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kelliKELLI EBBS – GENERAL MANAGER

Kelli Ebbs has been extensively involved with local food systems projects for 2 decades in both northern B.C. and Muskoka. In B.C, Kelli built and managed a locally-inspired restaurant which also served as a busy community hub, as well as established a local/organic nutrition program at Mt. Moresby Outdoor Education Centre, which welcomed all students in the region for forest stewardship education and exploration. In Ontario, Kelli worked for 2 years as Programs Manager with Savour Muskoka, building strong relationships with regional and northern producers and developing a deep understanding of the regional food system. This work led her to the conception and development of Muskoka North Good Food Co-operative, putting the power to build and own our regional food system into the hands of a co-operative community.  Kelli has been integral in the development of a popular Saturday Farmer’s Market, Muskoka’s Food and Agriculture Charter, various ongoing regional food and farming events, cooking education initiatives, and the Farmers in the Playground Program- a kitchen and garden education program for students on their own school grounds. Kelli has been a member of Sustain Ontario’s Edible Education Advisory Committee since 2012 and Sustain Ontario’s Food Literacy Advisory  Committee since 2013 and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Local Organic Food Co-op’s Network. Kelli’s full-time job as Advisor for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Student Nutrition Programs in Ontario and Manitoba for Breakfast Club Canada enables her to assist remote communities in building food literacy and food access projects to increase food security capacity. Kelli believes fundamentally, that collaboration and co-operation will build a robust local food economy and develop community resilience and participation- growing an inclusive, healthy and caring society.

Involved since : Nov 2013

 

kelly_pKELLY PICKEN – CHAIR

Kelly Picken has an extensive background in education, leadership and human resources. Growing up in Winnipeg, Kelly worked at the Winnipeg YMCA in the summers while teaching Phys. ed. in the winters. After pursuing her Master’s Degree in Science, she worked in a leadership capacity at Outward Bound Canada for 15 years. For the last 8 years of her time there, she was the Senior Director of the Eastern School based in Thunder Bay and Chetwynd, which included chairing the HR committee. After leaving OBC, Kelly returned to the public school system, first as a teacher and then as the Vice-principal of Huntsville Public School. She is currently a Vice-principal at Huntsville High School. Kelly is still involved in environmental education and was instrumental in introducing the Farmers in the Playground program to Huntsville Public School. Kelly has board experience as one of the staff representatives on the OBC Board, as well as involvement with the board of the Manitoba Camping Association, the Canadian Camping Association and the Winnipeg YM/YWCA.  Kelly’s family also grows vegetables and fruit trees, and raises honeybees and chickens.

Involved since : Nov 2013

 

craigCRAIG NAKAMOTO – VICE CHAIR

Craig obtained a Bachelor of Math in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, with electives in french and conflict resolution, at the University of Waterloo.  After working for several large Canadian companies learning all aspects of information technology, Craig spent a year working for a small Ottawa IT company and discovered his love for consulting and working with small businesses.   During this time he lived in Waterloo, Kitchener, Ottawa and Calgary.  After working for one year in Toronto in 2001 with Ernst & Young as a management consultant, Craig and two friends started the company that Craig still works for today.

Craig’s volunteer experience includes teaching for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, chairing the Rockcliffe Public School parent council, coaching kids’ soccer, teaching and helping with school field trips, helping with local sports events, etc.  As a member of the Parry Sound / Muskoka Beekeepers Association for the last three years, Craig has started a foray in to beekeeping which includes keeping his own bee hives and building awareness within the Muskoka community about honeybees and other pollinators.  Craig believes strongly in a sustainable local food economy and is looking forward to helping the co-op open their doors.

Involved since : Aug 2015

 

STEVE LAVIGNE – TREASURER

Steve is a Certified Financial Planner and is the Division Director of Investors Group in Muskoka. Steve has managed the Investors Group offices in Huntsville and Bracebridge since 2008. Prior to joining Investors Group in 2007, Steve held several management positions at Algonquin Automotive as well as Magna International. Steve graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology specializing in Ergonomics. Steve is also the treasurer of Huntsville minor hockey. The Investors Group office is also involved in fundraising for the meeting place for growth and healing, which supports a mental health counselling program for teens at Muskoka high schools. Steve is married to Deanna and they are raising two teenage sons. Steve is currently restoring a car with his youngest son in their spare time.

Involved since : Apr 2016

 

JuliaJULIA SUTTON – SECRETARY

Julia has coordinated environmental community development programs and projects for over seven years, after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and International Development and a post graduate certificate in Ecosystem Restoration. As part of her work, Julia has been responsible for report writing, event planning and execution, communications with all stakeholders and volunteers, completing field studies and stream restoration projects, developing program budgets and obtaining funding.  Julia is currently the sole proprietor of Sutton Environmental Services and is contracted for workshop facilitation, report writing, shoreline naturalization projects and fisheries work. Julia also works as the Coordinator for the Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council, helping to develop and re-build the not-for-profit organization. Julia believes that environment and food systems are integral, and her other passion is growing food and building support for producers and locally grown and produced goods. In 2014, Julia worked as the Sustainable New Agri-Food Products Program Coordinator for Muskoka, Parry Sound and Sudbury, connecting with many local producers in the region. She sits on the Northeastern Ontario New Farm Network Advisory Committee and is a member of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Julia is a small-scale farmer and has been growing vegetables organically for over seven years, with a recent expansion into livestock.

Involved since : Nov 2013

 

lauraLAURA GILMOUR – DIRECTOR

Laura has been involved with raising animals and growing food since her early childhood, on her grandparents’ farm. Laura obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and spent several years volunteering at various permaculture farms, environmental education centers and wilderness schools. Laura is a known expert in native plant identification, and she worked for many years as the Terrestrial Ecologist at Riverstone Environmental Services Ltd., where she was responsible for analyzing and reporting on ecological components for a variety of projects and writing reports. She is currently the sole proprietor of Muskoka Wild Botanicals, a food and herbal medicine business. She also teaches naturalist and wilderness skills programs through a number of not-for-profit organizations, including The Pine Project.

Involved since : Nov 2013

 

DEREK TUTT, DIRECTOR

Derek Tutt spent much of his early years in the workforce in retail and wholesale environments, as well as working as a technician for many years. He never found much personal satisfaction in those endeavours. When he was in his early thirties, Derek made a decision to radically change his life by pursuing a university education. Having always had an interest in social justice and social equity issues, Derek completed a Master’s degree in Social Work that specialized in community development and social planning. Derek worked as a front line social worker for many years before moving into management and administration about ten years ago. In that role, Derek has been involved in a wide range of agency and community wide initiatives where he has been counted on to demonstrate leadership and collaboration. Currently, Derek is completing the LEADS in a Caring Environment leadership training program.

Involved since : Aug 2015

 

LOUISE PARKINSON, DIRECTOR

Louise Parkinson’s background is in education where she taught elementary and middle school for many years. She then spent 10 years in adult education teaching adult literacy and later, teacher education. She has always been community minded and heavily involved in community projects including starting and running a shelter for homeless women and founding a literary festival which she also ran for many years. She has also sat on numerous other committees and boards and is trained in consensus decision making, conflict resolution and cultural competency. Louise has a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and now runs her own private psychotherapy practice. She is also a certified yoga and mindfulness instructor.

Involved since : Aug 2015

 

SAM ALLARD, DIRECTOR

Samantha is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, she works with people who are ready to enhance their health through a clean whole foods approach. Samantha is excited to shop the aisles of the MNGFC for wholesome sustainable food for herself and to guide her clients to weight loss, increased energy and balanced blood sugar. Samantha has an honours degree in Outdoor Recreation and Leisure Studies with over 10 years’ experience in the outdoor education and recreation industry as a wilderness guide and outdoor facilitator. She is also a Red Cross First Aid Instructor and volunteer fire fighter. Her philosophy is a holistic approach to a happy healthy lifestyle, in which food plays a major role. She facilitates educational workshops around nutrition and food. Her passion for food education stems from observing health and weight as being major barriers to outdoor recreation, and through studying nutrition discovered it is the fault of the food system. The most effective solution is strengthening our local food system and becoming empowered by the knowledge of where our food comes from and what’s in it. For more information about Samantha or to learn how to work with her visit her website: www.samanthawellness.com.

Involved since : Aug 2015

 

sueSUE SMITH – ADVISOR

An experienced grower, Sue Smith is head of the producer committee, creating a link between producers and the co-op, ensuring quality product, standards and fair exchange. Sue is part of the “Farmers in the Playground” team, guiding Kids at various schools in growing: passion for healthy food, self reliance, gardening skills and of course vegetables and fruit. She believes in owning your food and your health.

 

kelly_hKELLY HAYWOOD – ADVISOR

Kelly is Executive Director of The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce. Kelly offers unconditional guidance on NFP organizational structure, Board Fiduciary Duty, and Human Resources management. Kelly’s belief in MNGFC’s model and values reflect in her support co-op events, meetings, and communication dissemination.

 

kristenKRISTEN SZYKOLUK – ADVISOR & GRAPHICS DESIGN

Kristen owns and is the head designer of Client First Web Design & Graphics, a local website and graphic design company. Kristen offers the co-op ongoing assistance with marketing, graphic design projects such as logos, website design, postcards and other advertising materials. Kristen highly believes in the MNGFC mission, and therefore is dedicated to seeing the co-op succeed.

 

morganMORGAN RICHTER, YOUTH INTERN

Morgan Richter obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Development with a specialization in Rural and Agricultural Studies from the University of Guelph. Growing up in Huntsville, Morgan has a deep connection with the community and has a drive for creativity and community development. Morgan had spent several years volunteering with various organizations including Girl Guides of Canada for the past 18 years. This organization took her to Europe for 8 months. Morgan’s passion lies in sustainability within the North American food regime – food security is at the forefront of her interest. Morgan has been with the Co-op for just under a year and is extremely excited to start her professional career with the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op!

Involved since : April 2015