Canopy's Staff and Board of Directors
Canopy Staff Team
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 numerous NGO board and advisory bodies. She has also accepted numerous awards on behalf of Canopy including the Benny Award for Outstanding Corporate Campaigning.
Amanda Carr, Campaign 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, Corporate Campaigner
Neva is a leader on the development of straw fiber as an alternative to forest fiber, and is the driving force behind Canopy's Second Harvest campaign, including our groundbreaking straw paper trials. She has played a key role in efforts to bring straw paper to the marketplace by connecting producers and importers to retailers and major corporate paper consumers.
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 straw paper development. She is also responsible for developing both the Ecopaper 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 responsible 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.
Mélissa Filion, Corporate Boreal Conservation Campaigner
Passionate, strategic and results-oriented, Mélissa’s alliance with Canopy is a natural fit. For the past decade, she has built an extensive experience in creating change for environmental protection. She has been actively engaged with both local and international organizations and has been at the forefront of a campaign for the protection of Quebec’s boreal forest which resulted in having logging companies to begin to green their operations.
Mélissa has developed strong relationships with high level corporate and government decision makers, advising them in the development of their sustainable procurement, environmental commitments or public policies. She graduated in Environmental Sciences from McGill University and has developed a new interest for entrepreneurship. Her motivation is grounded in years of meaningful experiences in the natural environment. She highly values Canopy’s creative energy, as well as it’s collaborative minded and solutions focused approach.
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.
She 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!
Catherine Stewart, Communications Strategist
Catherine comes to Canopy with over 25 years of experience in the environmental movement on issues ranging from fisheries and forests conservation to pulp mill pollution and nuclear waste. She was Greenpeace’s lead negotiator on the Great Bear Rainforest campaign, brokering the logging moratorium in over 100 intact valleys and playing a pivotal role in crafting the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. She has been an NGO delegate to the U.N. High Seas Fisheries treaty negotiations, a witness called to testify before the Cohen Commission Inquiry into Fraser River sockeye salmon and a leader in the campaign to develop closed containment aquaculture.
Formerly a small business owner in a resource-based community, Catherine understands the importance of both sustainable jobs and a healthy environment to the viability and long-term future of rural communities. Her years of wilderness camping and canoeing, skiing and hiking lead to a deep love of the natural world and a life-long passion to protect it for future generations.
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.
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.
Louise Dennys by Joy von Tiedemann
Bruce Walsh by Mike Quigg