Sarah Harper- President
Kristina Geidt- Vice President
Melissa Hemphill- Secretary
Melissa's passions are all things food related. With a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph, Melissa went on to pursue a diploma in Natural Nutrition and develop a career as a Holistic Nutritionist. Through learning all that she did about the importance of feeding our bodies the right fuel it became more and more obvious that it is our food system which is leading us to illness. After moving to Revelstoke in 2006, Melissa became involved with the North Columbia Environmental Society and helped to create the first community garden through what was then a committee of the NCES called the Local Food Initiative. Melissa served as a member and the chair of this committee, then created the Coordinator position in 2014 and has filled it for 18 months. She helped to establish the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative as its own society, and continues on in a non-voting board position.
Melissa is currently the Food Security Coordinator with Community Connections (Revelstoke) Society and is working to implement recommendations from the Revelstoke Food Security Strategy to make Revelstoke a more food secure community. When Melissa isn't busy tackling community food security issues you can find her in the garden, on the trails, or teaching her kids the wonders of the world.
Jeff Shiray- Treasurer
Nicole Cherlet - Director of Memberships
Nicole comes from the hospitality industry but now runs the local housewares shop. Same skills, but now she gets to help people get the right tools to cook for themselves. Nicole wants to support the conscientious consumer; to be a part of the solution to some of societies problems of over-consumption. Being a part of the LFI helps Nicole promote the good side of the equation. It's important to know where our food comes from and how it gets to our plate. We can appreciate our meals more, meaning we cook more and rely on large corporate food companies less!
Toni Johnston- Director
Toni has been a community environmental activist since the late 80’s working on Forestry, Hydro and Highways opposing programs of spraying herbicides including court action. She organized speakers on forestry issues, organized workshops on herbicide safety issues, and set up information tables on occasions such as Earth Day, Mountain Arts Festival and at the outdoor market. Since then Toni has served as a board member with the Revelstoke Visual Art Society helping to organize programming and contacting artists for workshops.
As a board member for the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, Toni has helped organize the annual Chickadee Festival and organized field trips for youth. Toni's current main environmental work has been with the Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society, where she served as President for 6 years. Toni is a great mentor to all of us
Stu Smith- Director
Stu has more than just a green thumb and his love for the hottest of the hot peppers is an inspiration to the sun. With decades of food growing experience in his wake, Stu has cultivated a deep relationship with the soil and the community around him. Since 2013, Stu has been sharing his experience to aspiring gardeners through the Garden Guru series. He measures wealth by how long he is eating last year's vegetables into the following spring. He was raised in a small backyard garden in southern Ontario, but soon found his way west. At the tender age of seventeen he landed in Nelson, BC, working as a produce clerk at the Kootenay Co-op. This solidified his passion for organic, locally grown vegetables. During that chapter of his life, Stu was mentored by a Dukabhor farmer, whose specialty was garlic growing. Stu continues to grow vegetables, while creating community from his small urban farm in Revelstoke.
Discloser: Stu has made quite the career as a male model- you should see his blue steel.
Carlie Ball- Director
Carlie Ball has a passion for food, cooking, pot lucking, and spending time outdoors. She happily relocated to Revelstoke from Vancouver with her husband Brian and dog Ringo in the winter of 2015-16 snd has been loving it ever since. You may have met her or Brian while slinging frozen yogurt at their food truck The Twisted Berry. Carlie draws from her background in Business and Entrepreneurship and is excited to get more involved in the community while working with the LFI over the next 2 years.
Hailey Ross - Ex-officio Director
Hailey’s educational background includes a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University in 2009, and an honours degree in social anthropology. Hailey’s academic and work experience have focused mainly on human relationships with the natural environment, stemming from her interest in the integration of natural and social sciences to solve challenges in environmental management. Much of Hailey’s work has been community-based and has included the development of many of LFI's mainstay programs such as the Garden Guru Series, the Midsummer Night's Green, the Garden and Art Tour, etc. Currently, Hailey works as the executive director for the Columbia Mountains Institute.When not working, if Hailey is not in the garden (or kitchen), it is likely that you’ll find her soaking up the beauty of our mountain environment and the diversity of recreational opportunities it offers.
Nadja Luckau - Ex-officio Director
Nadja is a transplant from Germany, who came to BC 11 years ago to spend a winter. She ended up falling in love with the people and the mountains, learned to ski and developed a big interest in organic farming. Nadja was transient for most of her time in BC and moved to Revelstoke four years ago, after apprenticing on an organic farm in Cawston, to actually put down roots. "It turns out to be good soil here for me to grow in, as this is the longest that I have stayed in one place since leaving my parents' house way back when" says Nadja. Her move to Revelstoke has turned Nadja into a lover of all things mountain biking, and the newest passion of hockey, which she picked up playing in the winter of 2014/15. It has taught Nadja lots about being humble: learning how to skate and playing a team sport as an adult are not easy things. To Nadja, growing food locally and organically is one of the most important tools that we have to make this world a better place. It also translates into being happy with what is right in front of you - as in, should you buy a banana that has traveled thousands of kilometres? Or should you eat plums, which are also sweet but grow abundantly in your backyard for free?! Most of the time Nadja opts for the plum, but sometimes the banana still wins. Nadja, however, is thriving towards more and more plums in her life and hoping to inspire others to do the same.
Sara Sansom - Ex-officio Director
Sara Sansom is a compost enthusiast, attempted gardener, self-taught leftover chef and food lover extraordinaire. She was introduced to the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative in November 2012. Being new to town and having a new found obsession with soil this seemed to be just what she didn't know she was looking for. This committee has taught her so much about the community, food & environmental topics, gardening, composting and herself - she is thrilled to now be the Secretary for this brand new society. Outside of the LFI, Sara founded Birch & Lace - a progressive salon with clean products and an impressive waste diversion program (hair is organic waste too!). In addition, Sara has just opened a new spa Feather & Stone offering body and wellness care. She can usually be found working behind the chair at Birch & Lace or out galavanting with her husband & dog.