Our Team

Sue Hamel

Sue Hamel
Executive Director

I am deeply grateful to live and work in such a beautiful place, on the Northshore of Lake Superior. Throughout my life, I have learned how adventure and connecting to the living landscape feeds the soul, how being on, in and near water is deeply calming, and the value of savouring sunsets.

My formal education, graduate research, and professional work experiences have deepened my understanding of what I am passionate about, and have reminded me, what matters most. For decades, I have been drawn to soulful work across Canada, USA, and the continent of Africa, in the fields of environmental education, conservation, wilderness guiding, and activism, driven by my quest to seek ways of living well with each other, and, our places.

I am humbled to join such an inspiring, purpose-driven, and hard-working team, working for the well-being of present and future generations. I hold active hope that EcoSuperior continues to build and strengthen relations with existing and new partners within the community, the Boreal Forest, and beyond, to co-create a healthy, just and sustainable world for all species.


Contact Sue:

T: 807 624 2145
E: executivedirector@ecosuperior.org

Ashley Priem

Ashley Priem
Program Director

I have had the pleasure of working at EcoSuperior since its inception in 1995 with a 9-year break in the middle to raise my children. My programs change regularly which keeps me on my toes and always learning new things. These days, I coordinate the Adopt a Storm Drain program, the City of Thunder Bay Water Bar, and Keep it Superior, all of which encourage residents to appreciate, protect, and drink our superior water. I organized Thunder Bay’s Open Streets program and couldn’t be happier about the positive response. I believe that our built environment has a huge impact on our health and well-being!


Contact Ashley:

T: 807 624 2658
E: ashley@ecosuperior.org

Erin Moir

Erin Moir
Program Coordinator

I grew up being strongly encouraged to play outside and I was fortunate to spend summers on family camping trips. As a result, I have become passionate about the outdoors and the environment.

I have been a Program Coordinator with EcoSuperior Environmental Programs for 6 years. My main focus is Education and Outreach, working most often in classrooms delivering Ontario curriculum linked environmental programming. Since graduating from Lakehead University with an Honours in Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism and a Bachelor of Natural Science I started in the field of environmental education in 2006. I have worked as a naturalist and zone ecologist intern with Ontario Parks; a heritage interpreter and school programmer at Fort William Historical Park and Environmental Education Coordinator for the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority. I love to explore the outdoors with my family and continue to learn the importance of connecting our youth to landscapes and wild places.


Contact Erin:

T: 807 624 2143
E: erin@ecosuperior.org

Julia Prinselaar

Julia Prinselaar
Program Coordinator

After studying, working and living in other parts of Canada, I returned to Thunder Bay and joined EcoSuperior in 2014.  My areas of focus include urban naturalization, native plant biodiversity and green stormwater infrastructure development to protect our local watersheds. I work with community members to design landscaping features that capture runoff, reduce flood risk and improve local water quality. My biggest passion through this work is bringing people together to build real-world skills and capacity in some of our most vulnerable neighbourhoods and natural spaces. Notable partnerships include Castlegreen Housing Cooperative, Habitat for Humanity, Confederation College, Lakehead University and the City of Thunder Bay, resulting in more than 120 rain gardens and low-impact development installations in the Lakehead region since 2015. 

In my spare time, I practise land-based skills including artisanal hide tanning, wild food foraging, herbalism and vegetable gardening, and I work with communities across Ontario to share knowledge in these areas. I hold a BA in Journalism and Communications from Concordia University in Montreal, QC and have been freelance writing for more than a decade. I currently pen a monthly column for Northern Wilds Magazine, based in Minnesota. 


Contact

T: 807 624 2148
E: julia@ecosuperior.org

Karen Kerk

Karen Kerk
Food Strategy Coordinator

I am the Coordinator of the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy. Since moving to Thunder Bay 15 years ago, I’ve been really impressed by the active and engaged food system in our region. Having run a business at the Country Market for 12 years, I got to know many local producers, organizations, and other food system players. Food is such an important part of our lives – it touches on so many facets including social, cultural, health, economic and environmental. The Food Strategy works on a number of exciting social and economic development projects related to food security and food sovereignty in our region.


Contact Karen:

T: 807 624 2147
E: foodstrategy@ecosuperior.org

Shayla Auld

Shayla Auld
Communications

Growing up in Thunder Bay, I was always fascinated by the living landscape that surrounded me. As I grew, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world; to protect the ecosystems which we often misuse, yet rely on.

Recently graduated from Lakehead University's Natural Resources Management program, I have obtained the environmental knowledge needed to successfully conduct research analyses, promote awareness and initiatives on ecological crises, engage in public relations, design graphic arts, and seek nature-based solutions for institutional change!

As EcoSuperior's newest member, I am beyond ecstatic to be a part of such an extraordinary team- one who always encourages us to be ourselves; put health first; to always express creativity and gratitude; to grow unapologetically, to show others compassion, and of course, to love and protect our Earth.

I am so excited to see what we accomplish as both a team and community, taking action, together!


Contact

T: 807 708 2709
E: communications@ecosuperior.org

Brian Mpoza

Brian Mpoza
Finance Manager

My passion for finance can be traced back to my pre-professional days. Whether as a young shareholder in the family business or as a student at Confederation College, I have been on a finance and human resource trajectory from the start. I enjoy learning about different financial management skills and how I can use them to help individuals and organizations make effective financial decisions. This has enabled me to meet and network with a diverse group of people.

Prior to coming to Thunder Bay in 2018, I lived in Kampala, Uganda where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Makerere University in 2015. I gained experience working as a risk mitigation officer at Stanbic Bank, Uganda and as a finance administrator at Bold Ventures, a non-profit Organization in Entebbe, Uganda. Since then, I have obtained Ontario graduate certificates in International Business Management and Human Resource Management at Confederation College. At the college, I also had the opportunity of participating in a leadership role as a student representative on the student union executive board. Besides work, I am committed to playing musical instruments at a local church and offering basic guitar and piano lessons. I also enjoy playing and watching basketball.

I am inspired by EcoSuperior’s overarching mission geared towards building a healthy future for people and the planet. I am thrilled to be part of a dynamic, purpose-driven, and eco-friendly team. “The Planet is ours but also for the future generations to come”


Contact Brian:

T: 807 624 2144
E: finance@ecosuperior.org

Melissa Davidson

Melissa Davidson
Program Coordinator

I have spent most of my years in the Thunder Bay area, with a quick stint in Alberta where I quickly found out that I was not made to climb mountains beyond a certain height! The beauty of this region I grew up in brought me back home. I grew up just north of Thunder Bay and this is where my love of nature was kindled. I have an HBSc in Biology from Lakehead University, which has only encouraged my love for the natural world. Living things are so amazing and they enthrall me on all walks I take through the bush! My amazement of this beautiful world we inhabit has led me to want to live a life of caring for it as best I can. An area I am currently very interested in learning more about is traditional ways of protecting and most importantly giving back to the lands we are guests in.

Here at EcoSuperior, I currently work on our waste management, waste reduction, and litter prevention programming. This is important work, as many humans have lost most connection with the increasing volume and lifespan of waste that we create and how it can end up in the natural landscape. I also have keen interests in habitat restoration and am involved in volunteer work with the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council. I am also currently taking part in the Ocean Bridge volunteer program where I am involved in ocean conservation service work. I am keen to ‘nerd-out’ about anything biology related at any time! My other interests include kayaking, snowshoeing, baking bread and sweets, novice gardening, making lip balm and smelling the roses!


Contact

T: 807 624 2143
E: melissa@ecosuperior.org

Marcel Bananish

Marcel Bananish
Program Coordinator

I am a Father and a Baba who has successfully graduated from both Thunder Bay's Confederation College and Pearson World College in Victoria, British Columbia. My experience in the field is quite extensive; including my role as a Fire Chief, an interior park warden with the beautiful Quetico Park, a heavy equipment operator, and a water plant tech assistant. I have also experienced working in the forest industry as a harvester and as a road and housing constructor for several years. The latest jobs from the past 8 years consist of working with the wonderful organizations within Thunder Bay; including Thunder Bay Children Centre, Thunder Bay Anishinaabe Friendship Center, Matawa FN Care Center School and my family at Roots to Harvest- with whom I volunteer for on a seasonal basis.

My passion in life is the land, it has given me the opportunity to witness a community raising a child because it's in unity we find community. Expand your roots to a higher level and harvest the energy of the sun.


Contact Marcel:

T: 807 624 2144
E: marcel@ecosuperior.org

Kelsey Agnew

Kelsey Agnew
Customer Support Guru & Program Coordinator

I first came to Thunder Bay in 2004 and graduated from Lakehead University with an HBOR in 2008. After pursuing a Masters in Holistic Science at Schumacher College in Devon, England, I returned to Thunder Bay in 2013. For over five years I managed the community kitchen at the Regional Food Distribution Association, pursuing my passion for food and food security work.

I am extremely grateful to be working at EcoSuperior covering a mat leave and forging the newly created position as Support Guru. As an active environmentalist, it is exciting to place my efforts and ideals for a more connected and healthy way of living on the Earth in a workplace that shares similar values. As someone committed to continual growth, I feel deeply blessed that EcoSuperior is also committed to acknowledging and transforming the white privilege that the environmental movement has been unjustly built on.

Outside of the office I am always looking for adventures, be it with my family, friends or in the solo company of Gaia herself. So please stop me and say hi if we cross paths on the mountain bike trails, paddle boarding on the lakes and rivers, or bird watching down at the marina!


Contact

T: 807 624 2141
E: customerservice@ecosuperior.org