John Millar, B.A., M.A.
Executive Director & Founder
John has extensive experience in First Nations engagement and non-profit management and has collaborated with nearly 50 Indigenous communities over the last 14 years. Throughout his career he has worked for and partnered with a variety of non-profit organizations focusing on community development, drinking water systems, environmental projects, education and training.
Kendra Driscoll, M.Sc., EP
Water Quality Specialist
Before working for Water First, Kendra was the Environmental Coordinator for Wahnapitae First Nation, and she also taught Environmental Science at Cambrian College. Kendra has a background in water quality monitoring and environmental chemistry. She completed a Masters of Chemical Science from Laurentian University in Environmental Chemistry and is a certified Environmental Professional through ECO Canada. Kendra has a passion for water protection through science education.
Jag Saini, B.Eng., E.I.T., O.I.T.
Project Manager & Instructor
Jag has a background in chemical and environmental engineering and has experience with mining and environmental projects. Jag’s experience with cross-cultural work environments, including First Nations, together with his Operator-in-Training designation and volunteerism with Professional Engineers Ontario, position him to make valuable contributions to Water First’s work.
Dillon Koopmans, B.A., B. Ed., OCT
Educational Programs Manager
Dillon holds Bachelor degrees in Geography and Education and has significant teaching experience in the junior, intermediate and senior divisions. He is also engaged as a teacher facilitator in several youth leadership courses, including Indigenous Leadership Gatherings, at the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre. Dillon is of Potawatomi descent with ancestral roots from the Parry Sound area.
Director of Development
Ami has over 15 years experience and a proven track record in fundraising, resource development and marketing. She is excited to nurture relationships with Water First donors and develop customized strategies to meet their needs.
Carli Lang, Ph.D.
Carli’s Ph.D. research in parasitology brought a community-based water sampling program to rural Panama, for greater understanding of the intersection between human and environmental health. At Water First she applies her experience and passion for water and community engagement in her work with First Nations communities.
Director of Operations
Jen is a graduate of Sir Sandford Fleming’s Ecosystem Management Program and has over sixteen years’ experience in the environmental and non-profit sector. Jen is an accomplished field technician, manager and educator with extensive knowledge in water protection, conservation, sustainability & design, finance management and collaborative program development.
Jesse Wright, MES
Fish Habitat Project Coordinator
Jesse’s professional background includes extensive work as a wilderness fishing guide and environmental educator. His work at Water First focuses on fish habitat restoration in partnership with First Nations communities. He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from York University.
Ted Stableforth, M.Ed., B.PHE.
Ted was a Principal in the Simcoe District School Board for 10 years and a teacher for 25 years. Ted brings to Water First a wealth of educational and and administrative experience and a passion for educational program development and school outreach.
Digital Communications Manager
With over 20 years of marketing and communications experience, Brenda has successfully developed online marketing campaigns and strategies for a variety of non-profits. She shares her vast experience to help Water First build effective public communications initiatives
Riva’s extensive experience with bookkeeping spans nearly 30 years. With both commercial and non-profit experience, she previously worked for McDonald’s Ronald McDonald House Charities. She also runs her own independent bookkeeping business, Better Bookkeeping Solutions.
Kristen runs her own bookkeeping business and brings 25 years of unique business experience working with entrepreneurs. This experience has given her great insight in assisting business owners and managers utilize accounting reports and streamlining organization.
With an extensive management and executive career in both public and private sector covering all aspects of Human Resources, enjoys the challenge and reward of bringing that experience to support and develop human capital within growing and dynamic organizations.
Water Resources Specialist
Ryan holds a Bachelor’s degree in an Environmental Engineering and a Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph. Ryan’s professional background includes work in the water resources department at the Hamilton Conservation Authority, research in hydrogeology and climate change, and was a teaching assistant at the University of Guelph. He also has experience in visual communication, has generated visual content for the organization Waterlution and his photography work has been published internationally.
Ashley has over 5 years experience in office management and is one of the first happy faces you see when you walk through the door. She brings with her the excitement to learn and the skill of organization, as well as many other skills to assist you in your journey with Water First.
Adrianna Bilinski, B. Ed., B.A.
Indigenous School Engagement Coordinator
Adrianna is an Ontario Certified Teacher, and a woman of Ojibwe decent from Beausoleil First Nation. She holds Bachelors degrees in History, Gender Studies, and Education. As an educator — both outside and within Water First — her primary focus is to raise awareness of the historical and current question of equity and equality in Canada through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit views.
Hannah van der Wielen, B.Sc., B.Ed.
An avid outdoorswoman and lifelong student-of-the-land, Hannah has paired her experiential knowledge with degrees both in Ecology and Education (from the Universities of Guelph and Ottawa, respectively), to establish a consulting business focused on First Nations’ community capacity building. She brings to Water First her many years of experience living in remote, traditional Aboriginal communities; a career in Adult Education; and a passion for the promotion of and education on environmental sustainability.
Cody has spent multiple years working in the environmental sector contributing to program management, water quality, and sustainable research. Cody’s experience working with students and community groups facilitating progressive change has abled him to work across Canada and in remote northern communities. Currently working in donor development and source water protection, he’s excited to be contributing to Water First.