Who We Are

Coast Funds is a globally recognized model of permanent conservation financing that invests to strengthen the well-being of First Nations.

In recent years, conservation practices have increasingly adopted business-based approaches. Among these is the use of project-finance techniques to mobilize the resources, institutional commitments, and other conditions needed for successful long-term conservation.

The fundraising and negotiations that resulted in the creation of Coast Funds are globally recognized as an example of Project Finance for Permanence (PFP). The aim of PFP is to help establish the conditions required to secure the ecological, financial, organizational, political, and social sustainability of globally important places. The PFP process often takes many years and a high-level of collaboration between disparate partners, but provides a durable foundation for long-term landscape-level conservation success.

The efforts to establish Coast Funds introduced full-cost fundraising and a single financial closing to the PFP model. The project also took a comprehensive view of stakeholder support and organized efforts from each party. For example, Tides Canada led the key stages of the PFP process, including the financial closing and fundraising in Canada, while The Nature Conservancy led the private fundraising effort in the United States.  These are examples of the many important roles played by different parties, including First Nations, NGOs, funders, and industry groups. The involvement of such a wide range of stakeholders is an important feature of the establishment of Coast Funds.

More information on the history of the strategic land use plan agreements, collaboration between stakeholders, and the creation of Coast Funds is available on the History of the Great Bear Rainforest page.

Project Finance for Permanence Resources

Linden Trust, Moore Foundation, and Redstone Strategy Group:
Lessons from Landscape-scale Conservation Deals, 2011
Assessments of three landscape-scale conservation deals, 2011

Stanford Social Innovation Review:
“A Big Deal for Conservation”, 2012

World Wildlife Fund:
Project Finance for Permanence: Key Outcomes and Lessons Learned, 2015


Initially capitalized with $118 million provided by six private foundations, the Province of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada, Coast Funds is comprised of two separate organizations.


Coast Funds’ Members (defined in the Conservation Investments and Incentives Agreement – see Our Mandate) represent the interests of the original funders and the eligible First Nations communities.

The Members convene once a year at an annual general meeting of the Foundation and Society.

Dallas Smith

President, Nanwakolas Council Society

Marilyn Slett

President, Coastal First Nations (Great Bear Initiative Society)

Ross McMillan

President and Chief Executive Officer, Tides Canada Foundation

Jenny Brown

Director of Conservation Programs, TNC Canada

Neilane Mayhew

Associate Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Province of British Columbia

Craig Sutherland

Assistant Deputy Minister, Coast Area, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Province of British Columbia

Ernest Swanson

Entrepreneur, Haida Nation (non-voting)

Robert Grodecki

Executive Director, North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society (non-voting)

Coast Funds' Board of Directors is responsible for governance of the conservation and economic development funds, reporting to the Members.

The Board has specific obligations set out in the governing documents of the organization, in particular, the Conservation and Investments Incentives Agreement (CIIA). Under that agreement, the Board must:

  • Publish an annual Strategic Plan spanning a three-year cycle;
  • Ensure compliance with the requirements of CIIA; and
  • Review and make decisions on whether to approve funding applications.

The Board carefully considers economic and environmental factors when approving funds for investment into projects and programs. The Board also ensures compliance with governance policies and ensures that new Directors meet the requirements of a competency matrix.

Merv Child


Merv is a 1994 graduate of the University of Victoria Law School and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1995. He has practised in the areas of administrative and aboriginal law. He serves as the Executive Director for the Na̲nwak̲olas Council Society, a Campbell River-based society of seven First Nations addressing land and resource issues and related economic development opportunities.

604-684-0223 Ext 1

Sage Berryman

Sage is the Chief Operating Officer of the Ralmax Group of Companies. Prior to this Sage founded a number of companies with the intent to bring impact-based businesses into the areas that needed them the most. Before becoming an entrepreneur she was the West Coast General Manager and Senior Managing Director with a global management consulting company called FTI Consulting working in San Francisco. Through her career she has worked with a number of high growth companies where she led multiple successful business/strategic planning initiatives, private and public financings, and sales and marketing programs. Sage holds an M.B.A. in international business from Queen’s University. She serves on three corporate boards and is an active mentor and advisor for numerous entrepreneurs and their businesses.

Percy Crosby

Percy represents Skidegate at the Haida House as an elected official for the Council of the Haida Nation. He has held an executive position on the boards of Gwaii Trust and Gwaii Forest Charitable Trust and sits on the board of Haida Gwaii Community Futures. He also works for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations as a First Nations Liaison. He acts as the coordinator and board member for the Haida Gwaii Cultural Wood Advisory Board, representing the Province of BC.

Garth Davis

Garth is the CEO of New Market Funds and has spent more than 20 years in capital deployment. He has leadership experience in impact investing (Vancity Community Capital), private equity (Turtle Creek and Scotia Merchant Capital), and corporate and leveraged finance (Scotia Capital). He has a Master of Arts in International Economics from the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University.

Darcy Dobell

Darcy has over 20 years’ experience in policy, strategic planning, and communications in public and non-profit sectors. As VP, Conservation and Pacific at WWF-Canada, she led conservation programs in BC and across Canada. She also served for a number of years as a director and co-Chair of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, and was the founding Chair of the Raincoast Education Society. Through her consulting company, Darcy currently works with First Nations, government agencies, businesses, and NGOs to advance sustainability initiatives.

Wally Eamer

Wally was born and raised on Vancouver Island, and lives in Metchosin. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of BC and Master of Business Administration from Harvard. He worked for over twenty years in the provincial government, including Ministry of Environment and BC Parks. In the Central Coast process from 2002, he was the provincial Table representative, provincial negotiator with First Nations in 2004 and 2005, and since 2006 has worked on ecosystem-based management implementation with the Nanwakolas Council. In 2008, he was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican church.

Larry Greba

Larry has extensive experience and training in the field of fisheries, oceans and economic development. He has worked with 25 First Nations communities and organizations throughout British Columbia over the past 31 years primarily in wild fisheries enhancement, conservation, management, finfish and shellfish aquaculture, policy development, strategic planning and negotiation. He has worked closely with the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation, Central Coast Indigenous Resources Alliance, the First Nations Fisheries Council and the Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative, and has represented the interests of many of these organizations on a myriad of boards and committees. He has developed and serves as a managing director of several Kitasoo Band businesses.

Chris Trumpy

Chris has more than 30 years of experience in public service. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Certified General Accountant designation and while working for the provincial government was Deputy Minister of the Ministries of Finance and Corporate Relations; Provincial Revenue; Sustainable Resource Management, and Environment. He has also been Secretary to the Treasury Board. He currently sits on the boards of Puget Sound Energy, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union and Pacific Sport Victoria.

Bruce Watkinson, Coast Funds

Bruce Watkinson

Bruce Watkinson is a member of the Gitxaala First Nation and currently works for the Gitxaala Nation as the Fisheries Manager/Marine Program Coordinator. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Victoria in 1998. He has over 15 years of experience in resource management, fisheries research, strategic planning, and capacity building. He has served on many local committees and boards representing First Nation interests on the north coast and was previously the Executive Director of the North Coast – Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society for a 5 year term.

Coast Funds' team works closely with First Nations, oversees the funds' financial performance, liaises with funders, and leads organizational initiatives.

Coast Funds' Board and staff, Kitasoo/Xai'xais Big House, Klemtu, BC, 2016.
Coast Funds’ Board and staff, Kitasoo/Xai’xais Big House, Klemtu, BC, 2016.
Brodie Guy

Brodie Guy

Executive Director

Brodie has held leadership positions in the environmental technology sector, with not-for-profit organizations, and in government. Before joining Coast Funds, he was British Columbia’s private sector liaison to the World Bank and administered the Province’s governance of BC Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. Previously, Brodie had co-invested with Coast Funds since its inception while with Northern Development Initiative Trust (a $250 million fund). In that role, Brodie invested to diversify local economies in response to the climate change-related devastation of BC’s forests by the Mountain Pine Beetle. Prior to focusing on rural and Indigenous community development, Brodie worked with the US EPA and Fortune Global 500 companies while directing marketing for a water treatment and groundwater remediation technology company that protected and restored oceans, lakes, rivers and aquifers. Brodie received his Bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Victoria where he concentrated on sustainable entrepreneurship and environmental economics.

604-684-0223 Ext 2

Chris Earle

Chris Earle

Director of Finance

Chris has practiced in both the public and private sectors of finance and accounting, primarily in the technology and not-for- profit sectors. He has extensive experience in start-ups, financial management, planning, financial reporting, costing and administration. Most recently, he was Director of Finance for a leading hospital. Previously he was the National Director of a highly successful start-up in the telecommunications industry. He is Treasurer and a Director of the MPA Society and a past member of the Management Practices Committee for Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and is a CPA, CMA.

604-684-0223 Ext 3

Miranda Fleming (nee Stirling)

Miranda Fleming (nee Stirling)

Executive Administrator

Miranda is a member of Swxexmx of the Nlaka’pamux Nation in Lower Nicola. Miranda graduated from Royal Roads University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Studies in 2007. Prior to assuming the position of Executive Administrator with Coast Funds she was the Senior Project Officer for New Relationship Trust. Miranda coordinated the successful Young Entrepreneurs Symposium, NRT Foundation Golf Tournaments and has many years’ experience working with First Nations across BC, working closely with a board of directors, and administering project funding. Miranda aspires not only to assist First Nations in their prosperity but also to continue to expand her own professional and personal horizons.

604-684-0223 Ext 1

Ashley Hardill

Ashley Hardill

Manager, Project Investment

Ashley holds a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management and a CPA, CA designation. She has experience in financial reporting, financial planning and administration, performance measurement, and education. She has formerly worked as the Finance Manager for Engineers Without Borders Canada and as a public accountant that provided financial services to non-profit organizations and private companies. Most recently, she has worked in education teaching courses on sustainable community development, entrepreneurship, and financial management.

604-684-0223 Ext 5

Meaghan Hume

Communications Officer

Meaghan has formerly worked in international development, education, and leadership programming for First Nations youth. She has experience overseas as a Communications Manager at a gender rights non-government organization in Uganda, and has also worked as a Writing Fellow for the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Most recently, she was a project coordinator for the Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA), where she worked on collaborations with First Nations in BC. She holds a MA with a concentration in Indigenous topics from the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

604-684-0223 Ext 4

Andrea Harrison

Andrea Harrison

Accountant and Personnel Administrator

Andrea Harrison is a CMA and has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta. Andrea has ten years’ experience as an accountant in the not-for-profit sector, most recently working with the Canadian Cancer Society. Between 2000-2010 Andrea was Chief Financial Officer for the First Nations’ Employment Society, which provides training and employment assistance to First Nations people.

604-684-0223 Ext 6