You are here: Home About Us Our People

Our People

Meet Dogwood Initiative's team

Will Horter
Strategy Director

Matt Takach
Operations Director

Laura Benson
Laura Benson
Organizing Director

Don Gordon
Don Gordon
Head of Revenue 

Charles Campbell
Communications Coordinator/Provincial Organizer

Ian Birch

Maggie Gilbert (sm)
Maggie Gilbert
Digital Systems and Data Wrangler

Keira Zikmanis, Development Assistant
Keira Zikmanis
Supporter Services Coordinator

Mary Leighton, Provincial OrganizerMary Leighton
Provincial Organizer

Kai Nagata
Kai Nagata
Communications Director

Arie Ross
Ariel Ross
Beyond Coal Organizer

Alisha Brown, Supporter Services Coordinator
Alisha Brown
Human Resources Director

Christina Smethurst, Communications Coordinator
Christina Smethurst
Communications Coordinator

Dave Mills, Provincial Organizer
Dave Mills
Provincial Organizer

Tracey Maynard, Provincial Organizer
Tracey Maynard
Provincial Organizer

Lisa Samartino-smallLisa Samartino
Campaigns & Communications Coordinator



Jennie MilliganJennie Milligan - Board President

Jennie has been actively involved in the environmental movement in BC for over ten years.  While attending the University of British Columbia in the late 90s, she was president of the Student Environment Centre.  While attending the University of Victoria, she was on the executive of the Environmental Law Centre throughout her three-year law degree.  She also conducted research on a volunteer basis for The Land Conservancy.  Jennie has worked for the Environmental Youth Alliance and Sierra Legal Defence Fund, first in donor relations and then as a legal researcher.  She is currently a practicing lawyer in Vancouver.

frankarnoldFrank Arnold - Treasurer

Frank heads The Pinch Group, a Victoria-based investment advisory practice that focuses on socially and environmentally responsible investment solutions for both individuals and institutions. A graduate of the University of Victoria's School of Environmental Studies, Frank also studied mathematics prior to entering the investment profession. In addition to serving on the board of Dogwood Initiative, Frank currently serves on the board of Living Carbon Investments and the Land Trust Alliance of BC, on the fundraising and communications committee of Habitat Acquisition Trust, as an external advisor to the Sierra Club of BC Foundation, and on the external advisory board of UVic's School of Environmental Studies. Frank's passions in life are protecting biodiversity and promoting green philanthropy. When he's not enjoying his time with his two children, you may find Frank on the ski slopes (if so, make sure you ski behind him).


Jess Dempsey - Director

Jess is a professor at the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria where she teaches classes in political ecology. She received her doctorate from the Department of Geography at UBC, focused on the rise of market-oriented environmental law and policy. As co-founder of the international network the CBD Alliance, Jess has participated in over a decade of major negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and worked with many NGOs and social movements (from the North and South) to develop analysis and positions on global biodiversity issues. Jess and her partner Ryan live with their three kids in Vancouver.


Natalie Southworth - Director

Natalie has provided strategic communications to environmental groups across Canada for the past 14 years. She has helped craft and popularize messaging, while driving communications campaigns that influence decision makers, investors and voters. She has worked on a variety of issues, from protecting British Columbia’s coastal temperate rainforest and wild salmon to protecting the boreal forest of Ontario. For the past eight years, since the early days of Alberta’s ‘dirty oil,’ Natalie has worked primarily on the campaign to stop tar sands expansion. Prior to her communications career, she worked in various capacities as a journalist - as a documentary film producer, freelance writer and as a full-time reporter at the Globe and Mail. She holds a graduate degree in journalism from Ryerson University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Art at the University of British Columbia. Natalie lives in Montreal with her husband, Rene, and two boys.



In addition to its Board of Directors, Dogwood Initiative works closely with an Advisory Round Table of experts in sustainable land reform issues.

These people are:

David Boyd - Environmental Lawyer, former Executive Director Sierra Legal

Anita Burke - Corporate Research Consultant

Jessica Clogg - Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law

Helga Knote - Labour and environmental activist

Anne Levesque - former Executive Director,CPAWS & East Kootenay Enviro Society

James MacKinnon - writer, former Senior Editor, Adbusters

Michael M'Gonigle - Eco-Research Chair, Environmental Law & Policy, University of Victoria, Founder, Greenpeace International

Stand up for BC. Join us.

  • © Dogwood Initiative, 2015

    Authorized by Dogwood Initiative