Board of Directors & Committees

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:  2023-2024

Lora Tryon, MSc, RPBio – President, Aquatic Biologist

Lora lives on the traditional and unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation. She is a professional biologist with over 20 years of experience in marine and freshwater fish and habitat monitoring, protection and restoration. Lora started with MLSSBC in 2018 when she was approached by Glen Dennison to compile sponge mapping accomplishments into a report. Lora owns and operates an environmental consulting firm, Lake Trail Environmental Inc., and teaches environmental field skills courses at Vancouver Island University. She has a great love of the outdoors, enjoys scuba diving, mountain biking, and skiing.

Deirdre Forbes McCracken – Vice-President

Deirdre joined MLSSBC in 2016. Inspired by the wonders of the underwater world at the age of 6 during a snorkel trip in Hawaii, she soon discovered her hero, Jacques Cousteau, and knew her path would lead her to the ocean. Deirdre has worked in the diving industry since 1989 and opened a dive centre in 1997 with her husband Greg McCracken. Her passion for protection of marine life spans many decades. Deirdre has been particularly inspired by the unique beauty and significance of the glass sponge reefs of Howe Sound and is passionate in photographing these delicate reefs to further document and study them.

Huddie Bennett  – Treasurer

Huddie’s love of the ocean solidified in 1979 with the National Geographic article on Songs of the Humpback. This inspired her to get certified for SCUBA when she was 15 on Vancouver Island. In 2006 she started her own business, Eye Candy Optical, a successful optical store in Vancouver. After selling the company in 2011 she began, and still works, in the film industry as a financial controller and facility manager for high-end post-production companies. Huddie also currently sits on the Board of MERS as Treasurer and works with the Ocean Legacy Foundation to help fight ocean plastic pollution.

Tori Preddy – Director

Tori started volunteering for the Marine Life Sanctuaries Society as a diver for beach interpretation programs in 2011. Through these interactive experiences she found a love for sharing the marine world with others and became a scuba diver instructor to further share that love. For several years, diving opportunities have taken her to Vancouver Island and further afield to Thailand and Australia,  limiting her volunteer availability. Now she resides here permanently and is excited to join the Board of Directors.

Young Tze Kuah, DMD, M.DentSc, FRCD – Director

Young is an avid scuba diver, technical diver, and underwater photographer.  He has been diving since 2003, exploring the beautiful waters of the Pacific Northwest, Howe Sound, Vancouver Island, as well internationally.  Having experienced the beautiful underwater world, it felt natural to volunteer with and support MLSSBC’s educational and conservation efforts.

Young is a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry, Certified Specialist in Orthodontics, an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia, and practices full time in private practice.

Sheila Byers – Director at Large, Marine Biologist

A member of MLSS since 2007, Sheila served on the MLSS Board of Directors as Secretary, Coordinator of the Nature Dive/Interpretation Programs, and President. Sheila is a Marine Biologist specializing in the taxonomy of marine worms with an interest in the natural history and ecology of BC’s marine invertebrates. The glass sponge reefs have captured her attention, as unique, beautiful, and ecologically valuable ecosystems. Sheila also serves on the Marine Biology Section Committee of Nature Vancouver. Sheila works as a Museum Interpreter at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC.

Adam Taylor – Project Director and Howe Sound Liaison

Adam is a 4th generation resident of Bowen Island and the ocean with all its marvelous inhabitants have always fascinated him. Adam joined the Board in 2011 and established the annual Nature Dive on Bowen Island that became a part of the successful MLSS Nature Dive/Interpretation Programs. An avid scuba diver and underwater photographer his focus is on marine conservation, glass sponge reefs and engaging stakeholders. Adam is also the current President of the Underwater Council of British Columbia (UCBC).


BOARD OF ADVISORS:  2023-2024

Glen Dennison – Advisor

Bernie Hanby  –  Advisor

Andy Lamb  –  Advisor

Dr. Jeff Marliave – Advisor

Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark – Advisor

Dr. Alejandro Frid – Advisor

Tom F Beasley – Advisor