Board Of Directors - Brigs Youth Sail Training

Board Of Directors

The Board of Directors provides vision and direction for our organization. They work to create and maintain relationships with community agencies, develop relationships with sponsorship partners, and oversee the performance of our program and staff. Brigs' volunteer Board of Directors commit countless hours to ensure youth have the ability to access our programs.

We are always looking for suitable candidates to join our Board of Directors when positions are available. Should this interest you, please email your resume to [email protected]

Joining a committee is another way to share your wisdom with us.


Matthew Snell - President

Matt grew up in Toronto and started sailing at an early age on Lake Ontario.  He was a trainee, Petty Officer and acting Watch Officer on STV Pathfinder during high school. Matt is a long time supporter of the Brigs.   

After more than 25 years  practicing law in Ontario, Matt retired at the end of 2020 having spent the last 5 years as General Counsel at IBM Canada, where he had been part of the legal team for more than 20 years.

Matt now pursues his passion for sailing with his wife Kim on their Gemini Legacy Catamaran, S.V. Luna,  currently located in Midland, for easy access to Georgian Bay and the North Channel.

Michele Fraser - Secretary 

Michele has been involved with Brigs since her two sons went through the program and as a member of the Board of Directors since 2018. She comes to us with over 30 years of experience volunteering with various organizations.

Michele has volunteered extensively with Brigs, working with the crew, providing meals, helping out with maintenance and sailing with us when we need an extra hand. She is also an avid photographer and has documented the ships sailing and through all seasons of maintenance. Michele is a strong believer in Brigs and the positive impact our program can have on the youth who access it. 


Ian Hamilton

Ian Hamilton is President and CEO of HOPA Ports (Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority). He assumed this role in 2017, after serving as the Port Authority’s Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate since 2008. Ian has been instrumental in developing working waterfronts in Hamilton, Oshawa, and Niagara by attracting new business and private investment, and creating an integrated marine network across Southern Ontario.

Ian possesses more than 25 years of experience in international transportation and logistics in Europe and North America, and has held progressively senior positions in the liner shipping industry, including Transatlantic Trade Director (Europe) for CP Ships and Business Development Manager for Hapag-Lloyd.

Ian is Chairperson of the Ontario Marine Transportation Forum Board of Directors, and holds positions on various other boards, including: Chamber of Marine Commerce, Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA), The Hamilton Club, and Brigs Youth Sail Training. Ian holds an MBA from Aston University (UK) and a BSc in business administration and economics from the College of Charleston, South Carolina.

Colin Wu

My first exposure to Brigs (formerly Toronto Brigantines) was in 1992 when some friends and I chartered PATHFINDER for a weekend experience because we were starting to do War of 1812 re-enactments playing British sailors, and thought we should actually learn how to do it right. What we didn't realize was that a weekend wasn't enough! That weekend grew into a long love affair with sailing tallships and sailing in general.

I have since sailed on a number of other tallships but what keeps bringing me back to the brigantines is that they are so much fun to sail while being just challenging enough that it's not boring.

But what I love the most about Brigs is watching the young teenagers grow and mature into responsible adults who contribute to their community and help the next generation to grow.


Zidane Gajadhar - Treasurer

Zidane Gajadhar is the Accounting Supervisor at HOPA Ports (Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority) and has
been with the organization since 2021. Through his role in accounting and finance, Zidane focuses on
financial reporting and supports the analysis of strategic opportunities.

He is a graduate of Wilfrid-Laurier University with an B.A. Hons. in Accounting and Economics, and
Graduate Diploma in Accounting.


Mike Wynne

Mike Wynne was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, then after moving to Canada with his family, grew up in BC. He graduated from high school at Brentwood College and then the University of Victoria after achieving his Bachelor of Arts degree and completing a successful collegiate rowing career.

After moving east, he raised his two children in the greater Toronto area, and began to establish his wealth management practice as an independent Senior Advisor, and now calls the Niagara region home. He has practiced financial planning for almost 30 years, and looks forward to offering his time, energy and ideas helping Brigs where he can. Mike enjoys golf, grilling, dog walks, skiing and traveling.

Emily Mohring

Emily grew up in Hamilton and has been on the water sailing the Great Lakes since she was a young girl. Passionate about sailing and seamanship, Emily joined Sea Cadets in 2012, and through her teens became involved in regional seamanship regattas, competition band, and attended the Royal Military College of Canada for summer training, where she received her Basic Sail Qualifications in 2013.

Emily remained involved with the program filling leadership roles until her departure in 2017, holding the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class. Emily began her Brigs journey aboard TS Playfair in the summer of 2016. She quickly realized just how much she loved sailing tall ships, and since has been a part of many sails, Winter Program, and continued on as an Alumni volunteer. In her spare time, Emily enjoys volunteering with various groups, most notably Brigs and the Hamilton Naval Association. Emily is passionate about youth development and has a diverse background in skilled trades, public service, and leadership.

She graduated from Mohawk College in 2021 from the Welding & Fabrication program and is currently pursuing Police Foundations at Mohawk College. Emily aspires to make a significant impact as a Director on the Board of Directors for Brigs - Youth Sail Training.


Bruce Kemp

Bruce’s  relationship with Brigs as a national journalist goes back to the mid-1980s when he began reporting on the program for a variety of periodicals and newspapers.   Early in his career, he was trained as a shipwright repairing Great Lakes freighters. He is also an experienced carpenter and wood finisher. 

Professionally, he was employed for more than 40 years as a journalist, photojournalist, editor, and publisher.  Bruce is also the author of five books.  His work has been recognized regionally, nationally and internationally.



Our Winter and Summer Programs are also supported by our organization's volunteer committees. 

If you would like to be involved in a committee, get in touch with us at [email protected]


ASU - Alumni Support Unit

A group of recent alumni who support program staff by supervising, training and generally lending a hand during Winter Program work parties.


Alex Fryer (Chair) Max Kingfisher Rhys Steffen
Caedon Kingdon Noah Krantz Ryan Kroon
Tasha Hyndman Jonah Charny Liam Fraser
Robin Leaver Megan Rome