Team Members

TJ Watt

TJ Watt

Campaigner & Photographer - Executive Team

TJ is a Co-Founder, Campaigner, and Photographer with the Ancient Forest Alliance. Combining his passion for conservation with professional photography, TJ works to shed light on BC’s endangered ancient forests in an effort to help see them saved.

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Joan Varley

Joan Varley

Administrative Director - Executive Team

Joan has been growing in the understory of the AFA since 2012 as the Administrative Director where her knowledge and skills of bookkeeping and office management compliment her love of all things natural and passion to preserve big old trees and the intricate habitat that they are a part of. 

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Tiara Dhenin

Tiara Dhenin

Research & Engagement Officer

Originally from northern BC, Tiara gradually made her way to Vancouver Island in 2015 where she was introduced to the AFA as a door canvasser. Committed to raising awareness about endangered ancient forests in BC and solutions to protect them.

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Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas

Research & Engagement Officer

Born in Vancouver, Ian has a lifelong passion for the ecosystems and wildlife of the coastal rainforest.

A biologist by training, Ian received his Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor in Ontario.

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Rachel Ablack

Rachel Ablack

Projects Coordinator & Campaign Assistant

Rachel joined the AFA Team in November 2018. As someone who was born and raised on Vancouver Island, she cannot think of a better way to spend her time than to work to protect the endangered ancient forests she grew up with. 

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Cheralyn Frizzell

Cheralyn Frizzell

Communications Coordinator

Originally from Southwestern Ontario in the traditional territory of the Anishinabek, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Ojibway/Chippewa peoples, Cheralyn grew up swimming and camping along the shores of Lake Huron. 

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Coral Forbes

Coral Forbes

Administrative & Development Assistant

Coral fell in love with big trees after visiting the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park when she was just out of High School and immediately decided that she wanted to be a “professional tree hugger” when she grew up. 

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Dave Cuddy

Dave Cuddy

Victoria Canvass Director

Dave is originally from eastern Ontario. He first moved to Vancouver Island in 2004 for his pursuit of outdoor adventure and quickly grew a great appreciation for the Island’s majestic forests.

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Board Members

Ken Wu

Ken Wu

Board Member

Ken Wu is the former Executive Director and co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance. He has worked to protect ancient forests in BC for over a quarter century, after first seeing the Walbran Valley as a teenager in 1991.

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Celina Starnes

Celina Starnes

Board Chair

Celina has a life-long dedication to protecting diverse ecosystems. From the park behind her childhood house, to her time at the McGill School of the Environment, to her environmental work on the west coast, she is always looking to help.

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Kerrie Blaise

Kerrie Blaise

Board Member

Kerrie is a lawyer and advocate based in Ontario, Canada, passionately dedicated to environmental and public interest law. After years of volunteering with many environmental non-profits, Kerrie is honoured to join the Board of the Ancient Forest Alliance.

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Tara Sawatsky

Tara Sawatsky

Board Member

Tara Sawatsky has been on the Ancient Forest Alliance’s Board of Directors since the organization started in 2010. However, her love for big trees and ancient forests did not start there. 

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Hannah Carpendale

Hannah Carpendale

Board Member

Having grown up on BC’s west coast, Hannah has nurtured a passion for old-growth forests since a young age.

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Working to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and ensure a sustainable, second-growth forest industry.