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who we are

Management Team

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. Their son Will, pictured here as a baby in Cathy's planting bags, is in the process of taking over and all of their kids have been involved in one way or another over the years. 


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 strength and conditioning.

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Nigel Johnson
Project Manager

Nigel has worked with Next Gen since 2010. Nigel's superpower is calm. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. When Nigel planted he was the person who looked the slowest while balling almost everyone. 


As a Project Manager, Nigel's style is quiet confidence. He is approachable, quick to laugh and directs with clarity. 

In the off season, Nigel lives in Vancouver and has recently completed a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography. If you can't find him, check the nearest basketball court. 


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.


Lawrence Fraser

Project Manager

Lawrence started with Next Gen 28 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. 


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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Marchena Hembroff
Human Resources


Marchena planted her first tree in 2002 and was immediately hooked.  Since then, she's spent 16 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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Garrett Roach
Project Manager

Garrett started planting with Next Gen in 2007. He began managing projects in 2021 and will be running a full camp in 2023. 


Garrett plants on the coast in the early spring and fall and is a true planter’s supervisor. Garrett’s strength lies in both efficient on-the-block logistics and in everyday conversations. Garrett will be there to listen and hear people out. 


Need a break from time to time? Find Garrett in camp and listen to him spin a tale, strum a song or borrow some new graphic novel that you had no idea existed but is just great. A sports fan, Garrett has spent most of his adult life being disappointed by both the Bills and the Habs.


Caitlin Burge
Operations Coordinator

Caitlin has worked with Next Gen since 2007. She works with Project Managers, Human Resources and Health & Safety to review and develop effective systems. 


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

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


Sam Newhook
Health & Wellness Coordinator

Sam has been around tree planters her whole life.  

Sam's family context and extensive background in Health & Wellness education and experience that brings a unique perspective to NGR. Namely her Master's Degree in Industrial & Occupational Psychology, work experience in Sexual Violence Prevention, Suicide Prevention and University campus Peer Support Programs.  


 Sam Coordinates and mentors the Peer Support program, Bullying Harassment & Violence response and works to connect individuals with company & community mental health resources.

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

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