Mira Maude Chouinard is a Senior Project Manager in the West Africa, Middle East/North Africa Programs at MEDA and is passionate about green finance and environmental sustainability. Mira earned a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of British Columbia and Graduate Certificate in International Development and is a Certified Expert in Climate & Renewable Energy Finance. She is interested in how human development can go hand in hand with environmental sustainability and is an advocate for environmental stewardship. At MEDA, Mira manages the AVENIR project in Senegal, which strengthens livelihoods and climate resilience of women and youth smallholder farmers, and provides technical support on environment and climate change topics to projects in Ethiopia and Nigeria. Prior to MEDA, Mira managed environmental sustainability projects in Honduras that focused on coastal community development and mangrove restoration.
Timothy Beatley is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, and Chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he has taught for the last thirty years. Beatley is the author or co-author of more than fifteen books, including Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities (recently translated into Chinese and Korean), Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning, and Blue Urbanism: Connecting Oceans and Cities. Beatley’s book Ethical Land Use was declared, by the American Planning Association, to be one of the “100 Essential Books in Planning.” Beatley founded and directs the Biophilic Cities Project at UVA (http://biophiliccities.org/), and recently helped to launch a global Biophilic Cities Network. He also co-founder and co-director, with Reuben Rainey, of UVA’s Center for Design and Health, within the School of Architecture. He has been the recipient of the All-University Teaching Award at UVA, and also received the Outstanding Faculty Award, the state’s highest award for faculty at its public universities (awarded by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia). Beatley holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition
Jennifer Court is the Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. As an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of success in the environmental sector, Jennifer brings a breadth of experience in government relations, stakeholder engagement, partnership development and capacity building to her role at GIO. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art & Design, as well as a Master of Environmental Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Business & Sustainability from York University.
In 2014, Rob Keen assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Forests Ontario (the merged organization of Trees Ontario and Ontario Forestry Association) after serving as CEO of Trees Ontario since 2011. Rob is currently leading the Forests Ontario team in sustaining and generating new partnerships to support and achieve its re-greening mandate.
Rob is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) who founded a forestry consultant business upon graduating with a BScF from the University of Toronto in 1982. He has been involved in many facets of the forestry industry, primarily in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest region. Rob has provided forestry services to landowners, developed forest management plans on Crown and private lands, conducted wood supply and feasibility studies, led forest audits for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (and Forestry).
Rob has been an active member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association since 1985, where he served as vice-president for two terms. He was a director and chair of the Algonquin Forestry Authority, and currently serves as a Director for Invasive Species Centre, Maple Leaves Forever and Chair of Westwind Forest Stewardship.
Rob now leads the Forests Ontario team in sustaining and generating new partnerships to support and achieve its re-greening mandate.
Maeve Sharkey is a community organizer focused on increasing youth and young adult engagement in a variety of community and civic causes. Maeve has a background in business and community engagement studies as well as a wide range of community-level volunteer leadership positions. Since 2019 Maeve has worked across Canada for Future Majority, a non-profit focused on amplifying the concerns of young Canadians so that every candidate, politician and party are advocates for youth priorities.
Canadian Forest Service
Tony is Senior Manager, Climate Change Policy at the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada. He heads a policy group that examines options for climate change mitigation involving forests, and analyze the contribution these options could make to achieving Canada’s targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions. His group also provides advice on forest issues in the on-going negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He holds a MA in Economics from Queen’s University and an interdisciplinary MSc in Resource and Environmental Management from the University of British Columbia.
Credit Valley Conservation
Deborah Kenley Senior Coordinator, Greening Corporate Grounds (GCG) helps corporations and institutions in the Credit River Watershed invest in nature and become leaders in sustainability by adopting ecological landscaping and stormwater management best practices. Deborah works with members to identify opportunities that reduce the impacts from climate change, creates habitat for wildlife, and maximizes aesthetic appeal and ecological benefits on their property.
Canadian Business for Climate Policy
David McGown has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors focusing on the development and execution of public and regulatory policy. As its first Executive Director, David recently launched the Canadian Business Coalition for Climate Policy, a business voice advocating for consistent and effective climate policy.
At the Insurance Bureau of Canada as SVP, climate and catastrophic risk were at the centre of his efforts. He brings expertise in adaptation, resilience and emergency response practices from the perspective of the insurance and financial sector and expertise on resource development and the environment. At CIBC, he worked as Vice President, Public Affairs, Vice President of Corporate Development and Vice President of Administration & Corporate Development, INTRIA Items. He worked as economist and speechwriter at Queen’s Park, and for the Department of Finance in Ottawa, as an economist, as Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance and EA to the Deputy Minister of Finance.
David was Chair of JAZZ.FM91 and was President of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. He has served as a board member of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and sat on the Advisory Board of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2013 in recognition of his volunteer activities.
David holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. David is married, has four grown children, has two unruly Bouviers, plays guitar and sings with Choir!Choir!Choir!
PMA Landscape Architects
Jim is a founding principal in the firm PMA Landscape Architects. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Masters of Landscape Architecture program. Jim has been practicing landscape architecture for 39 years. Jim was founder of PMA Landscape Architects and served as design principal for over 35 years. He is now principal emeritus of the firm. Jim’s PMA work includes major open space projects and urban design projects in most of the municipalities surround the City of Toronto.Some major projects include the Toronto Botanical Gardens, Downsview Park Master plan, 407 East corridor, Husky Injectible Mouldings, Mississauga’s O’Connor Park, Colonel Sam Smith Ice Trail, Neshama Playground, Spadina Quay Wetland and McMichael Canadian Art Gallery.
Jim is now principal of Realm Works a landscape design firm focusing on public realm and open space design.
Hydro One: Incorporating sustainability in all aspects of the business.
Michael Farrell has worked as an Environmental Planner at Hydro One since 2013, he is primarily accountable for the corporate biodiversity program and legislative compliance. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Queen's University and a Master of Environment in Environmental Assessment from Concordia University. Michael represents Hydro One on the board of directors of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council and was elected as the Vice President of that organization in 2018.
As the Director, Nature Connected Communities with WWF Canada, Sarah focuses on national programs that engage Canadians directly in helping nature thrive in their communities. This currently includes the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Living Planet @ Schools, Living Planet @ Campus, In the Zone: Gardens that Help Native Species Thrive and Go Wild grants. Prior to joining WWF Canada in 2014, Sarah was the Managing Director at Environmental Defence Canada. Over 11 years she created and managed programs related to southern Ontario’s greenbelt, Great Lakes, toxics, and urban sprawl. Sarah also managed the development of the international Blue Flag program for beaches and marinas in Canada, and led work on the green economy, partnering with the United Steelworkers to create BlueGreen Canada. Sarah has contributed to building capacity within the environmental sector in Canada and abroad as a board member of Sustainability Network and the international Foundation for Environmental Education, and as an advisory group member of the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation. She is currently an advisory group member for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
Invasive Species Centre
Sarah Rang has helped create new environmental initiatives, including a $1.5 million annual community grant program; worked with First Nations and government to develop a $85 million trust fund for environmental remediation in Grassy Narrows, English Wabigoon River; and worked with the federal government on joint Great Lakes projects, including the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan. Previously, as Deputy Director for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Sarah Rang worked with mayors and municipal leaders on Asian Carp prevention and nutrient reduction. She holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Toronto.
Clement is an adjunct professor of biology at York University where he studies the genetics of bees, a Vice President of the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto where he plants pollinator gardens, and a co-founder of Project Swallowtail. He likes to relax by looking at pollinators on flowers. His alter-ego, Professor Swallowtail, dresses much better than he does.
Mayor David Mayberry was born and raised in Oxford County. He is a 6th generation farmer, with his son now taking over the operation. He graduated from the University of Guelph in 1974 with a degree in Agriculture. David was first elected to the Township of South-West Oxford Council in 1994. He was elected as the Mayor in 2006 and continues to serve as the Township’s Mayor today.
David has been married to Kathryn since 1974. They have 4 children and seven grandchildren. David is very supportive of renewable energy and drives an electric car.
National Healing Forests
Peter Croal is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and has a B.Sc., Geology Degree from Carleton University (1979). Since then Peter has been working in the field of International development for over thirty-35 years. He focuses on the relationship between environmental resources and poverty in developing countries, and the Canadian Arctic. Peter is particularly interested in how climate change affects developing countries, and how the knowledge of Indigenous peoples can be applied to developmental challenges. He also works on expedition cruise ships to Antarctica and the Canadian Arctic as a guide and lecturer. His work has taken him to over forty developing countries, including a two-year stint of living and working in Namibia with his family. Peter started his career prospecting for uranium, zinc, silver, petroleum, peat, and groundwater in Canada. He sits on the boards of several not-for-profit development organizations.
In 2015 Peter started a reconciliation project called the National Healing Forest Initiative. The project is an invitation to Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, institutions, and individuals to create green spaces across Canada to honour residential school victims, survivors, and their families, as well as murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and children who have been removed from their families and are now caught in the welfare system. You can learn more by going to: https://www.nationalhealingforests.com. Peter spent fifteen years as a wilderness canoe guide for Nature Ontario. In his spare time, Peter enjoys photography, cultural and adventure travel, organic gardening, and fiddle playing.
Koral Wysocki is a strategic leader passionate about addressing diverse challenges through an environmental lens. As Program Manager, she supports teams at Carolinian Canada and World Wildlife Fund to accelerate a cultural shift toward values of connectedness to nature, responsible stewardship and energized community. Koral completed her Masters of Science in Conservation and Community Development, specializing in the systematic evaluation of conservation programs with integrated social justice goals.
Adam Braun is a passionate professional in the Landscape Industry with a deep rooted devotion for his trade - He's a sales and project manager for the landscape division of Absolute Home Services, owner and operator of Belleview Landscapes, teacher of landscape construction at Seneca College, Landscape Ontario Professional Development Committee member, and served as a "Subject Matter Expert" for CNLA during landscape industry certification reform. Also, a Disney Fanatic.
Grand River Food Forestry
Nicola is an avid environmentalist who saw an opportunity to encourage communities to steward the soil, grow edibles and increase pollinator corridors in under-utilized green spaces. Through her commitment to increasing community awareness of sustainable
ecological land practices, she has been recognized as one of Canada’s “Top 100 Black Women to Watch 2016”, City of Kitchener Environmental Leader 2019 and a Heart of the City National Park Delegate. Nicola has been mentored by top permaculturists from around the world and shares her knowledge internationally through educational talks, seminars, one-on-one mentoring, hands on practical workshops, consultations, board of director memberships and restorative landscape design.