Client Stories

Thanks for the kind words!

“EcoPlan was an incredible company to work with.”

Mayor Jan Allen, Port Alice BC


EcoPlan was an incredible company to work with.  Clear, concise and knowledgeable.  They spent time within our community….to talk to the residents and get the “feel” of the community… their desires and needs.  EcoPlan took the time to “do their homework”.

Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend EcoPlan and hope the Village of Port Alice has the opportunity to work with them again.


“They are flexible, insightful and a pleasure to work with.”

Sonja Cunningham, Economic Development Division, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training


EcoPlan set themselves apart from the start as a uniquely nimble organization with widely-ranging experiences, skills and knowledge. They take a responsive and collaborative approach to all stages of a project and are particularly adept at establishing a genuine connection with the groups they engage with. One of their key strengths is their ability to take complex concepts and findings and distill them into clean, easy to understand reports and graphics, which is vital in today’s world. They are flexible, insightful and a pleasure to work with.


“Brilliant! These data analysis tools have been wildly helpful. Thanks, EcoPlan folks.”

Janet Kivett Knight, Sr. Community Planner and Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) Program Lead; Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund


Brilliant! These data analysis tools have been wildly helpful. Thanks, EcoPlan folks.

Janet Kivett Knight, Sr. Community Planner and Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) Program Lead

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund


“EPI is truly invested in those they serve. I appreciate EPI’s stellar work.”

Sara Wagner, Grant Writer, MPH, GPC, Principal/Member, Grants that Go the Distance LLC


My introduction to EcoPlan International was two weeks ago, through a new client who lives across the country. In getting to know my client, the person who hired me introduced me to William, via email. William promptly responded, sharing a website containing community-specific information. The deeper I dug (on that site), the more I discovered. It was a treasure trove. Then I found what grant writers dream of – a 138-page comprehensive economic development strategy (that was finalized just one year ago)!

This priceless document outlines where my client’s story began, specifies key players, depicts where they are heading, outlines tangible outcomes, and contains an array of diverse resources to help them get there – all bundled in a visually-appealing report that balances facts with intrigue. To say I was delighted to find this is an understatement. A trained facilitator myself, I appreciate the great care that went into the planning process, the detailed engagement process (which had an impressively high turnout), the way community voices pervade the final product, and how artfully aspirations of those who live in this community are displayed – all in the context of how their lives will be improved if desired outcomes are realized.

A person cannot win competitive grants without showing that her client is above the fray. EPI’s document (and other materials they helped my client create) equips me with content that not only makes applying for grants possible, but fun. Thanks to EPI, my client will be able to show that community members are guiding initiatives, that programs have been built from the strongest possible foundation – insight from those who will be directly involved. When funders see legwork of this caliber, it demonstrates organizational depth and gives us a competitive edge.

Moreover, when I asked for clarification on a handful of aspects, William answered a list of questions without hesitation, sharing even more resources that will prove invaluable as my client and I move forward on our grant-seeking journey. I am left with the impression that EPI is truly invested in those they serve. With EPI as a partner, my client is able to share their stories in appealing ways that will attract funders. I appreciate EPI’s stellar work.


“I’m in awe of their ability to quickly shift from big picture thinking to the smallest details found in the data.”

Lara Hoshizaki, former Program Manager, Great Bear Initiative-Coastal First Nations GREAT BEAR INITIATIVE


Having worked closely with Will and his team at EcoPlan on two projects over the last couple of years, I’m in awe of their ability to quickly shift from big picture thinking to the smallest details found in the data. In a true spirit of collaboration, they helped us tell the stories we needed to share by asking the right questions, collecting and analysing the data with rigour, and presenting us in the end with beautiful and comprehensive reports. Thank you so much for your hard work, great humour and thoroughly valuable insights, Will!


“Wow… this is incredible.”

Kim Hardy, MakeWay


Wow … this is INCREDIBLE. What a powerful exercise to go through and the report will be such an influential sharing tool. I know this is a culmination of years of effort from many people and it resonates through this evaluation. Congrats to everyone involved in this work!

(On the Evaluation of the Stewardship Technicians Training Program: Making a Positive Difference “WALKING AWAY WITH A GOOD MIND AND A GOOD SPIRIT.”)

“I could not be stronger in my recommendation in support of EcoPlan.”

Thomas Droege, Senior Advisor, Alberta Indigenous Relations


I have had the privilege of working with EcoPlan and specifically William, on several occasions over the past 10 years. In my former capacity as Executive Director, Metis Relations with the provincial department of Indigenous Relations, we provided funding to the Metis Settlements General Council (MSGC) for the purposes of preparing for the potential that the province would at some point engage on the issue of Consultation stemming from the landmark Powley Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision.

William had already been working with one of the eight Metis Settlements (Buffalo Lake) at the Settlement’s expense, on research. He had an excellent reputation and Buffalo Lake could not be more glowing in their praise of William’s approach to project design and delivery and his professionalism. There is a real need for balance in Aboriginal communities when it comes to these types of technical undertakings and political dynamics. William has a real skill set at achieving that balance. Together with the MSGC, we contracted William and EcoPlan to do this initial work.

His project plan was realistic, strategic and built on clear foundations. For instance, all of the work needed to be defensible in light of the Powley SCC decision. The product he produced was exceptional and provided base data with a clear road map on what would be required in the future. Of particular note is William’s ability to assist the communities in taking ownership of these types of projects and this was highlighted by his mentoring of Metis Settlement members. A few years later the province negotiated and concluded an $85 million 10 year agreement with the MSGC and one of the key elements was the province’s commitment to develop a formal Consultation Policy.

Taking the work William had previously done and building on it made for a smooth transition from theory to reality. William was contracted again and continued to demonstrate high technical proficiency balanced with the need for community engagement and ownership. The information and data William produced in cooperation with communities was instrumental in moving the province toward an agreement on Consultation.

The final Consultation Policy has been ratified by both the MSGC and Alberta and is now in full practice. In summary, ECO Plan and William were excellent to work with, provided needed expertise in a difficult and evolving legal context, were consummate professionals, delivered high value and most importantly, were able to work within communities that have legitimate trust issues. I could not be stronger in my recommendation in support of EcoPlan and William. We would absolutely contract EcoPlan and William in the future. We are extremely pleased and on a personal note I felt it a privilege to work with this calibre of a firm and individual.


“If you are doing any community engagement I highly recommend EcoPlan!”

Heather Nelson Smith, (former) CAO of Alert Bay, British Columbia


As a client of EcoPlan, I was impressed with the way that they engaged the community on so many levels to ensure that the plan that they were preparing was a community driven plan. The feedback from the community was that it wasn’t just another plan to store on the shelf. This is a positive testament to their dedication in involving all key players in the process, especially the public

“EPI delivered a customized course that exceeded our expectations.”

Lyle Walker, Senior Planner, TransLink


Will Trousdale was the lead facilitator for a 2 ½ day training session for TransLink staff on Structured Decision Making.   Will is an engaging teacher and adept facilitator and delivered a customized course that exceeded our expectations.  The true sign of an effective course is if you regularly use the concepts and tools that you learned and it makes a difference in your processes.  The SDM course provided the foundations we needed and five years later we still regularly use SDM techniques which is providing insights for many of our planning and business decision processes.


“EPI exceeded my expectations and impressed government agencies and international financial institutions.”

Capt. Wm Victor Organ, President/CEO, Gulfstream Enterprises Corporation (GEC)


EPI exceeded my expectations and impressed government agencies and international financial institutions with innovative and expert analysis. I was struggling to write up an Environmental Impact Study for our resorts, Kaniki Point Resort and Concepcion Divers Lodge located in Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines, when he visited our property and came to the rescue. EPI conducted an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment and a Financial/Market Analysis that helped shape our tourism project and influenced the local government’s much needed decision-making process for other developments. I would strongly recommend William and his team above all others working in this industry. EPI awards and recognition are well deserved.

“EcoPlan was great to work with.”

Sundance Topham, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Cumberland


EcoPlan was great to work with on our Economic Development project. They were very professional and knowledgeable in their approach, and produced a useable and well thought out report that met all of the Village’s expectations. 

“We would recommend their work.”

Kerry Mehaffey, Chief Executive Officer at Lil’wat Management Services LP


EPI completed an Economic Development Strategy for the Lil’wat Nation in 2011.  Since then, we have maintained constant contact and Will has brought his class from UBC School of Community and Regional Planning each year to view the progress towards achieving many of the goals that had been set out, a living Economic Development laboratory!  Will’s continued interest in the success of our projects planned six years ago shows his commitment to the communities he works in!  We have just re-engaged EPI to do some visioning and land use planning around a key project from that 2011 strategy and would recommend their work to other communities looking for a firm with commitment to strong community engagement and long-term relationships.

“The report is fantastic… and incredibly valuable.”

Aroha Miller, P.hD., Program Manager, Coastal Stewardship Network, Coastal First Nations | GREAT BEAR INITIATIVE


I think the report is fantastic, so much information collated in one place, and incredibly valuable.


“EcoPlan delivered on an actionable, achievable strategy.”

Andrew Hutchison, Economic Development Officer, District of Lantzville


EcoPlan delivered on an actionable, achievable strategy unique to our community’s needs.

“An unqualified success.”

Jim Michals, Band Administrator, Quatsino First Nation


Well executed [North Island Tourism Forum]. An unqualified success.

“Great feedback on your facilitation of the day.”

Kelly Speck, Councillor, ‘Namgis First Nation


I have had positive feedback about the day. Look forward to reviewing the draft. William – great feedback on your facilitation of the day – not that I expected anything less.

“Using your service and working with you was always a pleasure.”

Dr. Gulelat Kebede, Former Head of Training and Capacity Branch and Urban Economics at United Nations: Habitat


Let me mention three of the reasons:

  1. Real partnership: Even when we were not fully clear or articulated on the final deliverables, you were able to help us sound out our ideas, and explore with us, the problem we want to solve, the options we have and best way to approach it. The open mindedness and listening capacity is great.
  2. Localization: Your tools are great and robust, but you do not apply them mechanically, rather as framework for process and you are good at tailoring it to the context.
  3. Capacity building: You design projects as a process of capacity building while providing excellent technical advice and reports. Though some might be fixated on preconceived ideas or quick fix solutions, especially at the beginning, by the end of the process, I am pretty sure that many have gained more than they expected from the self discovery and learning process. It has a strong empowering effect, although it can also be frustrating, when plans are not followed by actions and institutional changes, which is beyond what a short consultancy can do.


“I found working with your firm a very positive experience.”

Dr. Michael C. Klein, Order of Canada – MD, CM, CCFP,FAAP (Neonatal-Perinatal), FCFP,ABFP,FCPS


I found working with your firm a very positive experience. Your personal engagement, your skills as a facilitator, were instrumental in the success of our project. I would look forward to working with you again.