Tag Archives: steering committee

Staff & Steering Committee

The London Environmental Network (LEN) has one full-time staff person, one part-time communications coordinator and a few volunteers, as well as a Steering Committee. LEN is hosted and incubated by Thames Talbot Land Trust and ReForest London.

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

Skylar Franke – Network Coordinator
Email: skylar [at]  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 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 currently sits on the Agricultural Advisory Committee to the City of London as the Vice Chair and on the Urban League of London Board of Directors as Secretary.

Kaitlyn Tyschenko – Communications Coordinator
Email: communications [at] londonenvironment.net

Kaitlyn is going in to her fourth year at Western University pursuing Honours Bachelors of Health Sciences (BHSc) Degree in Health Promotion. She is a student leader, dog lover, and all around innovator. Kaitlyn has a passion for sustainable agriculture and animal rights activism. She is constantly trying to see how we can break down the legislative barriers between health and the environment for a sustainable and prosperous future. Kaitlyn enjoys coffee, wine, and vegan desserts – pair any of those with a great conversation topic and she is hooked.

She is excited to help LEN members with creating social media strategies to increase engagement, and to foster online collaboration between the 35+ amazing members the LEN has. Kaitlyn is able to provide up to five hours a week of social media work to LEN members, which can be anything from scheduling posts, creating a social media strategy, to graphic design work, or anything else that members need. If you would like to contact Kaitlyn to discuss how she can help you, shoot an email her way.

Alexander Leonard – Communications & Marketing Specialist
Email:  dranoelalex [at] gmail.com

Alex Leonard is a social media expert with over 5 years experience working for various clients within the entertainment and environmental non-profit sectors. As a recent graduate in Communications and Cultural studies from Concordia University in Montréal, he is capable of assisting with media strategies in English and French language markets. Alex has experience controlling customer relationships management with various large-scale brands (i.e. IleSoniq, Earmilk.com, various musicians) and helping start-up NGOs grow an online presence quickly (i.e. Divest Concordia, AIESEC Canada, Elephant & co., and more).

The skills he offers LEN members are personal sessions where he can explain strategies and free platforms for monitoring data more closely and building a branded online presence. Alex’s passion towards moving into a career in environmental journalism coincides with LEN and their members’ ethical values. If you have any questions or media ideas that you want assist with, send Alex an email and he will get back to you with further advice on growing a brand!

Leah Derikx – Communications & Outreach Specialist
Email:  volunteer [at] londonenvironment.net

Leah is entering her fourth year at Western University, pursuing Honors Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. Leah has a strong scientific background, having completed Animal and Marine Ecology, Environmental Biology, and Fungi Diversity courses at Western. Raised in London, she is passionate about local production, sustainability, and waste reduction. She enjoys being surrounded by nature – whether it’s by hiking nature trails or tending to her indoor plants. In addition to her studies, Leah is a barista at Black Walnut Bakery Café and a supportive member of the Salthaven Youth Environmental Alliance.

Leah is eager to develop strategies to support the environmental sector in the London and area community. Leah will assist with the development and promotion of events for LEN and its members. She is able to promote the latest activities of members, create content for LEN events, and assist with LEN events.

Steering Committee

Suzanne McDonald – Thames Talbot Land Trust (Executive Director)

Suzanne McDonald is the Executive Director at the Thames Talbot Land Trust. McDonald has directed several capital campaigns including the Children’s Museum, the Merrymount Children’s Centre, the Brescia University College Foundation and most recently the Goodwill Industries campaign.  Suzanne has served on several boards including the United Way of London and Middlesex, Fanshawe Pioneer Village, the Centre for Philanthropy, UWO Alumni Board, the Stratford Festival and recently completed her appointment to the Ontario Heritage Trust Board and the Western University Senate.

Dean Sheppard – 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.

Jay Stanford – 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.

Nicholas Rothernel, CPA, CA – CARPROOF (Controller)

Nicholas is the Controller at CARPROOF 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.

Deidre Crilly – Let’s Talk Science (Coordinator, Report and Proposal Writing)

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.

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.

Page Forron – Western University (Graduate from Environmental Sciences)

Page is a recent graduate of Western University with a Bachelor of Science – Specialization in Environmental Science and is continuing studies in International Business Management at Fanshawe College. She is an enthusiastic and engaged London-local who has been involved with various community organizations including the London Food Bank, the Thames Valley Education Foundation and the Sister’s of St Joseph. She was co-captain of her community-driven committee while working at Best Buy Canada and facilitated countless fundraisers, community and employee events and leadership opportunities for her peers. Page has 10 years of experience in the customer service and hospitality industry and can always be found up to her head in projects and work, she loves being busy and involved in her community!

Sonja Teichert – Boreal 2050 Project (Project Manager & Post Doc Associate)

Sonja has been working as a postdoctoral researcher and project manager for the past year after graduating with a PhD (2016).  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.  Most recently her work involves examining the drivers of change in the Boreal.  Sonja has been contributing research to, and managing the teams across Canada who are conducting a scenario analysis to better understand risks to Boreal ecosystem services resulting from climate change’s impacts on the physical and social landscape of Canada.

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.

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.


Conor Brennan – 2cg (Consultant)

Conor is a consultant with 2cg (2 composting guys) in London whose primary focus is on waste management projects for the municipal, provincial, and commercial sectors. 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.

Andrea Von Wahl – Goodwill Industries (Employment Counsellor)

Andrea is an Employment Counsellor and the Green Advisory Co Chair at Goodwill Industries Ontario Great Lakes. This might seem like a strange mix but her views on environmental sustainability and social justice are definitely connected.  Goodwill has over 600 staff across South Western Ontario and the Green Advisory Team’s biggest project is implementing a Green Ambassador program to improve buy in and communication on green initiatives across the organization. Andrea feels more motivated when she sees people volunteering their time and energy to contribute to a project and is a firm believer there’s power in numbers!