Staff & Board
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.
Ever passionate about the intersections between community, food, waste and climate, Tess has actively pursued social and environmental transformation since 2012 in Alberta and Ontario. This has involved completing her Bachelor of Arts in Environment & Urban Sustainability at Ryerson University in 2019. Concomitantly, she was ignited by the spirit of farmers’ markets and avidly dug into the role of market manager for two years at the Junction Farmers Market in Toronto. An adventurer seeking to combine these experiences with her love of nature and involvement in leadership training, event waste management, urban farming, vermiculture, community gardening, and civic engagement, Tess has now crossed the Great Divide to Vancouver with her partner, Mitch and dog, Dash, and looks forward to supporting the local foodscape and farmers’ markets with BCAFM. Along with these many passions and pursuits, Tess can also be found reading or writing at her local cafe, hiking in both urban and natural environments, tending to her plants, pickling something, or attending a house concert.
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.
Interested by the interdependence of health, nature and global environmental issues, Gabrielle has completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Concordia University and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Health at University of Montreal. Her recent studies in Community Economic Development has brought her to deepen her understanding of how local food systems are powerful to support vibrant, inclusive and collaborative communities. She has worked in the non-profit sector for the past five years and more recently was working as the Communications Coordinator at Food Secure Canada. Her passion for cooking earthy and colourful dishes, and baking with seasonal fruits has been inherited from several family members. As Gabrielle recently moved in Vancouver for a period of one year, her free time will be dedicated to discovering as many BC farmers’ markets as possible, enjoying the outdoors, and exploring the vast variety of mountain biking trails that BC has to offer.
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 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.