The White Squall staff family is a remarkable bunch. All of them are exceptional individuals, with a wide range of talents and skills. Many of them are local experts, because they live right here in the Parry Sound area! Most of our guides are Paddle Canada certified sea kayak instructors and four are national instructor-trainers. Our resource staff are leaders in their field and talented teachers. How lucky we are to have such a depth of knowledge and skill available to us – and best of all, they’re pretty darn fun to be around too!
Everybody knows Tim – he’s the boss. Without Tim and his partner Kathy, there would be no White Squall. Both have worked in the outdoor industry since the early ’70s.
Tim is a direct and effective communicator, always diplomatic, with a witty sense of humour. Staff and customers alike take a shine to him immediately. Tim’s job is to oversee most everything – keeping the White Squall ship sailing. Tim is a Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 3 Instructor Trainer with Level 4 Skills, is a Wilderness First Responder, and is certified in Swiftwater Rescue. In winter, he teaches skiing at the local ski club with the Jackrabbit program and loves backcountry skiing with friends. In summer, well you know where to find him, however occasionally he escapes for a canoe or kayak getaway with family and friends, never tiring of spending time in his backyard of beautiful Georgian Bay.
Kathy’s role here at the Squall is “behind the scenes” as she likes to put it. Her list of duties include accounting, helping manage trip food, gardening and keeping Tim in line!
Prior to founding White Squall, she earned her Bachelors in Environmental Studies at Waterloo and later her Bachelors of Education from Western. Outdoor centers in Ontario and B.C. were places where she worked with kids from 5 to 18 enjoying the outdoor life. She grew up speaking German, loves singing in her choir and snowshoeing or skiing with the family dog Charly. Most of all, she loves the extended family White Squall brings her!
Jesse Dyer grew up with us on Cole Lake and is now a bush-pilot in northern Ontario. When the lakes freeze, he heads to the western mountains, working in the back-country and alpine as an assistant ski guide.
Charly joined White Squall in January 2012. He immediately took on the role of customer greeter. He holds the highest level in Stand up Paddle boarding of all the staff. The winter is by far his favourite season, though! He gets to tag along when his parents go for skis around the lake.
Greg has worked at White Squall since 1992, beginning as an apprentice guide. He’s now part of the management team – sounds so official doesn’t it?! While he really likes guiding, he has become quite interested in the teaching/coaching aspect of sea kayaking. He is certified by Paddle Canada as a Level 2 Instructor Trainer, Level 3 Instructor and has Level 4 skills. He loves getting out in big winds and waves and out on the rivers in his whitewater kayak. His goal is to paddle 12 months of the year in any type of craft…still working on February!
Kathleen was born on the shores of Lake Superior at the mouth of the Michipicoten River. With the forests as a playground, she developed a deep appreciation for the Canadian landscape & all range of critters. Kathleen attended Queen’s University in Kingston and after years in urban settings returned to the north and settled in Parry Sound. Kathleen’s favourite family vacation is time on Georgian Bay, kayaking, swimming, stargazing, & critter spotting. Kathleen has Wilderness Advanced First Aid certification, Paddle Canada Level 2 Skills and Basic Kayak Instructor. She wears the hat of ‘Office Manager’ with charm and grace!
Jack Elliott or “Captain Jack” as some of us call him, is one of the more colourful staff at White Squall. Lucky to have been born into a “camping family”, Jack has been going on outdoor trips and messing around in boats for as long as he can remember. Many moons ago Jack was a professional big machinery mechanic working in the mines of Elliot Lake. Afterwards he spent his time on the Bay as a marine mechanic. Jack’s other life is painting. He creates big and small paintings on oil and canvas. Often he’ll take a paint kit along with him on his kayak adventures. Jack has paddled on the west coast (Queen Charlottes), east coasts (Newfoundland), and many of the lakes in Ontario including Superior, Nipigon, Nipissing, and Lake Huron. He has many a tale (& painting) to tell about some of these trips. In winter you’ll find Jack way back on the frozen hills & swamps of northern Ontario or in the mountains of the Yukon bush, skiing with a polk and prospector tent. Jack is a manager and specifically co-ordinates the paddle sport section. He is an excellent paddler and instructor. He also loves selling kayaks & gear in the shop! Jack is a Paddle Canada Level 1 Sea Kayak Instructor & Level 3 paddler and is trained in Wilderness 1st Aid.
Jan joined the Squall Family in 2015 after retiring from 32 years in the hospitality industry. She worked at various resorts across Canada and most recently was the co owner of a local catering business in Parry Sound for 17 years. Having grown up around Georgian Bay she enjoys paddling, hiking, camping and all the beauty the Bay has to offer. She is trained in Wilderness First Aid and loves working with the public at both the Paddling Centre & the Town Shop.
Paula Purdon Mullen
Paula was introduced to kayaking many years ago by her two children who were then guides at White Squall. Paula began a more serious pursuit of skills and kayak instruction after retiring from a lengthy career in social services and joining the White Squall Family. She is trained in Wilderness First Aid, Paddle Canada Level Two Skills, Level 1 Basic Paddle Instructor, as well as Flat water SUP Instructor. She loves to share time with family and friends, paddling on the bay, singing songs, cycling, and embracing an active and healthy lifestyle.
Stacy has been with the White Squall family since 2009. She now lives in New Liskeard, but works from afar. She comes to Parry Sound throughout the year for visits and to teach courses. She is a Paddle Canada level 2 instructor, she loves to teach and enjoys having Georgian Bay as the classroom.
Jocey is an active energetic youth who joined White Squall in 2013. She grew up in Parry Sound and is hooked on paddling and camping. Watch out, because she’ll probably get you hooked, too! Jocey is studying to be an athletic therapist.She has achieved her WAFA, Level 2 kayaking Skills and Level 1 Kayak Instructor.
Hannah began her time at White Squall with chicken-egg-collection-duty at a young age before becoming a full time summer staff in 2015. Spending every summer camping, kayaking, and canoeing, she grew up with a love for the Bay and the surrounding area. After completing a year studying in Switzerland she is keen to explore as much of the world as possible. During the paddling off season, Hannah studies Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and skis for the varsity nordic ski team.
Claire grew up in Parry Sound spending her summers on the Bay and doing canoe trips with her family. She loves running, hiking, skiing, camping and anything else in the outdoors. She has her Wilderness First Responder, Bronze Medallion, Level 3 Skills, Level 2 Instructor, Level 1 Instructor Trainer and Advanced Flatwater SUP Instructor certifications. When she’s not paddling, she is at school in Hamilton studying to be an Osteopath.
Julia was introduced to camping long before she could walk, and hasn’t looked back since! She enjoys cross country and downhill skiing, rock climbing, running, biking, camping, paddling, and just being outdoors. Julia has her Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Level 1 Skills, and Bronze Medallion. She spends her winters cross country skiing competitively and looking forward to summers on the Bay.
Nick signed on at White Squall in 2014. He grew up just south of Parry Sound, spending his summers on the lake and his winters in the woods. In his down time Nick spends his time skiing, hiking, paddling, camping, or doing anything else that gets him outside. Nick has his Wilderness First Responder, Bronze Cross, Basic Sea Kayak Instructor, and Level 2 Sea Kayak Skills.. Nick is also a Surface Ice Water Rescue Technician with Seguin Volunteer Fire Department, where he is also a member of the High Angle Rescue Team, on top of normal fire fighter duties. Nick has finished High School, and is taking a year off for travel. Following his gap year Nick hopes to study to be a Paramedic at Cambrian College.
Gracie joined the Squall team in the summer of 2014. She is from Parry Sound and is Aniishnaabe from Wasausking First Nation. She grew up spending her summers on Georgian Bay camping, kayaking and adventuring. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Level 1 Sea Kayak Instructor and has Level 2 Sea Kayak Skills. On top of that, she is an award winning published author of the children’s book “Building Our Bridge-Our Journey of Reconciliation”, which is about bridging the gap between Indigenous and Non- Indigenous youth. During the school year, she is studying Indigenous Environmental
Isobel joined White Squall in 2017. She is a student at Laurentian University studying Health Promotion and is a responder on Laurentian’s Campus Emergency Response Team. She first started kayaking when she participated in White Squall youth trips. You can find her out and about, enjoying the outdoors ,cross country skiing and hiking on Laurentian’s back trails during the school year.
Kevin grew up just North of Parry Sound where he leaned a deep appreciation for the outdoors. He spent most of his summers camping and canoeing around Ontario. After finishing diplomas in Journalism and Broadcast Television, he broke away from the city and returned North. Kevin has a certificate in Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Sea Kayak Skills Level 2, and Open Water SCUBA. He spends his winters cross country skiing and winter camping.
Too busy exploring the outdoors to write a bio….
Too busy exploring the outdoors to write a bio….
Too busy exploring the outdoors to write a bio….
Other Summer Timers include:
Doug is a professional engineer and documentary photographer based out of Mississauga, Ontario. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario – and trained as an ocean engineer – he has been in, on and especially under the water for most of his life. For over 30 years, he has worked in the commercial diving industry as a diver, as an engineer, and manager /partner of one of the largest commercial diving companies in Canada. He took a paddle trip with White Squall many years ago for a vacation break – and now comes back as a resource person to paddle, teach and shoot photos with Thom Morrissey and the folks on the paddle/photo trips. As a professional documentary photographer specializing in adventure, outdoor lifestyle and expedition photography, his images have appeared in National Geographic , Popular Science and numerous national papers and magazines. His photo assignments for the NATO Special Forces underwater and commando units takes him all over the world on photo assignments from the Canadian and Norwegian high arctic to the tropics – and all sorts of places in between.
As far as his “disposition” …well, let’s just say his sense of humour – which he just can’t seem to suppress (especially when Thom is around!) – seems to keep him continually “in trouble”. You can view more photos at Doug’s Photography Site.
Gerard has been part of White Squall for a very long time. A serendipitous collaboration – we taught him a bit about kayaking – he continues to teach us a lifetime of things about the natural world. Gerard gets around – he’s been up to Devon Island in the high arctic with the International Biological Programme and has spent much of his research career working on stressed ecosystems. In semi retirement he embarked on a new career in Forensic Science as a forensic botanist. He teaches the only forensic botany in Canada. He is recognized by the Supreme Court of Ontario as an expert witness in matters to do with botany and ecology.
So where does White Squall fit in? Well sir… Gerard is also our resident ecologist, guide, storyteller, and all-around nice guy. His ecology programs fill quickly and for good reason: he’s completely dedicated to his friends and students. With Gerard on board, you’ll get the best information and energy one could ever ask for in interpreting the world.
Thom sees life as a series of photographs. He’s constantly looking at light, angles, lines, texture and the list goes on. Composition becomes a way of life. He’s been playing with cameras for 35 years and I still loves it. Now that he’s retired and can spend more time pursuing his passion, he’s a happy man! Being outside and photographing almost anything gives focus to his life (pun intended). Learning a craft like photography is more than the technical elements, it requires vision and a love of learning. He enjoys the interaction and multiple facets of photographing people in their many environments, trying to make photographs that will be treasured for years to come. You can check out his work at thommorrissey.smugmug.com.
Theresa Gregory has been practising and studying yoga for over twenty years. She holds a Professional (Advanced) Teacher Training certification from the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. She has lived on and managed a retreat centre in the Parry Sound area for over ten years. YogAloft Wellness Retreat offers weekly yoga classes, specialized health-related workshops, nature experiences, aromatherapy massage, Master Reiki, and laser treatments. The name “Kripalu” translates as compassion. Attention to breath, meditation, mental quietude, as well as physical strength, flexibility, and balance make Kripalu yoga a perfect partner to kayaking and activities in nature. Theresa has had the pleasure of offering yoga instruction on the White Squall Yoga & Paddling trip for many years. For more information on Theresa Gregory or YogAloft Wellness Retreat visit www.yogaloftwellness.com.
White Squall is blessed to have a large, and ever growing ‘family’ who come back every year to help out when needed or to guide a course on their holidays.
Thanks so much to: