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
  • ROB MCPHEE
    ROB MCPHEE
    Managing Director
  • STEFAN MOORES
    STEFAN MOORES
    Managing Director
  • Jeff Frank
    Jeff Frank
    Sr. Vice President
  • Jessica Dickson
    Jessica Dickson
    Governance & Policy Lead
  • Alyssa Melnyk
    Alyssa Melnyk
    Governance & Policy Lead
  • Courtney Daws
    Courtney Daws
    Senior Governance & Negotiation Analyst
  • Graham Wood
    Graham Wood
    Manager, Lands Planning & Development
  • James Spencer
    James Spencer
    Project Manager, Economic Development
  • Brendon Grant
    Brendon Grant
    Financial Analyst, Economic Development
  • Ian Simpson
    Ian Simpson
    Project Manager, Economic Development
  • Lise Oakley
    Lise Oakley
    Project Manager, Strategic Engagement & Communications
  • Andrea Zazzi
    Andrea Zazzi
    Associate, Strategic Engagement and Communications
  • Chelsea Doyle
    Chelsea Doyle
    Associate
  • Leanna Milburn
    Leanna Milburn
    Research & Policy Analyst
  • Emily Riddle
    Emily Riddle
    Research & Policy Analyst
  • Laura Taylor
    Laura Taylor
    Associate
  • Maryel Sparks-Cardinal
    Maryel Sparks-Cardinal
    Community Engagement & Policy Associate
  • Bobby Whang
    Bobby Whang
    Digital Manager
  • Jasmine Lew
    Jasmine Lew
    Graphic Designer
  • Ray Park
    Ray Park
    Finance Manager
  • Teyem Thomas
    Teyem Thomas
    Office Administrator
  • Bronwyn Austin
    Bronwyn Austin
    Finance & Administrative Assistant
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.

ROB MCPHEE
Managing Director

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.

STEFAN MOORES
Managing Director

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.

Jeff Frank
Sr. Vice President

Jeff is one of the most experienced on-reserve project managers in the country, with over 70 infrastructure projects under his belt. Jeff has over 20 years experience working for indigenous groups. He has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University’s Schulich School of Business, and has his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.

Jessica Dickson
Governance & Policy Lead

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.

Alyssa Melnyk
Governance & Policy Lead
Courtney Daws
Senior Governance & Negotiation Analyst

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.

Graham Wood
Manager, Lands Planning & Development

Graham has 15 years experience in Real Estate, including Negotiation, Appraisal, Brokerage, Development, and Infrastructure Construction. Graham recently worked with the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which included ensuring land rights and tenures for the $1.4 Billion Evergreen Skytrain Extension were properly acquired, and the excess land was prepared for re-development in consultation with multiple stakeholders. He is a professional member of the Real Estate Institute of BC, holds a BA from SFU, a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from the Sauder School of Business at UBC and is currently completing his MBA at UVIC.

James Spencer
Project Manager, Economic Development

James has 15 years experience in water treatment, drilling operations, power grids, earthworks, reclamation and water conveyance networks of $1M-$5M. He has worked on resource development as a limited partner in value-added wood products and currently advises on Indigenous Economic Development particularly related to capacity, readiness and sustainability. James has a Professional Biologist designation from the ASPB and a Project Management Certificate from the University of Toronto.

Brendon Grant
Financial Analyst, Economic Development

Brendon Grant is a proud member of the Haisla Nation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Northern British Columbia. Brendon worked as the lead analyst for Haisla Nation’s LNG and real estate development projects while employed with RA Capital Advisors in San Diego, California.

Ian Simpson
Project Manager, Economic Development

A Coast Salish citizen from Snuneymuxw First Nation, Ian specializes in Indigenous economic and business development. He has a passion for increasing social outcomes for First Nations in Canada by decreasing the income disparity that currently exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Ian completed his commerce degree from Vancouver Island University with a focus on finance, and is currently working towards his Master of Business Administration in Indigenous Business in Leadership from Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business.

Lise Oakley
Project Manager, Strategic Engagement & Communications

Lise is an expert in creative marketing and communications with years of experience supporting First Nations and non-profits to engage diverse audiences. In addition to leading successful print media and online engagement campaigns, Lise has designed and coordinated a number of dynamic workshops and large-scale events. She holds a BA in Communications and First Nations Studies from Simon Fraser University and a Diploma from BCIT’s Marketing Management Program.

Andrea Zazzi
Associate, Strategic Engagement and Communications

Andrea is an experienced communications professional who leads large-scale consultation and engagement projects at Castlemain. Her background in journalism and her knack for optimizing use of new media, provide her with a unique ability to meaningfully involve diverse perspectives in discussions about complex issues. Andrea has a Bachelor of Journalism from Thompson Rivers University, and has presented on best practices for social media use at a number of First Nations-focused events.

Chelsea Doyle
Associate

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.

Leanna Milburn
Research & Policy Analyst

Prior to joining the CMG team, Leanna Milburn worked with Kwikwetlem First Nation on a variety of projects relating to policy development, community planning, and natural resource consultation. She has a strong background in research, community engagement and facilitation and a skill for bringing the results of a data collection process together into unique and innovative policy. She holds a BA in Communication (with Honours) from Simon Fraser University and an MA in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia.

Emily Riddle
Research & Policy Analyst

Emily Riddle is nehiyaw (Plains Cree), a member of the Alexander First Nation in Treaty Six. She holds a BA in Political Science and Native Studies, and a Certificate in Aboriginal Governance & Partnership from the University of Alberta, and is currently completing a MA in Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining Castlemain Emily worked with the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health at UBC and the Aboriginal Governance Program at the University of Alberta. She has worked with various First Nations and Métis communities on projects relating to governance & policy, education, and health.

Laura Taylor
Associate

Laura is a communications specialist with extensive media experience. Having trained in multiple newsrooms, including CBC, Laura brings a unique skill-set to Castlemain. She supports a range of client projects, often writing engaging press releases, coordinating solution-focused community dialogue, creating promotional videos, and more. Laura holds a broadcast journalism degree from BCIT and has a BA from the University of British Columbia with a minor in Aboriginal Studies.

Maryel Sparks-Cardinal
Community Engagement & Policy Associate

Maryel is Cree-Metis whose family is from Lac La Biche Alberta. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology/First Nations Studies. Maryel has experience working with Indigenous communities through her work with the Ministry of Advanced Educations’ Aboriginal Education and Training Unit, The University of British Columbias’ First Nations House of Learning and the Urban Native Youth Association. With a broad range of experience in communications, policy and film production, Maryel brings a diverse set of skills to her work at Castlemain.

Bobby Whang
Digital Manager

A talented Front-End developer and UI designer, Bobby enables clients to build and enhance a unique online presence. Bobby leads the design and development of custom websites and web apps, incorporating tailored themes on dynamic and socially enabled platforms. In 2014 he took leave from Castlemain to attend a highly competitive programming bootcamp program in San Francisco. Bobby also has a Senior Certificate in Web Design & Development from BCIT and a BA in Economics from SFU.

Jasmine Lew
Graphic Designer

An exceptional designer, Jasmine has a unique ability to transform standard documents into engaging material, in print and online. Jasmine develops and applies distinctive branding to professionally tailored print and web materials, taking clients’ visions from concept to reality. Her productions have been featured in the Tyee, Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight and Sing Tao Daily. Jasmine has a BA in Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University.

Ray Park
Finance Manager

Ray earned his BSc in Business Administration from San Francisco State University, is a Certified General Accountant (CGA), and works as a key part of our administrative team. He has worked as a manager for accounting firms and has experience as a senior accountant working in BC’s resource industry.

Teyem Thomas
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.

Bronwyn Austin
Finance & Administrative Assistant

Bronwyn was born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and lived there for 18 years. She has a Bachelors of Fine Arts majoring in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and has completed a Bookkeeping Certificate from Langara College.