Current Work: Food systems planning and community development, private consulting
I graduated from the School of Community and Regional Planning in 2011. I knew well before then that my work after SCARP would continue to integrate community development and food systems planning, the intersection of which was my motivation for entering SCARP. I was already working as a community developer and food security coordinator at the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House and Westside Food Collaborative for several months before graduation and continued in that position for several years.
My initial work with these organizations however dates back to my first months at SCARP when I got connected with them through Nathan Edelson’s Social Learning Studio on a project to help develop a network of affordable fruit and vegetable markets for low income seniors. I was able to expand the project in later years in my position and use it as a public policy and education lever drawing attention to seniors’ poverty on the Westside. I largely owe the kickoff of my career to that Social Learning Studio work.
Since then, I have opened my own food systems planning and community development consulting practice. I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible organizations and collaborators including the City of Vancouver as co-chair of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the official advisory body to City Council on food policy matters, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Vancouver Urban Farming Society, Vancouver’s Neighbourhood Food Networks, and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society on a diversity of community based research, strategic planning, community engagement, programming, and public policy projects.
One of my proudest professional accomplishments to date has been the invitation to return to SCARP in 2014 as an Adjunct Professor to co-teach the Urban Food Systems Policy and Planning class. Sharing my work with the students and introducing them to outstanding food system practitioners in class has been a privilege.