Board Of Directors
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is made up of 12 co-op members, chosen from amongst our member groups.
We have 3 seats available to each membership group. The Directors for 2016-2017 are as follows.
Our Eater-Membership representatives are:
- Charles Sule
- Lauren Blumas
- Sarah Robicheau
Our Worker-Membership representatives are:
- Tamara Krupp (Cashier/Floor Staff)
- Amandine Fournier (Office Administrator)
- Leanne Unruh (Cashier/Floor Staff)
Our Community-Partner representatives are:
- Kira Kastner (Houselink/Parkdale Food Network)
- Mandy Bergman (The Catalyst Centre)
- Shae London (The Stop Food Community Centre)
Our Producer-Membership representatives are:
- Abra Snider (Fresh City Farms)
- John Crowther (Clover Roads Organic Farm)
- Cassandra Rizzotto (Earth + City)
Abra is the COO of Fresh City Farms, an urban farm, food delivery service, and farmer-training social enterprise in Toronto. Her experience with Fresh City has enabled her to better understand WEFC’s operations and opportunities as a young organization. Abra is a Producer Board Member, representing Fresh City farmers and contributes to procurement and HR policies. Her personal mission is to reconnect people to food, field, and farmers. Abra has extensive experience within city farming, having worked on such projects as Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture, and the Metcalf Food Solutions paper “Scaling Up Urban Agriculture in Toronto: Building the Infrastructure.” She holds a Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson University, with a focus on urban agriculture, and a B.A. from the University of Toronto in architectural design and fine art history.
Lauren is an enthusiastic “eater” member of the Co op and a new member of the WEFC Board – though not new to Co operative governance. Lauren is a lawyer in Toronto whose practice is centered on helping community based organizations and co operatives achieve their goals. In her personal life, Lauren does her best to honour her values, learn from others, and occasionally, make some noise. Lauren is pleased to have been elected to the WEFC Board and looks forward to applying her skills to ensure the longevity of the WEFC as a pillar of the Parkdale community.
Leanne became involved with the West End Food Coop in 2012, shortly after moving to Toronto. She began volunteering at the Sorauren Farmers’ Market in an effort to find community while working on an MA at OCAD University. In 2013 she started working at coop store, and became a worker representative on the Board of Directors in fall 2014. More recently she figured out how to unite her love of contemporary art with her experience working in a coop, and started her PhD at York University in 2016, focusing on how the cooperative model is being used in the arts and culture sector. Leanne also loves vegan and vegetarian food, and you may run in to her at an art gallery or cycling the streets of Toronto.
Kira was born and raised in the heart of Toronto surrounded by people who love food. She began working in Parkdale several years ago through her frontline community food work at a mental health and housing agency. In 2014, Kira joined the board as a Community Partner director but has been an eater member at the Coop since memberships were first being offered.
Kira stood for the WEFC board out of a desire to contribute to an organization that divides its focus equally between community development, food security and antipoverty initiatives. She has learned a tremendous amount about WEFC’s internal workings since being elected and that education has made her all the more enthusiastic about supporting the organization in achieving its mission. Her time away from commitments is spent climbing, rearranging the furniture and eating as much as possible.
Sarah grew up in rural Nova Scotia, surrounded by farmers’ fields and apple orchards. She believes strongly in the power of food to bring communities together and that cooperatives are an ideal way to strengthen these bonds and improve the lives of all community members. For the past several years, she’s made her home in Toronto’s west end after first being introduced to Parkdale when she worked as a student lawyer at the community legal aid clinic. Her interest in food is longstanding and before joining the coop board, she completed a masters in environmental studies that focused on sustainable agricultural policy and was a member the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. She currently works as an environmental policy advisor where she spends her days trying to find solutions to problems big and small, and encouraging Ontarians to get involved in government decision-making.
Amandine Fournier: Worker Director
Bio coming soon…
Mandy Bergman joined the Board of WEFC in June 2015 to further support food sovereignty in the Parkdale community. In addition to the WEFC directorship Mandy sits on the Coop Credit Advisory and the Ride 4 Real Food committees, both of which support food security in Parkdale. Mandy is also a volunteer with The Toronto Community Development Institute (TCDI) which promotes community learning and engagement in various Toronto communities. Mandy has a graduate degree in Environmental Studies from York University and is a professor at George Brown College. Mandy is also a former member of the Catalyst Centre, a popular education worker coop in Toronto.
Except for a stint as a server to pay the bills upon graduation, Shae has worked in the not for profit sector almost exclusively. Shae discovered the field of food security at a point when she was starting to evaluate the impact that she was having in the world. As a Community Partner Representative on the Board for WEFC, Shae believes in the power of food to unite people across all socio and economic strata for the greater good. “Food is something that we all must consume in order to survive, therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure that our food system is equitable, sustainable and healthy for the betterment of all humankind. That is a cause that all conscious eaters should be able to support.” Believing that the world is a life-long classroom, Shae seeks every opportunity to learn from her experiences with others and believes that EVERYONE has something to teach. She learns the most from her 6 year old “niece”, E.V. who is insightful, wise and compassionate well beyond her years. “When E.V. speaks, I am listening.” Shae has a passion for languages, writing, photography and music and has at various points dabbled in piano, violin, trombone, guitar and ukulele. Her preference is for the warmer weather where she likes to spend time in the outdoors growing her backyard vegetable garden.
“Planting seeds. That is what keeps the world going. Whether that be in a child or in the ground, the end result is the same.”
Tamara Krupp: Worker Director
Bio coming soon…
Charles Sule was born and raised in Toronto, but spent his youthful summers in the Ontario countryside. His family loved the fresh harvests of farmers’ roadside markets, but also spent time hunting for local and seasonal produce in the city, as well as gardening for food, canning, and composting. At WEFC, Charles was so pleased to find a group of people that mirrors the values and lifestyle he knew were possible, and he joined as a member for the very first canning workshops. When the Store opened, he volunteered regularly helping on Sunday mornings. Charles holds a Masters of Environmental Applied Science and Management from Ryerson University where he studied sustainable food systems, particularly the social-ecological impact of consuming certified organic foods. He is a member of the Canadian General Standards Board Organic Agriculture Technical Committee.
Clover Roads Organic Farm is the pride and joy of John and his wife Inge who have been farming for 33 years. They can be found weekly at the Sorauren Farmers’ Market surrounded by the bounty they produce on their farm. John is also an experienced electrician, beekeeper, toolmaker, welder and mechanic.
Cassandra Rizzotto is a Founder and Co-owner of Earth + City, a social mission based food company, located in Toronto, ON. Her company’s inception in 2010 began with a grassroots, educational and community-development focus on engaging in Toronto’s burgeoning good food sector. To this day, she continues to build and breathe Earth + City’s practices, partnerships and contributions from that deeply meaningful place.
Cassandra sits on the Board of Directors at the West End Food Co-op as a Producer Member. The West End Food-Coop’s mandate and values of inclusivity, worker equity, accessibility and environment and economic health is very much aligned with her own worldview on food justice and social change. Through over five years of involvement, the WEFC continues to enrich her understanding and knowledge of systemic, institutional and structural issues in our city’s food sector.
Cassandra holds a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Community Development at OISE/University of Toronto, specializing in experiential, embodied and transformational learning. Her most memorable classes consisted of The Pedagogy of Food and Adult Education for Sustainability.