who we are

MEET THE TEAM

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Family Ownership

Next Gen is family owned and operated, and has been since Gord and Cathy set up shop in 1984.  Their four children were essentially raised in planting camps.  Our crews and company as a whole have a welcoming family vibe.

Owners

Together, Cathy, Gord and Will make decisions pertaining to Next Generation. 

Cathy - President and Strategic Advisor

Cathy manages business financials and advises others to ensure strategic vision is maintained. Cathy is always ready and available by the phone. 

Gord - Logistics Manager and Strategic Advisor

Gord manages tangible resources and organizes company camp logistics. He also advises others to ensure strategic vision is maintained. 

Will - General Manager

As General Manager, Will organizes and schedules work. He also works with Project Managers to plan planting seasons and supports them in day-to-day operations. Will is the main client contact. 

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William Sheepwash

General Manager

Will was a supervisor with Next Gen from 2009 to 2019 and has been involved in tree planting all of his life. Will enjoys the challenges that come with being involved with planting and how it gives him the opportunity to meet and work with many interesting people.

 

In his off season Will is a father who enjoys playing hockey, backcountry skiing and challenging himself with various strength and condition methods.

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Dominic Blais

Project Manager

Of his 22 seasons in the bush, Dom has spent the last 13 as a Project Manager with Next Gen.  He is passionately organized and runs an impressively tight ship.  Dom's characteristic directness lends well to the success of his crew.  He is unwavering in standing up for the needs of his planters and staff.

In the off season, Dom works in maintenance at remote backcountry lodges and enjoys ski touring around the Kootenays. 

Crystal Allen

Project Manager

Crystal began her planting career at 17 with her home town contract, Rocky Wood Preservers.

 

Crystal has a wicked sense of humor and will help you maintain your cool through the tough season.  She has an uncanny enthusiasm for jumping into and  enduring the harshest of elements, and is unmatched in her talents of getting trucks and quads out of the stickiest Alberta mud. 

 

In the off season, Crystal resides on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, where she rescues and rehomes abandoned animals.  If she hasn't already given you a dog, it's only a matter of time.

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Lawrence Fraser

Project Manager

Lawrence started with Next Gen 26 years ago and is still going strong. He and his wife Krishanda co-manage Next Generation's longest running camp. Lawrence has an exemplary character and leads by example. He make the arduous task of running a planting camp look easy.

 

A native of Cape Breton, Lawrence is now at home in the Rockies west of Calgary. He enjoys mountain sports and world travel. 

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Krishanda Zimmer

Project Manager

Krishanda started with Next Gen as an assistant cook in 1993. Since then, she has worked in every position that a crew has to offer. Kris makes sure her camp runs smoothly, takes care of the paperwork, trains greeners in the spring and checks the rest the season. What Kris loves most about planting is just how constantly challenging it is. 

 

Her passion is rock climbing, and although the working season cuts into Canadian climbing season, she and Lawrence make time to travel to climbing destinations in the winter.

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Colin Wager

Project Manager

Colin has worked with Next Gen since 2010.

He is easy to get along with and can pretty much make any plan work. Colin is organized and crafty.  Given a skill saw, he can build, fix, or MacGuyver anything.

 

Colin is a surfer at heart and lives with his wife and dogs for the fall and winter months in Nicaragua.  

Marchena Hembroff

Project Manager

Marchena planted her first tree in 2002 and was immediately hooked.  Since then, she's spent 15 seasons with Next Gen, undertaking various positions.  Marchena is a wicked hard worker and all-round effective human being. She leads and inspires by example.

Marchena helps to develop training systems for both planters and staff. She puts emphasis on improved mentorship and teaching techniques. 

Outside of planting, Marchena pursues her passions as a coach and yoga teacher.  She is an avid hiker, sailor, and drinker of green smoothies.

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Caitlin Burge

Team Resources & Operations Coordinator

Caitlin has worked with Next Gen since 2007. She works with Project Managers to assemble teams of people and is the main employee relations point person. She is responsible for reviewing and maintaining Next Gen’s training programs and helps to develop policy.

 

In terms of operations, Caitlin supports Project Managers in the implementation of day-to-day policy, electronic systems, and works to ensure accountability.

She is a mother of two and an avid skier and you'll often find her day dreaming of snow. 

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Sam Newhook

Head Health and Safety Employee (HSE)

Sam is the owner's eldest daughter and has been around tree planters her whole life.  

 

With a Master's Degree in Industrial & Occupational Psychology,  Sam oversees the Health and Safety Employee (HSE) program. She supports camp HSEs and is our guide to connecting individuals with community mental health resources.

Sam lives in Grande Prairie with her partner and two young children.