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
  • Courtney Daws
    Courtney Daws
    Vice President, Governance and Policy
  • Jessica Dickson
    Jessica Dickson
    Vice President, Programs
  • Mary Gerges
    Mary Gerges
    Lead, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Anna McKenzie
    Anna McKenzie
    Sr. Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Alison Stockwell
    Alison Stockwell
    Sr. Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Curtis Bedwell
    Curtis Bedwell
    Specialist, Governance and Policy
  • Shannon D’Arcy
    Shannon D’Arcy
    Specialist, Governance and Policy
  • Heidi Taylor
    Heidi Taylor
    Analyst, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Teyem Thomas
    Teyem Thomas
    HR & Office Administrator
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
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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.