Who We Are

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

Eddy Adra

Chief Executive Officer

As the Chief Executive Officer, Eddy leads a committed team that works in close partnership with First Nations on the investment of more than $100 million in financing for ecological and cultural stewardship, Guardian programs, sustainable energy projects, and economic development initiatives in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.

Eddy joined the Coast Funds team in 2018 and has served as Director, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. In those roles, he oversaw Coast Funds’ financial operations, advanced fund development platforms, and led values-aligned investing to grow the organization’s capacity and deliver financing, fundraising opportunities to First Nations in coastal communities.

Prior to joining Coast Funds, Eddy was a senior manager at a leading public practice firm in Vancouver. Eddy has more than 15 years of experience in accounting, finance, and advisory services. He has worked with numerous not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous governments, and other public sector organizations.

Eddy is an active supporter and treasurer of We Matter, an Indigenous-led not-for-profit organization committed to youth empowerment and community. He also serves on the board of the Museum of Vancouver.

Eddy is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designate, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 2

Ross Dixon

Director, Development

As Director, Development Ross supports First Nations and his Coast Funds colleagues in securing funds for Indigenous stewardship and economic development. Prior to joining Coast Funds, Ross worked on conservation initiatives in the Great Bear Rainforest and Salish Sea as Communications and Development Director with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. In that role, Ross worked to create stewardship education programs for Indigenous youth, acquire trophy hunting rights in collaboration with Coastal First Nations, and assisted the Indigenous-led Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance with funding for habitat restoration.

Ross has also worked with governments, industry, academia, entrepreneurs, and economically-deprived communities to create jobs in the United Kingdom’s environmental technology sector. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science from Manchester University and a Master of Science in Water, Energy, and the Environment from Liverpool John Moore’s University. Ross is also a registered therapeutic counsellor.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 5

Photo of Stephanie Butler, Communications Manager

Stephanie Butler

Communications Manager

As Communications Manager, Stephanie works with First Nations to uplift the knowledge, experience, and stories of their stewardship and economic development initiatives.

Before joining Coast Funds, Stephanie led communications efforts at the Real Estate Foundation of BC and managed branding, content strategy, and events for the Healthy Watersheds Initiative. She brings more than 10 years of experience supporting communications and community engagement in the housing, education, and philanthropic sectors.

Stephanie grew up on Algonquin territory, in the Ottawa Valley, and now lives on the unceded lands of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Away from work, she enjoys reading, creative writing, and live music.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 4

Raine Playfair

Manager, Stewardship Funding

As Manager, Stewardship Funding, Raine works with First Nations to develop, implement, and administer Coast Funds’ investments into their stewardship authorities, Guardian programs, and conservation projects. Raine also collaborates on planning and articulating First Nations’ long-term visions for stewardship.

Prior to Coast Funds, Raine managed species-protection conservation initiatives and oversaw corporate and fundraising communications at Grizzly Bear Foundation. Her community well-being lens was developed during her time at planning and engineering firm Urban Systems. Raine’s passion for community building and stewardship drives her vision for a thriving conservation economy.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 7

Shehin Rahemtulla

Sustainable Energy Manager

As sustainable energy manager, Shehin supports First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii in transitioning their fossil fuel-dependent electrical grids to sustainable energy sources.

Shehin has a background in geoscience and engineering, specializing in microgrid design, feasibility, and technical due diligence. Shehin holds a Masters of Engineering (MEng) designation from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Environmental Geoscience from the University of Victoria. She brings more than 10 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, and has worked with non-profit organizations, start-ups, academic institutions, and project developers.

She is also an adjunct instructor at Dalhousie University, serves on the board of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of BC, and is an advisor to the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, QUEST Canada, and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources.

Shehin was born and raised on the unceded lands of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, in what is now known as greater Vancouver.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 8

meghan saunders

Meghan Saunders

Senior Project Manager

As Senior Project Manager, Meghan serves First Nations and their regional groups, and works with their partners (NGOs, funders, and Crown agencies) on marine finance strategies for Indigenous-led marine conservation and stewardship. As part of the Marine Finance Working Group, which includes representatives from First Nations and supporting organizations, Meghan is supporting a feasibility assessment for a potential project finance for permanence (PFP) that could ensure sustainable financing for Indigenous stewardship in the Northern Shelf Bioregion, also known as the Great Bear Sea.

Meghan brings diverse experience from working for conservation organizations, Crown governments, and the private sector. Prior to joining Coast Funds, Meghan served as the project manager for the Wetlands Workforce, the largest collaborative wetland initiative of its kind in Canada. While working for the Province of BC, Meghan engaged with First Nations on land tenure negotiations, government-to-government agreements, and other policies, initiatives, and regulatory decisions. Meghan is grateful for the opportunity to bring her skills and experience to Coast Funds, in a role that serves First Nations and builds on a path to a better future for people and planet.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 11

Patricia Sayer

Manager, Economic Development

As Manager, Economic Development, Patricia works in partnership with First Nations to develop proposals for First Nations’ business investments in start-ups, joint ventures, strategic acquisitions, and infrastructure projects that create family-supporting jobs in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Patricia is also responsible for administering Coast Funds’ monitoring, evaluation, and learning program.

Prior to Coast Funds, Patricia has worked in commercial banking with HSBC Canada, financial management systems and financial performance testing with the First Nations Financial Management Board, and social impact investing with Grand Challenges Canada – Indigenous Innovation Initiative.

She is passionate about bringing the intersectionality of her skills, experience, and worldview to contribute to the strengthening of Indigenous communities and peoples. She has served in an advisory capacity and as a mentor on issues related to inclusion and education for Indigenous peoples and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Native Housing Society and Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

Patricia is a proud urban Cree-Métis Saulteaux woman from Treaty 4 territory. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia.

Patricia is grateful to make her home in Vancouver as a guest on the unceded, ancestral, and sacred territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 9

Lydia Liew

Financial Administrator

As Financial Administrator, Lydia is responsible for effective and accurate accounting to support the entire team as they work with First Nations to invest funds in conservation and sustainable development throughout Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii communities.

Lydia has eleven years of accounting experience in the not-for-profit sector. Prior to joining Coast Funds, she worked for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver to strengthen local communities. Lydia has a diploma in business administration with a focus in accounting. She enjoys continuing to support BC communities in her role at Coast Funds.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 6

melissa sevigny

Melissa Sevigny

Executive Assistant

As the Executive Assistant, Melissa works closely with the CEO and is a key resource person supporting First Nations, as well as Coast Funds’ board of directors, Members, and staff team. In her role, Melissa leads on administration, providing support for governance, communications, and operations.

Melissa is from the Canoe Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan on her maternal side and carries French and English ancestry on her paternal side.

Prior to joining Coast Funds, Melissa worked in administration and office coordination for more than 12 years. In her most recent role, she supported the human resources and programs teams at the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society, an Indigenous child welfare agency.

Outside of work, Melissa is a Level 2 Reiki practitioner and an avid yogini. As a professional photographer, she enjoys illusion photography and studio work.

Email
604-684-0223 Ext 1

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.

Dallas Smith

Board Chair

Dallas has roots from all four corners of the Kwak̓wala speaking peoples with his mother coming from Haxwa’mis (Wakeman Sound) and Tsakis (Fort Rupert) and his father coming from G̱wayasdums (Gilford Island) and Qalagwees (Tourner Island). He’s spent the majority of his career working to bring greater human well-being and capacity to the Nations of the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR). As one of the architects of the GBR agreements and as the Founder and President of Na̲nwak̲olas Council he has built positive working relationships with all levels of government, industry, and the philanthropic community to find balance between conservation and sustainable economic development. His pragmatic and straight forward style has made him a welcome addition to many boards and committees and even led to him running as a candidate in the 2017 provincial election in the North Island riding. He lives in Duncan with his wife Toni and three beautiful daughters.

Sage Berryman

Sage is the founder of the Prosperity Pollinator movement helping to bring impact-based businesses into the areas that need 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 and 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.

Tamara Davidson

Laanas (Tamara Davidson)

Tamara is a member of the Haida Nation and proudly serves as a Vancouver Regional Representative for the Council of the Haida Nation. She has worked in the federal public service for more than 25 years in the areas of land stewardship, strategic planning, community planning, visitor experience, and policy development, working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Indigenous Services Canada, and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.

Previously, Tamara served as the co-chair for the Haida Gwaii/QCI Land Use Planning Process on behalf of the Council of the Haida Nation. Through her work in planning and policy development, she developed strong facilitation skills and a collaborative approach to conflict resolution. Tamara served on various boards over the years such as the First Peoples Heritage, Language, and Culture Council; the First People’s Foundation; and the Haida Enterprise Corporation. Currently, she serves as Secretary of the Board for the Rediscovery Haida Gwaii Society. Tamara has also worked in property management for four years and managed more than 25 commercial/residential strata buildings in and around Vancouver.

Garth Davis

Garth is a Managing Partner of New Market Funds and has spent more than 25 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 at 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.

David Egan

David is a recently retired Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, a major accounting firm, where he worked for over 25 years as a financial advisor and management consultant specializing in financial and market analysis, strategic planning and business decision support.

David has had a strong focus on public sector infrastructure and has worked on large scale complex procurements involving project financing. He has also worked on outsourcing programs and been involved in federal and provincial Treasury Board submissions to obtain program funding approvals.

David’s experience includes working extensively in the transportation, energy and resource sectors in BC including with several First Nations. He brings a depth of experience in financial and market analysis and business decision support and is a Chartered Accountant, and a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Christina Gray

Christina Gray

Christina is a Ts’msyen citizen from Lax Kw’alaams in northern British Columbia as well as Dene from Treaty 8 territory in the Northwest Territories. Ms. Gray is an Associate at JFK Law Corporation where she practices in Aboriginal law. She is called to the bar in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Ontario. She is currently completing her Masters of Law at the University of Victoria, and her research focuses on gendered narratives within the Ts’msyen legal order. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and has both a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts (Art History) degree. Her legal experience includes articling at Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto, working as legal counsel at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, and a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario. Ms. Gray is also a current Yellowhead Institute Research Fellow, which is a First Nations-led think tank rooted in community networks and committed to Indigenous self-determination. Previously, Ms. Gray has volunteered her time in the capacity of director with the Indigenous Bar Association, Reach Up, and the Law Union of Ontario. Christina resides in her Ts’msyen territory of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia. Follow Ms. Gray on Twitter at @STINA_GRAY.

Ts'xwiixw (Megan Moody)

Megan, a citizen of the Nuxalk Nation, was born and raised in the village of Bella Coola, near the original settlement of Q’umk’uts’. She began working for her community after completing her B.Sc. (Biology) at the University of Victoria, as the Nuxalk Fisheries Manager (2001-2004), and later as the Nuxalk Stewardship Director (2013-2017), after completing her M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Center. She also served two terms as an elected Nuxalk Councillor for her community. She began working more broadly with Coastal First Nations communities – as a biologist for the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (2008-2013) and for Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative (2018-present) managing several regional stewardship programs. Megan is also involved in other appointed positions including director on the Alkw Media Society (Nuxalk Radio) Board and as a Trustee for the Coastal Nations Fisheries Trust. Her passion continues to be eulachon restoration and protection, and advancing Indigenous authority and territorial stewardship.

Chris Trumpy

Chris has more than 30 years of experience in public service. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree 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 Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union and 94Forward.

Angela Wesley

Angela is a citizen of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Nuu-chah-nulth) and has been principal in Wes-Can Advisory Services since 1992. Over the past 30 years, she has worked extensively within her own community and with First Nations communities throughout BC providing advisory and facilitation services in the areas of strategic planning, community development, communications, community engagement, and governance capacity building.

She has been one of the champions in her Nation’s self-governance journey, having been involved throughout all stages of negotiation, ratification and now implementation of the Maa-nulth First Nations treaty, the first multi-nation modern day treaty under the BC Treaty Commission process. She represents all 5 signatories to the treaty as their representative on the tripartite Treaty Implementation Committee.
Currently serving as a Director on the Boards of the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC and Technical Safety BC, she also served for 9 years as Board Chair/President for the HFN Group of Businesses (forestry, fisheries, gravel, hospitality, lands, management limited partnerships) and has been a Director on a number of other boards including the New Relationship Trust, the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology where she also served as Chair.

Angela is actively involved in international discussions on indigenous governance and leadership and has been serving as a Commissioner on the British Columbia Treaty Commission since 2018.

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

World Bank, World Wildlife Fund:
Securing Sustainable Financing for Conservation Areas: A Guide to Project Finance for Permanence, 2021

Funders

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.

Members

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.

Chris Roberts

Member on behalf of Na̲nwak̲olas Council

K̓áwáziɫ Marilyn Slett

Member on behalf of Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance

Jennifer Melles

Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation

Sarah Fraser

Assistant Deputy Minister, Coast Area, Ministry of Forests

Jenny Brown

Director of Conservation Programs, Nature United (non-voting)

Lisa Hageman

Prince Rupert Regional Representative, Haida Nation (non-voting)

Robert Grodecki

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