Elected Directors

Jill Tsolinas, Chair


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Jill Tsolinas has a wide breadth of experience having represented exploration, development and operating mines throughout her career. She is versed in executive oversite, organizational management, corporate governance and stakeholder communications. Jill desires to see the continual development and incorporation of innovative best-fit practices to sustain the mineral exploration and mining sector.

Jill is the Chair of the board of AME,  acting as chair of the ad hoc governance committee (2018) and vice-chair of Roundup (2015) along with being a member of the finance committee and ISR committee.

She has been an advisory council member for the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM) since 2015. Jill has additional corporate governance experience acting as corporate secretary for a private consulting company and overseeing the establishment of a private junior aggregate company. Jill is
executive director of CTEM where she uses her project management and partner engagement skills to facilitate collaborative and innovative training for mining in BC. Jill is passionate about discovering strategic partnerships to strengthen collaboration.

Jill is receiving her MBA from Arden University, United Kingdom in 2019. She has a B.A. in geography and a concentration in sociology with additional certificates in leadership and mining studies.

Tara Hassan, Vice Chair

Silvercrest Metals Inc.

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Tara Hassan is a Mining Engineer with extensive experience in capital markets as well as mine operations and mining technology.  She was a mining equity research analyst focused on small to mid-cap explorers, developers and producers in the precious metals space for more than 13 years. She is currently VP Corporate Development at SilverCrest Metals and a Director of Maverix Metals.  Previously she worked at VRIFY Technology as a Director, Mining Content and Strategy.  Tara worked as a mining engineer for Inco (now Vale) and Placer Dome (now Barrick Gold) holding operating, engineering and project-focused roles and working at eight different mines. She is a Professional Engineer (Ontario) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

I am passionate about helping exploration and development companies evolve their discoveries in a socially responsible way. A key element to achieving this goal is access to capital. With global experience in mining and finance, as a director of AME I believe I could continue to leverage this experience to help advocate for policies and regimes that would help to attract increased capital for investment in mineral exploration in BC.

Justin Himmelright, Vice Chair

Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering (UBC)

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Mr. Himmelright has over 25 years of experience in environmental management and developing a social license for natural resource projects. He’s a graduate of Simon Fraser University (B.Sc.) and the University of British Columbia (M. Eng.) and is a Registered Professional Biologist in BC. Mr. Himmelright previously served as Vice President responsible for sustainability matters for several publicly listed companies and has also worked as a consultant to Indigenous communities on mining proposals within their Territories and with non-profit organizations. He’s a former
Board member of the Yukon Mine Training Association and the Autism Society of BC and is currently an associate instructor at the Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering (UBC) on the topic of Indigenous peoples and mining in Canada.

Diana Benz

Takom Exploration Ltd

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Dr. Diana Benz has worked in the mineral exploration industry, from field to lab to office, for over 20 years. Prince George-based, BC-born and raised, her career has taken her from Osoyoos to Atlin and Whitehorse to Dawson City as well as beyond into the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Greenland.  She has also worked remotely on projects based in South America, Africa, Eurasia and Australia.

Diana’s graduate work at the University of Northern British Columbia (BC) and the University of Windsor (ON) focused on enhancing mineral exploration techniques through the use of publicly available data (BC) or by re-analyzing samples with highly-sensitive technology (ON). Diana also has an undergraduate degree in Biology (UBC), is an active prospector in BC and is currently the President of Takom Exploration Ltd., a small geological and environmental consulting firm focused on metal exploration in BC and the Yukon.

Throughout her career, Diana has experienced the challenges associated with working in the mineral exploration industry regarding prospecting, safety, operational transparency and social responsibility. To further advocate for social responsibility, Diana became a Director of Women Geoscientists in Canada last year where she has helped set up their mentoring program and is currently working on an inclusive conference initiative.

Eleanor Black

Equity Exploration

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Mrs. Black is a Partner and Senior Geologist with Equity Exploration, a leading provider of geological expertise and project management services for all stages of the exploration and mining cycle. Over the course of 15+ years industry experience, Eleanor has worked through positions of increasing responsibility with major and mid-tier mining companies including Goldfields and B2Gold Corp. Her foundational years as a field geologist were focused on gold and base metal exploration projects in northern Canada performing integral roles on Prefeasibility to Feasibility level field programs.  Eleanor is a registered Professional Geoscientist with EGBC, a graduate of the University of British Columbia (B.Sc.) and a Qualified Person as defined by NI43-101.

As board member for multiple not-for profit-organizations she has been able to contribute to the communities where she lives and works. This includes a director role with the Mineral Deposit Division of the Geological Association of Canada (MDD-GAC), and two childcare organizations each with active multi-year board positions.

Eleanor was born and raised in BC’s lower mainland where she now resides with her family.

Don Bragg


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Don Bragg has been an active prospector since 1956, working for both major and junior mining companies and has been a self-employed prospector, contractor, and camp manager since 1964. Don has been affiliated with AME since 1962 and has been very active, having served on many committees and the Board of Directors. Don was first elected to the Board in 1976.

Don continues to advocate for the prospectors as their access to land continues to be limited through regulation and prohibitions and the decommissioning of existing access roads. Don also advocates for more prospecting schools for prospective prospectors who do not have high school graduation. Further, Don recognizes the need for more options to help fund grassroots exploration work and strongly supports the important work of educating the public about the value of mining and mineral exploration to their daily lives and to the economy of British Columbia. Don is currently serving on the Land Access & Use, Membership, and Communications & Marketing Committees in addition to the Board of Directors.

Lana Eagle

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Lana Eagle is an Indigenous relations strategist and a social innovator advising companies on how to better engage and work with Indigenous communities and to find a pathway forward through a Reconciliation framework. Her background is in banking, economic development, wealth management and mineral exploration. Lana was a “pioneer” for Aboriginal women in being one of the first to Chair a junior mineral exploration company. She is also an avid volunteer.

Lana joined AME’s Aboriginal Relations Committee (now the Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation Committee) six years ago and has served as Chair since 2013.  She is a Program Advisory Committee Member for Mining and Mineral Exploration at BCIT and a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining Diversity and Inclusion Program Advisory Committee. Lana also served as Moderator of the Aboriginal Forum at PDAC 2017. As well she sits on the Advisory Board of SEF Canada, that focuses on community entrepreneurial development in the extractive sector. Lana is a sought-out speaker and lecturer on the topic of “Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation in Canada”.

Paul Jago

Centerra Gold

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C. Paul Jago is Exploration Manager for British Columbia with Centerra Gold. He is based out of Prince George BC and often works from Mount Milligan mine. In past years, Paul was the Regional Geologist for the Northcentral and Northeast regions of BC with the Ministry of Energy & Mines. Paul is a UBC graduate where he completed studies with the Mineral Deposit Research Unit. Seasonal work for mineral exploration companies in Northcentral BC was followed by several years of near-mine exploration with Freeport-McMoRan in Southwestern U.S. A paper summarizing his Master’s thesis on the Mt. Milligan porphyry gold-copper deposit was published in 2014 by the Society of Economic Geologists. Paul has been with Centerra Gold since mid-2017.

Stephen de Jong


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Stephen de Jong holds 10 years experience in the mining industry and is currently the Chairman of Integra Resources, Director of GFG Resources and Founder of VRIFY, a Vancouver based tech start-up focused on connecting mining companies to the modern-day investor.

Prior to VRify, in 2012 Stephen was appointed CEO of Integra Gold, a Quebec-focused junior exploration company, and proved to be instrumental in raising over $150 million while growing the business from a $10 million exploration company through to its $590 million sale to Eldorado Gold in July 2017.

Stephen’s influence and passion for helping shape the next generation of exploration and mining was demonstrated in his role as co-creator of Integra’s $1 Million Gold Rush Challenge held in 2016, and as co-host of #DisruptMining 2017, two events focused on accelerating innovation and the adoption of technology across the mining industry.

Stephen was born and raised in BC, has a commerce degree from Royal Roads University and currently lives in Vancouver with his wife and two young daughters.

Rob McLeod

Ascot Resources

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Originally from the mining town of Stewart, BC, Rob McLeod, P.Geo., is a successful exploration geologist and third generation miner. He has over twenty years of industry experience from grassroots to feasibility‐stage projects, with numerous discoveries to his credit. From field geologist to CEO, Rob has extensive experience in British Columbia, Alaska, Yukon, Nunavut and Nevada for companies including: Lac Minerals, Inco, Miramar Mining, Homestake Resources and multiple successful junior companies.

As founder and VP Exploration of Underworld Resources, Rob and his exploration team’s White Gold discovery started the largest staking rush in Yukon since the Klondike Gold Rush.

Previously, Rob was the President and CEO of IDM Mining, which was acquired by Ascot Resources in March 2019. He has since taken on the role of President and CEO of Heatherdale Resources.  Rob focused on developing a high‐grade, underground gold deposit east of his hometown of Stewart. Rob is active in the BC mining community, as a Director for the Britannia Mine Museum, and has served as Vice‐Chair of AME’s Editorial Board for Mineral Exploration magazine and Transboundary Relations Committee.

Thomas Mumford

Scottie Resources Corp

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Thomas is an exploration geologist specializing in magmatic mineral deposits and alpine geological mapping. He has extensive technical and project management experience in Au, REE, Cu-porphyry, and U deposits. He is a registered professional geologist with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (EGBC), and currently acts as the Vice President, Exploration for Scottie Resources Corp. He has served as a lecturer at Carleton University and British Columbia Institute of Technology. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from University of New Brunswick, and was awarded the Leopold Gélinas medal for the best M.Sc. thesis from the GAC Volcanology and Igneous Petrology division. He holds a Ph.D. from Carleton University focused on magmatic controls of the Nechalacho REE deposit in the NWT.

Andy Randell

SGDS / Below BC

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Andy is a professional geologist living in Vancouver who is tailoring his career to bring change to the minerals exploration industry. Since 2014, he has established his consulting business, SGDS Hive, which takes on graduate geoscientists and mentors them through a variety of exploration projects to help engage and educate the next generation of geologists. He also started a non-profit society, Below BC, to provide outreach to the public around Earth Science topics, which now serves several thousand people in British Columbia each year. Andy was awarded the Bedford Young Mining Leaders Award from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in 2016 for his ongoing contributions to the industry.

He gained his bachelors degree in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Cardiff (Wales). Outside of his own businesses, Andy also sits on the Mentoring Committee for Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia and the Geological Society Committee for the Canadian Institute of Mining, Mining and Petroleum and has several other community volunteer roles beyond the exploration industry.

Colin Russell

Skeena Resources Ltd

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Colin Russell is a professional geologist involved with mining and geology for the past 40 years. He began his career as a mine labourer in Yukon in 1978 and then moved on to obtain his B.Sc. in Geology at the University of British Columbia. Since graduation he has worked for junior and major exploration companies on projects ranging from grassroots through to feasibility. Colin has worked throughout Canada and overseas, including Guyana, China, the Republic of Cyprus and Namibia, but has returned to his early roots working in the northwest corner of BC as Exploration Manager for Skeena Resources Limited.

Bruce Scott

Seabrige Gold

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Bruce Scott is Vice President, Corporate Affairs of Seabridge Gold Inc. since 2012 and counsel to Seabridge. For Seabridge, he provides legal services relating to corporate finance and mining matters and works extensively on the KSM Project on relationships with aboriginal groups, mineral tenure matters and support for permitting efforts, including its environmental assessment applications.  Bruce played a central role in the negotiation of Seabridge’s agreements with the Nisga’a Nation and the Gitanyow First Nation and is working towards agreements with other aboriginal groups. Formerly, from 1998 to 2011, Bruce was a partner at DuMoulin Black LLP.

Bruce has been a Director of AME since 2016 and is a member of AME’s Transboundary Relations Committee and Nenqay Deni Accord Task Force.

Andree St-Germain

Integra Resources Ltd

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Ms. St-Germain is the Chief Financial Officer of Integra Resources Ltd. She is an experienced mining finance executive with an extensive background in banking, mining finance and financial management. She began her career in investment banking for Dundee Capital Markets Inc. As an investment banker, Ms. St-Germain worked exclusively with mining companies on M&A advisory and financing. In 2013, Ms. St-Germain joined Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd. as CFO. During her tenure at Golden Queen, she played an instrumental role in securing project finance and overseeing Golden Queen as it transitioned from development and construction to commercial production. She joined Integra Gold as CFO in early 2017 and helped oversee the sale to Eldorado Gold Corporation in July 2017 for C$590 million. Ms. St-Germain is currently a director of Barkerville Gold Mines and Ascot Resources Ltd.

Ms. St-Germain holds an MBA (honours) from the Schulich School of Business (York University). She is the recipient of the Young Mining Professional Eira Thomas Award (2019) and the BMO Celebrating Women 2019 Trailblazer Award (Vancouver).

Jill Pardoe

Coast Mountain College School of Exploration and Mining

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Jill Pardoe is a Professional Geologist with extensive mining background, encompassing more than 30 years working for industry and the Provincial government.

Initially starting as a cook and field technician in 1981, she was inspired to pursue a geology career. On completion of her B.Sc. at the University of Saskatchewan, Jill moved to Smithers. Working domestically and abroad, she’s engaged in a full spectrum of mining activities: from grassroots exploration, through early and late stage property evaluation, to expansion of ore reserves at surface and underground mines.

In 1995, Jill joined the Ministry of Energy and Mines and worked extensively on Land Use Planning. In 2005, she became the Senior Permitting Inspector. As a mine inspector, Jill has been a strong advocate for industry, seeking to improve permitting processes and client communications. Jill left government in 2014, to return to consulting and occasional teaching at the Northwest Community College School of Exploration and Mining in Smithers.

Steve Robertson

Sun Metals

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Steve Robertson has three decades of experience in exploration and mine operations in British Columbia. In November 2017 Steve joined Sun Metals as President & CEO, from Imperial Metals where he spent the previous 24 years. Steve earned his BSc in geology from University of Alberta in 1989 and the bulk of his career has been spent in exploration.

Steve has always been actively engaged in the mining community. He previously served as director for AME BC (then the BC and Yukon Chamber of Mines), sat on the Geoscience BC Technical Advisory Committee and was a founding director of the BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association. In 2016 Steve was awarded the E.A. Scholz Award for Excellence in Mine Development for his leadership in development of the Red Chris mine.

Peter Waignein

Teck Resources Limited

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Peter is Teck Resources Limited’s Exploration Director of Global Commercial & Business Administration.  Peter has over 15 years of experience in the Mining industry, including 10 years at Teck within their Exploration, Corporate Development and Finance groups.  Prior to Teck, Peter was a manager in KPMG Vancouver’s mining practice working primarily with junior exploration companies.

At Teck, Peter is focused on commercial activities, including evaluations, M&A and asset management.  He has led or played a key role in the successful completion of over 100 commercial transactions over a broad range of jurisdictions and commodities and is responsible for managing Teck’s junior equity portfolio.  Peter has had the privilege to work with leading professionals in a wide range of business and technical disciplines at Teck and to collaborate with Teck’s diverse and driven global exploration team.  He has a deep understanding of the drivers of success in the minerals industry, in particular, the importance of a stable business environment to support sustained investment.

Peter is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Diploma in Accounting, both from the University of British Columbia.  Peter resides in Vancouver with his family and grew up in Kelowna and Port Coquitlam.

Appointed Directors

Kendra Johnston, President and CEO


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Kendra Johnston joined AME as President and CEO in June 2019 following several years of volunteer positions at AME including Director, Executive Director, Chair of the Board, Chair of the Roundup Committee and serving on numerous committees including the Finance Committee. Kendra is a Professional Geologist and mining executive with over 15 years of experience in various facets of the mineral exploration and mining industry primarily in BC and Yukon, and is a passionate industry advocate for responsible mineral exploration.

With a strong, inclusive and collaborative leadership style, Kendra provides AME with extensive, knowledge and experience in public geoscience, financial and capital markets, indigenous engagement, as well as the social and regulatory landscapes that affect mineral exploration.  Ms. Johnston’s strong leadership and advocacy helps to promote British Columbia as one of the top global jurisdictions for responsible and inclusive mineral exploration and development and as a major international hub for industry that shares our core values.

Ms. Johnston, P.Geo. graduated from the University of Victoria with BSc in Earth Science and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University with an MBA and a Certificate in Responsible Leadership.  She was most recently the President of BC and Yukon explorer, Independence Gold Corp., with increasing levels of responsibility from Project Geologist to President.

604.630.3920 | [email protected]

Courtnay Hughes

PHC Inc.

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With over 15 years of experience in Human Resources and a background in labour policy and research, Ms. Courtnay Hughes has worked with employers, educators,  and the mining and exploration associations at the national and regional level.  Courtnay’s work focuses on developing and managing impactful  Human Resource strategies, policy and programming.

As Senior Consultant – Diversity and Inclusion at PHC Inc. Courtnay provides advisory services to mining and exploration employers, educators and advocacy groups seeking to increase the attraction, retention and development of mining and exploration workforces. Ms. Hughes is a recognized expert on gender diversity in mining and leads national and regional research and policy initiatives on diversity and inclusion for the mining sector.

Prior to her work with PHC Inc., Courtnay worked for the Mining Industry Human Resources Council(MiHR) developing and managing national Equity, Diversity and Inclusion programming to support the attraction and retention of a more diverse workforce in the mining and exploration sector; these projects included; the first national Virtual MineMentor program for the mineral and mining sector, the Explore for More career awareness campaign, and the Gender Equity in Mining – GEM Works program. While at MiHR and in partnership with PDAC, Courtnay was the principal researcher on the national workforce study for the Effects of Field Experience on Recruitment and Retention of Geoscientists in Canadian Mineral Exploration. As the Manager of HR Research, Courtnay contributed to national HR research projects focused on the exploration sector: Unearthing Possibilities: Human Resources Challenges and Opportunities in the Canadian Mineral Exploration Sector; and the Canadian Mineral Exploration Outlook.

Throughout her career, Courtnay has engaged in national and regional mining and exploration industry committees and projects focused on diversity and building HR capacity. The committees include the BC HR Mining Taskforce, WIM-WIN Sask, WIM Canada National Action Plan, APEGBC’s Gender Diversity Taskforce, and CIM Diversity and Inclusion Advisory.  Of note the “Engendering Engineering Success,” an interdisciplinary research consortium connecting post-secondary research institutions with industry whose aims to increase the retention of women in engineering. Courtnay is currently the VP of Engagement at Women in Mining BC.

Courtnay holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Masters of Applied Science in Mining Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Her thesis titled  “A study on the career advancement and retention of highly qualified women in the Canadian mining industry” was one of the first Canadian studies to identify and investigate gender inequity within the Canadian mining workforce. Courtnay is a requested panellist and presenter on human resources in the mineral and exploration sector and has presented her research work at Round-up, CIM, World Mining Congress, the Australian Institute of Mining, and the Canadian International Resource and Development Institute.

Outside of work, Courtnay is an avid runner and road cyclist and enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids exploring the amazing parks, mountains and forests in BC.

Trish Jacques

College of New Caledonia

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Trish Jacques, a 10 year member of AME, has had a lifetime involvement in the minerals industry from a variety of different personal and professional experiences. She has grown up on a number of mining properties throughout the province and is personally vested and involved in the family-owned Davidson Deposit in Smithers BC (former Yorke-Hardy Deposit). With 12 years of political experience at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, she has been a strong advocate and participant in a number of mining initiatives. For 11 years, Trish was a Municipal Councillor for the District of Mackenzie and took the lead position of the Mining Portfolio to connect with and advocate for mining projects, communities and companies in her area. She was directly involved with the Environmental Assessment process for Mt. Milligan mine as well as a founding and long-standing member of the Community Sustainability Committee.
As Regional Director for the College of New Caledonia (CNC), she initiated the development and creation of multiple courses for the BCIT online Mineral Exploration and Mining Technology program, created the Mining Industry Certificate for CNC and also instructed entry level mining courses for the College of New Caledonia. She has extensive experience collaborating and working with First Nations communities and was responsible for leading and implementing the regional Aboriginal Services Plan. She has attended many Mineral’s North conferences, assisted in fundraising for the 2015 Mineral’s North Organizing Committee, was a key note speaker for Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) as well as a member on BCIT’s Mining Program Advisory Committee. Trish holds the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation and has a MA in Leadership and Training degree. Additionally she has held a number of management and consulting roles to support businesses with organizational culture development, system optimization and Human Resources best practices in Advanced Education, Forestry and Pulp & Paper industries.  Trish is passionate about land access for resource for exploration and development, regulatory processes that support mineral exploration and the communities that we live in. Her life experience and professional accomplishments will bring a valuable perspective to the AME Board.

Kevin O’Callaghan

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

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Kevin O’Callaghan is a partner with Fasken and the Leader of the firm’s Indigenous Law group. He is also the Regional Lead for the Corporate Social Responsibility Law group. Providing strategic advice on Indigenous, regulatory, environmental and other corporate social responsibility issues, Kevin advises clients throughout Western and Northern Canada, and around the world. Kevin provides strategic advice on managing projects through environmental assessment and consultation with Indigenous peoples, including advice on negotiations and agreements. However, if unavoidable conflicts arise during project development, Kevin appears before courts to assist his resource clients on challenges to licenses by local communities including injunctions.

Kevin was counsel for a coalition of businesses in two critical aboriginal cases at the Supreme Court of Canada: first on a leading case on Indigenous consultation and accommodation (Haida Nation v. British Columbia); and second, on the leading case on Indigenous title (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia). His advice on environmental issues is sought-after by clients on a myriad of environmental matters including environmental assessment, off-site migration, ground water contamination, and regulatory offences.

Martha Manuel

Indigenous Consultation & Engagement

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Martha is proud to have roots with the Neskonlith Indian Band, which is one of the 17 communities within the Secwepemculecw (Shuswap territory).  Her education includes Business Management, Public Administration, Critical Incident Management and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business & Indigenous Leadership through Simon Fraser University (SFU).

Much of what she’s learned about building effective community-industry relations was taught to her by her late father, Grand Chief George Manuel (founder of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples) and her mentor, the late John Jules of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc.   She enjoys spending time on the land and believes that the water and mountains are the best medicine to help guide her work.

She brings over 20 years of experience leading Indigenous related programs to new levels of success.  Her team effort approach is crucial in developing communication strategies that offer a collaborative approach to creating effective partnerships between community and industry.  She considers personal development/wellness, education, traditional healing and land stewardship as essential in striving for sustainability with Indigenous communities.

She began working with New Gold in 2008 as the First Nations Liaison and eventually transitioned to the Manager of Indigenous Relations.   She recently left the employment of New Gold to start her own consulting business.  During her employment with New Gold, she was a member of the Mining Association of Canada, Aboriginal Affairs Committee (MAC AAC), the Industry Training Authority, Mining Sector Advisory (ITA MSA).

Earlier this year, Martha received the Michelle Pockey Leadership Award.  The award is named in honor of the memory of a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle Pockey, who dedicated herself to making a positive impact with energy, mining, environmental and Indigenous issues, increasing the economic success and impact of women.  She also received the Trailblazer Award from Women in Mining Canada at the PDAC conference in March.

As she continues her work with communities across Canada, she continues to strive for the development of strategic initiatives that will create long term benefits for the communities.  “We are setting a precedence for future generations.  And we will continue to work together to maintain the foundation of respect & trust that has evolved into meaningful, productive relationships.”



Ryan Samis

Geotech Drilling Services Ltd.

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Currently the Vice President of Operations at Geotech Drilling Services Ltd. He quickly rose up the ranks, becoming a driller, supervisor and successfully growing the exploration division of the company from 2008 until he became a manager of the entire department in 2011 and then into a senior management role in 2015. Ryan invested in his future with Geotech, becoming a shareholder in 2012. He has orchestrated all aspects of Geotech’s most significant projects, including tendering, project preparation, purchasing, logistics/operations, human resources, invoicing and client relations.

He has worked on, oversaw and led drilling programs throughout Western Canada, the Canadian Arctic, US, South America, and more recently, West Africa. Further to his role at Geotech, he also sits as the President of the Canadian Diamond Drilling Association and has been a member of the Board of Directors with the CDDA since 2014, chairing the Technical Committee within the Group.

Jody Shimkus

Kirk Environmental

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Jody Shimkus is an experienced leader in environmental policy and regulatory affairs with over 25 years of private and public sector experience. Jody has significant knowledge managing politically sensitive, complex projects that involved high levels of engagement with Indigenous groups, and stakeholders, and a solid understanding of Aboriginal treaty rights and interests.
As a Project Director with the BC Environmental Assessment Office, Jody led the provincial environmental assessment review of the Canada Line Rapid Transit project, the Port Mann/Hwy 1 expansion and the South Fraser Perimeter Road projects pursuant to the Environmental Assessment (EA) Act. Jody also led provincial reviews of major mine projects that triggered both the BC EA Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).

Jody was an Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Mines and has a deep and sophisticated understanding of environmentally sensitive projects in BC.

As the Vice President for HD Mining, Jody directed a team of environmental and engineering consultants in the review of the Murray River Coal project, which was certified under the BC EA Act
8 and CEAA 2012 and permitted under the BC Mines Act and Environmental Management Act. Jody has worked in the Yukon and BC and sits on the Board of the Mining Association of Canada and the Mining Association of BC. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg and MPA from the University of Manitoba.


Gavin C. Dirom

Geoscience BC

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Gavin is well known as a trusted professional with an extensive business and government network and industry profile in Canada.

Gavin has over 25 years of experience in the Canadian mineral exploration and mining industry, with a focus on government and stakeholder relations, industry advocacy, not-for-profit association management and governance, public policy development, corporate affairs and project permitting, safety, environmental management and sustainability.

Gavin holds a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University and a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and Environmental Science from the University of Victoria. He is also a registered Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) in the Province of British Columbia. His M.Sc. thesis and hydrogeology-related research of the Lynx underground mine on Vancouver Island was undertaken with the Geological Survey of Canada.

By invitation of the BC and Canadian governments, Gavin has represented the mineral exploration and mining industry on a number of domestic and international trade and investment missions.

Gavin continues to serve on a number of academic, industry and government-related committees and boards.

Michael Goehring

Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC)

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Michael Goehring joined the Mining Association of British Columbia as President and CEO in 2019. Mr. Goehring brings more than 20 years’ experience providing public affairs and strategic communications counsel to many of Canada’s leading natural resource companies. He joined MABC following a successful career as a partner in the Vancouver office of Canada’s largest communications firm. Michael has built a strong reputation for advancing challenging public policy files and delivering successful advocacy and communications campaigns. He brings expertise in a number of communications disciplines, including reputation management, issues and crisis management, corporate relations, media relations, stakeholder and community relations, government relations, advocacy and regulatory affairs.

Michael is a member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada, serves as vice president of the board of the Vancouver Thunderbird Minor Hockey Association, and is past president of the board of directors of the Turning Point Recovery Society.

A native of British Columbia, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and pursued Graduate Studies in International Political Economy at Simon Fraser University.

Past Presidents and Chairs