Faith & the Common Good has been operating successfully for almost 20 years thanks to the passion, hard work, and talent of its terrific team of staff, board members, and volunteers in many cities and regions. We are pleased to introduce you to members of our team. We hope these brief intros provide a snapshot of the heart and soul behind our mission!
Regeneration Works Advisor
Andrew is one of the key advisors to our Regeneration Works: Places of Faith program. With a rich background in technology, marketing, strategic planning, social enterprise, and business development, Andrew adapts proven organizational methodologies to fit the context of faith communities, small businesses and non-profits. Andrew is the founder of Lighthouse Communications, a growing and multi-faceted consultancy that fosters organizational innovation in churches, non-profits and commercial enterprises.
Born and raised in Uzbekistan, Azim Shamshiev holds undergraduate degree in regional economics from the National University of Uzbekistan. In 2003, he received full scholarship from the Central European University in Hungary to undertake his master’s education in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy. Upon earning his MSc degree, he stayed with the same department for his doctoral studies. His research explores the link between Sufi thought and environmental ethics.
In 2008, Azim migrated to Canada where he continued working on his doctoral research. He has also been actively involved as volunteer with the Intercultural Dialogue Institute which is a non- profit organization promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue among individuals and communities. In 2012, he was appointed to the staff of the organization as co-director for the Greater Toronto Area.
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko
Communications Coordinator & Hamilton Animator
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Beatrice is unafraid to test boundaries in order to make a difference. Working through Environment Hamilton, Beatrice Ekoko co-ordinates FCG Communications and the GSS program for the Hamilton area.
Her breadth of experience as a communBEATRICEity animator, educator, capacity builder, and motivator adds huge value to the entire GSS team’s efforts. Beatrice’s work this year focuses on supporting faith groups in their roles as leaders in local food security involvement in the face of climate change. Beatrice is also facilitating opportunities for youth to engage in eco-projects and sustainability. She is famous in our network for helping us to “think out of the box.” (Some of us old farts need more help then others!) We often turn to her when we want to test out new ideas on how to encourage faith communities to embrace sustainable change. Through new uses of video, social media or by encouraging new types of partnerships, Beatrice brings originality, efficiency and enthusiasm to whatever work she does. She is an invaluable source of fresh ideas to invigorate and strengthen our interfaith sustainability mission. Thanks Beatrice for your hard work and innovation!
Co-Founder & Board Member
Board member and FCG co-founder Bill Phipps was Moderator of the United Church from 1997 to 2000. During that time he initiated the “Moderator’s Consultation of Faith and the Economy”, out of which grew Faith & the Common Good.
With degrees in both Theology and Law, he has practiced poverty law in Toronto, and served United Church congregations in Toronto and Calgary. Throughout his working life he has been involved in social justice, relations with First Nations, poverty, and grass roots community organizing. Bill has represented the United Church in many places including Southern Sudan, Guatemala, El Salvador, Israel, Palestine, Congo, Philippines, and East Timor. He gives theme presentations and workshops on Climate Change, Economic justice, Living into Right Relations with First Nations, and believes that at the core of issues facing Mother Earth and humankind are deep spiritual realities and issues.
Currently a retired minister of the United Church of Canada, these days you may find Bill preaching on climate justice in Mississauga, attending the Sacred Water Circle in Peterborough, the Healing Water Walk in Fort McMurray, attending a meeting in Faith & the Common Good board meeting in Toronto, presenting at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in Edmonton, or attending a book launch in Yellowknife.
Bill Phipps lives in Calgary with his writer wife, Carolyn Pogue. He and Carolyn have children and grandchildren in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, and Toronto.
Christopher Hrynkow earned a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba and a Th.D. in Christian Ethics, specializing in Ecological Ethics, awarded jointly by the University of Toronto, the University of St. Michael’s College, and the Toronto School of Theology. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Culture at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan where he teaches courses in Religious Studies, Catholic Studies, and Critical Perspectives on Social Justice and the Common Good. Hrynkow has been researching and teaching about Christianity’s relationship to ecological thought and praxis since 2001. He is the proud father of three boys: Samuel, Jacob, and Gavin.
Fossil Free Faith Coordinator & Vancouver Animator
A community organizer, activist, and communicator, Christine is the Minister of Community Life at Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace, on unceded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver. She spearheads our Fossil Free Faith climate justice initiative and is helping BC faith communities connect with our faith-based environmental support network.
Christine grew up in the United Church of Canada, and has an BSc in Urban Agriculture and First Nations Studies from UBC and an MA in ‘Religious Leadership for Social Change’ from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She was ordained in the United church in May 2017. Previously she lead strategic communications at the Columbia Institute and their Centre for Civic Governance.
After receiving a degree in environmental studies, David completed his architectural degree at the University of Waterloo and established his practice in June 1978. He has since received a special designation as a building biologist and continues to consult for new construction and alterations designing healthy sustainable places. David convened the first ever Healthy Buildings Conference at the University of Waterloo’s school of architecture in May 2005 and speaks regularly on the subject. He is a former member of Guelph’s Green Plan Steering Committee, Guelph LACAC and former board member Grand Valley Society of Architects.
J. David McAuley Architect Inc. specializes in community related buildings including health care and wellness facilities, worship facilities, specialized housing including shelters and hostels and educational and heritage projects. Their holistic focus encourages the use of not just sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings products, but also products that will enhance the health of the building’s occupants.
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David Patterson is Faith & the Common Good’s energy coordinator. He is a no-nonsense, pragmatist when it comes to greening faith buildings. This is why faith property managers and green team leaders throughout our network hold him in such high regard. An expert on renewable energy and energy efficiency, his main message to faith communities: you can’t change what you don’t measure.
David has been consulting through his company, Proterra Sustainable Solutions Inc. since 2007. He has performed over 60 audits of faith buildings for Greening Sacred Spaces’ Green Audit and Solar Audit programs and has also planned and coordinated the installation of multiple geothermal, wind and solar systems on private dwellings including a 9.6 kW ground mounted solar tracking unit for the microFIT program in Haliburton County. Prior to working in the green arena, David spent 5 years as systems and project manager at CIBC Wood Gundy’s head office in Toronto. David and his wife and son live in Thornhill, Ontario.
Donna is the Toronto Coordinator for Greening Sacred Spaces, where she has helped over 200 faith communities in Toronto go green. She brings an entrepreneurial spirit and business sensibility to her work with Toronto area faith communities, which comes in handy when she is persuading faith based property managers and trustees of the financial and community benefits of energy efficient retrofits. Most recently, she has taken on the project lead role for Faith & the Common Good’s work promoting the role of diverse faith communities in helping their neighborhoods adapt to climate induced extreme weather events.
Prior to Greening Sacred Spaces, she was a Senior Vice President at Forum Research Inc. for 10 years, where her area of practice was Customer Relationship Marketing and Measurement. She has been in the environmental not-for-profit sector for 5 years and has worked with Evergreen, Environmental Defence and Faith & the Common Good. She has Bachelor of Arts in French and Journalism from Carleton University.
Emma Norton is a graduate of the University of King’s College, Halifax with a combined honours degree in Environment, Sustainability, and Society and International Development Studies. Motivated by social justice and climate change, she strives for a fossil fuel free electricity grid in Atlantic Canada, where energy is affordable for all. She works to create grassroots momentum to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to increase energy literacy. At the Ecology Action Centre, Emma has been coordinating the Culture of Efficiency Project since 2012. She is currently pursuing her interest in Building Science and Net Zero Building Design through certifications, while simultaneously using her skills, passion, and knowledge in the Culture of Efficiency Project. The Culture of Efficiency helps local non-profits and faith communities plan for energy efficiency retrofits in order reduce carbon emissions, energy bills, and increase resources to their services and building comfort.
An international consultant (MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding, 2013, B.Eng. Engineering Physics,1982), Garth has served posts in Uganda and Vietnam participating in development work, investigating projects, developing proposals, reviewing policies and identifying strategies while researching organizational partnerships, governance, and development effectiveness. He participated in an investigation in Chile related to an ongoing land conflict between the government, forestry industry and the Mapuche people. His recent service also includes work as Executive Director of Partners for Prosperity and as a consultant with its board of directors.
Prior to his work in international development Garth worked as an Executive and Relationship Coach. For over 20 years Garth served in IT sector positions beginning as a Software Analyst and eventually serving as Managing Director of North American Technology Services for an international consulting organization. He has facilitated workshops and spoken on various subjects including Project Management, using technology, Developing A Sustainable Culture and developing a non-Conflict Approach to Change using Creativity and Peaceful Communication.
Garth serves as a board member for Faith and the Common Good and has served in many volunteer roles throughout his career.
York Region Coordinator
Harry is the Program Manager for the ClimateWise Business Network at the Windfall Ecology Centre. In the areas of sustainability and climate change action, Harry specializes in facilitating collaborative solutions focused on enhancing community well being and improving business productivity. Harry draws from a wealth of experiences in the public, private and not for profit sectors. He was an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ontario government , a Vice President of Planning in at the York Region based, national consulting firm Marshall Macklin Monaghan , Director Community Power Services Group at the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and a Research Director at the Conference Board of Canada.
Sr. Janet Speth joined the board of Faith & the Common Good in 2014 and acts as our board treasurer.
As a Sister of St. Joseph of Toronto for over 35 years, Janet brings a deep spirituality steeped in her order’s charisma of unity in diversity.
Janet has 30 years of diverse experience in health care as a physiotherapist. At Providence Centre, she re-established the Adjuvant Department for patient activation programs. In Northern Ontario, she facilitated the re-establishment of physiotherapy services for aboriginal healthcare. At Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) she provided professional leadership through three hospital mergers. Throughout her career, she has had rich experiences of facilitation, and ongoing education in leadership training, conflict management and communication, including the program, Courage to Lead.
Since her retirement in 2006, she continues to actively engage in justice oriented activities and in women’s issues. She recently completed studies at Sophia Centre, in Oakland California, grounding her in eco-spirituality and offering a new consciousness so necessary to bridging environmental concerns with faith, spirituality and discipleship. She earned her Masters of Divinity from the Toronto School of Theology (University of Toronto) and her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Western Ontario.
Karen Van Loon
‘Cultivating Care for Our Common Home’ Coordinator
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Karen Van Loon joined Faith & the Common Good in 2018 to lead the new Cultivating Care for Our Common Home program. Karen was the Coordinator of Scarboro Missions’ Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Office where she became involved in the initial years of Faith & the Common Good. From 2007 to 2017 the JPIC Office emphasized faith-based education and advocacy around climate change as well as promoting ecologically sustainable practices at Scarboro Missions and beyond. Karen joined Scarboro Missions in 1994 and worked four years in northern Brazil after which she returned to Canada to begin in the JPIC Office. In Brazil she trained local leaders and helped develop a local leadership and formation team as part of the Brazilian Catholic church’s community health ministry for children in poverty. Prior to this Karen had worked as a nurse in two northern Cree and Inuit communities as well as director of a residential summer camp for people with developmental disabilities. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Karen enjoys gardening and seed saving.
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Katherine Forster is the new Community Animator for the National-Capital Region in Eastern Ontario. Prior to this new position at Faith & The Common Good, she worked at various level of government as both a program manager and project coordinator for sustainability initiatives. More recently she’s been involved with several local not-for-profits including Friends of Petrie Island, the Ottawa Bird Count and Transition Ottawa. She’s coordinated community-level grass roots projects such as the Ottawa Urban Wild Tours to national government projects for sustainable urban transportation. Her desire to promote urban ecology and local sustainability will benefit local faith communities who wish to increase the sustainability of their congregations both inside and out. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and their pet cat, practices meditation and enjoys gardening.
Regeneration Works Advisor
Kendra brings a wealth of experience to her role as advisor to our Regeneration Works: Places of Faith program. Kendra is currently the General Manager for Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts, a unique professional music venue, community centre, school and daycare and active united church in downtown Toronto. She is in a one of a kind position that acts on behalf of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church to manage their facilities and their relationships with tenants, casual renters and external stakeholders.
York Region Energy Benchmarking Animator
Kirthan Sathananthan is the Member Services Coordinator for ClimateWise Business Network. He is excited to work with Faith & the Common Good to help York Region congregations become more sustainable. Kirthan has several years of experience helping businesses reach their environmental goals. He is a strong believer that businesses and other organizations can embrace sustainability while improving their bottom line. He holds a Bachelor in Environmental Studies from York University and a graduate certificate in Green Business Management from Seneca College.
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Kristina Inrig is a sustainability entrepreneur extraordinaire. A former program director at Greening Sacred Spaces, she is currently advising Faith & the Common Good on the strategic development of its Ottawa Chapter and brings important skills in green social enterprise to the endeavor.
Kristina has provided extensive consultation services in the environmental non-profit sector. She is the past Executive Director of Tucker House Renewal Centre and her main non-profit roles have included networking, partnership development, fundraising, NGO management, and governance. Kristina was the founding Coordinator of the National Capital Environmental Non-profit Network (NCENN) and the Community Energy Network of Eastern Ontario which are two collaborations of Sustainable Eastern Ontario (www.sustainableeasternontario.ca) , a local hub for sustainability across the region.
Kristina has recently launched a new financial services business with a focus on promoting “Sustainable Financial Solutions for families”. She is the President & Board Chair of Sustainable Foundations Inc. (www.sustainablefoundations.ca), a green real estate firm and environmental consulting company. SFI develops green rental properties across Eastern Ontario.
Laura has worked in community development and adult literacy for the federal and provincial governments for the past 38 years. For the last 14 yeas, Laura has been an active member of Kitchener Food Not Bombs, a collective that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded, and shares it outdoors at Kitchener City Hall every Saturday as a way of protesting waste, war, and poverty.
In 2013 Laura, along with Nicole Langlois, Tanya Schmah, and Judy Paul, formed Divest Waterloo, a grassroots organization committed to climate justice. Divest Waterloo works in solidarity with local and national Indigenous land defenders to create awareness and action on climate change by initiating and supporting divestment (from fossil fuels) campaigns across Waterloo Region. Over the last four years Divest Waterloo has organized over twenty public education events, often in partnership with other environmental and justice groups to build capacity and create the political will for bold action to address the climate crisis.
Laura is presently working to establish a community co-operative kitchen in downtown Kitchener.
Laura started the role of Program Director for Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel Chapter in January 2018. Before joining the program she spent several years coordinating international
research projects, mainly focused on biological monitoring of endangered species as well as the many complex human-environment relationships that promote or deter positive conservation action. She has worked on stakeholder engagement and partnership development for environmental initiatives in many diverse communities in Europe, Central America, and here in Ontario.
Laura earned a BA Honours in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University, an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent at Brussels (Belgium), and an MSc in Marine Environmental Management from the University of York (UK). When not at work, she is usually off exploring natural spaces by hiking, herping, birding, and camping.
Toronto Resilience Animator
Lidia is the former Executive Director of FutureWatch Environment and Development Education Partners, a leading organization in community based environmental and capacity building initiatives of the City of Toronto. Lidia trained in Argentina for seven years to become an architect and urban planner and came to Toronto from Paraguay in 1999. Since 2000, she has used her ability to engage with Toronto’s multicultural communities to form bridges with mainstream institutions. She has led projects related to urban naturalization, environmental protection, revitalization and community capacity building. She is known for bringing diversity and leadership to Canada’s environmental movement. After only four years of working in Toronto, her skills and talent were recognized when she received the Vital People Award, from the prestigious Toronto Foundation, for her outstanding community work.
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Lisa Seiler has been involved with Faith & the Common Good since early 2011, when she launched the Halton chapter of Greening Sacred Spaces. At the time, Lisa was Executive Director of the Halton Environmental Network. Lisa stepped down from that role in 2015 and soon after joined Faith & the Common Good as Network Coordinator. In that role, Lisa provides support to the local chapters, maintains the website, handles resource orders, and responds to general inquiries.
Lisa has an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo and worked as an actuary in the insurance industry before joining the non-profit world.
Lisa has lived in Oakville, Ontario with her family for the past 30 years or so.
LoriAnn Girvan has over 25 years of experience in cross-sectoral collaboration and community powered-planning in Canada, the United States and Africa. Her work spans policy, community engagement and social purpose real estate (SPRE), including the development of over $300 million of affordable housing and community infrastructure. Among her recent projects, she has supported the launch of the Canada 20,000 Homes Campaign; led the Tides Canada review of shared spaces in Canada, and was a member of Team PaD, selected through a Van Alen Institute competition, which proposed new vacant lot strategies in New Orleans. She is the SPRE lead on the Civic Assets Project with Montréal-based firm, The Commons Inc.
LoriAnn previously served as the Director of Community Health at Toronto Community Housing. Prior to making Canada her home, she established and led the national arm of Common Ground, now Community Solutions, a non-profit organization helping communities tackle social problems that contribute to homelessness. From 1986 to 1998, she worked internationally, including serving as Democracy and Governance Advisor to the U.S. Agency for International Development in Namibia. She is a founding member of the Nonprofit Centers Network and is a 2004-2006 University of Pennsylvania Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence Fellow.
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Lucy Cummings is the Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good, where she supports diverse faith communities contribute to greener, healthier, more resilient neighborhoods.
Prior to her work at Faith & the Common Good, Lucy lead Seacology UK, a non-profit environmental group devoted to protecting island biodiversity using a community-based approach. A Mandarin Chinese speaker (though rusty these days), she was a professor of global politics at the University of Hong Kong for ten years. There she explored the impact of environmental degradation on global security. She also consulted with the Hong Kong government on its global environmental reputation.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia, a Master’s in religious ethics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in global politics from Johns Hopkins University.
She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and two teenaged daughters.
Brampton Resilience Animator
Michelle has led teams of volunteers for non-profit organizations, community service groups and faith-based organizations—responding to fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, evacuations and pandemics for well over a decade. She is based in Brampton’s Emergency Management Office as coordinator of the Lighthouse Program, a capacity-building and resilience initiative that engages faith-based and community service groups. Her work dovetails perfectly with Faith & the Common Good’s Lighthouse Project which takes its name from the Brampton initiative.
Michelle is experienced in strengthening relationships with other collaborative agencies, especially through joint exercises, awareness campaigns, training workshops and fundraisers. Her 12 year volunteer service with the Red Cross has taken her as far afield as the Canadian Arctic. Trained in Ambulance and Emergency care as well as Crisis Intervention and Counselling, she is currently pursuing an MA in Emergency Management at Royal Roads University. Michelle and her husband live in Brampton with their three children.
Paige is passionate about building inclusive, compassionate,
and sustainable communities. In addition to her professional career, she facilitates workshops on caring for creation, peace and non-violence, social justice, leadership, and faith formation.
Her professional career has focused on serving the “least of these,” whether as a community builder, director, communications strategist, fundraiser, or executive director. She has been blessed to work in prison ministry, with people living with mental health challenges, and with men and women living in poverty.
Paige’s professional career has included the private, public, and non-profit spheres spanning the community development, education, and information technology sectors. She is currently the Manager of Annual Giving at the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Immediately prior to that position, she was the Education Program Coordinator in the Justice, Peace and Care for Creation Office at Scarboro Foreign Missions.
Paige holds a BA in urban planning and an MA political science. She has also studied theology at Wycliffe and St. Michael’s colleges at the University of Toronto. The focus of her studies has been peace theology and eco-theology.
Paige resides in Toronto with her husband and three children. In her quiet moments she writes and gardens.
Board Member (Chair)
Faith & the Common Good Board Chair Randal Goodfellow is a senior executive from the renewable energy, clean technology, and green building sectors. In addition to his work with Faith & the Common Good, Randal chairs the national environmental initiative “Creation Matters” for the Anglican Church of Canada and is active in the local “Creation Matters” initiative in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.
Randal is a national leader in faith-based property regeneration for social purpose. He is passionate about helping faith communities use property to further Missions, particularly to regenerate buildings and facilities to meet community needs, and do so in an economic and environmentally-friendly manner, collaborating with community organizations, social service agencies, development companies, environmental groups, municipal governments and cultural institutions and bodies.
Scott brings 25+ years of experience in the sector to the reThink Green team. A lover of creative and innovative approaches and data-driven tools and strategies, Scott uses his leadership, project management, and event management skills to inspire great teams to do great things. Passionate about community, Scott believes that solutions and sustainability begin locally. Scott is involved with the Sudbury arts and culture industry, where he has worked as a General Manager, actor, director, creator and teacher. Father to Raphaël, Scott is delighted to be working with a company that is leaving a sustainable green future for the generations to come.
Resilience Project Manager
Sheila Murray is a writer, documentary filmmaker, sound editor and communications specialist. She has led the Toronto based organization, Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW), since 2014. CREW explores the various ways in which community resilience is developed at the grassroots level. It encourages and supports the local relationships and networks that prove to be crucial in the first few days of an emergency. Her 2009 - 2013 research, communications and outreach for the Omega Foundation’s community-based project, SmartSaver, contributed to reaching thousands of Toronto community workers and families and creating successful partnerships and networks. She has a BAA in Journalism and MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies where her research focused on climate change refugees.(www.crewtoronto.ca)
Building Audit Manager
Stephen Collette is the Building Audit Manager for Faith & the Common Good. Stephen created the Green Audit after seeing an opportunity to improve the connections between faith, buildings, and the existing passion of people to want to do the right thing within their faith community. The Green Audit has been delivered across Canada to rave reviews. Recently, Stephen has expanded the types of building audits available to faith communities.
Stephen owns his own company, Your Healthy House, which carries out indoor environmental building inspections and consulting. Stephen is a Certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional and a Building Science Specialist of Ontario. Stephen lives in Lakefield, ON with his wife and daughters.
Tom Urbaniak, Ph.D., is former Chair of Political Science at Cape Breton University, where he now heads the Tompkins Institute. In addition to Political Science, he teaches in the MBA program in Community Economic Development.
Tom is the Past Chair of the Board of Governors of the National Trust for Canada, the national charity for historic places and community regeneration. He helped to develop and champion a new strategic plan for the Trust focused on local impact and public engagement. In 2016-2017, as past chair, Tom headed the Trust’s Working Group on Mission-Based Investing.
From 2012 to 2017, Tom chaired the parish council of St. Mary’s Polish Catholic Church in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where he is an active member. Tom led a process of renewal, drawing on the wisdom, dedication, talents, and ideas of all members of the parish and many members of the broader community. He also helped the community to rebuild following the devastating loss of the historic church building in a fire.
Tom has chaired or served on the board of several non-profit organizations (related to affordable housing, public libraries, child welfare, crime prevention, and a cultural hall) and is often called on to facilitate planning exercises, including for faith communities that are looking for new opportunities, new confidence, and new partnerships. Tom brings a positive, energetic, and inclusive approach to leadership. He works in the English, French, and Polish languages.
Tom is the author of four books, including Action, Accommodation, Accountability: Rules of Order for Canadian Organizations and Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga. He has a forthcoming student textbook: Dignity, Democracy, Development: A Citizen’s Reader. He is a strong supporter of impact learning, facilitating many student projects in rural and urban communities.