EH Board of Directors

Environment Hamilton has a 9-member Board of Directors voted in by the membership at our Annual General Meeting.   Board members meet monthly and are actively involved in organizational operations, fundraising, and strategic planning.   

2019-20 Board of Directors

Chair    Cindy Gangaram
Vice-Chair Laura Ryan
Secretary Ron Ballentine
Director Kerry Bear
Director Robin Cameron
Director Andy Coltman
Director Ryan McGreal
Director Emily Power
Director Christine Yachouh

          
REPORT FROM THE EH BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE 2020 
The following people are being considered for Environment Hamilton Board of Directors membership for the 2020-2022 term. This includes new faces looking to join the board for the first time and current board members seeking re-election for another term. (Please note that Environment Hamilton organizational bylaws permit individuals to hold board positions for a maximum of three two-year terms, consecutively.)

All applicants were asked to review the Board of Directors Background Information Package and submit a Board of Directors Application Form available on this page by September 1, 2020. Applicants were asked to supply a short bio and photo to be published on the Environment Hamilton website.

The Board of Directors Nominations Committee is tasked with reviewing applications and recommending individuals for election to the full Environment Hamilton membership. Voting will take place at the 2020 Annual General Meeting on Monday, October 5, 2020, 7pm.

The Board of Directors Nominations Committee is recommending that the following individuals be reelected to the board:

  1. Andy Coltman
  2. Kerry Le Clair
  3. Christine Yachouh

 The Board of Directors Nominations Committee is recommending that the following individuals be elected to join the board:

  1. Amy Angelo
  2. Leanne Grieves
  3. Nina Tran

We encourage the Environment Hamilton membership to read the information about each candidate and vote for their chosen candidates at the AGM.

Please note:
This was the first year we organized the application process in this way and we were grateful to receive applications from many excellent candidates – fourteen people in total. These included people from a wide variety of activist and professional backgrounds (visual artist, social documentary photographer, biologist, engineer, political scientist, social worker, psychologist, lawyer, political staffer, food security worker, etc.). Candidates had experience doing activism across a range of environmental and social justice issues: Fridays for Future student climate strikes, anti-pipeline campaigns, First Nations’ water quality, endangered species, cycling and transit infrastructure, food security, urban farming, affordable housing, disability justice, sexual assault survivor support, mental health advocacy, and more. We were excited to receive applications from many youth, including high school, college, and university students who are involved in environmental activism in their schools and the broader community.

The Board Nominations Committee chose to recommend candidates who we feel can bring (i) professional skills and (ii) knowledge, experience, and perspectives to the Board that we are currently lacking. Importantly, we sought to support a balanced board with representation and skills that will complement the members that will remain on the board. If you were not selected this round, please do not be discouraged from applying in future. Everyone who applied would make an excellent Board Member, and we may well favour your representation next time.   

CLICK HERE to access the 2020 EH Board of Directors Application Form.

CLICK HERE to access the 2020 EH Board of Directors Background Information Package.


Candidates seeking re-election to the board:

COLTMAN, ANDY

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With a scholastic background in politics, public policy, economics and marketing, Andy has worked with, and for, a wide variety of ENGO's, municipal, provincial and territorial governments (and, most importantly, people) over the last thirty years to further environmental awareness and improve efforts to protect and promote it. He regards EH as one of the most passionate, and knowledgeable, organizations he has ever worked with and believes focused cross-sectoral respectful discussion, respecting science, may still be able to achieve what's necessary to save the earth.


LE CLAIR, KERRY

Kerry is a community organizer with a background in human rights, indigenous solidarity and social justice work. She launched the Board's equity and inclusion committee and most recently helped to create a relocation committee. In her Sherman North neighbourhood, she is a passionate advocate for holding industrial businesses and waste facilities accountable for their negative impacts.


YACHOUH, CHRISTINE

Christine began her involvement with Environment Hamilton as a summer student Climate Change Campaign Assistant in 2016. Since then, she remained involved with the Fundraising Committee, helping to plan events like the Carbon Cycle, and was invited to join the Board of Directors in 2018. She has a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Science, with a minor in Sustainability from McMaster University. She sits on the Board’s Equity and Inclusion Committee in addition to the Fundraising Committee.


Candidates seeking to join the board:


ANGELO, AMY

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Amy has an honours degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Queen’s University. She completed a Sustainable Farming Internship at Everdale Environmental Learning Centre in 2013 and went on to work at Everdale and Black Creek Community Farm in Toronto. In 2015 she moved to Hamilton to work as the operations manager at Hamilton Victory Gardens. In the fall of 2016 she was hired as the Community Garden and Market Coordinator at Neighbour 2 Neighbour’s Hamilton Community Food Centre where she is now the Manager of Food Access and Skills. Amy is currently developing and writing a course on Issues in Urban Agriculture for the University of Guelph. She also enjoys long distance running all over the city, especially through the trails and loves biking to work - but is finding the options for getting up the mountain a bit limited this summer!


BRASH, STEPHANIE

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Stephanie is a progressive activist and "forever student" - dedicated to her ongoing education through various avenues, including post secondary degrees, independent reading and everyday observation. As a student of sociology, Stephanie is critical of the existing power structures that continue to oppress our most vulnerable, and has committed to working within the system to eliminate oppression wherever possible.

Over the past three years, Stephanie has overhauled her life to minimize her carbon output. Through a plant-based diet, creating minimal waste, transitioning to sustainable transportation and tending to her produce and pollinator gardens, Stephanie is dedicated to living a life aligned with her values and to supporting others in their own sustainability journeys.

When she isn't studying, gardening, or advocating for progressive policy, Stephanie can be found cycling throughout the city, likely huffing and puffing at inconsiderate drivers.


GOLARZ, MARIA

Maria Golarz (she/her) is a lawyer, advocate, activist, mother, community member, and volunteer, living in and exploring the beauty of Dundas. Over the years, she has advocated on behalf of animals and the environment, children, Indigenous communities and low-income individuals. She aims for a plant-based and zero-waste lifestyle.


GRIEVES, LEANNE

I moved from Manitoba to southern Ontario in 2012, and I’m fascinated by living in the most biodiverse and densely populated region of Canada—complete with its biological wonders and conservation challenges. An ornithologist by trade and a birder by hobby, a colleague and I are working to protect a large breeding colony of Threatened Bank Swallows. Our advocacy has generated widespread media attention and our petition (Save London’s Bank Swallows) has over 22,000 signatures to date. I am also part of a group dedicated to resourcing BIPoC in nature by providing equipment, education, and BIPoC-led mentorship.

Photo caption: Leanne is holding an endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike, a grey bird with a black face mask and sharp bill. The bird has its bill and wings open and looks angry and menacing. Leanne is wearing a black toque and jacket and has her hair in a braid. She has a surprised expression on her face that is part smile and part grimace.


JOHNSTON, TRISH

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I have been a social worker for over 25 years working at CAS, hospitals, long term care homes. Environmental issues and income inequality are correlated. I am an advocate for basic income and environmental issues. I support public transit, a walkable city, and clean air. I am horrified by how people have to live in the north and east ends of the city.


JURRIAANS, ERIK

Since I graduated from McMaster in Chemical Engineering in 2016 my passion has been sustainability. I have been working ever since on my passion project “Sustainabus”. Sustainabus is an eco-friendly, off grid, house in a bus that I designed and built myself. In this journey I have gained a thorough knowledge of sustainable practices and policies. I am now returning to McMaster as a student this fall so I can better tailor my education to sustainable public policy. I have also demonstrated my desire to work in and give back to the Hamilton community. Whether its community
engagement with Hamilton 350, youth outdoor education with the Royal Botanical Gardens or political door knocking with the GPC or NDP, I have dedicated myself to sustainability and the Hamilton community. Joining the Environment Hamilton Board would not only be a dream come true but allow me to put my passion and knowledge to excellent use.


MECKLAI, FARIS

My name is Faris Mecklai and I am currently a student in the Arts & Science Program at McMaster University where I am also a Loran Scholar. While interning for the Yukon Conservation Society in Whitehorse I was able to help the Yukon Government create a wetlands protection act, and researched the environmental impacts of invasive species on endangered and protected species. I was also a member of Waterlution’s Youth Advisory Board and on the board of directors of OPIRG McMaster. Both organizations have the objective of empowering youth to engage the community and tackle local environmental issues. I have also worked in social and legal work in Singapore for the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics and recently returned from Montevideo where I was living as a McCall MacBain International Fellow.


MONETTE, MICH

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Dr. Mich Monette lives and works in Hamilton. They serve their community as a Clinical Psychologist (Supervised Practice) and as President of the Hamilton Centre Federal Riding Association. Mich is passionate about the environment and hopes to contribute to environmental advocacy and economic justice to preserve the planet and the Hamilton community for their generation and those to come.


PALUMBO, LAURA

Laura is a writer, producer, and illustrator focused on creating and collaborating on projects across artistic platforms using storytelling, social discourse and creativity at the centre of her work. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, and her pursuit of literature, theatre and film has taken her across North America and Europe. She now happily resides in Hamilton with her family.

An advocate for the protection of water, Laura is growing her artistic practice to create social and environmental awareness of issues surrounding our Great Lakes. Laura uses her ‘Sketchy Laura’ illustrations as an engagement tool: creating engagement with folks through humour in looking at pressing issues affecting our environment and our own human nature. In early 2020, Laura partnered with Cameron Kroetsch and local businesses in Hamilton to promote their ‘Take One, Leave One’ campaign with Sketchy Laura illustrations, promoting health equity, where businesses agreed to stock female hygiene items in their bathrooms.

In 2019, Laura co-founded Sketchy Run Club, an anti-workout run club,  that promotes a safe environment to meet new friends and run safely as a group. In one year, SRC partnered with Woodland Cultural Centre, SACHA and Good Shepherd Women’s services raising nearly $3000 through fundraising and community events.

Laura is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion through active anti-racism education as an artist, mother, member of the Hamilton community, and friend. Gratitude for the place she call home, Hamilton—situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas—this land is covered by the ‘Dish With One Spoon’ Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabek to share and protect the resources around the Great Lakes.


PEIRCE, BONNIE

Graduate of Ryerson University, Business Diploma. Managed western sales office for Canadian textile manufacturers. English as a second language teacher in Japan for 18 years. Supported adults with developmental challenges for Community Living Brant for 15 years. After retiring 2 years ago, I now s[end time volunteering and enjoying the outdoors.


SANSANWAL, SOHNIA

Hi there, my name is Sohnia Sansanwal. From a young age, my grandparents raised me to understand the importance of sustainability and conservation. Now, as an undergraduate student pursuing science, I regularly employ lessons instilled during my youth and apply them throughout my volunteer and academic involvement. Outside of my work in science communication and mentorship, I consider myself an avid reader, music buff, and love doing pretty much anything outdoors.  Serving alongside fellow justice advocates while learning and addressing the diverse needs of my community would be an amazing privilege. Thank you for the opportunity to join this tremendous organization.


TRAN, NINA

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Incoming engineering student at McMaster. A transportation enthusiast raised in Hamilton and can be found with her rusty, trusty bike complaining about getting 'doored' in the city. A strong believer of 'Yes, in my backyard' and equal access for all.


WILSON, ALEX

Alex Wilson (They/Them): I first came to Hamilton for my undergrad degree at McMaster and have called Hamilton home for the past 6 years. Currently I live in Dundas and work as a constituency assistant for MPP Sandy Shaw. I love wildflowers, parks and public transit. My strengths are in connecting ideas and identifying solutions. I value opportunities to work collaboratively within community and believe in the power of people working together to create change.