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.

  • Stefan Moores
    Stefan Moores
    Chair of the Board
  • Rob McPhee
    Rob McPhee
    Managing Director, Negotiations and Government to Government Relationships
  • Neil Philcox
    Neil Philcox
    President
  • Alyssa Melnyk
    Alyssa Melnyk
    Vice President, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Courtney Daws
    Courtney Daws
    Vice President, Governance and Policy
  • Jessica Dickson
    Jessica Dickson
    Vice President, Programs
  • Arturo Calvo
    Arturo Calvo
    Senior Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Anthea Darychuk
    Anthea Darychuk
    Senior Specialist, Programs
  • Georgia Gerontas
    Georgia Gerontas
    Lead, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Hannah Geiser
    Hannah Geiser
    Senior Analyst, Governance and Policy
  • Mary Gerges
    Mary Gerges
    Lead, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Perry Jack
    Perry Jack
    Designer, Strategic Engagement & Communications
  • Shannon D’Arcy
    Shannon D’Arcy
    Senior Specialist, Governance and Policy
  • Teyem Thomas
    Teyem Thomas
    HR & Office Manager
  • Varun Srivatsan
    Varun Srivatsan
    Senior Analyst, Economic Development, Lands and Infrastructure
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.

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.

Alyssa Melnyk
Vice President, Strategic Engagement and Communications
Courtney Daws
Vice President, 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.

Jessica Dickson
Vice President, Programs

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.

Arturo Calvo
Senior Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Arturo Calvo is a trained journalist who has worked in politics, media and with First Nations. As a first-generation Canadian, and a proud Yukoner, he is passionate about supporting positive change for communities and future generations. Arturo’s career began on Parliament Hill where he supported the Liberal caucus in building relationships with Indigenous constituents. He collaborated with the Prime Minister’s Office and several Minister’s offices to create a cross-government table for Indigenous policy leads to discuss emerging issues and initiatives. Prior to joining Castlemain, he advised two Assembly of First Nations regional chiefs and worked with the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association.  Arturo graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism. While completing his studies, worked for local television and radio in Whitehorse.

Anthea Darychuk
Senior Specialist, Programs

Anthea Darychuk is an accomplished sustainability practitioner with more than a decade working in community engagement, program evaluation and research. Prior to joining Castlemain, she held positions in the public and private sectors within the natural resource industry, working alongside Indigenous communities to build inclusive programming and shared value throughout Canada and Latin America.

Anthea holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science from the University of Guelph, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto, focused on Health Promotion and Community Resilience. Anthea is an experienced community researcher, with a passion for community outreach and qualitative inquiry based on community engagement and collaboration.

Georgia Gerontas
Lead, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Georgia is a passionate public policy leader with over 12 years of experience working in the public and private sectors.  Georgia has spent much of her career working in Alberta Government departments of Energy and Environment, where she led key policy files related to oil and gas tenure and leasing, responsible and sustainable land-use, and sector regulation. In addition to her extensive experience working in the natural resource sector, Georgia has also held a variety of leadership positions in the Alberta Public Service Commission, where her area of focus was public sector and public agency governance as well as strategic human resource policy and practice.

Georgia took her undergrad in political science and a graduate diploma in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.  She also pursued a Masters of Arts in Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Hannah Geiser
Senior Analyst, Governance and Policy

 

Hannah Geiser is a policy analyst with experience in the areas of Crown-Indigenous relations, policy development and human security. As a Senior Analyst of Governance and Policy at Castlemain, Hannah focuses on law and policy development, drafting strategic communications products, researching and reviewing existing policy documents, engaging citizens and stakeholders to develop strategic plans, and supporting the development of governance documents for clients.

Hannah has held positions in the public, private and non-profit sectors in Ontario and British Columbia and has done extensive engagement with First Nations across B.C., working collaboratively with them to advance their relationships with the federal government and support their resiliency during emergencies. She has a certificate in Project Management and has experience managing, overseeing and executing all project activities on both domestic and international policy consulting projects, including communications and written correspondence with diverse stakeholders and Indigenous rights holders. Hannah has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Legal Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. She moved to Vancouver in 2018 where she completed her Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia before joining the Castlemain team.

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. 

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 UX Design from BrainStation, in addition to Digital Design from Vancouver Film School as well as a certificate in Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneur Development from the Turtle Island Indigenous Education Corporation.

Shannon D’Arcy
Senior 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.

Teyem Thomas
HR & Office Manager

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.

Varun Srivatsan
Senior Analyst, Economic Development, Lands and Infrastructure

Varun Srivatsan is a values-based economics and finance professional. He has varied experience in government, consulting, impact investing, advertising and microfinance. His current role involves supporting Indigenous communities exercise their economic potential in support of their social, cultural, and economic goals. Varun’s approach is driven by his deep belief that self-determination comes together with financial and fiscal independence. Prior to joining Castlemain, he worked for the Parliamentary Budget Officer. A highlight of his time there was costing 2019 election campaign promises for the first time in Canadian and G7 history. Varun holds a bachelor’s in international economics from the University of British Columbia.