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!
GCCM Canada Coordinator
Agnes received training from both Hon. Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and the Global Catholic Climate Movement as a Laudato Si’ Animator. With a team of lay partners and the office for Discipleship and Parish Life, Agnes planned and implemented a series of workshops called “Change Starts with Us” for the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton. With the Lighthouse Pilot Project steering committee, Agnes worked closely with Greening Sacred Spaces staff in Hamilton and CREW (Community Resilience to Extreme Weather) to develop Extreme Weather Resilience Hubs in Hamilton, ON. She was Chairpersonship of the St. Patrick’s, Caledonia, ON Syrian Refugee Committee and helped successfully settle a Syrian family of six.
GSS Halton-Peel Garden Coordinator
After leaving the corporate world in 2005 to raise her two boys, Andrea rekindled an appreciation for nature from her childhood. She joined the Halton Environmental Network in their Greening Sacred Spaces program. As the Garden Facilitator, she helps Faith-Based Organizations reduce their environmental impact through green initiatives. Recent projects have included implementing school gardens at elementary and secondary schools, consulting on kindergarten playground rejuvenation, and assisting social organizations support their clients through garden-based initiatives.
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
Writer, Social Media Specialist & 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 Emeritus
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.
Energy & Clean Technology Coordinator, Ottawa
Charlie Scromeda is the new Energy & Clean Technology Coordinator in Ottawa. While attending school at the University of King’s College, Charlie worked as a summer student for Faith & the Common Good, writing case studies for the Regeneration Works program. Having recently graduated, she is thrilled to be back on the team to help launch the Greening Sacred Spaces Energy Benchmarking Program in Ottawa. She has also worked at Tucker House Renewal Centre as director of their eco-camp, and, in addition to her position at FCG, is currently Interim Faith Formation Leader at Kitchissippi United Church.
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.
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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.
Energy Benchmarking Project Manager and Toronto Animator
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.
Juliet Dhanraj deems herself a “cultural chameleon” with a deep appreciation for the many nuances of diversity. With her diverse ethno–cultural and religious heritage and lifelong experience of multiculturalism, Juliet has been able to foster respectful cross–cultural relationships with people from all walks of life, diverse faith traditions, and ethno–cultural settings. At present, Juliet works as a Field Programming Coordinator/Placement and Career Specialist in the Green Economy Bridging Program at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University where she interacts with Internationally–Educated Professionals from 6 continents and over 150 countries. By incorporating a systems–thinking approach and an Anti–Racism Anti–Oppression (ARAO) Framework she helps highly skilled immigrants and refugees overcome systemic barriers to employment, social isolation, feelings of hopelessness, and marginalization. The client service she provides is a vital post–arrival service for newcomers who are looking to adjust to their new life in Canada, access jobs in the green economy sector, and transition smoothly into fields commensurate with their experience and education.
Energy and Sustainability Coordinator, Ottawa
Kai is the Energy and Sustainability Coordinator in Ottawa. Holding a Master's degree in Global Affairs and Policy from Yonsei University, she is a passionate advocate for environmental and community causes. In the past, she has worked on environmental governance and sustainable development projects at the United Nations Development Programme, policy advocacy and public partnerships at UNICEF, in addition to policy research at the Seoul Metropolitan Government. She is also a graduate of the Political Science department of the University of British Columbia, where the beauty of the B.C. mountains inspired her to do her part to preserve the landscape for future generations. Kai is delighted to be able to use her diverse, international upbringing to help serve the multicultural, interfaith community of Ottawa. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, digital photography, and studying languages.
Karen Van Loon
‘Cultivating Care for Our Common Home’ Coordinator
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Karen Van Loon (kvanloon [at] faithcommongood.org) 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 Sustainable Outdoor Greening Coordinator for the National-Capital Region in Eastern Ontario along with one of the Animators. Prior to working at Faith & The Common Good, she worked at various levels 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.
Katrine Handley-Derry BSc, MEnvSc
Katrine Handley-Derry is the Communications Coordinator for Faith & the Common Good. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master’s in Environmental Science, following undergraduate studies with a dual Major in Ecology and Film. Her passion is exploring how media and film can change people’s perceptions and create greater bonds within the community to promote ecological awareness and greater well-being.
Many of her experiences have involved engaging with the public. Katrine worked for the Toronto International Film Festival as both an Intern and staff person, on their Canada 150 project, and in their Industry Services Department planning and during the Toronto Film Festival. Last year, as part of her Masters, Katrine interned with the Halton Environmental Network as social media coordinator for their Halton Green Screens and Greening Sacred Spaces programs. She was excited to help organize the first-ever Amateur film festival and to use her science background and skills in media to inspire environmental stewardship. Katrine continues to work with Halton community with Halton Environmental Network as Network Animator and with the Halton Climate Collective and Oakville Ready programs, to create resilient and sustainable communities in Halton. In this position, she produces promotional videos and promotion material, organizes events and coordinates social engagement.
With her passion and love for nature and engaging with people, she has traveled and lived abroad, developing language skills in French and Spanish. She currently resides in Toronto, where she continues to use multimedia to inspire and connect community.
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.
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.
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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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.
Rev. Michelle Singh
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Born into an interfaith family, Rev. Michelle Singh has a deep understanding and appreciation for the world’s rich spiritual and cultural diversity. In 2008, she became an ordained Interfaith Minister from The New Seminary, New York. Since then, she has been actively engaged in Canada’s interfaith movement, including vice-chairing the award winning World Interfaith Harmony Week Steering Committee and co-founding a multi-faith Spiritual Dialogue Circle. Notably, Michelle was a Board member and Steering Committee Co-Chair for the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions — overseeing the worlds largest interfaith gathering, featuring over 1000 diverse spiritual programs, attended by over 8500 persons. Prior to becoming an Interfaith Minister, Michelle spent more than 30 years in the I.T. and Communications sectors leading teams in challenging, goal-oriented environments. She is an officiant, well known for intuitive listening and her ability to create safe and sacred spaces for processing and dialogue. Michelle excels in bringing diverse groups of people together to achieve a common goal.
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.
Communications Animator, Cultivating Care for our Common Home
Molly Mignault is the new program communications animator for the Cultivating Care for Our Common Home Program at Faith & the Common Good. Molly is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Toronto where she is studying both religion and environmental studies. She is interested in the relationship between religious ideology and environmental conservation and seeks to further develop her understanding of the ways in which the two work together. She is currently working with groups in Nepal and India studying waste management, policy development and monastic devotion. She is developing her language skills in both French and Nepali. Throughout her academic career Molly has worked several research jobs for professors at the University of Toronto and is presently working alongside the Himalayan Borderlands Project. Molly is delighted to be working with the Cultivating Care for Our Common Home Program.
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.
As Executive Director of reThink Green, Rebecca Danard is passionate about finding collaborative solutions to environmental challenges.
With extensive experience in non-profit leadership, project management, and event planning, she connects grass roots groups, non-profits, businesses and government agencies to ideas, partnerships and resources. By using creative, innovative, data-driven strategies and tools, she works to build a sustainable community in Greater Sudbury and beyond. She leads a team of staff, volunteers and community leaders to produce community events such as the Greater Sudbury Earth Day Festival and semi-annual Green Gatherings.
Rebecca also recruits and supports members of the Forge: the co-working space that reThink Green operates as a social enterprise.
Through Green Economy North, powered by Sustainability CoLab, Rebecca helps businesses and organizations maximize the benefits for becoming more sustainable. This project was recently recognized with a 2016 Innovation Award from Green Communities Canada.
Also interested in education, Rebecca mentors interns and academic placements at reThink Green and mentors youth in the community through the IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training program. Rebecca communicates effectively and bilingually with staff, clients, volunteers, board members, and the media.
Trained as classical musician, Rebecca plays principal clarinet in the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.
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)
GSS Halton-Peel Community Facilitator
Stephanie worked as a Social Worker for nearly 15 years. During that time, she completed a Certificate in Project Management and worked as a Family Engagement Coordinator. A break from that work found her rediscovering her passion for environmental protection, conservation and now, climate change action. With two young children, and climate change concerns increasing, Stephanie has re-dedicated herself to working to preserve the planet for the future of all. She is working with Greening Sacred Spaces as a Program Manager to support those in various faith communities to reduce their carbon emissions for the greater good.
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. Stephen lives in Lakefield, ON with his wife and daughters.
Board Member (Chair)
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.