Supporting the operation and building a place for ecotourism, our full time staff are also here to answer your questions and ensure a seamless voyage.
President, CEO co-owner. A big title, but Kevin is always the first to point out that in actual fact it is Maple Leaf and now Swell that own him. The classic wooden boats we have, and the tourism business that supports them, demand constant care; it’s a responsibility that Kevin works hard to live up to. Kevin’s instinct for exploration of the natural world continue on the trips he leads as captain. Fortunately this drive to discover the best has manifested itself in his CEO role as a drive for constant business innovation. The company, the boats, crew and guests all benefit from this strong push to always improve what we do. His experience as a geographer, backcountry park ranger, captain, coach and teacher all contribute to his strong leadership. Maple Leaf Adventures has owned Kevin since 2001. In this time he has led the company to international recognition and some of the highest honours in the adventure tourism industry, including accolades and recommendations from National Geographic’s family of publications: National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic ADVENTURE. Under Kevin’s leadership, the company revenues have increased, the areas explored have increased, and customer satisfaction is extremely high, leading people to return again and again to do more trips. Business as usual is not a good enough model for Kevin. The company is run completely on the principles of ecotourism, with a quadruple bottom line, made of environmental, social, financial and fun as the factors. Kevin and his colleagues founded the Commercial Bear Viewing Association in 2001 to promote properly trained, professional, sustainable bear viewing in BC, and Kevin is an executive board member of the Wilderness Tourism Association of BC. He dedicates time to promoting and developing the ecotourism industry on the BC coast, and is invited to participate in government and industry roundtables. Kevin’s vision and unwavering values set a clear course for the company. For its outstanding commitment to ecotourism and the BC coast, Maple Leaf Adventures won the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada in 2012. Prior to Maple Leaf Adventures, Kevin was a senior backcountry marine park ranger in BC, while at the same time acting as a volunteer negotiator on the historic land use agreements for the area now known as The Great Bear Rainforest, in which his work directly protected vast areas of ancient rainforest filled with wildlife. Through this he also developed lasting relationships with members of communities along the coast. Kevin has also been a Coast Guard Auxiliary Coxswain and training officer, a sailing instructor and a rowing coach at Brentwood College. Kevin is extremely experienced in the coastal British Columbia and Alaska wilderness. He has lived and worked with wild animals, including bears and whales, for decades. His appreciation and respect for each individual animal is apparent, and his observation of their behaviour and his understanding of it make him one of the province’s most experienced bear guides. Kevin has also trained other professionals in living with and working around bears. The status and health of British Columbia and Alaska’s population of wild bears is one of his major priorities. Kevin has a double major honours degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria. He lives in Victoria with his wife, Maureen, and continues to explore the coast aboard the Maple Leaf and Swell each year.
Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society BA Geography (University of Victoria) Full Bear Guide (Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC) Co-founder and director, Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC Director, Wilderness Tourism Association of BC Backcountry recreation and tourism representative, Great Bear Rainforest land use plan 60 ton Masters Limited (Transport Canada) 60 ton Small Vessel Machinery Operator (Transport Canada) Advanced Wilderness First Aid for Leaders (Slipstream) CPR, Oxygen & AED (wilderness first aid) Dive Master (PADI)
Alisa PrestonCrew and Operations Logistics ManagerAlisa has a combination of marine-based ecotourism business and major engineering projects and teams in her professional background, as well as a love of the ocean. She has a real interest in the development of people, relationships and systems, all key elements in her role here.Her experience ranges from being responsible for BC Hydro’s fleet asset management, and their team, to creating and helping to lead a marine science foundation that established a Mission Blue hope spot in Saanich Inlet, as well as doing baseline monitoring in the region. We’re happy that she has decided to follow her passion for nature as part of Maple Leaf Adventures.
Bill WallaceMaintenance Supervisor.At Maple Leaf Adventures, Bill brings his years of experience to support and help plan and track both regular repairs and maintenance as well as capital projects on the vessels, working in conjunction with the lead crew. Bill has an incredible background in wooden vessels, shipyard operation, engineering, naval architecture, and vessel repair.For 17 years, he ran a company on the east coast that was one of the leading topside technical repair firms. He has also been a marine engineering superintendent for shipyards, a coordinator and technical support engineer for vessels, and, briefly in the past, helped design heavy wooden fishing boats. On the water, Bill has worked aboard commercial fishing vessels, sailed the Arctic and Antarctic with the US Coast Guard, and sailed his own sailboat.In his spare time, Bill enjoys hockey, backcountry ski touring, rock climbing, camping and canoeing.
BSc in marine engineering and naval architecture
ABYC marine electrical technician
Member, Canadian Institute of Marine Engineering
Operations Assistant. By the age of four, Courtney knew she wanted to work on the ocean. After years of growing up boating and fishing with family in the summer and big mountain snowboarding in the winter, Courtney’s passion for adventure took her through a tourism diploma in Calgary, Alberta. Not long after college graduation, Courtney relocated to Victoria, BC, and enrollment in a BSc. in marine biology at the University of Victoria. Armed with a powerful toolbox of marine ecology, conservation and eco-tourism, Courtney began working in the whale watching industry in Victoria, sharing her passion and love for the local coast with guests from around the world. Courtney grew her skills as a naturalist-trainer and safety coordinator, working to ensure knowledge, safety, comfort and fun in all staff activities. Courtney uses her experience behind the scenes, in the Maple Leaf Adventures headquarters, as the Operations Assistant, helping to ensure bucket-list dream trips become reality for all Maple Leaf guests. Catch her (if you can) at Maple Leaf mission control in Victoria, or deep in the forest, high up on a mountain, or aboard Maple Leaf as a deckhand on our coastal waters.
BSc Marine Biology at the University of Victoria, Diploma in Travel and Tourism at the University of Calgary, Marine Emergency Duties A2, Restricted Marine Commercial Radio Operators Certificate, Marine First Aid
Head of Food and Beverage, Chef James joined the Maple Leaf Adventures team in 2013 and has been cooking on the remote west coast of British Columbia for 20 years. With a background in art and music James brings a strong creative edge to his culinary creations. A talented chef, James also leads the management of our on board food and provisioning systems for the vessels, enjoying the planning process as well as providing beautiful and delicious meals. James began working aboard SV Maple Leaf and now predominately is found aboard MV Swell, travelling to every one of our trip areas. Guests aboard the ships are a highlight for James as he truly enjoys working with people who are on a holiday adventure, people are at peace and happy and he is delighted that he can contribute to that experience. It is a great passion of his being able to contribute to something that creates happiness and provides a necessary service. Working aboard the ships in a wilderness setting is perfect for James, taking in the good air, freedom, and adventures that the trips entail. Few other chefs get to witness the wild BC coast from their own galley, cooking and exploring the coast all at one time. It is in this natural setting that James is his calmest self. Interesting fact: Jacques Cousteau is James’ hero. A fitting match for a man at sea.
Marketing and Guest Services, Deckhand. Kayleen grew up cruising with her family in Desolation Sound and around Vancouver Island on their family sailboat. She has recently bought her own 35′ sailboat, which she is living on in Victoria. Kayleen has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Recreation and Health Education and a strong background in content marketing and community building. When not working in the Maple Leaf Adventures headquarters, or adventuring on her own sailboat, you can find her taking photos of her ‘adventure cats’, social media stars: Bolt and Keel.
Bachelor of Arts – Recreation and Health Education, University of Victoria Advanced Wilderness First Aid Food Safe
Leana MeyerOffice and Financial AdministratorLeana has a background in office administration, project coordination, sustainable seafood, and as a red seal chef!So, precision, multi-tasking, technology and creativity are all aspects of what she brings to her role with Maple Leaf Adventures.Most recently she worked for five years as the office administrator with one of the Island’s great local seafood companies.When not at work, she and her husband spend a lot of time hiking in Vancouver Island’s parks and enjoying the culinary features of the west coast.
Marketing Manager & Co-Owner. Maureen was born and raised in Victoria. She spent summers on the beaches of B.C.’s southern coast. Her maternal grandfather’s saltwater fish tank — teeming with flounders, hermit crabs and sea anemones — and her paternal grandfather’s patient observations of backyard birds encouraged her interest in nature as a girl. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing with an interest in history and environmental studies, as well as certificates in business management, boating and bear guiding. After ten years in the high tech industry, and earlier stints in journalism, publishing and tourism, Maureen realigned her life with her priority to spend more time in the natural world, and sharing the stories and ideas of her beloved coastal home. After meeting Kevin and observing the business for a couple of years, she and Kevin decided to try a year of working in Maple Leaf Adventures together. That was 2003 and ever since Maureen has committed to Maple Leaf Adventures as a key part of her life’s work. She has explored the coast aboard the Maple Leaf, and now Swell, too, since 2001. She is responsible for marketing other business administration, and she spends a portion of each year as crew on the ships. Maureen’s publication credits span the spectrum from the technical to the artistic; from co-editing a computer language submission to the World Wide Web Consortium, to a humourous national book chapter, to poetry in the Malahat Review. Her feature writing, photography and package design have won awards, and her writing has been published in many serials, including The Globe and Mail, the International Journal of Ecoforestry, and British Columbia magazine. Maureen is on the boards of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the BC Ocean Boating Tourism Association (Ahoy BC). She is inspired by the ability of values-based businesses to help change the world by being successful without compromising the nature and culture that they operate in.
Bachelor of Arts – Creative Writing, University of Victoria Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Marine Emergency Duties A2 Radio Operator Card – Maritime Commercial Marine First Aid Wilderness First Aid Assistant Bear Guide Food Safe