Biographies

Anupama Joshi

Executive Director National Farm to School Network (US)

Anupama Joshi is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of the National Farm to School Network in the US. Ms. Joshi co-founded the organization in 2007, which serves as an information, networking, and advocacy hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing as well as food and agriculture education into school systems and preschools.

For two decades, Ms. Joshi has engaged with nutrition, agriculture, and food systems issues around the world. She has worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Pesticide Action Network, served on the boards of FoodCorps and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and co-authored a book entitled Food Justice.

Barb Finley

Executive Director and Founder Project CHEF

Barb Finley is the Executive Director and Founder of Project CHEF: Cook Healthy Edible Food, a non-profit society that runs elementary school and community programs. Project CHEF has taught more than 10,000 children and their families about wholesome food choices and how to make them. An educator, chef, and a passionate advocate for teaching children how to cook, Barb has raised the bar in culinary education.

Barbara Riley

Executive Director of the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact

Barbara Riley, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, a pan-Canadian platform for engaged scholarship to prevent cancers and other chronic diseases. She  has worked as an engaged scholar for over 20 years, with most emphasis on evaluating complex public health interventions, examining scaling up processes, and strengthening knowledge, mobilization and partnerships – all using a systems change perspective. Barbara serves in many advisory roles, including Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel, the Population Health Intervention Research Initiative for Canada, and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the International Obesity Task Force.

Barbara Zupko

Senior Manager, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact

Barbara Zupko is a Senior Manager at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo with over 15 years’ experience in public health planning, policy development, and evaluation. Barbara has managed evaluation research in the areas tobacco control, and chronic disease prevention and is currently one of the evaluators of the Nourishing School Communities initiative.

Ben Kramer

Chef and Co- Founder Diversity Food Services, University of Winnipeg

A Co-founder of Diversity Food Services, Chef Ben Kramer brings an accomplished background and a life-time passion for vibrant sustainable regional food systems to his work. Consistent with the philosophy at Diversity, Ben cooks with as many local, organically grown ingredients as possible. His efforts to educate, and advocate about eco-friendly food industry practices has had a transformative impact on student plates.

Betti Wiggins

Executive Director, Office of School Nutrition, Detroit Public Schools
In her role as executive director of the Office of School Nutrition for Detroit Public Schools, Betti Wiggins administers and manages all federally funded child nutrition programs in 141 public and private schools. She has also worked in various other american school districts and has worked for the private sector. Betti has a nutrition degree from Wayne State University and pursued graduate studies at the University of Minnesota.

Colleen Thorpe

 M. Env. Senior Project Manager, Sustainability, Equiterre

Colleen Thorpe has extensive knowledge of the various sustainable development issues and the challenges related to the implementation of environmental and social practices. A graduate of environmental management studies and also of journalism studies, she has been with Équiterre since 2008 and has carried out sustainability projects in companies, in institutions and in municipal and community settings. More recently she has been leading projects that aim to increase local procurement in the institutional sector.

David Jones

MD, MHSc, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Board member
David Jones, MD,  was Canada’s first chief public health officer from 2004 to 2014. He is a researcher as well as a professor in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine and the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. From 1995 to 2002, David was chief medical health officer and executive director of the Population Health and Primary Health Services Branches for the Province of Saskatchewan.

In 2010, David was the recipient of the Robert Davies Defries Award, the highest honour presented by the Canadian Public Health Association, recognizing outstanding contributions in the field of public health. In August 2014, he received the Canadian Medical Association’s Medal of Service and in September 2014, the Public health Agency of Canada announced the creation of a Leadership Award in Public Health in his honour.

Debbie Field

Directrice générale, FoodShare Toronto

Debbie Field is the Executive Director at FoodShare and represents community development on Student Nutrition Toronto, a multi-stakeholder partnership supporting 175,000 students having a healthy meal daily. FoodShare works to increase access, knowledge and consumption of vegetables and fruits through community led projects in schools and neighbourhoods in which 263,000 participate. Debbie came to FoodShare after helping to organize a lunch program at her children’s school.

Elder Joe McGregor

Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory
Joe McGregor is sub-chief of the Turtle Clan from Kahnawà:ke Territory. Joe is a husband, father and grandfather; he as been a small scale farmer much of his life, and he is a Kahnawà:ke community radio personality, specifically speaking in the Mohawk language. Joe is viewed by many as healer and seer who has also worked with other communities to provide knowledge of the traditional teachings.

François Blais

MNA for Charlesbourg, Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research, Minister responsible for Recreation and Sport
François Blais holds a bachelor’s degree in social service from Université Laval and a master’s degree and a PhD from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He engaged in postdoctoral studies at the Centre de recherche en droit public at the Université de Montréal and was subsequently hired as a professor in the political science department at Université Laval in 1992. From 2003 to 2006, he served as director of the department, then from 2006 to 2014 as dean of the Faculté des sciences sociales at Université Laval, which has over 5 000 students in five departments and two schools. François Blais was elected MNA for Charlesbourg riding on April 7, 2014. Before his current mandate, he was Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity.

Hélène Dufresne

Chairperson of the Board, Équiterre
Hélène participated in the development and promotion of the Cirque du Soleil from 1984 to 1998 and collaborated in different capacities to the recreo-touristic project of Le Massif in the Charlevoix region from 2003 to 2013. She is also chairperson of the board of  the Fondation Dufresne et Gauthier since its establishment in 2011. Her wish to live in a world built on cultural diversity and sustainability, founded on respect, trust and support is visible through involvement.

Hon. Serge Rousselle, Q.C. (Queen’s Council)

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Attorney General, New Brunswick

Serge Rousselle, Q.C., was first elected to the Legislative Assembly on September 22, 2014. He holds undergraduate degrees in political science and law from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge and a Doctor of Law from McGill University. Prior to his entry into politics he was a professor at the Université de Moncton law faculty from 1992 to 2014 and also served as dean from 2000 to 2004.

Isabelle St-Germain

Senior Director, Équiterre

Isabelle has been actively participating in the development of Équiterre since 1998. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. Isabelle coordinated the development and implementation of all of Équiterre’s education and demonstration projects. She has notably initiated and developed awareness campaigns, led environmental demonstration projects and coordinated the production of many reference documents. Parallel to these projects, Isabelle acts as spokesperson for Équiterre promoting the organisation, seeking funding opportunities and developing new projects and strategic partnerships.

Jennifer Yessis

PhD, Researcher & program evaluation specialist, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact

Jennifer Yessis is a scientist at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at University of Waterloo. Her research is focused on school community interventions particularly related to school food environments. Jennifer has over ten years of experience in evaluation and applied research in the private sector.  Jennifer also holds a credentialed evaluator designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society.

Jessie-Lee McIsaac

PhD, Applied Research Collaborations for Health, Dalhousie University
Jessie-Lee McIsaac is a postdoctoral fellow at the Dalhousie University Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre funded by a Career Development Award from Canadian Cancer Research Institute. Her research focuses on supporting knowledge-to-action through evaluating policy interventions to support healthy eating by collaborating with government, schools and other partners. She has taught a health promotion graduate course in evaluation and measurement.

Joanne Bays

National Manager, Farm to Cafeteria Canada

Joanne Bays is well known within public health and sustainable food system sectors in Canada and internationally. Joanne co-founded and chaired HEALBC – Canada’s first northern food policy council. She co-founded BC Healthy Communities. She established and held the first provincial Farm to School position within Canada. She has overseen the establishment of hundreds of F2S programs across the nation. In 2011, she co-founded Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) - a pan-Canadian network championing activity to get more healthy, local, and sustainable foods into public institutions.

Judith Barry

Director, National Programs, Breakfast Clubs of Canada

Judith Barry has been fueled by desire to create social change since her twenties. She cofounded the Club des petits déjeuners du Québec in 1994, a non-profit with the mission to ensure every child receives a nutritious breakfast in a nourishing environment. Judith played a pivotal role in founding the Breakfast Club of Canada in 2005 and is Director of National Programs.

Kim Raine

PhD, RD, Professor, University of Alberta, Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health
Kim Raine, PhD, is Professor in the School of Public Health, University of Alberta. Her research focuses on exploring population interventions to address healthy weights. From 2008 to 2013 she held an Applied Public Health Chair. She served as President of the Alberta Public Health Association from 2009 to 2012, and was a inaugural member of the advisory board of the CIHR’s Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes from 2001 to 2006. She has published over 130 peer reviewed articles, and has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences.

Lesley James

Senior Health Policy Analyst, Heart and Stroke Foundation

Lesley James has worked in health policy and health promotion for 10 years. She is currently the Senior Health Policy Analyst at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Lesley has a Masters in Public Health and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Public Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in England. Her research looks at the contextual factors influencing Canada’s policy response to healthy eating and disease prevention.

Mark Holland

Member of Parliament for the riding of Ajax
Mark Holland is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Ajax. Mark also served as an MP from 2004 to 2011 and during his tenure, he held several high profile portfolios, including Liberal Critic for Natural Resources and Critic for Public Safety and National Security. From 2011 to 2015 Mark worked at the Heart and Stroke Foundation as the Executive Director of the Ontario Mission and National Director of Children and Youth. At the Foundation Mark was responsible for overseeing government relations and advocacy towards the provincial government as well as managing the children and youth national portfolio.

Mary McKenna

PhD, RD, Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick
Mary McKenna, PhD, RD, is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton and a Registered Dietitian.  She teaches courses in nutrition and health promotion, conducts research on school nutrition policies, and works with various Canadian groups to promote healthy eating in schools.

Meredith Hayes

Student Nutrition and School Program Senior Manager, FoodShare Toronto

Meredith Hayes has designed and delivered countless workshops for teachers, community members and students of all ages, launching some of FoodShare’s signature events including The Great Big Crunch. Meredith was a founding member of the Ontario Edible Education Network, Farm to Cafeteria Canada and the Coalition for Healthy School Food. She is dedicated to advocating for Universal Student Nutrition Programs and food literacy education for all students.

Michael Robidoux

PhD, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, Indigenous Health Research Group

Michael Robidoux is a Professor at University of Ottawa who works with a multidisciplinary research team focused on local dietary and physical practices in remote First Nations communities in northern Canada and other international settings. The common goal of the research is to understand how local dietary strategies may contribute to improved health and can thrive within this global environment.

Michael Yarymowich

Manager of Sustainability, Higher Education, Aramark Canada
Michael’s epiphany moment occurred in 2007 after reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Working as an accountant in the foodservice industry at the time, Michael went back to school at Royal Roads University to learn how Sustainability and Food Security might fit into today’s institutional supply chain. Currently he is applying that knowledge to bring more responsibly sourced foods to students across Canada.

Micheline Turnau

Program Manager, Heart and Stroke Foundation

Micheline Turnau has been with the Heart and Stroke Foundation for 14 years in the department of Research Advocacy and Health Promotion. Most recently Micheline has taken on the National role of Program Manager, School Nutrition initiative. She has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from York University and Master’s Diploma in Policy and Program Evaluation from Carleton University.

Monique Potvin Kent

PhD, Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences

Monique Potvin Kent, PhD, is a Replacement and Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa in the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences. She has a PhD in Population Health, a Master’s degree in Psychology, and Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Political Science. Monique currently conducts research on policies that influence childhood obesity rates. For the past 7 years, she has been examining the volume and healthfulness of food and beverage marketing directed at children in Canada.

Murielle Vrins

Project Manager, Institutional Food Procurement, Équiterre
Murielle Vrins focuses her energies in awareness-raising  and public education about local, organic and fair-trade food. She is a graduate in environmental science and has been with Équiterre for the past 12 years. Murielle works with Quebec institutions to increase the share of local and sustainable foods in their menus. Through various projects with childcare centres, schools , health institutions and universities, she has mobilized a large number of these environments and worked with producers , suppliers and food concessions to facilitate procurement of local food.

Oliver de Volpi

Executive Chef, Operations and Sustainability, Food and Dining Services, McGill University
Oliver de Volpi is the executive chef for McGill University in charge of operations and sustainability. He has been with McGill for a little over six years during which time McGill has re-invented its food service and has become a leader across Canada for sustainability with its work in local procurement, sustainable seafood policy and fair trade campus designation.

Patrick Henderson

TFA Director, Terroir Foods & Agri Marketing

Originally from Belgium, Patrick Henderson is the manager of the Really Local Harvest Co-op’s Farm to Cafeteria Initiative, distributing local products to 51 schools in southeastern New-Brunswick. Patrick developed several businesses in both Belgium and France before moving to Canada with his family in 2005 to establish la Fromagerie Au Fond Des Bois.  He operated this goat cheese production farm for seven years before embarking on the adventure of developing Really Local’s institutional local food distribution project.

Ruthie Burd

Founder of the Lunch Lady Group Inc.

Ruthie Burd believed that most busy parents did not enjoy packing school lunches when she started the Lunch Lady in 1993. She was right! Today the Lunch Lady delivers thousands of meals to kids in nearly 1300 schools in 4 provinces through a network of dedicated franchise partners who love supporting healthier school food environments in their own communities.

Sharon Brodovsky

Social Impact Strategist, YMCA

Sharon Brodovsky is a social impact strategist with over two decades of experience. As a developer, facilitator and evaluator of collaborative social strategies, she has deep knowledge and experience working in private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Sharon has held several senior positions in policy and strategy development, evaluation and stakeholder engagement.

Stéphane Veyrat

Director, Un Plus Bio
Trained as an agronomist, co-founder of the concept "Manger Bio (Eating organic)", Stéphane Veyrat has been a major player in bringing organic food to institutional public food services for more than 20 years. He supports numerous programs which aim to improve children's menus. Technical advisor and funder of the film "Nos enfants nous accuseront (Our children will accuse us) ", he works on a daily basis to make organic and local food accessible to all.

Steve Golob

Resident Chef, Vanier Place Dining Hall, University of British Columbia

Steve Golob is a Red Seal chef and a graduate of George Brown College’s Culinary program in Toronto, Ontario. He is the Residence Chef with UBC, directing the Place Vanier Dining Hall – recognized internationally for meals that include high quality direct from the farm ingredients. Steve takes great pride and pleasure in his work with students and media to galvanize the local food movement on Canadian campuses.

Steve Manske

PhD, Senior Scientist, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact

Steve Manske is a Senior Scientist at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo. Steve partners closely with policy, practice and research leaders to reduce chronic disease. He gathers evidence to support the implementation and spread of population interventions for nutrition and physical activity. His work includes a special focus on healthy school communities.

Wayne Roberts

PhD, Food policy analyst and writer

Wayne Roberts, PhD., is a leading thinker and practitioner in the field of innovative local and urban food systems. He has managed the Toronto Food Policy Council and served on the boards of several food system non-profits across North America. He also authored three books – Real Food for a Change (1998); The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food (2012, 2013); and Food for City Building: A Field Guide for Planners, Actionists and Entrepreneurs (2014).

Yannick Saindon

Marketing advisor - Food service, Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ)
Yanick Saindon has been a development officer for the Quebec government for a dozen years. He holds the position of marketing advisor in the food service network at  the Market Access Division of the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ). In keeping with the Ministry’s strategy to position «Aliments du Quebec» in the institutional market , he is responsible for the identification of Quebec food products in the lists of distributors. He holds a BA in management science with a specialization in marketing and finance. He also holds a graduate diploma  in innovation management in SMEs.