Staff & Board
heather.ohara (@) bcfarmersmarket.org
Heather joined the BCAFM in August of 2016 and brings over 10 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.
georgia (@) bcfarmersmarket.org
Georgia has worked at the BCAFM since 2009. Her introduction to farmers’ markets was as a child attending her neighbourhood farmers’ market at Trout Lake in Vancouver – it was love at first sight. Her interest and passion for food, agriculture and environmental issues led her to the University of British Columbia where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and focused on sustainable agriculture and agroecology. She has worked and studied in the field of agriculture for over a decade, including working as assistant manager with the Vancouver Farmers’ Markets Society, and an event planner, writer and researcher for various agricultural organizations. Georgia also served as a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, a civic agency that works to improve food sustainability in Vancouver by advising Vancouver City Council. When not at work Georgia enjoys tending to her backyard chickens and cooking up a storm.
peter (@) bcfarmersmarket.org
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.
anice (@) bcfarmersmarket.org
As a socially and environmentally conscious person, Anice is interested in learning and sharing ideas on how we can all create more sustainable, healthy and inclusive communities. With a diverse background in Film & Video Production as well as International Development, she brings creativity and critical thinking to the table. She is passionate about travel and has worked in different parts of the world. She has held various environmental related positions in the non-profit sector as well as in municipal government. When not at work Anice enjoys photography, exploring cities, and Skyping with her little niece and nephew!
tahlia (@) bcfarmersmarket.org
Tahlia hails from Perth, Western Australia, and joined the BCAFM team in May 2018. There, she worked in the public sector for six years, the most recent two which were spent at the Ministry of Health. While Tahlia really enjoyed her job there, she has always been interested in joining the agriculture sector as she is passionate about environmental sustainability and food security. This led her to her new home of Vancouver as there are much more opportunities in this city! Tahlia is excited to be part of the BCAFM team, and is happy that she still gets a crossover of public health and agriculture working on the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program. In her spare time, Tahlia can be found doing yoga, enjoying this beautiful city, cooking (or more likely eating), and going to comedy shows.
meredith (@) bcfarmersmarket.org
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.
Jim has experience in government relations at all levels and has served on various boards and committees. Jim acquired governance experience as a past director of one of Canada’s largest credit unions. With his past employment, Jim was responsible for project design, management, human resources, and risk assessment. Jim also has degrees in political science and accounting from UBC and has many years’ experience putting these into practice at various organizations and non-profits. Most recently, Jim has been a director on the board of the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM). Jim is also on the board of directors of a BC Housing associated society in New Hazelton, and the provincial BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
Jim believes that volunteer organizations need representation from people who have experienced the effects of poorly planned growth. Jim was born in Surrey and lived on a small farm before Surrey became a parking lot. Jim was involved with drafting the policy that led to the formation of the Agricultural Land Commission. He moved up to Northern BC in the late 1980’s and obtained a crown land agricultural lease to develop a farm in the Kispiox Valley. Jim enjoys putting his practical experience, education and skills to use on the BCAFM board of directors to support the strategic direction and growth of farmers’ markets across BC.
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.
Laura seeks to re-establish connections between people, places and their food. Before joining Vancouver Farmers Markets in 2010, Laura led multi-stakeholder community development projects across Canada with Katimavik and engaged Vancouver citizens in urban forest restoration with Evergreen. She is a facilitator, problem-solver, and systems thinker who delights in getting her hands dirty to change the food system. She is most excited about working on a provincial level to ensure that young people are able to choose farming as viable lifestyle and that farmers markets remain economically sound for years to come.
Rubina has been on the boards of several organizations, including the Royal Roads University (2008-2013), where she served as chair of the Governance & Nominating Committee. From 2010- 2017 Rubina served on the Steering Committee of the North Shore Table Matters Network. She is currently a member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food (Vancouver chapter), an advocacy group calling for a universal school meal program in Canada.