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Directors

Bonnie Gee – Chair, Fundraising Committee

Bonnie was appointed President in March 2023 after serving as the Vice President of the Chamber of Shipping since 2008. Her experience and strengths are multi-faceted and include membership engagement, government relations, communications and marketing, and project management. She currently sits on several external national and regional Boards and committees and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia, with a major in Transportation and Logistics.


Dave Charlton – ISSC Vice Chair

Dave introduced himself to the members at our luncheon meeting.  Dave’s childhood was spent on the family farm/ranch.  He belonged to the Air Cadets for 6 years and obtained his pilot’s licence at the age of 16.  After graduation he joined the navy at the urging of a friend.  The navy took him across Canada and he served on most ships in the fleet and also spent time in the Arabian Gulf.  He was trained to hunt submarines under the water, ships on the water and airplanes above the water.  Dave was approached to take a posting to Colorado which was surprising to a navy man as there is no water there!  He became a space officer who tracks man-made orbiting material.  You would be amazed at how much material there is.  Why do they do it?   Because it is a risk to the space shuttle and station.  An orbiting paint chip can cause serious damage to the windscreen of the station.  This experience saw him to travel with UN to Cambodia and with NATO to Brussels, all because he is now considered an aerospace expert.  Dave was posted to Maritime HQ in Victoria where he attended Royal Rodes and achieved his MBA, studying business and leadership.  He is now the Director Port Operations and Harbour Master for the Port of Prince Rupert.  Dave and his family moved to Prince Rupert 6-1/2 years ago.  This is the first time in his adult life that he has lived more than 5 years in one place.  


Dena Rantz – ISSC Chair

Dena began her career with Teekay Shipping in 2002 as a summer intern. She has held various positions throughout the Teekay organization, all with a focus on planning and strategic projects. In 2017, Dena led the operationalization of the oil spill response assets for the TransMountain Expansion pipeline project for Western Canada Marine Response Corporation. Most recently, she has launched Vertical Consulting, a maritime-focused consulting company that offers project management, change management, and business transformation services to enable business strategies into action. She holds a BBA and a PMP certification. Dena has three children and in her free time also volunteers on the International Sailors Society of Canada (ISSC).


Donna Spalding – Treasurer

Donna Spalding is Cruise Lines International Association Senior Advisor for Canada and has been with CLIA since 1999. CLIAmember lines include the major cruise lines operating in the Pacific Northwest – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Alaska & Hawaii; and in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Donna’s principal role includes government and community relations on behalf of the member cruise lines. She also acts as a representation on a variety of community, government and industry boards and committees. As environmental and sustainability issues are front of mind for most marine industry stakeholders, Donna is one of a very few civilians, globally, who has completed the cruise Safety, Environmental & Health Officer training course. In previous roles she has experience within the resource, financial, regional government and legal sectors, executive level experience in nonprofit management, and marketing and planning.


John Darbyshire – Director

As a UK dual ticketed mariner (SCTW Class 1 deck, Class 2 engineering) John sailed with various vessel owners around the world for 13 years. He came ashore in Victoria BC in 1999 to become a Canadian Resident and start a family. John has worked on the waterfront as cargo surveyor, supercargo and stevedoring superintendent since then, and proudly became a Canadian citizen in 2004. Today John lives on Vancouver Island and manages DP World’s stevedoring and logistics business out of their terminal in Nanaimo. He has been volunteering time as a director of the ISSC and wants to make a difference to sailors and seafarers who call to Canadian ports.


Kevin Obermeyer – Chair Nomination Committee

Kevin has over 45 years in the maritime industry, retiring in 2023 after serving as the CEO of the Pacific Pilotage Authority for over 16 years. He has in depth knowledge and experience in deep sea shipping, port management and marine pilotage serving in various capacities in Canada and South Africa. Kevin has served on numerous Boards including the Western Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC) and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. He presently serves on the board of the Halifax based AI company GSTS, the International Sailors Society Canada (former Chair) and the Chelsea Green Condominium Association (former Chair). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, a Certificate of Competency as Master Mariner and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors holding the ICD.D designation (Director Education Program).


Lanna Hodgson – Chair Historian Committee


Peter Swanson – Director

Peter is a senior litigation lawyer with over 35 years of experience and is a founding partner of Bernard LLP.  Peter practices extensively in the field of maritime law, handling cases involving the enforcement of maritime liens, vessel arrest and security, carriage of cargo, civil and regulatory liability for ship source pollution, collision, salvage, port state control, immigration, bodily injury, charterparty disputes, and constitutional issues arising in a marine context. Peter appears regularly as counsel before courts and other tribunals.  He has represented clients at all levels of court in Canada, including the British Columbia Supreme Court, the Federal Court, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.   Peter has also been appointed and acted as an arbitrator in maritime law cases. Peter speaks and writes frequently on maritime law topics, and is an adjunct professor of law co-teaching the maritime law course at the University of British Columbia.  He is recognized by his peers as a leader in the field of maritime law being listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada, Chambers Canada, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and Who’s Who Legal: Canada.


Richard Smith – Chair Bursary Committee

Richard is a retired deep-sea Mariner and Marine Surveyor with over 40 years of experience in Canada, the USA, and the United Kingdom. He is a certified RAB Lead Auditor for Quality Management Systems ISO 9001 / ISO 17025. Director of the NPESC (Nautical Professional Education Society) whose mission is to further the education of Canadian mariners. Honorary Treasurer of the Company of Master Mariners of Canada – Vancouver Division. Member of the Board of Directors of the ISSC (International Sailors Society of Canada). Along with sea-going experience on a number of different types of vessels Richard was involved in a number of areas of the marine surveying business including cargo, P&I and vetting surveys and inspections. As a certified SIRE inspector he also conducted OCIMF vetting inspections of vessels on behalf of charterers and owners.  In the mid-90s he helped develop inspection protocols for deep sea vessels loading commodities in bulk for Australia in compliance with FIFA (Fertiliser Industry Federation of Australia) requirements. Richard’s Surveying Specialties included deep sea tanker and oil barge operations; on/off hire and pre-purchase surveys; Quality Management and Laboratory Management Systems auditor; Richard is a licensed drone pilot.


Thomas Gregoire – Chair Grants Committee

Thomas has over a decade of maritime industry experience, where he notably served as East Coast Program Manager at the Green Marine environmental certification program. His impactful contributions include the creation of the North Atlantic Advisory Committee, pioneering the development of the ship recycling performance indicator, and driving significant East Coast membership growth. Acknowledged by Green Marine for his keen enthusiasm and strong people skills, Thomas also played a vital role in managing and successfully revamping the Program’s external verification process. Before his tenure at Green Marine, he served as a Policy Analyst at the Chamber of Shipping in Vancouver. Now fully embracing his entrepreneurial spirit, Thomas is the founder of VITIS Vines, Inc., a Nova Scotia-based Agri-Tech firm dedicated to propagating virus-tested grapevines for the Canadian wine industry. Maintaining ties with the maritime sector, Thomas volunteers on the ISSC Board and chairs the Grants Committee.


Tim Ellis – Director

Prior to establishing his marine business in 1977, Tim Ellis was employed by a European shipping and forwarding agent, working in offices in London, Vienna and Hong Kong. Tim gained useful experience in commercial, operations, accounting, management and analysis departments…as well as training in container operations, packing, elements of risk management, truck management for European operations and shipments of all kinds worldwide through the company’s deep sea break-bulk and liner services. In the summer of ’76 while still in Hong Kong, Tim joined the Hong Kong Outward Bound School as the 2nd. seamanship instructor. Later, after moving from Hong Kong to Taipei, Taiwan, Tim provided marine surveying and project management services for new building construction of sailing yachts and powerboats for American clients importing yachts from Taiwan into the United States, as well as offering commercial marine surveying services to established clients, particularly in the arena of risk and risk management. Plan A was to stay in Taiwan for a while followed by a long sojourn in Australia, but love and work interfered with this plan. After ten years in Taipei, Tim and his wife took a sabbatical in the UK before emigrating to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, arriving in 1993. Since 1993, Tim has been based in Vancouver, B.C. and provides services for cargo, project management, transport consultancy, ocean going vessels, commercial craft including floating and fixed structures, risk management and control, valuations, survey of motor yachts, cruising sailboats, floating homes and other marine surveying related services. Tim started sailing with his father long before he was a teenager and has raced and cruised in dinghies and yachts all over the world. Even after all that water under his keel, he still enjoys sailing, rowing, boatbuilding and time with his wife at their waterfront camp located on a remote island on the western fringes of Desolation Sound.


Yoss Leclerc – Director

Captain Yoss Leclerc has over 30 years of experience in the maritime, logistics, transport and port industries. During his career at sea, Captain Yoss Leclerc was specialized in gas carriers and oil tankers. Ashore, he has had the opportunity to work and collaborate in the strategic development of several major Canadian Ports Authorities, such as the port of Metro Vancouver, the Port of Montreal and the Port of Quebec. Throughout his many years in the maritime sector, he used his experience to develop strategic, tactical and operational sustainable solutions in response to a multitude of complex and diverse problems related to human factors, safety, security, emergency preparedness and environmental protection.  His role as President of the International Harbour Masters Association enabled him to work on various international maritime issues with international organizations such as IMO, ILO, IPA and PAINC. As President & CEO of Logistro Consulting International, Capt. Leclerc has been involved in a myriad of programs and projects around the globe that offered him the unique opportunity to understand the idiosyncrasies of every countries, regions, maritime industries and ports. Hence, to develop tailored solutions for different issues or challenges including sustainable development and optimization.  Yoss holds a master’s certificate (FG), a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master’s degree in Business Administration with specialization in logistics and transportation from the University of Montréal. He is currently undertaking its PHD in Maritime Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research focus on the impacts of the digitalization on the maritime domain.   Yoss sits on several international groups including IMO’s MASS Correspondence Group, PIANC and the BugWright2’s Senior Advisory Group. Yoss also sits on several boards of Directors including the Canada National Seafarers Welfare Board and the International Sailor Society of Canada. 

HONORARY DIRECTORS

PETER G. BERNARD, KC

Peter obtained his law degree from the University of British Columbia, and began his career at the Vancouver Maritime Law Firm of Macrae Montgomery Hill & Cunningham and was a Partner in that firm from 1969 to 1982. In 1982, Peter joined the Vancouver firm of Campney & Murphy where he was a Partner until 2002, when he became one of the founding members of Bernard LLP. Peter has enveloped a very broad spectrum in the field of Maritime Law over a period of more than 40 years, where he has represented ship owners and charterers in both international and coastal shipping, terminal operators, P&I Clubs, Hull and Machinery Underwriters, ship builders and various worldwide financial institutions. Peter has been a leading influence in the marine community particularly in western Canada. He has been a Director of the Chamber of Shipping, the International Maritime Centre, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Maritime Law Association, The Pacific Pilotage Association, Vancouver Maritime Museum and The Mission to Seafarers. Peter was a central member of the International Sailors Society of Canada with 37 years of service to the Board. Peter was appointed Queen’s Counsel in January 2001 and is listed as a leading lawyer in Canada and in the maritime world in Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers. Peter was given the honour of the Best Maritime Lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia for 2011.

George Adams

Educated in the UK, George Adams started his seagoing apprenticeship in 1954. After obtaining his Master’s Certificate in 1964 he came ashore to work in the Chartering Department of Furness Withy & Company Ltd. In 1970 George joined Canadian Transport Company Ltd. serving in various roles both in Canada and overseas. He was appointed President of Canadian Transport Company in 1980 and Vice President Transportation for MacMillan Bloedel Limited in 1981. He served in both positions until his retirement in 1997. George has been very active in the Canadian maritime community. Over his many years in Vancouver, he become a member of no less than 16 different organizations in Canada and around the world, holding roles that ranged from Director, Treasurer, Trustee, Vice President and Chairman. George was an ISSC Board Member 12 years, from 2007 to 2019, where he held the Chair role from 2009 to 2015. Throughout his career and subsequently, George has been a strong and generous supporter of the local maritime industry.