Our Team

Castlemain is proud of the hard-working people on our team that advise and assist Indigenous communities.

We have a team of nearly three dozen employees and associates – economists, policy advisors, professional negotiators, governance experts, communications and social media professionals, digital experts, lawyers and land management specialists – who can advise and assist Indigenous organizations with virtually any economic, governance, social or communications issue or opportunity.

The team we have built has more than 60 years of combined consulting experience. Our partners and advisors have long and successful track records with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, and have also built and managed leading Canadian and international consulting companies.

The knowledge and experience of our professionals and the successful results they achieve for our clients are what distinguishes Castlemain from other firms, and has made us the leading advisors to Indigenous groups in Canada.

  • Neil Philcox
    Neil Philcox
    President
  • Stefan Moores
    Stefan Moores
    Chair of the Board
  • Rob McPhee
    Rob McPhee
    Managing Director, Negotiations and Government to Government Relationships
  • Alyssa Melnyk
    Alyssa Melnyk
    Vice President, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Jessica Dickson
    Jessica Dickson
    Vice President, Governance and Policy
  • Courtney Daws
    Courtney Daws
    Lead, Governance and Policy
  • Mary Gerges
    Mary Gerges
    Lead, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Kelly Masson
    Kelly Masson
    Lead, Business Development Team
  • Gary Patsey
    Gary Patsey
    Lead, Economic Development, Lands and Infrastructure
  • Nicole Heighington
    Nicole Heighington
    Controller
  • Anna McKenzie
    Anna McKenzie
    Sr. Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Alison Stockwell
    Alison Stockwell
    Sr. Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Christy Whitmore
    Christy Whitmore
    Sr. Advisor, Business Development Team
  • Chelsea Doyle
    Chelsea Doyle
    Associate, Business Development Team
  • Cody Kenny
    Cody Kenny
    Analyst, Governance and Policy
  • Curtis Bedwell
    Curtis Bedwell
    Specialist, Governance and Policy
  • Shannon D’Arcy
    Shannon D’Arcy
    Specialist, Governance and Policy
  • Fernando Salazar
    Fernando Salazar
    Aquaculture Advisor, Business Development Team
  • Heidi Taylor
    Heidi Taylor
    Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Karenn Bailey
    Karenn Bailey
    Career and Capacity Development Coordinator, Business Development Team
  • Maia Schor
    Maia Schor
    Sr. Specialist, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Perry Jack
    Perry Jack
    Designer, Strategic Engagement & Communications
  • Racheal Weymer
    Racheal Weymer
    Sr. Advisor, Business Development Team
  • Teyem Thomas
    Teyem Thomas
    HR & Office Administrator
  • Torrye McKenzie
    Torrye McKenzie
    Sr. Analyst, Economic Development, Lands and Infrastructure
Neil Philcox
President

Neil is an established leader in the economic development, financing and community development arena.  He has worked with many First Nations to access capital for over 200 business development and community-based projects.  Neil’s passion lies in the development of a values-driven approach to investments, with a focus on the broad set of community goals and benefits often sought by Castlemain’s Indigenous clients.

Stefan Moores
Chair of the Board

A recognized business leader with extensive First Nations negotiation and land development experience, Stefan is a Vancouver “Top Forty under 40” and co-founder of the Urban Land Institute of BC. He is recognized as an authority in land negotiations, land valuation, land development on-reserve, and leads Castlemain’s land practice.

Rob McPhee
Managing Director, Negotiations and Government to Government Relationships

Rob is an accomplished indigenous economist and is a member of the Tahltan Nation. Since 2009, he has negotiated over $3b worth of agreements on behalf of our First Nations clients. The agreements Rob negotiates set the standards in the areas of socio-cultural strategy, impact benefits, environmental oversight, and co-management of major resource projects.

Alyssa Melnyk
Vice President, Strategic Engagement and Communications
Jessica Dickson
Vice President, Governance and Policy

With her Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution, Jessica specializes in tailor-made community-building and governance tools for First Nations. She has a breadth of knowledge and experience in treaty issues, indigenous policy, project management, governance best practices, and leading research methods.

Courtney Daws
Lead, Governance and Policy

Courtney is a lawyer and strategic advisor with extensive knowledge in the areas of Aboriginal law, policy and governance and has held positions in the legal, political and social realm. Most recently, Courtney was the Director of Operations at the BC Assembly of First Nations under then Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould. Courtney has a BA in Sociology and a law degree, both from the University of British Columbia, and is a member of the Law Society of BC.

Mary Gerges
Lead, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Mary is a values-driven professional who has dedicated the last 10 years of her career in the pursuit of work that supports social and economic inclusion of marginalized communities. She is a skilled strategic thinker, project manager and communicator with experience in public, private and non-profit sectors.  Her Masters in Public Policy and wide range of professional experience equip her as an agent of systemic change in service of unlocking opportunities for communities and business. 

Kelly Masson
Lead, Business Development Team

Kelly is an Economic Development specialist and has worked with dozens of indigenous communities in British Columbia to build their local economies by helping to identify opportunities, plan projects, and execute implementation. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Victoria as well as a Master’s degree in International Development with a focus on Economic Development from Simon Fraser University.

Gary Patsey
Lead, Economic Development, Lands and Infrastructure

Gary is champion of Indigenous community growth, Infrastructure, lands, technology and Indigenous capacity development. He has worked with many Indigenous communities to identify their strategic priorities and action plans. Gary’s passion is in the collaboration or co-creation of development plans with Indigenous leaders, administrators and community members. Gary honours everyone’s personal journey in his heart and is honoured to walk alongside using the best tools, strategies and practises to assist in the realization of Indigenous aspirations.

Nicole Heighington
Controller
Anna McKenzie
Sr. Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Anna is a strong communicator and facilitator with years of experience working in community. A member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Anna has a background in youth engagement, facilitation, qualitative research, and program evaluation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from the University of British Columbia. Anna has worked with Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS), the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA), and Watari Counselling & Support Services Society.

Alison Stockwell
Sr. Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Alison Stockwell is a senior analyst with eight years of experience in engagement and communications, impact assessment, international development, and natural resource management. She has worked with clients across a variety of sectors including mining, oil and gas, chemical processing, energy, and infrastructure to implement effective management plans and policies that build strong community support, mitigate social risks, and work towards inclusive economic growth for communities associated with development projects.
Alison is an experienced researcher and engagement practitioner. She has worked with rural and Indigenous communities in central and northern BC to collect community health data, has facilitated issues scoping and participatory mapping initiatives in mining communities in BC, and undertaken community knowledge translation on behalf of research institutions. Her work on impact assessments for mining and energy projects on behalf of a number of rural and Indigenous communities in northern and central BC has given her deep experience working with communities to identify program and service gaps and propose collaborative solutions in the areas of: community health, cultural continuity, and sustainable economic growth. She is well-versed in provincial and federal regulatory systems for environmental assessment and consultation. In addition, Alison has supported natural resource sector clients in implementing policies and programs that help them align with rigourous international standards and declarations. These include: the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards; the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, rthe Asian Development Bank (ADB) Safeguard Policies, the Equator Principles, and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and the Towards Sustainable Mining Framework. Alison holds a Master of Applied Science in Mining Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Geography.

Christy Whitmore
Sr. Advisor, Business Development Team
Chelsea Doyle
Associate, Business Development Team

Chelsea is a capacity-development specialist with years of experience supporting personal growth and professional development in non-profits, private sector and First Nation communities.  Passionate about facilitating learning to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals, she works closely with multiple stakeholders to identify opportunities and implement programs that make sense.  Chelsea holds a BA in International Development & English Literature from Dalhousie University.

Cody Kenny
Analyst, Governance and Policy

Cody grew up here on Coast Salish territory and is Ojibway from Lac Seul First Nation. He holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and a Master of Community and Regional Planning with a specialization in Indigenous Community Planning. Before coming to Castlemain, Cody worked in community development with the City of Vancouver and with Aboriginal Sport BC, and most recently as a community planner with Urban Systems and Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund. The skills that Cody brings is in comprehensive community planning, facilitation, data analysis, and research and writing.

Curtis Bedwell
Specialist, Governance and Policy

Before joining Castlemain, Curtis worked as the Director of Policy, Government and Corporate Relations for the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation in Toronto, ON. Prior to this, Curtis worked as a policy analyst supporting the Regional Chief at the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN).

Curtis had the opportunity to support Chief Maureen Chapman as a Strategic Advisor for the 2017 BC Flood and Wildfire Review and contributed to the report for the BC Government titled “Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia.” Curtis has also worked for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and In-SHUCK-ch Nation, and has undertaken research projects for Alderhill Planning, and Four Directions Management Services.

Curtis was born and raised on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish (Kwikwetlem First Nation) and is honoured to continue to work on the unceded territories of the Squamish Nation, the Musqueam Indian Band, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Curtis holds a BA (Honours) in Political Science from SFU, and a MA in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University.

Shannon D’Arcy
Specialist, Governance and Policy

Shannon D’Arcy is a strategic advisor with extensive knowledge in the areas of policy development, non-for-profit organizations and public administration. Prior to joining Castlemain, Shannon has held positions in both government and non-profit organizations in Ontario in which she advised senior-level executives on strategic communications, worked cross-functionally to develop strategic solutions to policy and communications projects and specialized in creating compelling stories to achieve measurable results in the natural resources and conservation sectors.

Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, both from Western University in London, Ontario. Shannon is a recent transplant to British Columbia after being born in Alberta, finishing elementary and high school in Nunavut, and spending over a decade in Ontario.

Fernando Salazar
Aquaculture Advisor, Business Development Team

Fernando Salazar graduated in 1997 as Marine Biologist from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur, Mexico. He worked for 4 years on several studies related to reproductive biology and abundance of commercially fished sharks and rays; cultivation of pearls; and providing consulting services in aquaculture and environmental management.

Immigrated to Canada in 2002 and by 2006 he completed an MSc in Aquaculture from the University of Guelph. By 2007, he moved to St. Andrews, NB to work at DFO’s biological station in the Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture project. Fernando joined the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia in 2008 as a R&D Coordinator working in project management, technology transfer, innovation and development of aquaculture. This position gave him the necessary exposure to understand the challenges and needs of aquaculture in Atlantic Canada and to build a valuable network of national and international contacts within the sector. In 2010, Fernando joined Ulnooweg as the Aquaculture Advisor working for the Business Development Team. In this position, he has been responsible for providing advice and guidance in the establishment of commercial aquaculture projects with First Nations from Atlantic Canada and Quebec. So far, he has assisted 30 communities with their projects, concepts, and ideas.

Heidi Taylor
Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Heidi is an accomplished writer and communicator with a wide variety of communications experience, including report and proposal writing, writing for websites and blogs, developing key message, interpretation, and outreach/engagement. She is also a skilled researcher and has experience designing and executing quantitative and qualitative research projects.

Heidi spent several years living and working in South East Asia where she had the opportunity to work with local communities on outreach and engagement projects related to marine conservation. Heidi learned the value of listening and how to overcome barriers to cross-cultural communication and she bring this unique lens to her work.

Karenn Bailey
Career and Capacity Development Coordinator, Business Development Team

Karenn is a scientist and business professional.  She led management, accounting and marketing activities for small and large businesses for over fifteen years. She was responsible for budgets of up to $6.5 million and teams of 15. She has designed sales materials and communication plans, and developed Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and company policies. Karenn became a biologist in 2013 and worked in natural resource consulting and environmental assessment before becoming a Lands and Resources Manager for a First Nation.

In addition to business roles, Karenn has experience in outdoor education and tourism as a guide and entrepreneur. She has been a wildlife ranger and pesticide applicator. She has championed many multi-stakeholder projects aimed at restoring terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and led field activities designed to build scientific skills within Aboriginal communities. Karenn draws on her diverse skills and life experiences in order to effectively assess and adapt to the needs of her clients for the best outcome for all.

Karenn is a Biology Technologist registered with the College of Applied Biology (BC), has accreditations in Business and Marketing and a Bachelors in Ecological Restoration from BCIT. She holds many technical certifications required for fisheries including SVOP, electrofishing, sediment and erosion control, and she is a certified Oil Spill technician.

Maia Schor
Sr. Specialist, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Maia is an experienced marketing and communications professional, with a strong background in digital marketing strategy, website development, email marketing and social media strategies. Maia has a Bachelors of Commerce with a double major in Marketing and International Business from the University of Manitoba. She previously worked for the UBC Sauder School of Business, where she managed the digital marketing team, and was responsible for over-seeing a large-scale digital strategy project for the whole school. In her previous roles in marketing and advertising agencies she developed campaigns and strategies for small and large brands across North America.

Perry Jack
Designer, Strategic Engagement & Communications

Perry Sky Jack is Coast Salish from the Lyackson First Nation which is part of the Hul’q’umi’num Mustimuhw. He is an established designer with 10 years of experience working with environmental organizations and many Indigenous clients and businesses to help design their marketing materials from print to digital. Perry brings ideas to life with powerful creative and effective solutions in graphic design, art direction, brand identity development, web plus print communications, social media strategies and motion graphics. Perry holds a Diploma for Digital Design from Vancouver Film School as well as a certificate in Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneur Development from the Turtle Island Indigenous Education Corporation.

Racheal Weymer
Sr. Advisor, Business Development Team

Racheal is a community economic development specialist with ten years of experience working with Indigenous communities throughout Canada. She is an enthusiastic project manager with experience in business development, fisheries management, environmental consulting, harbour management, entrepreneur support, supply chain management, seafood traceability, policy development, and fisheries observer training. Racheal holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Biology as well as a certificate in Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University.

Teyem Thomas
HR & Office Administrator

Teyem has been working in Aboriginal organizations in BC since 1999. Her office leadership ranges from a grassroots level as Youth Coordinator and Education Assistant in First Nation band offices, to political level as Snuneymuxw’s Chief and Council’s Secretary and as Administrative Assistant at the BC AFN.

Torrye McKenzie
Sr. Analyst, Economic Development, Lands and Infrastructure

Born and raised in Quesnel, B.C., Torrye has a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in Biomedicine and a minor in First Nations Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia. Her previous work was centered around international development and sustainable procurement. She was a national manager who worked with community groups, businesses and government to build relationships, campaigns and policies that benefitted both people and the planet. She is a talented project manager with strong communications and supply chain management skills. Her expertise lies within the social, cultural and environmental elements and opportunities within community and economic development. Torrye lives on Vancouver Island and takes every opportunity she can to be outside with her friends and family.