CPAWS Manitoba Staff


Ron Thiessen, Executive Director

Ron has worked professionally in the non-profit wilderness conservation field for over 25 years. He employs his experience in Aboriginal, media, public, industry, and government relations to achieve protected areas and safeguard wildlife.

Ron’s efforts in partnership with Indigenous communities has been instrumental in the establishment of several provincial parks and extended protection of park reserves.

His leadership was a key driver in achieving the legislative ban on commercial forestry in Manitoba’s provincial parks.

Ron has also negotiated with industry to defer logging in important habitats of threatened species and works with many involved on the east side of Lake Winnipeg toward large-scale conservation and sustainable communities.

He is also the founder of the Aboriginal Conservation Leaders Project, an initiative designed to provide an avenue for Aboriginal voices to be heard while inspiring people to get involved in boreal forest protection efforts.

Born and raised in Manitoba, Ron is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys photography and playing music.

Joshua Pearlman, Communications Coordinator

As Coordinator of CPAWS Manitoba, Joshua oversees organizational operations while supporting public communications, outreach and boreal campaign development.

He  holds a B.Sc in Botany from the University of Manitoba as well as a Diploma of Environmental Studies from Langara College. Over the past 8 years he has worked extensively in biological research support roles both in Canada and the United States. Additionally he has worked on the development of a regional seed collection initiative and youth ecological education program in Baker City, Oregon as part of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Millennium Seed Project.

He has written extensively for Above & Beyond Magazine about the relationships between northerners and the rapidly changing environment in arctic Canada.

Sandy Klowak,
Manitoba Boreal campaign coordinator

Based out of the CPAWS Manitoba office, Sandy is working as the Manitoba coordinator for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, an initiative that works with First Nations, industry, conservation groups and government to balance protection and sustainable development in Manitoba's Boreal forest.

She brings with her a journalism background and a long-time passion for conservation.

Sandy has produced and reported news for CTV Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press. She has also written for magazines such as Canada's History (formerly The Beaver), in addition to work in copy editing.

She is a journalism grad of Red River College’s Creative Communications program and has an honours BA in communications/religious studies/gender studies from the University of Winnipeg.

In her spare time, Sandy can be found tending her veggie garden, dabbling in stage management in Winnipeg's theatre scene, volunteering at a local animal shelter and doting on her cat, Trevor.