The Team

Jocelyn Palm, President and Founder

Jocelyn’s lifelong commitment to leadership development, environmental education and social service is the catalyst behind the Near North Enviro-Education Centre. As the owner and Director of Glen Bernard Camp since 1977, Jocelyn has provided opportunities for generations of leaders to flourish. With 250 campers in each of three summer sessions and a staff of more than 100, almost all of whom are former campers, the GBC community includes generations of alumni connected and committed to ideals which foster independence and group belonging, coupled with environmental education. GBC also hosts co-ed school and adult groups and is a registered private school offering high-school credits. Jocelyn’s vision is to share GBC’s mandate into the community with the establishment of the NNEEC.


Jim Schmidt, Vice-President

As Facility Manager at Glen Bernard Camp for more than 35 years, Jim has overseen the stewardship and development of a property featuring 700 acres of forest and a kilometer of shoreline, as well as dozens of buildings. The Camp has become a model of environmental education and features solar power, composting toilets and energy efficient lighting. The Living Lightly Lab allows students to interact and learn about sustainable technologies. This entire infrastructure, the buildings with their unique energy saving features, as well as the land itself, with its miles of trails, is overseen and looked after by Jim and his maintenance team.


Please reload

Allan Tough, Director

Allan’s lifetime commitment to physical fitness and education are among the interests he brings to our Board. In 2009, the inaugural year of the popular Sundridge Triathlon, Allan participated in the team triathlon, riding bicycle at the age of 72. Allan continues to cross-country ski and kayak and is a strong proponent of a healthy, active life-style. Allan studied at Laurentian and Nipissing Universities, earning his B.A. and B.Ed. and went on to a career in education, teaching in Sundridge. He was a founding member of the Eagle Lake Revolver Club in 1959, an organisation which continues today as the Eagle Lake Gun Club. Allan has always been a staunch advocate of safe and responsible firearm use and ownership. Allan can often be found in his wood shop, producing unique and evocative wood carvings.

Robin Gibson, Director

For the past twenty years, Robin has been developing communication programs for large corporations and organizations in a variety of sectors, from financial to package goods, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and resource industries, as well as government agencies. Robin’s skills and experience range from building and managing communications programs to branding. She has held senior positions in the communications field, including Director of Communications for Magna International and Partner at Sonar Communications. For the past several years Robin has applied her analytical and creative skills as a communications strategist. Robin holds a Masters Degree from the University of Toronto in English and Environmental Studies. A proud resident of the Almaguin Highlands, she is committed to turning her corporate and academic experience to helping promote and foster support for sustainable rural communities.

Romano Marchi, Executive Director

Romano brings over 20 years of leadership and entrepreneurial experience, working in social services and business. His areas of expertise include the implementation of strategies for community engagement, organizational management and mentoring.

In Romano’s recent roles as a manager and community liaison for government funded employment programs, he managed and mentored staff and colleagues to reach their potential, while successfully surpassing agency targets. His community outreach strategies have also won the agencies new levels of community awareness and engagement. Prior to that Romano worked with youth at risk as a teacher-therapist where he developed a music therapy program and mentored students to achieve required levels of literacy and other educational goals. Before moving to a rural property in Almaguin in 2004, Romano built a successful retail electronics company in Collingwood, Ontario. He and his partner Robin now call the near north their home, where they pursue a shared dream of a rural lifestyle, working in the vegetable garden in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Please reload

© 2017 Near North Enviro-Education Centre




140 Main Street, P.O. Box 825 Sundridge, Ontario, Canada. P0A 1Z0