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 board member 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.
Nadja Luckau - President
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.
Carlie Ball- Director of Memberships and Marketing
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.
Rosie Denton - Director of Marketing
Originally from England, Rosie travelled and chased powder for several years before moving to Revelstoke in 2015. Growing up she always enjoyed maintaining a garden with her family and growing her own veggies, however her transient lifestyle meant she wasn’t able to pursue her love of gardening until she settled down here.
Knowing where food comes from, supporting local farmers as well as reducing your waste and carbon footprint are really important to her. Being part of the LFI allows to promote local food and help work towards food security and sustainability in Revelstoke. With a background in events Rosie coordinated the annual fundraiser Midsummer Nights Green for 2 years before joining the board in Spring 2019. In her free time Rosie can be found skiing, biking or finding another way to enjoy the outdoors.
Kristin Olsen - Treasurer
Kristin loves good food and all things outdoors. After moving to Revelstoke 4 years ago Kristin got involved with the LFI volunteering and growing veggies at the newly developed RVAC community garden. Kristin grew up on a large family farm and was always a part of the gardening, harvesting and storing processes. Once moving away from the farm she soon realized how she took this lifestyle for granted. It could sometimes be difficult to find local food in larger city centers, let alone grown your own. It is so great to see a shift in society’s interest of knowing where their food comes from. After a career in financial services for numerous years Kristin took a step back to enjoy her family and is excited to get involved again with this wonderful food-loving community.
Kari Martin - Vice President
Kari joined the LFI first as a member and volunteer, then as a contractor for the Garden and Art Tour. Raised in the prairies, she had an early understanding of the importance of growing and foraging. From helping on her grandparents farm, to berry picking and fishing with the family, there were always things to do surrounding food. After travelling for a bit, Kari moved to Revelstoke in 2008. She was eager to settle in, plant a garden and get back to her roots.
Jodi Kay - Coordinator (Maternity Leave)
Jodi is a true foodie at heart. She passionate about all things food, from planting seeds in the garden to sharing a meal in good company. Jodi is born and raised in Eastern Townships of Quebec, but has been lucky enough to call Banff, France and now Revelstoke ‘home.’ She has been living in Revelstoke since 2016 with her husband, Matt and their border collie, Baltik. The family is growing and Jodi and Matt are expecting to meet their new little baby in November 2018.
The Local Food Initiative is one of the reasons Jodi loves Revelstoke so much. “Knowing where our food comes from is something that is really important to me,” she explains, “and being able to support the farmers and growers in our community, as well getting Revelstoke excited about our local food system is my favorite part of the work I do with the LFI.”
Hannah Whitney - Coordinator (Maternity Contract)
Hannah first started to think about food sustainability while studying at the University of Guelph for her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development. While exploring food systems of the developing world she couldn’t help but reflect on the issues we have in Canada with our own food sustainability. She became aware of how what we eat is much more than simply sustaining our bodies but a reflection on our community, our ethics, and our responsibility as inhabitants of earth.
Hannah’s passion for learning about how to responsibly feed ourselves has only increased since she moved to Revelstoke in the fall of 2017. She first started with the LFI as the 2018 summer Farm Tour Series coordinator and is ecstatic to be back again working as interim Coordinator this winter.
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.
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.