy companies worldwide. Andre joined the CPAWS board in September, 2015 with the goal of aiding in the preservation of Canada’s natural areas. Andre and wife, Barbara, share a love of travel and the outdoors. Active in skiing and hiking, both volunteer for natural area clean-up campaigns province-wide.
Jon Mee, P. Bio, Director, Conservation Committee Member
Jon Mee is a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Mount Royal University. His expertise includes basic and applied ecology and genetics, and he has published over 20 scientific papers in these disciplines. Jon has also worked with the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) to provide wildlife status updates and to identify conservation units. Jon teaches introductory and advanced biology courses, and has participated in public outreach on fish biology and conservation issues. A volunteer on the Conservation Committee for the past year, Jon is excited by the opportunity to continue his involvement with CPAWS SAB as a member of the board.