Executive Officers

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Pat Woodford

President

Pat is a retired Air Traffic Controller, and enjoys using his spare time to enjoy the woods and wetlands in central NL.

In 2017, Pat was elected councillor with the Gander Town Council. He has volunteered to be on the SAM Executive and hopes to represent the Town of Gander with new ideas and a fresh approach. Pat considers it an honour to be a part of the SAM community, and looks forward to learning more about what we can do to protect our wetlands and rebuild those which we have destroyed. Pat's interests include volunteering, camping, sports of all kinds, hiking and walks in the country.

Patrick Woodford was elected SAM Secretary at the 2017 SAM Fall Meeting hosted by the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor, and in 2019 he accepted the position of SAM President at the SAM Fall Meeting hosted by the Town of Gander.

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Julie Pomeroy

Vice President

Julie Pomeroy is the Heritage Program and Services Coordinator for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's. After many years as an active participant in SAM, she was elected to the position of Vice President during the Spring 2020 AGM, hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Cynthia Downey

Treasurer

Cynthia arrived in Stephenville Crossing in 1975, and has served on the Town Council for over 25 years.

Cynthia has 24 years experience teaching in the Western School District and received a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Science from Memorial University. Cynthia is a volunteer with the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce, Revenue Canada, the Stephenville Crossing Waste Management Committee, and she sits on the Board of Directors for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as one of the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives.

She enjoys walking on the local beaches with her husband observing the large number of wildlife in the area. Her favourite sightings are the friendly crows who follow along on their beach walks.

Cynthia Downey was elected SAM Treasurer at the 2017 SAM AGM hosted by the Town of Torbay.

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Darren Sheppard

Secretary

Darren has been the Manager of the community-based, environmental non-profit, Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC) since 2018, where he oversees day to day operations for the Corporation.

He is the Host, Co-Creator, and Co-Producer of 709 Watershed, an environmental, political, tourism, and business-focused monthly podcast, that is available on all major podcast apps. It is currently into its 3rd season with close to 30 episodes.

He is a former educator and public servant, who has degrees from Acadia University (Bachelor of Arts – Political Science/History) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (Bachelor of Education – Intermediate/Secondary), and a diploma from Keyin College (Human Resource Management). He volunteers with several local groups, including Ducks Unlimited Canada – Bonavista North Chapter, The Shore Tourism Committee, Kittiwake Snowmobile Association, Indian Bay ATV Association, and has been an active member of SAM, representing the Town of Indian Bay, for over three years.

Darren accepted the position of Secretary at the 2021 SAM Fall meeting hosted by the Town of Deer Lake.

Staff

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Elisabeth Belanzaran

Conservation Biologist

Born and raised in Montreal, QC, Liz decided that she was better suited to the nature's jungles than the urban ones. After getting her BSc in Wildlife Biology at McGill University, she spent a few years doing field work, studying endangered species, and living among the trees. Having decided that she missed hot showers and being on the same continent as her friends and family, she returned to school. Memorial's MA in Environmental Policy brought her to Newfoundland, but the landscapes and the people got her to stay. Based in Corner Brook, when not working she can be found exploring trails with her dog, cooking up a storm, or lost in a good book.

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Zachary Burrows

Conservation Biologist

After acquiring an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with specialization in history from the University of Ottawa, Zachary started in the environmental industry as a Red-Seal Certified Landscape Horticulturalist. His passion for conservation and stewardship, however, could not be ignored and after pursuing a Fish and Wildlife technician diploma from the College of the North Atlantic, Zach’s career in stewardship took shape. From the rocky tablelands of Newfoundland’s west coast to the sandy shores of Nova Scotia, Zach has practiced conservation across Newfoundland and throughout Atlantic Canada for a myriad of species including Species at Risk Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon, Piping plover, and Newfoundland marten. Having recently returned to the rock, Zachary and family have set roots in the beautiful coastal municipality of Torbay.

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Karleena Squires

Outreach Coordinator

Growing up in St. John’s, NL, Karleena knew that she wanted to work in environmental conservation, protecting the beautiful island that she called home. After graduating high school, she completed her Marine Environmental Technology Diploma through the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador, and followed that up with her Bachelor of Technology Degree through Memorial University. For several years, Karleena has worked with various environmental organizations in a variety of positions including: a Green Team Member with the Conservation Corps cleaning up the Waterford River Watershed, an Aquaculture Technician in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans NL, a Laboratory Technologist at the Center for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, a Research Assistant with the Northeast Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program, an Interpreter/Aquarist at both the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium and the Fluvarium, a Tour Guide with O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Watching Tours, and most recently as the Engagement Coordinator with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Now Karleena is working as the Outreach Coordinator for SAM, working on developing educational content related to wildlife and habitat conservation and stewardship. In her free time, Karleena is an avid volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada, she loves to hike the beautiful trails in our province, and going camping is one of her favourite pastimes. You can also find her at home with her cats or baking.