Canopy's Staff and Board of Directors
Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director
Nicole leads the strategic direction of Canopy and ensures the organization advances its mission with maximum efficiency and effect. Fueled by a deep commitment to social justice and a passion for wild places, Nicole strives for the creation of a compassionate society where our natural world is respected and valued beyond its resource values. A firm believer that we could be doing things in a better way, Nicole is committed to ensuring that the power and influence of the North American market leverages tangible eco-solutions and on the ground conservation gains for the world's forests, species and climate.
Nicole is the recipient of the Alan Thomas Fellowship, an Ashoka Fellowship, a Canadian Environment Award Gold Medal and numerous print and publishing industry awards. Named one of Canada's 50 Most Influential People in Graphic Communication for the past four years, Nicole sits on the board of Students for a Free Tibet and the Environmental Paper Network, among others. She has also accepted numerous awards on behalf of Canopy including the Benny Award for Outstanding Corporate Campaigning.
Amanda Carr, Campaigns Director
Amanda has worked as an international environmental consultant and managed the corporate engagement strategy for a $3.4 billion ethical investment fund. She brings a decade of experience in understanding environmental policy, regulation and business risk.
Amanda’s recent success includes the negotiation of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements for Greenpeace, which saw the protection of 5 million acres of endangered rainforest and the largest public/private conservation-financing package in North America.
Amanda believes, with unwavering conviction, that businesses have the power to protect the earth’s last wild places.
Neva Murtha, Second Harvest, Printer and Magazine Campaigner
Neva is a leader on the development of agricultural residue as an alternative to forest fiber, and is the driving force behind Canopy's Second Harvest campaign, including our groundbreaking wheat straw paper trials. Her work at Canopy includes working with Canada’s major magazine publishers and North America’s leading printers to develop visionary procurement policies for forest conservation and agricultural residue paper development. She is also responsible for developing both the Eco Paper Database and the collaborative effort behind the The Paper Steps. Neva sits on the steering committee of the Environmental Paper Network, has judged high profile trade recognition awards and has published articles in Print Action and other trade magazines.
Neva's passion for forests and innovative solutions comes from time she spent time traveling in the majestic forests of the Pacific Northwest with her father - a professor of forestry and remote sensing.
Tara Sawatsky, Corporate Campaigner
Tara holds a Masters in Environmental Management and Planning and a Degree in International Development and the Environment. She brings to Canopy years of academic research and capacity building of environmental groups, combined with experience in public organizing for ancient forests on British Columbia’s South Coast.
Tara's love of natural ecosystems stretches from the Peruvian Amazon to the temperate rainforests of British Columbia to the coral reefs of the Caribbean. She believes we are all responsibile for promoting environmental stewardship, and should use whatever leverage we have – whether as part of a company, a government, or as individuals.
Marcus Ginder, Corporate Boreal Conservation Campaigner
Marcus brings years of environmental campaigning and a wealth of experience to Canopy. His list of accomplishments ranges from breaking new ground on voluntary agreements as a government staffer, to revolutionizing the dry cleaning industry by removing toxic chemicals. Marcus is also the creator of the Ecobunk Awards, which he brought into being to give the environmental movement a chance to laugh.
Making a lasting difference toward a cleaner, safer planet for future generations is what matters the most to Marcus. He sees Canopy as the perfect place to make that difference.
Katie Kurtz, Development Officer
Katie has over 15 years of non-profit experience that includes fundraising, grant writing, programming, media relations, and public outreach. Katie’s received her B.A. in creative and expository writing from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University and M.A. in Visual & Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Her graduate thesis, “Global Warming is Hot: Branding ‘green’ in the age of climate change,” explored how the recent marketing-driven “green” is severed from the radical, ideological roots of the early green movement and is invested in better consumerism rather than environmentalism. Katie has written extensively about contemporary visual art and her journalism background includes radio, print, and the web. She lives in Everett, Washington with her husband, two kids, chickens, rabbits, and a yard that is slowly being converted from ornamental to edible.
Fawzia Ahmad, Development Director
Fawzia holds degrees in Geography/Geology and Criminology and has worked in the social justice movement for 23 years. Fawzia's work with Canopy is focused on achieving financial sustainability for the organization.
Fawzia is committed to Canopy's work because of her deep love and passion for all creatures big and small. Fawzia believes that Canopy has the solution to protecting our forests, species and climate and a proven track record that makes her proud!
Board of Directors
Louise Dennys, Executive Publisher of the Knopf Random House Canada Publishing Group, Executive Vice-President, Random House of Canada Ltd.
Louise began her own publishing house at age 25 and helped build Lester & Orpen Dennys into an international Canadian publishing house. Today, she heads the leading publishing imprints, Knopf Canada, Random House Canada, and Vintage Canada, which have become synonymous with books of outstanding quality in various genres. Louise was twice voted Editor of the Year by the CBA. She was a founding Board member of the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront. A former President of PEN Canada, she has been a longtime PEN Board member. She received an Honorary Degree in Law from Bishop's University in 2004, and received the Order of Canada for service to Canadian culture in 2005.
Faisal Moola, PhD, Director of Terrestrial Conservation and Science, David Suzuki Foundation, and Adjunct Professor of Forest Conservation, University of Toronto
At the David Suzuki Foundation, Faisal leads a team of scientists, policy analysts, and public outreach experts on a number of campaigns to educate the public and reform Canadian environmental policy. In his role as a professor, he has published widely in scientific journals on ecology, conservation biology, and environmental policy. Faisal has sat on government science committees and advised aboriginal and government leaders. He has also contributed to some of the most significant conservation achievements in recent Canadian history, including the protection of over 2 million hectares in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, the development of new sustainability standards for the forestry industry to meet the exploding market for green paper and wood products (Forest Stewardship Council), and the Ontario Government’s decision to protect at least half of the province’s remaining boreal wilderness. Faisal joined Canopy’s board in 2010.
Lisa Matthaus, Coordinator, Organizing for Change
Lisa is the former Campaigns Director at the Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter where she worked primarily on forestry issues. She was a lead negotiator of the Forest Stewardship Council standards for BC and a lead negotiator of the Great Bear Rainforest land use plan. She was a recipient of the Wilburforce award for Outstanding Conservation Leadership in 2006. Lisa earned her Masters degree in Environmental and Resource Economics from University College London (London, UK) in 1995. In a previous career, she spent seven years working as an investment banking credit analyst in Toronto and London, focusing on financial institutions, major corporations and derivative products.
Bruce Walsh, Marketing and Publicity Consultant
Bruce Walsh is the director of the University of Regina Press. He has worked with many of Canada's leading authors and has over twenty years experience in book publishing. Bruce was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Untchit Inc., where he promoted Margaret Atwood's invention the LongPenTM. He is also a board member of PEN Canada. Bruce is a two-time winner of the Libris Award for his “outstanding contribution to Canadian publishing”, and is a receipt of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service. Much of what he knows, he learned as a volunteer.
Tracie Wagman, Publisher, Help! We’ve Got Kids
Tracie became publisher of Help! We’ve Got Kids (helpwevegotkids.com) in 2009. Since 1994 the Help! We’ve Got Kids print and online directory has been a comprehensive guide to family resources in Toronto. Prior to this Tracie was Co-President of Pistachio, an eco-friendly paper and apothecary retail store owned by Indigo Books and Music. She received her MBA in 2003 and applies her extensive experience working for major telecom companies across Canada and the US to issues close to her heart: environmental causes that can help change lives for families. She was Vice-President of the board at Yorktown Family Services for several years, and is actively involved with Environmental Defense Fund and the Girls 20 Summit. Tracie joined Canopy’s board of directors in 2010.
Canopy staff photos by Amara Studios
Louise Dennys by Joy von Tiedemann
Bruce Walsh by Mike Quigg