Board of Directors
Richard Leavens, Acting President
Richard has moved to the Midland area where he is no stranger to Georgian Bay where he has spent a great deal of time of the last many years. He has returned from the Rocky Mountains where he was involved in tourism marketing and advocacy for tourism work in Banff and Jasper National Parks. He has degrees in Economics and Rural Planning and Development. He is very motivated in working with the Wye Marsh people and the many partners to ensure that the Wye Marsh continues to be the wonderful experience it is for visitors, and the excellent example of environmental sustainability.
James (Jim) MacMillan, Vice-President
Jim was born and raised in Midland and currently resides in Tiny Township with his wife Joan. Jim holds a Human Biology Honours Science Degree from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Education in Outdoor Experiential Education and Environmental Science from Queens University. Jim is newly retired from Elmvale High School, and spent many years coaching and organizing various teams and clubs in both elementary, high school and community organizations. He loves boating, paddling, canoe tripping, horseback riding, skiing of all kinds, and of course music. Jim is very involved in the local Midland Rotary Club and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Wye Marsh from an environmental and historical perspective.
Amanda Woodman, Director
Amanda has been on the Board for nine months and brings her very valued expertise in marketing. Amanda currently resides in Victoria Harbour and has been living in the area for six years. Amanda has an Advertising Degree from Loyalist College and applies her skills at the Orilllia Packet in Advertising Sales. She previously held the position of Advertising Manager at the Packet and as the General Manager of the Midland Free Press. Amanda is a member of the Midland Rotary Club where she spent four years on the Board. Amanda said of her decision to join the Marsh "I joined the Board of Directors at the Wye Marsh because I feel like the Marsh has a lot of untapped potential and is a hidden gem in our area."
Ashlea Veldhoen, Director
Ashlea has just moved back to the Midland area after 2-years living on the West Coast where she was the Community Development Coordinator for HAT, a Victoria-based non-profit that protects nature on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. She also worked on the Board of Rocky Point Bird Observatory as well as a banding volunteer, where she banded migratory songbirds and Northern Saw-whet Owls as part of two long-term population and migration monitoring studies. Before she left for B.C., she worked as an Outdoor Educator and raptor volunteer with the Marsh and was able to experience the power of the Marsh to capture hearts and minds with its amazing ecological features. Ashlea holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from Trent University as well as two diplomas in Ecosystem Management from Fleming College. She hopes to bring her knowledge of birds and experience in non-profit environments to the Marsh in order to help it achieve its mission of being a destination for education, outdoor exploration and research.
Dave Robertson, Director
Dave and his wife Judy were married in 1965. They were raised in Orillia and Foxmead respectively. Dave lived in Midland, Port McNicoll and Tay Township from 1967 to 1997. During that time Dave worked for RCA and Mitsubishi, in Midland, while he and Judy raised their three children. Dave’s role at RCA was as an equipment designer and Engineering Manager with Mitsubishi. During that period Dave spent time in the community as a Boy Scout executive, a Scout Leader, a Hockey Coach and Lacrosse Association executive and Coach.
When Mitsubishi closed the plant in 1997 Dave and Judy moved to the US where he worked for Panasonic and ATS until returning as retirees in 2011. At that time Dave began volunteering at the Wye Marsh. At the marsh, Dave is one of the many Swan Feeders and a member of the Sapsuckers (Maple Syrup Team) and the Outreach Team. Dave joined the board in early 2019. Dave says he is a passionate fan of the Wye Marsh and what it provides for the community and the public education and sustainability of our natural environment.
Jana Luker, Director
With a background in University Administration, upon retirement Jana Luker was drawn to Midland and the Wye Marsh, having spent much her childhood just down the road. Appreciating that the Marsh provides a wind & storm buffer, as well as wildlife nurseries, and flood control, she reasoned that it was a good time to give back to this local gem as well as to the wider community.When not on Georgian Bay sailing, Jana attempts triathlons and sings in the local Shout Sister choir. She lives with her long suffering spouse in Midland and misses her adult daughters terribly.
Jeremy Prahl, Chair, Stewardship Committee
Jeremy volunteered to lead the Stewardship Committee, a vital role in the ongoing success of the Wye Marsh. Jeremy is originally from the Midland area and currently resides in Wyebridge, having moved there from Horseshoe Valley eighteen months ago. Jeremy holds an Honours B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Guelph and a Diploma in Recreation, Fish and Wildlife Technology from Selkirk College. He has worked in the environmental field for over ten years and loves spending time outdoors. Jeremy stated that he joined the Stewardship Committee "to provide support for ongoing initiatives and help ensure the long-term viability of the Wye Marsh. My priorities include re-engaging our agency partners, prioritizing stewardship activities and promoting meaningful ecological research at the Marsh."
Melanie Dupuis, Director
Born and raised in Midland, Melanie has always enjoyed spending time at the Wye Marsh. Whether it was attending summer camp as a kid, exploring the trails, or feeding the chickadees, the Wye Marsh has always been a big part of her life. Melanie holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Master of Science in Population Medicine; both from the University of Guelph. Currently, Melanie works as a Research Analyst at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and attending agility classes with her border collie, Echo. Melanie is passionate about the Wye Marsh and what it provides for the community and our environment. After joining the Board of Directors in January, 2020, she is now looking forward to the opportunity to be able to use her skills and talents to help give back to the Marsh.