Current Board of Directors

The Board has full financial, legal and political responsibility for Food Secure Canada and is accountable to its membership. They are generally elected for three-year terms. Find out more on the governance here. 

 

CURRENT Board Members (in alphabetical order)

Province

Kristina Craig - Secretary YT
Ashley Jean-Marie - Treasurer QC
Yasmine Hassen ON
Susanna Klassen - Vice-Chair BC
Bryanna Kumpula (On leave) AB
Larry McDermott ON
Jessica McLaughlin ON
Rob Moquin MB
Nancy Neamtan QC
Naomi Robert BC
Melana Roberts - Chair ON

Ilham Saydna

ON
Vanessa Girard Tremblay QC
Cyra Yunkws BC

 

 


Kristina Craig

As Coordinator of Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition (YAPC) , Kristina works to fulfil the organization's mandate of facilitating the elimination of poverty in Yukon through education, advocacy and action. Areas of interest and knowledge include income assistance, housing and food security. 

Kristina’s broad social justice, community animation and northern experiences are assets to the board. Her understanding of strategic planning and her strong environmental commitments and expertise are vital as the FSC Board moves forward in supporting and developing food related policies around these challenges. All these along with Kristina’s non profit and fund raising experiences are so useful as the FSC board builds momentum across the nation and with its counterpart regional networks toward a National Food Policy in Canada.

 

Ashley Jean-Marie

Ashley is the founder of Nestor’s Lab, a management consulting practice. Previously, he was a member of the Canadian foreign service, where he helped manage trade and economic relations between Canada and markets such as Japan and China. He also served as a Canadian diplomat in India and occupied various finance/accounting manager positions at several federal departments. Ashley holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Commerce from HEC Montréal, and passed professional accounting and investment exams including the Canadian Securities Course (CSC). He also holds a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) designation.

 

 

Yasmine Hassen

Yasmine (she/they) is a settler with Afro-Caribbean ancestry on her mother’s side and Ethiopian ancestry on her father’s side, who lives as an uninvited guest on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and The Wendat Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Yasmine stands in solitary with Wet’suwet’en land defenders and water protectors. Yasmine is a community organizer, rooted in decolonial approaches in bridging the gaps and finding the intersections between diaspora(s), personhood, anti-racism, feminism, Indigenous sovereignty, and climate justice. At the root of their justice work is Indigenous and Black food sovereignty and political education. They enjoy gardening and it is something that they hold close to their heart, due to their ancestral roots within it. They believe food growth is something that many Black and Indigenous folx embody through their ancestral knowledge. With this personal education on growing food and the community care that comes with it, they hope to be able to continue to learn from and pass on this knowledge so that BIPoC folx can continue to reclaim our food sources and therefore start to regain our sovereignty. Beyond that, she tried to hold a practice of reflection, ecologies of care, and a love-ethic.

 

 

Susanna Klassen

Susanna's passion for food began with farming, initially sparked volunteering on organic farms in Latin America, and solidified through work on farms closer to home. She grew up as a settler on traditional lands of Treaty 4 Territory, and is currently residing on the traditional, unceded and ancestral territory of the Musqueam people in what is known as Vancouver. She is now a graduate student focusing on creating more sustainable and equitable food systems in Canada, and her PhD is looking at organic certification, agroecological health and labour. She has also worked on climate adaptation in agriculture with the BC provincial government and their industry-led programming, on student-led campus food system sustainability initiatives, and teaching in UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

As a PhD student, Susanna is excited to be working at the intersection of research, policy and advocacy roles. She brings her subject matter knowledge of food and farming systems, experience in social science research methods, and passion for food system change to the activities of the organization. In addition to her analytical and communication skills, Susanna is grateful to work and learn alongside such amazing fellow board members on centering anti-oppression and decolonization in the organization's governance and activities.

 

Bryanna Kumpula (on leave)

Growing up on a farm rural Alberta, Bryanna has always had a deep connection to agriculture and food. Bryanna is currently the Executive Director of the Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta where her work is centered around developing policy and programs on a number of initiatives including indigenous food and agriculture, agrifood business mentorship, rural youth business development, and agriculture literacy. Completing a Master of Arts in Community Engagement with a research focus on community engagement in regional food systems. Bryanna is a current member of the Edmonton Food Council, which provides insight and policy recommendations to Edmonton City Council. A serial entrepreneur Bryanna has developed Epicurean Adventure tours, a local agrifood literacy and tourism company, Bar OA Farms a sustainable cut flower farm, and is a shareholder in Experience Alberta, a tourism company dedicated it enhancing rural and remote tourism.

 

Larry McDermott

A member of Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, Larry McDermott served as an Ontario municipal politician for 28 years including as the first national rural chair of FCM.

He is currently Executive Director of Plenty Canada, a non-profit organization devoted to environmental protection and healthy communities, and Co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Network Biodiversity Caucus. He also serves as a commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 

 

 

 

Jessica McLaughlin

Jessica McLaughlin is a member of the Long Lake 58 First Nation and grew up in Nakina, Ontario. She has spent a good portion of her life on the land learning about the Northern Ontario's natural environment and the forest and freshwater foods available through seasonal harvesting. Her involvement in food systems began with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) where she worked in community economic development and learned about community governance structures, political landscapes, funding, and most importantly built relationships with people in communities in the NAN territory. Jessica is an executive member with the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy and a co-coordinator of the Indigenous Circle, an Indigenous-led regional food network. She has also led a number of research and action projects working with First Nation communities in Northern Ontario and their food security needs.

 

Rob Moquin

Rob is a settler Canadian with Franco-Manitoban and Acadian roots. He was born and raised and currently lives in Winnipeg, in Treaty 1 Territory. Rob has a unique skillset and well-rounded background in the food movement, including experience working in locally-sourced cuisine, community food security programs, non-profit management, food systems research and public policy analysis. In his current role as Policy Director and Acting Executive Director of Food Matters Manitoba, Rob works with local governments, organizations, civil society, and community members to develop and sustain initiatives that enhance food security throughout Manitoba.  

Rob brings a strong policy lens to Food Secure Canada. For the past decade he has been working on projects that engage multi-sector stakeholders in food systems assessment, planning, and program development, using best available evidence and participatory design. Rob has co-authored community-based municipal and provincial food security strategies, facilitated food asset mapping projects in urban and rural communities, and has been a key informant in the development of food councils in Winnipeg and Brandon. Rob values equity and inclusion, and advocates for decolonizing, anti-oppressive, and body-positive approaches to food security work.

 

Nancy Neamtan

Nancy Neamtan is a Strategic Advisor at TIESS (Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire), a social innovation liaison and transfer centre for the Chantier de l’économie sociale Trust. She was one of the founders of the Chantier de l'économie sociale and its Executive Director from 1996 to 2015. As Executive Director of the Chantier, a non-profit organization representing networks of social enterprises (cooperatives and non-profits), local development organizations and social movements, whose mission is the promotion and development of collective entrepreneurship, she helped create new financial tools for collective enterprises (RISQ and the Chantier Trust), co-chaired the Social Economy Community–University Research Partnership from 2001 to 2011, and participated in creating and leading international social and solidarity economy networks.

Nancy Neamtan is recognized internationally as an expert on the social and solidarity economy, working in collaboration with international organizations such as the International Labour Organization and the OCDE's Forum on social innovation. She is a member of the Board of Directions of RIPESS, the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy. Nancy led the Corporation for Economic and Social Renewal of South-West Montréal (1989-1996) after holding a variety of roles in local development and community organizations. She holds two honorary doctorates and is an Officer of the National Order of Québec.

Nancy's rich experiences with the entrepreneurship world and social innovation are assets to the board and FSC, along with her long experience with non-profit organizations and social enterprises.   

 

Naomi Robert

Naomi has a deep appreciation for how food can forge connections between individuals, communities, and land. Her work has allowed her to engage with the food system in several meaningful ways, including organizing food access projects with vulnerable communities in the non-profit sector in Québec, volunteering on organic farms, and coordinating food system research and extension projects as a bridge between academic and community initiatives. She is a settler on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish people (known as Vancouver, BC) and is grateful to live and work on these lands.

In her current professional capacity in BC, she is dedicated to the development of research and extension resources to connect academic and community food systems work, with a focus on local government food and agricultural land policy. Naomi is particularly interested in the overlapping jurisdictions of food policy between local, provincial and federal levels, and working across these to drive more just and resilient food systems in Canada. Naomi is a Professional Agrologist with the BC Institute of Agrologists, practicing in research, transfer and application, and a working group member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

Naomi is looking forward to applying her non-profit, academic and extension food system experiences to the research and advocacy roles at FSC. Naomi brings an understanding of the Canadian food policy landscape, an interest in its divisions across jurisdictions, familiarity with local government planning processes, and experience developing communication tools for disseminating food systems knowledge across diverse audiences. 

 

Melana Roberts

As a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC), and Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, Melana has worked on variety of food policy initiatives with a diversity of stakeholders, including farmers, Indigenous communities and regional food networks. Grounded in food justice principles, her work strives to create a more just, equitable and sustainable food system through engagement on 2 simultaneous fronts: on the ground advocacy and community building and food policy development. Melana has led TFPCs Food Champion's initiative, mobilizing 400+ stakeholders to increase food assets in Toronto. Although grounded in Ontario, she has worked closely with local, regional and national stakeholders as the point person on SNPs and food policy issues for the Chair of the Board of Health; and has been involved in the development of Ontario and Canada's first food strategies.

Melana strengthens the strategic policy direction and foresight of the FSC Board. She brings a strong understanding of food policy issues to the board level, including a knowledge of key actors and policy development processes. Melana also brings significant experience advancing board governance processes, and is eager to draw on her previous board experiences overseeing strategic advocacy planning, conducting by-laws reviews and organizing AGMs to support FSC's work. Melana is also deeply committed to supporting food justice principles, and has worked with a number of non-profits to better operationalize these principles in their work. Furthermore, Melana boasts 5 years experience working in the non-profit sector, and uses her experience to bolster FSC's non-profit leadership and understanding and influence within the sector more broadly.

 

Ilham Saydna 

Born and raised in post-colonial Sudan in Africa, Ilham experienced food insecurity and hunger first hand. Before immigrating to Canada in 1997, Ilham worked in Sudan and Yemen forming collectives to help women farmers to fight drought, land grab and social injustices. In Canada, Ilham works for Daily Bread Food Bank as Community Engagement Coordinator to increase community food access and facilitate knowledge generation and sharing. She created support groups for Sudanese refugees arriving in Canada. 

Ilham holds a masters degree in Gender and Food Security from York University, Women in Development Diploma and Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences. She is trained in Popular Education approaches and techniques.

 

Vanessa Girard Tremblay 

Vanessa is currently co-director at Carrefour alimentaire Centre-Sud in Montreal where, alongside her passionate team, she works to increase accessibility to fresh, healthy and local food for all through several innovative programs. She has a degree in international relations and international law, as well as  a certificate in feminist studies, but currently, all of her energy is focused on the right to food. From facilitation of cooking workshops, the establishment of a food bank based on choice and the dignity of its members, to the development of a pay-what-you-can fruit and vegetable market, Vanessa’s experience on the ground has allowed her to understand the power of food and the links it can create. Today, she is particularly interested in building inclusive and horizontal work spaces where everyone can thrive while also respecting their limits.

 

Cyra Yunkws

Living as a settler in the traditional territories of the Sinixt, Ktunaxa, Syilx, and Secwepemc (also known as the Kootenays), Cyra and her family are immersed in growing as much food as possible. Her love of food and respect for the cultural significance of sharing food stems from her Gitxsan husband’s culture in northern BC, and the back-to-the-land approach of her own parents. This was followed by an apprenticeship on two organic farms on Vancouver Island, and a stint managing a communal garden in the Kootenays; both grounded her experience quite literally in the soil.

Cyra sees the impact that policy has, and is deeply driven to improve the lives of future generations by rethinking the policies of today. She sees a need to ground food policies in the reality of growing food, the complexities of soil and ecosystems health. To this work, she brings her experience in governance, non-profits, organic farming, community-organizing and a commitment to collaboration.