The Halton Food Council consists of up to 13 members at any one time. Members live or work in the region of Halton and represent key interests and sectors in the Halton food system.
Michael Shaen (Chair)
Michael has a varied work background including careers in politics, law, corporate finance, and in management consulting. In addition to chairing the Halton Food Council he is currently the Chair of the YMCA of Oakville Y, and Co-Chair of the Industry Council for Homeward Bound Halton. He is also a frequent outside advisor to non-profit organizations on strategy, organizational design, governance, and on the design and implementation of innovative forms of partnership and collaboration. Over the course of many years he has served as a volunteer director on behalf of a wide range of social service agencies, chairing the boards of well established as well as fledgling organizations.
Gayle Kabbash (Past-Chair)
Originally born and raised in Montreal, Gayle moved to Burlington in 1995. Her passion in food security started as a volunteer developing a student nutrition program at her daughters' school in 1997. During her 15 years working with non-profits, she has developed strong skills in community development and revenue generation. She has engaged the community in programs such as farm to school and edible gardens with tremendous success. Being involved in a community allotment garden has given her a solid experience of growing food and preserving the food through canning for the winter. Everyone should have access to good local delicious foods.
Sandy is a beef farmer who raises calves in Halton Hills. On the Council, she serves as the Halton Agricultural Advisory Committee's representative. Sandy is also involved with the Halton Federation of Agriculture and is a Director with the Halton Peel Cattlemen's Association.
Jonathan grew up in Bronte in the aisles of his grandparents (Bill & Donna Hill) grocery store - Lakeside Marketeria. Having admired the way food can bring people together and build a strong community, he went on to become an Urban Planner with a focus on food systems. Jonathan has worked internationally on food system projects including Edmonton's and Toronto's food strategy projects and is currently working on the revival of Buffalo, NY through several planning initiatives including farm-to-institution programs in schools, hospitals and workplaces. Jonathan would like to see Halton develop a Food Strategy to ensure a healthier and more sustainable food system for years to come.
Anna DeMarchi-Meyers - Halton Region Legislative and Planning Services (non-voting)
Anna DeMarchi-Meyers grew up on a hobby farm bordering Halton and Peel. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph, Ontario Agricultural College earning a B.Sc. (Agr.) with a major in Animal Science. Most of her career has been spent in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry. In 2003, she left the pharmaceutical industry and alongside her husband (board certified reproductive veterinarian), helped build their 134-acre farm into full-service horse reproduction centre. She is currently an Agricultural Liaison Officer with Halton Region and serves on the Halton Food Council as staff support.
Lynn Garrison – Halton Region Health Department (non-voting)
Lynn is a public health nutritionist who has worked in the area of community food security for the last 16 years. Her experience spans working with anti-poverty groups around household food insecurity as well as with the community to create the Halton Fresh Food Box Program. In 2009, she worked with community members to establish the Halton Food Council and provides staff support to the organization. Lynn’s interests are in ensuring a healthy food system in Halton region.
Roger is primarily involved with developing brand communications for the Halton Food Council. His curriculum encompasses a wide variety of experience within retail, micro-finance and large corporations as well as 15 years working as founder of design, branding and communication agencies. Day-to-day Roger works with a variety of clients from the commercial and non-profit sectors. In his spare time, Roger likes drawing with his three kids, playing guitar and living the good life in Oakville.
Raised on a family farm in southwestern Ontario, Brenda holds the role of Executive Director of Food for Life. Her focus lies in serving at risk individuals and those living in poverty gain equitable access to healthy food. The organization works with close to 100 local and national food donors, farmers, manufacturers and food industry partners, distributing food with the equivalent of 3.5 million meals annually. Prior to leading Food for Life, Brenda was the CEO of the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation and concentrated her efforts on promoting bone and joint health and helping Canadians lead healthy, active lives. Brenda is inspired by community collaboration and is dedicated to engaging various stakeholders to ensure access to nutrition for all residents.
For the last 15 years Hart Jansson has been a principal with Malnutrition Matters, a Canadian non-profit focused on food technology solutions. Prior to that, Hart had a number of executive roles in telecom software start-ups that capped a 25-year career in the industry. Hart has served on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards, and has served on two Mayor's Advisory Groups in Oakville. He has played a role in a number of Oakville-based non-profits including the Oakville Sustainable Food Partnership and Transition Oakville and is also the Director of the recently formed Halton Chapter of the Council of Canadians.
Gary is the Executive Director of Kerr Street Mission (KSM). He has worked in sales management and performance improvement roles in the pharmaceutical Industry. Gary has applied his experience and his heart of compassion to his current role, and over the past 4+ years, he has spearheaded the transformation of KSM and helped to position the Mission as a multi-faceted hub for community care and compassion in Oakville and beyond; responding to the practical and social needs of individuals and families in distress, and children and youths at-risk.
An (almost) life-long resident of Halton, Jarvis is managing partner of O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP, a sixteen lawyer firm based in Oakville. His practice area is in working with small and medium sized owner-operated businesses and public and charitable organizations. He has worked with many non-profit boards and has been especially involved with strategic planning and governance issues. In the food policy area, his particular interests are in local sustainability and reduction of waste.
Jamie has an expansive and diverse background within the food and farming sectors, with a focused, strategic business approach to resolving and providing solutions to the myriad issues of improving economics for all throughout the value chain. He is an experienced leader with intuitive advocacy skills honed through decades of coordinating lobby efforts at every level of government throughout all party lines, which has worked into both of his existing roles, particularly as Chair of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance. He previously was Chair of the Ontario Food Terminal Board, Executive Director of the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, and formerly on a multitude of boards as a director, member, and chair.
Chantelle was raised in Halton and currently develops and facilitates programming in the environmental sector. She is passionate about natural health, plant-based diets and enjoys travelling primarily to indulge in local foods from around the world. Chantelle is currently completing her Certificate for Environmental Studies through the University of Guelph, and will be spending three months on a farm stay in Hawaii to help reduce food waste and create kitchen policies that can be implemented in any restaurant.