Watershed Watch Solutions Advisory Committee Members

Craig Orr is the outgoing Executive Director and continuing Conservation Advisor and Solutions Advisory Committee member of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. Orr holds postgraduate degrees in wildlife ecology (M.Sc., Acadia University) and behavioural ecology (Ph.D., Simon Fraser University), and as Executive Director, helped lead Watershed Watch over 16 years in a BC-wide involvement in water use issues, run-of-river planning, groundwater and salmon interactions, aquaculture impacts, the sustainability of salmon fisheries, and engagement organizing.

Orr also continues to be active locally, representing Watershed Watch’s interests on the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable and in other processes and projects in the Coquitlam watershed, and advising Kwikwetlem First Nation on various conservation issues, including the long fight to restore Coquitlam sockeye.

Eric Hobson graduated with distinction from Carleton University with a Bachelor Degree in Engineering. Following 10 years in the oil and gas industry, Eric moved into the fledgling energy marketing and trading business as co-founder and President of Northridge Petroleum Marketing. Northridge Petroleum Marketing was eventually sold to TransCanada Corp. Eric went on to co-found Metronet Communications Inc., which grew into a large, national telecommunications company, ultimately merging with AT&T Canada in 1998. Eric then became President of E-Zone Networks, the largest private network in the world by 2001. Northridge Petroleum Marketing, Metronet and E-Zone were financed and managed through Northridge Canada Inc., of which Eric has been a partner since 1986. Northridge Canada has founded more than 50 companies since its inception in 1986.

Since 2001, Eric has been an independent investor and director of numerous private, public and charitable organizations. He is an active philanthropist, co-founding The Community Opportunity Foundation of Alberta in 1999 and directing the Save Our Salmon Initiative since its inception. Eric and his wife Susan spend summers at their home near Duncan. His love of the ocean comes from many childhood summers fishing near Vancouver Island with his father and grandfather.

Catherine Emrick is the Senior Associate, Aquaculture Innovation for Tides Canada. Previously the Program Director with the SOS Marine Conservation Foundation, Catherine helped to develop business-oriented solutions to the negative impacts of open net-cage finfish aquaculture and a strategy to build a sustainable aquaculture industry in B.C.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Business Administration from the University of Calgary, and is a Certified General Accountant. In addition to her work with Tides, Catherine’s legal experience includes practicing environmental, regulatory and administrative law in Alberta and the North. She has worked closely with boards and regulators and has successfully mediated complex, multi-party matters.

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CGA designation, Catherine was chosen by CGA Canada as one of the 100 CGAs who have made an outstanding contribution to their communities and the lives of others. Catherine is currently a member of the Board of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, fromed to unify the Canadian accounting profession.

Judy Gale grew up on the B.C. coast, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. Traveling the world helped Judy to recognize the uniqueness and underlying value of B.C.’s coast and the importance of conserving it. Judy is the founder and President of Blue Planet Links Foundation, an education and environmental foundation with a global focus on promoting healthy oceans and fresh waters. She is also a published non-fiction author.

Judy co-chairs the Board of Directors of The KidSafe Project Society, a non-profit society that provides at-risk inner-city children with learning opportunities, nutrition, recreation and a safe place to be when schools are closed. As a Partner in BC Social Venture Partners, Judy uses her years of experience as a corporate manager and owner of a successful small business and corporate communications to help fund and mentor non-profit organizations.

Rupert Gale is the Fisheries Program Manager for the Ritchie Foundation and focuses on the restoration of salmon as well as a vibrant and sustainable recreational fishery within the Georgia Basin. Rupert has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Victoria and attended the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. Rupert sits on the boards of several organizations including the Living Rivers Georgia Basin/Vancouver Island and the Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences.

Prior to his current work, Rupert operated a fishing charter business in the Stuart Island area for over 20 years and is familiar with the many changes that have occurred with the salmon resource since the 1980s. Rupert maintains a strong connection to the recreational fishing community in southern B.C., and is a member of the executive of the Sport Fishing Advisory Board.

F. Lee Green co-founded and was CEO & Chairman of Triple G Systems Group, Inc. of Toronto, a global leader in medical laboratory information systems software. Under Lee’s leadership, Triple G grew from pre-revenue to $25 million in revenue, with 80% generated outside Canada. The company was listed on the TSX in 2001 and was acquired by GE Medical Systems in 2003 for $83 million.

Lee grew up on Vancouver Island and spent his youth on the water in B.C. As a passionate fisherman, upon moving his family home to Victoria in 2004, he was alarmed by the changes he observed in wild salmon stocks on the B.C. south coast. Lee became actively involved in the Save our Salmon Initiative as he felt it took a reasoned and balanced approach to protecting B.C.’s wild salmon stocks.

Willie Mitchell is a hockey defenceman currently playing with the L.A. Kings. He was previously with the Vancouver Canucks and has played in the NHL since the 2000/2001 season. Willie was born in Port McNeill, and, when not playing hockey, continues to spend time there enjoying all Northern Vancouver Island has to offer. Willie’s most memorable moment away from the hockey rink is catching a 50-pound salmon with his Dad at Rivers Inlet, B.C.

After reading and spending time with scientists, anglers and First Nations in the Broughton Archipelago, Willie decided that immediate action is needed to address the devastating impact of high density open net-cage salmon farms located on critical salmon migratory routes in the Broughton Archipelago. Working with the Save Our Salmon Initiative to ensure B.C.’s wild salmon is protected for future generations is one of several philanthropic commitments Willie has made to his home province.

Eric Patel brings the SAC his extensive experience in strategy, finance and operations with companies ranging from Fortune 100 conglomerates to start-ups in the US, Europe and Canada. He serves on the Board of Directors for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and is on the Advisory Board of ACL Services.  Eric earned a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policymaking from Brown University.  Prior to his current roles, Eric was CFO and helped lead the turnaround of Crystal Decisions (now Business Objects/SAP), one of the world’s premier business intelligence software companies.

Eric is passionate about the potential to create a world-class sustainable salmon aquaculture industry in B.C.

Ivan Thompson is the B.C. Program Officer for the Wild Salmon Ecosystem Initiative of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Foundation was established in September 2000 with a $5.8 billion endowment by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and the Foundation reflects his science-based, results-driven orientation in striving to improve the quality of life for future generations. The goal of the Wild Salmon Ecosystem Initiative is to maintain a healthy salmon ecosystem at the scale of the North Pacific by investing approximately $25 million per year in habitat protection, sustainable fisheries and improved aquaculture practices in British Columbia, Alaska and Kamchatka (Russia).

Prior to joining the Moore Foundation in 2007, Ivan worked as a Senior Advisor to the Tides Canada Foundation and as Community and Economic Advisor to ForestEthics in the campaign that led to the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. This campaign raised $120 million in public and philanthropic funding for conservation management and ecosystem-based economic development.

Dr. Andrew Wright graduated from the University of Hull, England with a first class honors Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Engineering and a Doctorate in Microwave Engineering. He has published numerous IEEE peer-reviewed research papers and has been awarded over 50 patents. After emigrating to Canada, Dr. Wright co-founded and was CTO of Datum Telegraphic Inc. Datum was subsequently acquired by PMC-Sierra. He is currently a Director of Actenum, Zymeworks, and Pharos Capital and a co-founder of Aegis Mobility.

Dr. Wright is an active angel investor and philanthropic activist for inner city child education enrichment programs. He is also a proponent of environmental stewardship initiatives. He is a lead donor for the Tides Canada Great Bear Rainforest initiative which promises to be a model for world conservancy. Upon visiting the Broughton Archipelago and witnessing the impact of open net-cage salmon farming, he has become an advocate for improving salmon aquaculture practices on the West Coast.