City of Thunder Bay Administration:
Dan Munshaw, City of Thunder Bay Supply Management
Dan is the Manager of Supply Management, City of Thunder Bay. He is a seasoned supply professional drawing on over thirty five years’ experience in government, mining and manufacturing. He is actively involved in advancing the supply profession, instructing courses and engaged on association Boards. Dan is the founding member of the Lakehead Purchasing Consortium, an award winning published author, and a strong community supporter, serving on the Boards of Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre and Community Living Thunder Bay.
Charles Levkoe, Lakehead University Department of Health Sciences
Charles is the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University. His community engaged research uses a food systems lens to better understand the importance of, and connections between social justice, ecological regeneration, regional economies and active democratic engagement. Working directly with a range of scholars and community-based practitioners across North America and Europe, Dr. Levkoe studies the evolution of the broader collective of social movement networks that views the right to food as a component of more sustainable futures. Mobilizing his existing partnerships, Dr. Levkoe integrates his research and teaching through community engaged learning pedagogies and supports students, community-partners and scholars to be actively involved in knowledge co-generation. Through community-based, action-oriented inquiry and teaching and the development of placed-based action projects, his research contributes to critical discussions that inform theory, civil society action and public policy. He joined the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy Executive in 2016.
Jenny Groenheide, Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture
Since 1990, Jenny has been actively involved in her family farm, Tarrymore Farms, in South Gillies. She and her family farm beef cattle and laying hens and are members of the Thunder Bay Country Market (TBCM) and sell their farm products there. Jenny has served three terms as a director of Farmers Markets Ontario, representing NorthWestern Ontario and specifically the TBCM. She has also served as a Director as well as the Chair for Thunder Bay Country Market.
Jenny was raised on a farm, and was involved in 4-H for many years, as a participant, a leader and as a local board member. She is a proud wife and mother and loves spending time with her three granddaughters. As a hobby in her spare time, Jenny does a little acting with her local theatre group, Mile Hill Melodrama.
Non-Profit (Equity Seeking – Public Advocacy):
Gwen O’Reilly, Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre
In her day job, Gwen O’Reilly runs a community based women’s centre. She has been active in the Thunder Bay anti–poverty and food security movements since 1990. She helped draft and promote the Thunder Bay Food Charter, and now serves on both the Thunder Bay Food Strategy Admin and Food Access Working Group committees. Work with community partners from the Thunder Bay Food Action Network led to the Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre launching the Thunder Bay Good Food Box Program in 2005. Twelve years and about 50,000 boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables later, Gwen is still administrating this popular food security program that incorporates locally grown food. For many years, she was a regular contributor to the Canadian Organic Growers Magazine, and also served on the COG editorial committee. A long time seed saver, Gwen is a producer-member of Superior Seed Collective. She and her partner tend organic fruits, vegetables and a small flock of chickens in their forest garden outside of Thunder Bay.
Catherine Schwartz-Mendez, Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Catherine is a public health nutritionist who has worked in the area of community food security for the last 18 years. Her experience spans working with anti-poverty groups and the community through the Food Action Network to create various food action programs including Gleaning, Community Kitchens and Gardens, Moose on the Loose and the Good Food Box. In 2008, Catherine worked with community members to develop the Thunder Bay and Area Food Charter and in 2014 helped create the Thunder Bay and Area Food Strategy and most recently the Food Council. Catherine continues to provide staff support to the organization. Catherine is passionate about building a healthy food system for all.
Rural Municipal Council:
Councillor Bernie Kamphof, Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge
Bernie Kamphof has been an Executive Committee Member of the Food Strategy since its inception, and has been an active member of the local farming community for over twenty years. He has served on many boards and committees including the Thunder Bay District Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Thunder Bay Cooperative Farm Supplies, Thunder Bay Dairy Producers, Thunder Bay Christian Farmers Association and the Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture. He is currently the Agricultural Representative on the Lakehead Source Water Protection Committee and also is the Vice Chair of the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Association. In addition to his agricultural involvement Bernie has been a Councillor for the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge since 2010.
He is the third generation to own and manage his family’s dairy and crop farm on the outskirts of the City of Thunder Bay. He continues to invest in new technology and practices both in the barns and fields to make his business more sustainable for the environment and the farm’s long term financial success.
Bernie’s agricultural business experience, knowledge and involvement with the local rural community, and desire to see farming thrive in and around the Thunder Bay area help him contribute to the Food Strategy Executive Committee. He would like to see local food production grow and also has a strong desire to protect our important resource of agricultural land in both the City and surrounding rural Municipalities.
City of Thunder Bay Municipal Council:
Councillor Rebecca Johnson, City of Thunder Bay
Rebecca Johnson is serving in her fourth term as a Councillor at Large with the City of Thunder Bay. First elected in 2003, her vocal style of leadership has always complimented her energy and dynamism as she advocates for community progress. Sitting on more than 20 boards and committees, Rebecca is considered a business leader, mentor, ambassador and a role model for young women in Northwestern Ontario. Rebecca has lent her passion and expertise to help found Women in Politics, an organization that encourages women to participate at all levels of Canadian government.
Rebecca has been recognized with a number of awards over the years for her commitment to Northwestern Ontario. Among others, she has received an Achievement Award by the City of Thunder Bay and was one of 25 individuals to receive a Silver Achievement Award in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the City of Thunder Bay. In 2008, she was presented with the Most Influential Woman in Northwestern Ontario Award, Public Sector category. In 2012, Rebecca was presented with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Ontario Minister of Citizenship & Immigration. In 2014, Rebecca was selected as one of the top 20 PARO Northern Ontario Platinum Award winners.
Food Strategy Fiscal Agency:
Ellen Mortfield, EcoSuperior Environmental Programs
Ellen grew up on a small farm near Kingston, Ontario, and those early connections to land and animals gave her an affinity for environmental issues. But her background is in advertising and marketing, and Ellen worked previously as a radio copywriter, a publishing proofreader and a freelance writer before moving to Thunder Bay. Ellen joined EcoSuperior in 1995, and took on the role of Executive Director in 2009. The Food Strategy and its projects are special to her because of the many links to farming and agriculture, as well as environmental issues. She has enjoyed working on the backyard chicken movement and is happy to be putting her marketing and writing skills to work as a member of the Communications Working Group.
Jessica McLaughlin, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute
Jessica is from Nakina, Ontario and is a member of the Long Lake # 58 First Nation. She resides in Thunder Bay with her partner Erik and son Jaxon. Community has always been a strong foundation for all of Jessica's work, from her economic development experience and capacity building work with Nishnawbe Aski Nation to her work with First Nation young adults she fosters a community approach to whatever she tackles. Jessica is a graduate of the Business Administration - Human Resources program from Confederation College and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Lakehead University she currently perusing an Honours Bachelors of Social Work Degree with Lakehead. Over the course of her journey and career she has had the privilege of living and visiting many communities in Northern Ontario and has dedicated her life to working for Northern Ontario and the people that encompass it. Her admiration and passion for this region and its communities was fostered from her parents who taught her at an early age about the many things that the region’s natural environment has to offer from the resilient people to its forest and freshwater foods her passion is represented in all of the work she does.
Youth and Education:
Erin Beagle, Roots to Harvest
Erin is the Executive Director for ‘Roots to Harvest’, a youth and food focused not-for-profit organization in Thunder Bay. Through Roots to Harvest, Erin has been involved with provincial conversations and advocacy around food literacy, youth employment, food access, urban agriculture, food procurement and municipal food strategies for the past 7 years. Erin sits on the board of directors of Sustain Ontario, plays an active role in the Ontario Edible Education Network and sits on the School Food Environments working group for the Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy. She has an active young family and can usually be found with dirt under her fingernails and wearing rubber boots under the boardroom tables.