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About Us

Executive Team

Ross McMillan
President & CEO

Ross was appointed President of Tides Canada in 2007. He provides overall strategic direction for Tides Canada and identifies opportunities to bring philanthropy, civil society, business, and government together in pursuit of positive social change. He has worked with Tides since 2002, leading projects and building relationships with the non-profit community and consortiums of donors and international philanthropic foundations.

Ross was a principal architect of the Great Bear Rainforest project – one of the most significant conservation programs in North American history. He has worked extensively on diverse social policy matters including housing, urban social change, and aboriginal issues. With nearly 30 years in the not-for-profit, public, and private sectors, Ross has extensive experience managing organizations and coalitions to achieve success in complex circumstances.

Elissa BeckettElissa Beckett
Vice President, Philanthropy

Elissa is a professional fundraiser and businesswoman whose diverse experience has helped hone her core expertise: acting as an entrepreneur in all she does. It is this unique approach to fundraising that Elissa has brought to her role since joining Tides Canada in July 2014. Previously, she led the fundraising teams for WWF Canada and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. She is also the co-founder of Canada’s first Benefit Corporation – FlipGive – a web-based, grassroots fundraising tool that connects people who care to innovative new ways to raise funds.

Elissa holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and applies her business acumen and fundraising experience in her position on the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Toronto Chapter). As a thought leader on innovative trends in the not-for-profit sector, Elissa developed and teaches “Entrepreneurial Fundraising” at Ryerson University.

Margaret Dickson
Vice President, Tides Canada Initiatives

Margaret joined Tides Canada in May 2010 to provide oversight for the operations of Tides Canada Initiatives (TCI), home to nearly 40 of the country’s leading environmental and social justice projects. With 25 years experience in diverse business and community settings, she brings legal, process and fiscal discipline to TCI plus expertise in family philanthropy and charity law. Having created her own business, Margaret also has hands-on experience in the day-to-day challenges of running an early-stage entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining Tides Canada, Margaret was Director of Inclusion for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. There she managed innovative social sustainability programs including establishing a carpentry training program for at-risk inner-city residents who built ski racks, wheelchair ramps and other wooden items for the 2010 Games.

Dave Secord
Vice President, Strategic Grantmaking

Dave joined Tides Canada in June 2010, where he leads a team that brings strategic content knowledge together with funding strategies and multisector solutions. Before moving to Vancouver, he oversaw conservation grantmaking in Alaska and parts of western Canada for the Wilburforce Foundation. Prior to joining Wilburforce, he was a professor at the University of Washington from 1996-2007, where he played founding or leadership roles in two award-winning applied environmental programs.

A marine biologist by training, he has explored rocky shores and other ecosystems from Antarctica to Alaska and beyond. He has been a Fellow of the International Canadian Studies Institute and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. To Tides Canada he brings direct experience in arctic, urban, terrestrial and marine projects; a perspective that blends conservation science, policy, and communications; and experience bringing diverse parties and perspectives together to advance creative solutions to complex problems.

Jeff Garrad
Chief Financial Officer

Jeff provides strategic leadership for Finance and Information Technology for Tides Canada. He draws on his 20 years as a Certified General Accountant operating in complex executive roles for a diverse set of business, government, First Nations, and not-for-profit organizations.

Before joining Tides in August 2011, Jeff worked with First Nations groups on Olympic, Tourism, and Economic Development initiatives. Prior to that, he was CFO of the BC Olympic Secretariat, the BC Government agency responsible for overseeing the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and was the VP Finance and Administration for the Pacific National Exhibition. Jeff chairs the discipline panel for the Certified General Accountants of British Columbia. He is a past board member of the BC Youth In Agriculture Fund, and past board member and chair of the Whistler 2010 Sport Legacies Society.

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