Staff & Board

Staff Members

Heather joined the BCAFM in August of 2016 and brings over 15 years of experience in non-profit and social enterprise leadership to her position as Executive Director. Although originally from Manitoba, where her family has deep farming roots, Heather has called BC home since 2000.

As an entrepreneur and food lover at heart, Heather believes deeply in farmers’ markets and small-scale farmers as a critical force in our regional food system. She has worked with a variety of business, non-profit and charitable organizations, and loves to bring strategic thinking and entrepreneurial resourcefulness to make creative ideas come to life. For 8 years, Heather served as executive director of Potluck Café Society, an award-winning social enterprise that creates jobs and provides healthy, fresh food for people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Peter’s first connection to farming began when he was 12 years old, as a potato picker in Northern Maine. Peter is a founder of the Surrey Urban Farmers Market, which created a locally-funded nutrition coupon program. In BC, Peter has worked with the Certified Organic Associations of BC, the BC Health Living Alliance and the Surrey-White Rock Food Action Coalition on a number of projects. Peter has been on staff with a Member of Parliament and a Member of the Legislative Assembly. He also worked as a Project Coordinator with Peace Brigades International’s projects in Nepal and Sri Lanka and as a Training Coordinator with Hostelling International in the United States. He has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations/Mass Communications, Boston University. Peter lives in New Westminster with his partner, Colleen and their daughter Rory.

Tahlia hails from Perth, Western Australia, and joined the BCAFM team in May 2018. There, they worked in the public sector for six years, the most recent two which were spent at the Ministry of Health. While Tahlia really enjoyed their job there, they had always been interested in joining the agriculture sector as they are passionate about environmental sustainability and food security. This led them to their new home of Vancouver, and now Kimberley. Tahlia is excited to be part of the BCAFM team, and is happy that they still gets a crossover of public health and agriculture working on the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program. In their spare time, Tahlia can be found gardening, enjoying nature, cooking (or more likely eating), and going to comedy shows.

Meredith grew up in rural Nova Scotia, lived in Toronto, Calgary and Dublin before settling down in Vancouver to raise a family. She is a mother of three children and spends her time volunteering with many organizations that her children are involved in and also helps prepare family meals once a month at Ronald McDonald House. She works part time with the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets and also with the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. She has an affinity for the outdoors and loves back country camping, kayaking, hiking and skiing.

Melissa is an event planning and logistics professional with over 15 years of experience. She has previously worked with the Surrey Urban Farmers Market, New Westminster Farmers Market and is currently employed with the Fraser North Farmers Market Society overseeing the management of the Port Coquitlam and Haney Farmers Markets. She is an award winning fundraiser and has assisted in generating over $1 million in revenue for the BC SPCA helping animals in need of veterinary care. Melissa is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed and enjoys working with passionate individuals who are contributing to the well-being and economic success of their communities.When not thinking about or visiting farmers markets Melissa is hanging out with her young son, Logan in the City of Maple Ridge. During her “off” time she loves to go camping and explore British Columbia.

Jasmine Noble is an experienced communications and government relations professional with a knack for social media marketing, design and photography. Having fallen in love with the west coast, Jasmine moved to Vancouver from Toronto in 2017 and worked with small, local businesses as a social media consultant. Jasmine joined the BCAFM in October 2020 and looks forward to supporting BC’s thriving local food system with her creative skills, communications expertise, and an ever evolving passion for climate justice and intersectional environmentalism.

 

Board Members

Vickey is passionate about local food, farmers, governance and community. From building a community garden at the University of Victoria while completing her undergrad degree (Environmental Studies and Political Science) to working with Farmers Markets she has been working hard to grow both Farmers’ Markets and farmers in the Valley. She currently resides in the fabulous Village of Cumberland with her husband and two boys. Her volunteer experience includes 4 years on the board of the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS), and currently a member of the Village of Cumberland Advisory Planning Committee. In 2014 her work with the CCSS led to being elected as a trustee for School District 71.

Since then Vickey has been elected to the Board of Directors for First Credit Union, as well as being elected as a councillor in the Village of Cumberland.

Patricia’s interest in farmers’ markets began when she had a small part-time organic farm. While working for a seed company, she became familiar with many of the farms in BC, and volunteered with the Vancouver Farmers Markets for two seasons. When she moved to Victoria, she had to leave her farm, but just couldn’t give up the soil – so she volunteers at a local organic farm. She has been on the staff of the Moss Street Farmers Market in Victoria for nine years, four as Assistant Manager, and two as Manager.

Patricia’s work experience includes bookkeeping, human resources, and payroll, with much experience in event planning, organizing, graphic design and computer support. She has served on the board of directors of a large community orchestra during a difficult transition. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, a minor in Music, and is a weaver.

As a person who has been involved in farming and farmers’ markets, she has the passion and conviction about the importance of local organic produce.

Greg brings a wealth of experiences to the board. He is currently the farmers’ market manager and the community gardens coordinator for Interior Community Services (ICS). Prior to joining ICS, he worked as the social enterprise coordinator for the Kamloops Food Policy Council, a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to supporting and improving regional food sovereignty. Before moving to Kamloops in 2017 from Manitoba, Greg worked for Winnipeg Harvest for 8 years, a food distribution hub for a network of food banks and soup kitchens around the city. Winnipeg Harvest also does advocacy work around improving food security for those in need, and reducing food waste in the commercial food system. Greg was also on the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub (WRENCH), for two years.
Dad loved his garden. He never really talked about it, he would just go out and water the plants. It wasn’t a really big garden, but it would take him hours. Now I get it. I have evolved into a compulsive farmer. Or at least a farmer with delusions of greatness – of feeding the world – but I “get” what drives a person to submit themselves to the brutalities of eking a living from stone. I am that I am. Growing up in Ontario, I was taught that you grow up and get a job then retire to maybe do those things you wish you did when you were young and able. So it was that when I moved to British Columbia I surrendered myself to destiny and pursued my higher education at UCFV in the Fraser Valley – an amazing school with a fantastic agricultural program. Unfortunately, my degree was in Computer Science, but how was I to know? I mean, what kind of retirement does a farmer look forward to? I have been a vendor at farmers’ markets for about ten years now and am currently serving as President of the Sechelt Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market. We are a large market in a small community, and I have enjoyed the challenges and rewards of helping to guide the market towards success.
James has ten years experience as a small scale organic vegetable farmer and farm manager in the Kootenays and in Delta. He has also been a vendor at farmers’ markets in the Lower Mainland. He was Executive Director at the Sharing Farm in Richmond for four years where he managed staff, liaised with board, raised funds, and developed projects in collaboration with municipal staff and council. James has worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector for many years and currently manages a greenhouse and its growing operations, and project manages infrastructure development projects. He contributes to the evolution of the local farmers’ market through the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition Society, raises funds, and contributes to staff development.
Kate is the owner of The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) Vancouver branch and Luna Bookkeeping. She is also the site manager for Sechelt Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market. She has 15 years of experience working in the communications and marketing sectors both in Canada and the UK.

Kate’s love of good food and the idea that food is medicine brought her to CSNN where she graduated with merit as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in 2011. While studying at CSNN, Kate volunteered with Vancouver Farmers’ Markets, gaining experience growing organic herbs and selling at the market. She went on to become an artisan vendor at multiple lower mainland markets. In 2018 Kate became owner/manager of the Vancouver branch of CSNN. By being a business owner, Kate found her love of finance and bookkeeping and enrolled in the Professional Bookkeepers Certification program at Langara college, to be completed in April 2021. In 2020, Kate took on the role as Site Manager for the Sechelt Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market and looking forward to continuing with this role in 2021. When Kate is not hard at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the beauty of the Sunshine Coast, tending to her garden or making new connections in the community.

Martin Krell and his family own Tenish Farm, located 26km north of Prince George, where they raise hogs, sheep and hay. Martin grew up working on farms in the Soda Creek area and owned and operated a wholesale meat company delivering freezer packages of meat throughout BC and Alberta. Martin, Jessica and their 5 children have lived in Prince George since 2000. Martin has been a residential mortgage broker since 2005. In 2012, the opportunity opened to purchase a 350 acre land north of Prince George, so they brought home 4 gilts and a boar, and the rest is history! They currently breed sows to sell piglets in the spring, finish market hogs to sell at the 5 farmers’ markets, hay 180 acres and breed 150 ewes. Martin has served as a board member for 2 years and is currently the president of the Prince George Farmers’ Market, as well as a board member of Downtown Prince George. He also continues to be involved with volunteer positions within his church community.
I, along with my family, have been a part of the Quesnel Farmers Market since 1995 and the McLeese Lake Farmers Market since 2016. I, like so many other children, spent my youth growing up in a farmer’s market community. After graduation, I briefly left the market to pursue a BA in English, before returning to raise my family. I am heavily involved in my community and look forward to sharing my rural roots with my daughter. I am very invested in my local markets and therefore the BCAFM. I have experience as both executive and director positions with local community societies, as well as several other groups. One of my greatest strengths is as a generational ambassador within my aging farming community. I am hardworking, technologically capable, innovative and a problem solver.
Wylie cares deeply for Farmers’ Markets and their place in the agriculture, health and business/retail environments. She has continued to be a champion and advocate for vendor and market sustainability and would like to do more for the BCAFM. Wylie is currently involved in local markets, as well as additional regional agriculture and economic development organizations and would like to bring her skills to the BCAFM. She believes that farmers’ markets are an integral component of any farmers business plan and that we need to ensure that markets are strong, vibrant, financially sustainable and critical pieces of their communities.

 

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