Our Team & Board

The London Environmental Network (LEN) is supported by a team of diverse staff and volunteers, as well as a Board of Directors. LEN was hosted and incubated for 3 years by Thames Talbot Land Trust and ReForest London and is now its own non-profit organization.

We frequently seek volunteers to help with LEN event planning and setup, marketing, communications, and outreach. Contact us to learn more about current opportunities with the London Environmental Network.

 

Our Team

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Skylar Franke | Executive Director

skylar@londonenvironment.net

Skylar Franke is a community mobilizer and engagement specialist. Skylar is happiest when talking to new people and eating good food with friends and family. Skylar is passionate about building community, environmental advocacy, local food systems, great wine and ethical coffee. She has over 6 years of experience in advancing action in the environmental sector by running a variety of environmental programs in London while working at ReForest London and the London Environmental Network. She graduated in 2013 from King’s University College at Western University with an honours B.A. in Social Justice and Peace Studies and French Studies. Skylar was awarded the Top 20 in their 20’s in 2018 by Business London and the Leading Women, Leading Girls Award from the Province of Ontario.

Skylar is responsible for overseeing the development of new programs and initiatives including Green Economy London, as well as all other aspects of running the London Environmental Network.


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Marianne Griffith  | Green Economy London Hub Manager

greeneconomy@londonenvironment.net

Marianne Griffith is a committed environmentalist and an advocate for local, sustainable food systems and renewable energy. She's worked with London based organizations to promote sustainability and community driven carbon and waste reduction, including Growing Chefs, The Root Cellar and Building Better. She's worked on social justice and sustainable development projects in Indigenous communities in many countries and she works closely with First Nations communities in Ontario to increase access to clean water, clean energy sources and sustainable, affordable housing.

She holds certificates in Sociology, General Enhanced Carpentry, Applied Sustainability and Advocacy and Implementation from the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. She is currently the Green Economy London Hub Manager where she is committed to help London businesses set and achieve sustainability targets.


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Leah Derikx  | Environmental Projects Coordinator

leah@londonenvironment.net

Leah is passionate about mobilizing the community to empower environmental change. In 2018, she graduated from Western University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology - specializing in ecosystem health and sustainability. Her interest in sustainable development led to her involvement with local environmental non-profit organizations, including London Environmental Network.

As an avid cook, home-kombucha brewer, amateur indoor gardener, and regular farmer’s market shopper, Leah strives to support local food systems. She believes in cultivating food systems in which local food is celebrated, food literacy is the norm, and farmers and consumers alike experience food security. In her free time, you can find Leah enjoying a fair-trade coffee and a nature book.

At London Environmental Network, Leah is responsible for coordinating special events, educational workshops, and communications to help the network strengthen and thrive.


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Susan Ratz  | Events & Communications Specialist

susan@londonenvironment.net

Susan Ratz is a soccer mom, a communicator, a marketer, and lover of spreadsheets. She enjoys how a well planned event or project can concentrate focus on a specific goal and topic.

Beyond trying to build momentum for environmental initiatives, Susan is a passionate vermicomposter, a big fan of Massassauga rattlesnakes, and enjoys supporting Monarch and Black Swallowtail butterflies.

Susan has been involved with the Guelph Organic Conference since 2014 and is a past Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Environment for the City of London. Other events she has helped coordinate include the Resilient Cities Event in 2017 and the Green in the City series in 2018. She is an alumni of Wilfrid Laurier University where she completed an Honours BBA.


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Natalie Merchant  | Sustainability Coordinator (Green Economy London)

Natalie is a passionate advocate for sustainability and environmental stewardship. Growing up in Thunder Bay surrounded by vast forests and lakes, she is constantly reminded of nature’s astounding beauty, value, and the use we can make of it. She believes healthy environments are essential for healthy communities, and wants to help build and promote sustainable practices to ensure healthy environments for future generations. Natalie is completing her Masters at Western University in Environment and Sustainability (MES) and has a degree in biology specializing in conservation and biodiversity. She recently completed a project with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, researching new methods for calculating carbon sequestration and urban forest management best practices.

Board of Directors & Special Advisors

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Deirdre Crilly - Chair  | Let’s Talk Science (Development Officer)

Deirdre has been working in the non-profit field for eight years, holding a variety of positions in the fields of development and communications and is currently the Coordinator of Report and Proposal Writing at Let’s Talk Science. Deirdre has studied Biology and Not for Profit Management at Western University and is currently finishing her CFRE designation. In her spare time, Deirdre enjoys hiking, yoga and spending time outdoors with her family.


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Sonja Teichert - Vice Chair  | Consultant

After graduating with a PhD (2016), Sonja has worked as a postdoctoral researcher, project manager and most recently, consultant. With an academic background in ecology and an interest in species monitoring, over the past 20 years Sonja has worked in various capacities with citizen science programs and is passionate about community outreach and stewardship. Her best job ever was coordinating the Nova Scotia Herpetofaunal Atlas Project, with teaching Biology labs at Cape Breton University coming in as a close second.


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Nicholas Rothernel, CPA, CA - Treasurer  | CARFAX Canada (Controller)

Nicholas is the Controller at CARFAX Canada Corporation, holding an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor, an advanced diploma of Business Administration from Conestoga College and a certificate of Human Resources from the HRPA of Ontario. Nicholas has used this advanced financial training to support London’s business and not-for-profit communities. He has worked with various not-for-profits in business, consulting and volunteer based roles – most notably with Camp Oochigeas as the Ontario team captain for an international firm, and as building captain for KaBoom! Nicholas enjoys hiking, travelling, working with a local start-up on environmental education programs and spending time outdoors with his family. Nick is the Chair of the Governance and Finance Committee


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Conor Brennan - Secretary  | County of Oxford(Waste Technician)

Conor is a Waste Technician with the County of Oxford, whose primary focus is on waste management projects. His experience in project management, field work, data analysis, research, and report and proposal writing through this 2cg has further developed his deep care for how we use our resources. Conor is excited to continue engaging Londoners on ways to reduce waste and use our resources efficiently and sustainably (Tool Library anyone?!) but also through a variety of other interests – transportation, natural areas and trails, biking, and energy. In the meantime, Conor will continue to be seen at the dog park or with a frisbee.


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Carol Dyck | Thames Talbot Land Trust (Board Member)

Carol was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has degrees in International Relations (BA), Environmental Law (LLM), International Environmental Policy (MA), and Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (MSc). A resident of London since 2007, Carol has served on London’s Environmental and Ecological Protection Advisory Committee, and the Trees and Forests Advisory Committee. She has also been a volunteer with Reforest London, and was a candidate for the Green Party in 2015.


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Heenal Rajani | Innovation Works (Community Animator)

Born and raised in England, Heenal is a newcomer to Canada who has lived and worked on four continents and has visited over 60 countries. After graduating with a MA (Hons) from Oxford University, Heenal spent his early career working in local government. Following three years as a union organizer, he moved to Central America and founded a green building and environmental education non-profit and a voluntourism social business, before spending two years in India studying tools and processes for collective social change. A new father, Heenal works at Innovation Works in Downtown London, as a community animator and sower of the seeds of collaboration.


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Gillian Barker | Western University (Assistant Professor)

Gillian Barker is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Western University. Her research and teaching focus on scientific and ethical aspects of global environmental challenges, especially climate change. She is a founding member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, which brings together researchers from the humanities and the natural and social sciences to tackle multi-faceted problems and to promote public engagement and philosophical reflection on scientific issues affecting Canada and the world.


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Kaitlin Richardson | Nature Conservancy of Canada (Conservation Biology, Coordinator)

Kaitlin is currently the Coordinator of Conservation Biology for 9the Nature Conservancy of Canada's Midwest Ontario region. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's of Environmental Studies and diplomas in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation as well as Environmental Assessment. Kaitlin is passionate about protecting, stewarding and restoring land for Ontario's biodiversity and species at risk. Kaitlin's passion for conservation goes beyond the workplace. She spends her spare time tending to her native plant garden, volunteering in the environmental sector and hiking to admire local plants, birds and turtles. Kaitlin has over 5 years of experience in many aspects of ecology and the non-profit sector, having worked as the Stewardship Coordinator at TTLT in the past as well as the Project Manager at ReForest London and an Urban Forestry Technician at the City of London.


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Jeff Gallant | Byron Northview Public School (Teacher)

Jeff Gallant is an elementary teacher and environmental advocate. He has worked to promote sustainability in the community and his teaching practice over the past 10 years. This past summer, Jeff had the opportunity to attend Al Gore’s Climate Reality Corp training in Los Angeles. This profound experience has led him to rededicate his life to environmental protection, sustainability, and climate awareness.


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Nura Mazloom | Evergreen (Program Coordinator)

Nura is passionate about education, equity and human wellbeing. She has worked for two years as a program coordinator and outdoor educator at Evergreen, an environmental not-for-profit based in Toronto. She also has over 10 years of experience in community building, capacity building and grassroots education focusing on empowering youth who wish to become active protagonists of the transformation of their communities. While studying Global Health and Human Geography at U of T she worked as a research assistant to help improve patient outcomes in kidney transplantation and neurosurgery, as well as consolidating learning on the health of refugees in Toronto. She now studies dentistry at Western University.


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Dean Sheppard - Special Advisor  | ReForest London (Executive Director)

Dean Sheppard is an environmental consultant owning and operating his own consulting firm since 1996, specializing in management processes and systems. He has been the Executive Director of ReForest London since 2012 and also teaches a capstone project course in the Masters of Environment and Sustainability program at Western University. Being active in making his community a better place for today and for tomorrow is a hobby and a passion. He has served on several City of London Advisory Committees and taskforces.


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Jay Stanford - Special Advisor  | City of London (Director of Environment, Fleet & Solid Waste)

Jay joined the City of London in 1995 and has held number of senior management positions. In 2012, he became the Director of Environment, Fleet & Solid Waste in the Environmental & Engineering Services Area. He has responsibilities for Solid Waste Services; Fleet Services, and Environmental Programs (including energy conservation, active transportation, urban watershed management, and outreach and behaviour change initiatives). Prior to joining London, he worked for 8 years for an environmental consulting firm in Toronto. He is currently on the Board of Directors at the Ontario Waste Management Association and involved in waste management policy development for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario.

Event Committee Members

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Shannon Hawke  | Events Committee Member

My name is Shannon Hawke, and I am a co-director of Zero Waste Forest City. I was born and raised in London, ON, although it was not until I moved to Detroit, MI in 2015 that I found my passion for environmentalism. Living in a city that didn’t pick up my recyclables every week made me realize the impact my daily decisions had on the environment, and I knew I needed to make a change. It wasn’t until I moved back to London in 2017 that I began to earnestly live my best low impact lifestyle. I came to fully understand that I am nothing but a small part of the greater Whole, and I am intrinsically interconnected with everything else. If I wanted to care for myself, I also had to care for the planet. Following the path of countless Zero Wasters before me, I dedicated myself to the journey of waste reduction in my daily life. Now it is time for me to share my passion with my community in the hopes of encouraging, educating, and inspiring others to come into a place of informed awareness about the impact their daily actions have on the planet we all share. As a spatial designer, spiritual seeker, and passionate environmentalist, I aim to make a meaningful contribution to my city, as well as my beloved home, Mother Earth.


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Andrea von Wahl  | Events Committee Member

Bio to be posted soon. Stay tuned!


Kelly O'Connor  | Events Committee Member

Bio & photo to be posted soon. Stay tuned!

Evaluation Committee Members

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Carol Dyck | Evaluation Committee Member

Carol was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has degrees in International Relations (BA), Environmental Law (LLM), International Environmental Policy (MA), and Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (MSc). A resident of London since 2007, Carol has served on London’s Environmental and Ecological Protection Advisory Committee, and the Trees and Forests Advisory Committee. She has also been a volunteer with Reforest London, and was a candidate for the Green Party in 2015.


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Heenal Rajani | Evaluation Committee Member

Born and raised in England, Heenal is a newcomer to Canada who has lived and worked on four continents and has visited over 60 countries. After graduating with a MA (Hons) from Oxford University, Heenal spent his early career working in local government. Following three years as a union organizer, he moved to Central America and founded a green building and environmental education non-profit and a voluntourism social business, before spending two years in India studying tools and processes for collective social change. A new father, Heenal works at Innovation Works in Downtown London, as a community animator and sower of the seeds of collaboration.


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Sonja Teichert - Vice Chair  | Evaluation Committee Member

After graduating with a PhD (2016), Sonja has worked as a postdoctoral researcher, project manager and most recently, consultant. With an academic background in ecology and an interest in species monitoring, over the past 20 years Sonja has worked in various capacities with citizen science programs and is passionate about community outreach and stewardship. Her best job ever was coordinating the Nova Scotia Herpetofaunal Atlas Project, with teaching Biology labs at Cape Breton University coming in as a close second.


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Alex Elias  | Evaluation Committee Chair

Bio to be posted soon. Stay tuned!


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Bianca Rocha | Evaluation Committee Member

Bio to be posted soon. Stay tuned!

Governance and Finance Committee Members

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Nicholas Rothernel, CPA, CA - Treasurer  | CARFAX Canada (Controller)

Nicholas is the Controller at CARFAX Canada Corporation, holding an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor, an advanced diploma of Business Administration from Conestoga College and a certificate of Human Resources from the HRPA of Ontario. Nicholas has used this advanced financial training to support London’s business and not-for-profit communities. He has worked with various not-for-profits in business, consulting and volunteer based roles – most notably with Camp Oochigeas as the Ontario team captain for an international firm, and as building captain for KaBoom! Nicholas enjoys hiking, travelling, working with a local start-up on environmental education programs and spending time outdoors with his family. Nick is the Chair of the Governance and Finance Committee


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Miguel Belcina  | Governance and Finance Committee Member

Miguel is a Tax Specialist at KPMG LLP. He is a degree in Accounting (BSc) and is a Certified Public Accountant (Michigan). While at KPMG, Miguel has been involved in working with not-for-profits, and coordinates community initiatives for the office, such as volunteer tax clinics and blood donation drives. Miguel has a passion for sustainability and the environment, and is excited to be a part of LEN. In his spare time, Miguel enjoys spending time outdoors and staying active.


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Angie Bellehumeur  | Governance and Finance Committee Member

Angie was born and raised in London’s francophone community and has an endless passion for environmental justice at both global and local levels. She has experience researching municipal active transportation law and policies and, through her B.A.(Hons) degree from the University of Toronto majoring in Environmental Studies and Geography, she studied how eco-conscious cities support the happiest and healthiest people. Her global experience includes interning at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland, traveling to Peru and Bolivia to work on community-requested projects (e.g. urban gardening), and studying wildlife conservation in Australia. Angie is currently a Juris Doctor candidate at Western Law with a focus on environmental law and indigenous rights. She received the Anne Marie Gutierrez Award at Western Law for her academic achievement and promise in the fields of environmental and aboriginal law. As a member of the Governance and Finance Committee, Angie is excited to bring her policy experience and love for community-based environmental initiatives to LEN.


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Mike Ullerick  | Governance and Finance Committee Member

Bio to be posted soon. Stay tuned!


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Deirdre Crilly  | Governance and Finance Committee Member

Deirdre has been working in the non-profit field for eight years, holding a variety of positions in the fields of development and communications and is currently the Coordinator of Report and Proposal Writing at Let’s Talk Science. Deirdre has studied Biology and Not for Profit Management at Western University and is currently finishing her CFRE designation. In her spare time, Deirdre enjoys hiking, yoga and spending time outdoors with her family.

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The London Environmental Network helps protect our environment and build a sustainable community by doing everything we can to help our member organizations deliver on each of their own important missions.The London Environmental Network provides our member organizations..Read More

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