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Our Team

Unlikely Allies is a majority settler-led organization and we recognize that many of our recommendations mirror those of First Nations. Unlikely Allies is not seeking to speak for any nations, but is open to allying with organizations with similar objectives and perspectives.

Board of Directors

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Kathy MacRae

Katherine MacRae is a tourism professional with over twenty years’ experience in the tourism industry. From working in the Caribbean as a dive instructor to remote luxury wilderness lodges, Katherine has a diverse tourism and hospitality background. This experience led Katherine to complete her Master of Arts in Tourism Management at Royal Roads University where she achieved the Founders’ Award for Leadership and the Tourism Industry Partnership Award for Leadership. 

As the Executive Director for the Commercial Bear Viewing Association (CBVA), Katherine educates the government on the economic viability of the bear viewing industry, the necessity of better wildlife and habitat management practices in British Columbia (BC) and the continued successes for bear viewing operators and guides. With 26 operators and 1000+ trained bear viewing guides, the CBVA sets the

standard for bear viewing in BC. 


Katherine worked with the Minister of Tourism’s Engagement Council where she helped develop the new Provincial tourism framework “Welcoming Visitors, Benefiting Locals, Working Together – A Strategic Framework for Tourism in BC” As a tourism professional, Katherine is the Vice President of the Wilderness Tourism Association and is the Co-Chair of the Adventure Tourism Coalition. Both organizations are dedicated to advancing wilderness, adventure, and back country remote tourism in BC.


Scott Ellis 

Scott grew up in Campbell River where his family owned a fishing resort.  He started his outdoor profession as a saltwater salmon guide while attending high school and college.  In 2011 Scott completed his Masters of Business Administration at Athabasca University where he specialized on strategic planning. 

Scott started with the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) in January 2008.  As the CEO he is active on several stakeholder committees including, the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team, the Provincial Angling Advisory Team, and is the and the GOABC representative on the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.  He is also the co-chair of the Adventure Tourism Coalition and active in the tourism community.  Scott is also vice president of the Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations who work on all federal outfitting matters.  


Scott is an advocate for conservation and sustainable use who is very passionate about maintaining our outdoor heritage.


Shannon McPhail 

Shannon lives and works in the watershed and grew up on a working ranch, spending much of her youth fishing and hunting in the Skeena mountains with her family. She has worked as a white-water rafting guide, a big game hunting guide, a welder and a nutritionist at a women’s health center after her education in the field of chemical technology.


Shannon’s diverse background allows her to understand and relate to people within the watershed that have a variety of opinions and concerns. It is important to Shannon that all voices are heard when decisions are being made regarding the future of this unique place. Her commitment is so strong that she spent 7 years working for the SWCC as a volunteer.

Shannon is a mother of two. While motherhood certainly keeps her busy, it hasn’t slowed her down or prevented her from working to keep our Sacred Headwaters free of coalbed methane and our Skeena River wild.


Chris Genovali 

As Executive Director of Raincoast for over two decades, Chris Genovali leads Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s programs to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of coastal British Columbia. Chris received a Conservation Leadership Award in 2015 from the Wilburforce Foundation. 

He is a prolific writer, with articles, op-eds and features on Canadian wildlife, habitat and forest conservation issues widely published in Canada and internationally, including the Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Seattle PI and Guardian UK. He was a contributor to Animals and the Environment: Advocacy, activism, and the quest for common ground published in 2015, and Wild Foresting: Practicing Nature’s Wisdom published in 2008. Chris has also appeared as a spokesperson on various radio and television outlets such as CBC’s ‘As It Happens’, CBC ‘Newsworld’, US National Public Radio, Global TV, CTV, CKNW, BBC radio and Public Radio International. 


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Nik Coutinho - Executive Director

Nik Coutinho is a highly skilled professional guide and talented wildlife photographer residing in Victoria, BC. With over a decade of experience working in the tourism industry all across the BC coast, showcasing the natural beauty of British Columbia to guests from all over the world has led him to become an integral part of the tourism industry in the region.

In addition, Nik is also an active member of several conservation organizations. He sits on the board of the BC Wilderness Tourism Association, where he uses his expertise to help promote sustainable tourism practices in the province. Nik is also a member of the Destination Victoria Sustainability Committee, which works to ensure that tourism in the city is both environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

Nik has spent countless hours exploring the Great Bear Rainforest, where he has had the privilege of observing bears and whales in their natural habitat. His experiences in this unique environment have deepened his commitment to conservation and the protection of British Columbia's natural wonders.

With his vast knowledge of the BC coast and his talent for capturing stunning images of the region's wildlife, Nik Coutinho is a true asset to the tourism industry in British Columbia. His dedication to conservation and sustainability, combined with his passion for sharing the beauty of his home with others, make him an outstanding ambassador for the province.

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