Team

Each year, members of the BC Coast Pilots elect an executive team who works with the general manager and staff to set and carry out the organization’s priorities. This year, the elected representatives of the BCCP are:
President: Captain Robin Stewart
Vice-President: Captain Roy Haakonson
Director: Captain Brad Taipalus
Director: Captain Steve Stangroom
Director: Captain Peter Koehle 
Captain Robin Stewart
BC Coast Pilots President

Captain Robin Stewart

BC Coast Pilots President

Born and raised on the west coast, Captain Robin Stewart feels most at home when he’s at sea. Realizing his passion for the water at a young age, he began his mariner career as a commercial diver and specimen collector for the Vancouver Aquarium at just 17. After graduating high school, he started a new gig as a commercial salmon fisher for JS McMillan and as a packer for the Canadian Fishing Company. Five years later, he switched gears, and spent over two decades navigating waterways on tugs from the Columbia River to Skagway, Alaska, where most trips were meant for moving fuel and self-loading log barges.

He was first introduced to the BC Coast Pilots while working for Tymac Launch Service, delivering that generation of pilots to the vessels. He appreciated their level of professionalism and individuality – something which he had not been exposed to in other areas of the profession. Twenty-two years later, he made the life-changing decision to begin a new adventure and apply as a BC Coast Pilot. With a successful application in hand, he officially became a part of the BCCP family in 2000. Robin has served one term as Director at Large for the company, and is currently in his second term as President of the BC Coast Pilots. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his five sons, and riding his motorcycle with his wife or other pilots.
"Safeguarding the waters of BC is our responsibility"
– Captain Robin Stewart
Roy Haakonson
BC Coast Pilots Vice-President

Roy Haakonson

BC Coast Pilots Vice-President

With 45 years of marine service under his belt, Captain Roy Haakonson is a seasoned mariner. He is honoured to serve as Vice President of the BC Coast Pilots, an organization which he has proudly been a part of for 17 years.

His call to sea came at the young age of 15, when he started his journey with the west coast fishing industry, followed by a handful of years spent in Beaufort Sea for oil and gas exploration. This experience eventually led him to study navigation at what is now the BCIT Marine campus in North Vancouver. Though he enjoyed his other time at sea, it was the memory of seeing pilots berthing ships at Alberta Wheat Pool with his father that drove him to submit an application to become what he always knew he wanted to be.

“Piloting makes a difference to the people and the environment of Canada every day”, he says. “It is that responsibility that, for me, makes piloting an extremely rewarding career.”

When he’s not at sea, you can find Roy spending time with his family or riding his motorcycle.
"Piloting makes a difference to the people and the environment of Canada every day.
It is that responsibility that, for me, makes piloting an extremely rewarding career."
– Roy Haakonson
Steve Stangroom
BC Coast Pilots Director

Steve Stangroom

BC Coast Pilots Director

Steve Stangroom’s father was the manager for Rivtow Marine in Kitimat. At the age of 15, he was drafted to clean and paint tugboats to keep him out of trouble. On the tugs, Steve had the opportunity to partake in ship assistance where he interacted and met many members of the BC Coast Pilots. They were extremely positive about the roles they played in ensuring the safe-keeping of BC’s west coast. Ultimately, becoming a part of a group at the forefront of protecting and ensuring the safe-keeping of Canada’s beautiful coastlines was the deciding factor for Steve in pursuing a career in pilotage.

Today, Steve has 45 years of experience as a mariner tasked with protecting BC’s pristine waterways and ecosystems. He has learned from many groups, including the BC Coast Pilots and management personnel from various associations related to the marine industry. His connections to contacts at Transport Canada, the Pacific Pilotage Authority and local governments has assisted in forming his career path as they passed along their experience in areas of decision making. This expertise was beneficial in forming Steve’s career path. Aside from being out on the ocean, Steve enjoys spending time with his daughters and grandchildren, as well as hunting and fishing. He feels extremely fortunate to be able to share his passion for the West Coast through the outdoor activities he partakes in with his family. 
"I started my marine career on a tugboat when I was 15. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s not all at the same place."
– Steve Stangroom
Peter Koehle
BC Coast Pilots Director

Peter Koehle

BC Coast Pilots Director

Peter Koehle has 30 years of marine experience and 18 years of experience as a BC Coast Pilot. He is currently serving his second term as director. Raised on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Peter was constantly surrounded by its thriving natural environment, home to a wide array of marine animals and species.

As someone who has always been drawn to the ocean, he chose to pursue a career in marine pilotage to assist in protecting the natural environment he has come to love and respect throughout the entirety of his life. Peter enjoys his position as a BC Coast pilot because it is both rewarding and challenging. On his spare time he can often be found hiking local trails along the North Shore with his family. He enjoys this because it is a way to take in and share all the natural beauty British Columbia has to offer with those he loves.  
"I have always been drawn to the ocean. I love that I have a job protecting the natural environment I have grown to respect so much."
– Peter Koehle
Brad Taipalus
BC Coast Pilots Director

Brad Taipalus

BC Coast Pilots Director

Brad Taipalus began his career in the marine industry when he was a teenager, working on commercial fishing vessels for approximately 10 years. Brad’s interest in pilotage was piqued during his time at BCIT when his classmate told him about being a marine pilot. At the time Brad decided to pursue this option, he didn’t realize how far the Pacific Pilotage Authority would propel his mariner career.

With over 40 years of experience, Brad is a seasoned mariner who has sharpened his skills operating many different vessels and designing new methods to incorporate technology. Ask him to tell you a story, and he might tell you five. As a director at the BC Coast Pilots, Brad oversees day-to-day operations and meets with industry stakeholders to offer his expertise in proposed or ongoing projects. When Brad isn’t out on the waters, he can often be found engaging in his passion for travel, skiing in the winter and riding his motorcycle in the summer.
"When I started on a commercial fishing vessel as a teenager and heard about a career in pilotage, I didn’t know how far I could go. Ask me to tell you a story"
– Brad Taipalus