WHO WE ARE

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​Our Management Team

Steve Duck: Manager of Business Operations

Steve is an accomplished leader, mentor and facilitator who encourages people and organizations to design and develop their potential. Across public, private and non-profit sectors, he works with individuals and teams to establish strategic vision and adapt to the ever-changing environment. Steve, through his company the TIDES Group, specializes in the fields of tourism and agriculture as it evolves into the Italian format, Agritourismo. 

Jenn Cline: Manager of Farm Operations

Jenn is an amalgamate farmer-chef-educator that is passionate about community food security. With 8 years experience in cooking, 6 seasons farming, and farm managing with A Rocha, Jenn brings a multidisciplinary approach to everything she does. Jenn also works with Kwantlen on  farm planning and development, and most recently worked to further develop the plan for the CRD Food and Farmlands Trust.  

 

Matthew Kyriakides: Manager of Land Resources

Matthew is a soil scientist and restoration ecologist with international experience in environmental work. He holds a BSc in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia and an MSc (cum laude) in Earth and Environment from Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands where he focused on soil quality and ecosystem restoration. He worked for multiple years on organic farms across Canada and, most recently, on a reforestation project with the Icelandic Forestry Service.

While most of his training focused on the importance of soil health, he sees the great necessity of working with local communities to create regenerative systems that benefit us all. He founded Homewood Consulting in 2020 to promote practices that improve soil health and assist farmers and other land workers with ecosystem restoration.

Jen Rashleigh: Manager of Partner & Community Engagement

In the world of food production & community engagement, Jen brings over a decade of experience at Farmers on 57th which she founded in 2008. Farmers on 57th is an educational and productive community integrated farm in Vancouver, and is listed as an example of best practice in the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City strategy.


12 years as an educational documentary filmmaker taught her how to find the experts, listen deeply and learn, find the overarching narrative, and tell a good story—all tools that she brings to this modern-day agricultural project. 

 

Jen is the past coordinator of the North Saanich Flavour Trails festival, involved in the Destination Greater Victoria’s federally funded agri-tourism initiative for the peninsula, and is part of the CRFAIR (Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable) team which works towards a robust, sustainable and just local food system.

 

 

Our Board

Lindsey Boyle

Lindsey has proven business leadership experience in upper management. Over 10 years as Senior Vice President for The Sound, an insight, strategy and innovation agency, she grew the company from a start up to a team of 70 people with a global reach. 

 

Lindsey also has proven experience in fundraising and community Food Growing Teaching & Learning. In her role with Growing Chefs! (growingchefs.ca) Lindsey has worked to expand the impact of the classroom program for children in grades 1-6 by building relationships with corporate donors and conducting research on the social impact of the program. Over her 6 years of commitment to the organization, Lindsey has helped Growing Chefs! grow 368 gardens and taught 9000 kids how to cook.

 

Lindsey is founder of the consulting firm Circular Citizen, teaching business people how to apply circular economy principles to create both food innovation opportunities and climate change solutions through food waste reduction and regenerative agriculture practices. As a result of her commitment to advancing the circular economy via Circular Citizen, Lindsey has recently been appointed a role as Senior Associate, One Earth (oneearthweb.org) and a role with One Planet Saanich (oneplanetsaanich.org)

Penny Gibbs

Penny’s roots in North Saanich go back to the 1940’s on both her mother’s and father’s sides.  Her interest in gardening was sparked by her grandmother and her uncle (the former growing white eggplant and gooseberries and the latter growing ground cherries in North Saanich in the ‘60’s, thereby hooking her on the possibilities of foods both unique and tasty).  She joined the North Saanich Food for the Future Society in its inaugural year, and has been helping run the North Saanich Farm Market since its inception.  She’s keenly excited about the possibilities that Sandown offers, from its forest to its boggy areas to its arable land, and the connections between all three of these with our community.

 

 

Dr. Ann Eastman

Ann is a passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and food systems on the Saanich Peninsula. She has a strong background in plant science - a B.Sc. in botany, M.Sc. in plant biochemistry, and a Ph.D. in plant physiology, and innovation experience in industry, government and academia. She served as the Manager for Emerging Sectors and then the Senior Manager for Innovation in the BC Ministry of Agriculture for eight years. Ann is a strong supporter of the Haliburton Community Organic Farm Society, serving as a volunteer director for five years and launching the EcoFarm School program. Ann was a member of the Sandown Transition Team that developed the transition plan from former racetrack to thriving community farm presented to the District of North Saanich Council in September 2018.

Stephanie Jacobs

Stephanie Jacobs is a home gardener turned farmer, educator, and local food systems advocate. She farms at The Sandown Centre and teaches courses on growing food and regenerative gardening at Sandown and at Haliburton Community Organic Farm. She is also the market manager for the North Saanich Farm Market and is a director at large on the Sandown and Haliburton boards. Stephanie is passionate about building resilient local food systems, which for her includes regenerative agricultural practices, supporting local farmers and educating the public to become active participants in their own food security. 

 

Dr. DeLisa Lewis

DeLisa has over 20 years experience with certified organic vegetable and flower farming, holds a PhD in agroecology and soils, and is an assistant professor in The University of British Columbia's Faculty of Land and Food Systems, focusing on teaching during the winter months and on-farm research through the summer. Together with family & a seasonal farm crew, DeLisa operates Green Fire Farm in the Cowichan Valley, a 40 acre farm which includes mixed market farm vegetables & fruits, pasture-raised pigs, beef cattle, hay production, and a small flock of laying hens. Sales are via Farmers Markets, direct and delivered weekly orders to regional customers, and to wholesale markets in Victoria, Nanaimo and Tofino. Her teaching, research and consulting focus on soil nutrient management, farm planning and new farmer training. DeLisa is a member of Islands Organic Producers Association and serves on the Accreditation Board of The Certified Organic Associations of BC, the Cedar Farmers Market Board of Directors, and the Agricultural Advisory Committee in her home district of North Cowichan.

 

Link to DeLisa’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgHEDDzOmI4

Lauren Searle

Lauren is a graduate of The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems and has always felt deep meaning in bridging community with good food. She worked as Business Development Manager with SPUD.ca for 5 years, and is now General Manager for the South Island FarmHub. She brings a thoughtful and nuanced approach to building both relationships and innovative strategies for business growth. Lauren has proven skills in sales & marketing, business analysis, stakeholder engagement, and professional networking. She understands the power of in-person connection as a way to build trusting relationships with everyone involved. Lauren is an avid adventure-seeker with a love of mountain biking and skiing. 

 

Our Advisors

Brooke Hayes: Sandown Soil Lab

Brooke Hayes has returned to the University of Victoria as a graduate student in the school of Environmental Studies after a twenty year break from academia working with the BC provincial public service. Brooke has worked on a variety of projects during that time, and had the opportunity to assess impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic on rural communities in BC, develop a quality assurance framework for contracts for children and youth, support the transition of the BC Ambulance Service and the Oil and Gas Commission out of the public service, develop a cross-government strategy for the delivery of $6.6 billion of goods and services delivered through procurement, and most recently, held responsibility for climate change, marketing, land use planning, and soil, air and water quality portfolios within the Ministry of Agriculture. Here Brooke discovered a passion for agriculture that has inspired a return to school to investigate the relationships between climate-adaptive soil management practices and the overall health of farmers and communities in BC and beyond.

 

Ian Bruce: Water Quality and Wetlands

Ian grew up in Victoria and graduated from the University of Victoria in 1978 with a BSc in Marine Biology. For the next twenty years he worked as a professional biologist on the Island’s West Coast, leading projects studying salmon health and aquatic ecosystems. Ian returned to Greater Victoria and co-founded Peninsula Streams in 2002, so that he could continue sharing his first-hand knowledge of aquatic life and habitat restoration. He completed a UVic Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma in 2003, and since has successfully completed dozens of restoration projects on the Saanich Peninsula. He is currently Executive Coordinator for Peninsula Streams. 

His consulting firm, Watershed Eco-logical Services Ltd., provides ecological and fisheries services to industry, government and First Nations. Ian is a registered professional biologist who is also adept at bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders.

Linda Geggie: CR-FAIR

Linda has been actively working on regional food system issues since the early 1990s. She has worked extensively with a wide range of individuals and groups and believes in collaboration as a meaningful path to getting results. In addition to her work with CRFAIR, Linda is a member of the Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission and Board Member of the BC Food Systems Network. In 2015 she was recognized by Food Secure Canada with the Cathleen Kneen Award for vision, leadership, and a commitment to grassroots activism in building a more just and ecological food system. She was also the Community Research Fellow with the University of Victoria's Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community University Engagement. Linda is an avid food grower and fisher.

 

 

Barbara Johnstone Grimmer, P Ag: Climate Change and Livestock

Barbara brings thirty years of experience in agriculture, animal production and nutrition. She is currently active in research communications and agricultural sustainability education and initiatives, especially with respect to climate change adaptation and mitigation. She is also experienced in hands-on farming producing grass fed lamb. Barbara is actively involved in farm organizations regionally, provincially and nationally: a member of the Poultry Science Association, Canadian Nutrition Society, BC Institute of Agrologists, BC Abattoir Association, BC Sheep Federation (BCSF), Inter Island Sheep Breeders Association, BC Farm Writers Association, and BC Hazelnut Growers. Barbara is a former board member of BCSF and of the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF), past member of the Sheep Value Chain Roundtable, and past member of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.

Rhianna Nagel: UVic Partnership 

Rhianna currently works out of The University of Victoria's Division of Learning, Teaching, and Innovation as the community engaged learning (CEL) coordinator. In her role, she works with community, students, staff and instructors to develop opportunities that enhance student learning and community initiatives. This involves building capacity, supporting curricular development, strategic planning, matchmaking between intended learning outcomes and community interests, managing grants, sharing and celebrating efforts and achievements, and fostering reciprocal relationships.

Rhianna received a B.Sc from the Land and Food Systems program at The University of British Columbia and an MA from the Community-Based Research Lab in Geography at The University of Victoria. She also spent time living between Canada and Uruguay farming and working with community groups on a range of initiatives which were generally related to social and ecological well-being. 

In addition to her work at The University of Victoria, Rhianna is the chair of the board of LifeCycles, a Victoria based organization that cultivates community health by connecting people with the food they eat and the land it comes from.

 

Lorea Tomsin: Livestock

Lorea bought her first purebred, a Silver Down Suffolk from W&K Gould, when she was 12 years old. Lorea has been president of the Inter-Island Sheep Breeders Association since 2011, and recently stepped down after nine years as BC’s director on the board of the Canadian Sheep Breeders Association (CSBA). Lorea was one of three delegates who travelled to Mexico on behalf of the CSBA and Canadian Sheep Federation in 2016.. We are incredibly fortunate to have Lorea’s expertise and mentorship in our North Saanich farming community.