Board of Directors

Under the terms of the Ontario Corporations Act (1990), a not-for-profit corporation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (the ‘Board’) that is elected during each annual meeting of the members. Directors may be nominated by the current Board or by any member in good standing who is eligible to vote at the annual meeting of the members. Immediately after election, the Board choses from amongst its number a Director to Chair its meetings and the Officers who will manage the day-to-day affairs of the Corporation.

The first Board of Friends of Wabakimi (FOW) consisted of five 'Incorporators' who volunteered during the pre-incorporation period to serve until the first annual meeting of the members was held within 18 months of the granting of the Letters Patent on October 2, 2014.

At the first annual meeting of the members of FOW held in Toronto on February 20, 2016, all of the original Incorporators along with three others were elected to serve as Directors for a term not to exceed 15 months. Their photos and bio’s are listed below.

  John Holmes is a Mechanical Engineer from Waterloo, Ontario who has done many canoe trips in Northern and Northwestern Ontario parks, including 28 weeks on The Wabakimi Project trips. An avid hiker, he and his wife have trekked in South America, Europe, Africa, Iceland, Greenland, the Canadian Rockies and New Zealand. John designs and builds bicycle frames in his spare time and is a keen road and MTB cyclist. Proper trip planning and safety, along with a good balance between trail work and fishing, photography, or relaxation time are a part of John's trips.
Phil Cotton  

Barry Simon, B.S. (Engineering), first joined The Wabakimi Project in 2005. Since then, he has participated in six other reconnaissance expeditions--three as trip leader--and has been responsible for design and production of the Wabakimi Canoe Route Maps booklets. Barry has canoed in Algonquin, Quetico and Woodland Caribou in Ontario as well as the Sylvania Wilderness in the Michigan UP. In 2009, he paddled 264km on the Seal River to Hudson Bay and crossed Quetico on the occasion of the park's 100th anniversary. In 2015, he paddled 644Km of the Noatak River during his expedition as a crew member in Alaska.

Phil Cotton   John Sinclair is retired from a 34-year career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. His love of canoeing started in childhood on a river in southern Michigan when he saw a group of canoeists pass by in wood canvas canoes. It continued and grew through his time in Boy Scouts, his first Boundary Waters trips starting in the early 1970’s and into Canada with The Wabakimi Project for the past 10 years. Having met many new canoeing friends from both the U.S.A. and Canada through The Wabakimi Project, he has taken a number of trips to Quetico and Killarney in Ontario and introduced several of them to his long-time favorite place to paddle, the Sylvania Wilderness in the Michigan UP. He likes to try to paddle whenever he travels, most recently paddling with his daughter’s outrigger canoe club in Guam.
Phil Cotton   Phil Cotton was a canoe trip guide for almost 60 years having led his first trip at the age of 14. For 25 years, Phil operated his own resource-based tourism firm, Canadian Wilderness Experience, specializing in fully-outfitted, guided canoe trips for affinity groups. Now, he devotes his attention to organizing and managing The Wabakimi Project and participating in planning exercises to monitor impacts of the forestry industry on Crown land canoe routes and threats to the ecological integrity of the Wabakimi Area.
Ken Babinchak   Douglass Blount - A 1957 Quetico trip with his father introduced Doug to wilderness canoeing. He got back into serious wilderness canoeing in the 1999 with another Quetico trip with his son. Wilderness tripping became a passion which now includes 16 weeks with "Uncle" Phil and The Wabakimi Project. As a trip leader in 2008, his group made a west-to-east crossing of Wabakimi Park from Davies Lake to the Ogoki Resevoir. In 1969, upon completion of a 4-year stint in the US Navy serving on a destroyer and a net layer, he began a real estate career in which he is still active, operating a small brokerage firm. He is an avid skier, hot air balloon pilot and sailor.
Dave McTeague   Dave McTeague is a former Oregon State Representative and retired small state agency administrator (chiropractic licensing board). Born in Minneapolis, he canoed the BWCAW in his youth; and since 1990 has paddled Quetico, and more recently, several weeks with the Wabakimi Project in the Wabakimi Area. As a legislator and conservation activist, Dave has worked on fishery and habitat restoration issues and is keenly interested in the preservation of the wildlife and beauty of the boreal forest. He lives in Milwaukie, Oregon with his wife Naomi and chronicles his canoe adventures on his Oregon Dave YouTube page.




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