Deirdre is a health promotion and organizational/community development consultant interested in the health and well-being of our planet, and the people who inhabit it. She has worked extensively with citizens, local, provincial and federal governments and a variety of other groups (not for profit, businesses etc.) to help others develop greater capacity for collaboration, collective impact and creatively to tap into our collective potential. She is passionate about resilience, food security and works as the Coordinator of the Food Action Coalition. She owns her own consulting firm, Team Play Consulting Inc.
As Director of Women, Seniors & Community Services for Sources Community Resources Society, Denise provides oversight and leadership to a broad portfolio of community programs and services, which are poverty related. These include all women’s services: counseling, family law advocacy, a hot lunch program, shower, laundry and clothing facilities, and educational support groups, emergency aid etc. Denise oversees both the South Surrey /White Rock and Langley Food Banks, all volunteer and seniors services and programs including shop by phone, driving for medical appointments, dental clinic etc. . Her business experience and accounting education assist her with the direction of two social enterprise Sources Concierge developed to employ dis-advantaged women and the Sources Connection Café & Catering, an inter-generational enterprise, fostering positive working relationships with seniors and youth. Sources Community Resources Society is the host agency for the Food Action Coalition.
Silvia is passionate about empowering people to become self-reliant both at the household and community levels. She teaches, blogs and coaches people on different topics from organic gardening and Permaculture living to food preservation. Silvia holds many hats and also works as a certified career counsellor, adult educator, First Aid certified trainer and disaster management team member. You can visit her projects and blogs at: http://mainstreampermaculture.com/ and https://silviadiblasio.ca/
Rick Ketcheson (co-chair)
Rick Ketcheson, a Food Action Coalition member since 2012 lives in White Rock . He is an active volunteer in the community, focusing on increasing food security and self-reliance. Among his interests are Permaculture, healthy soil, gardening, food forestry and localized food systems. He is a retired engineer and an avid cyclist collaborating also in the Village Surrey Transition Initiative, the White Rock Social Justice Film Society, Growing by the Sea Society and is a “slow money” investor with the Knives and Forks Community Investment Coop. On economic justice he promotes community supported agriculture and fisheries, alternate currencies and studies the impacts of banking and finance – all guided by the principle expressed by Vandana Shiva in this quote: “In nature’s economy the currency is not money – it is life”.
Neil Fernyhough has been Manager of Community Programs at Alexandra Neighbourhood House since 2013, having worked over twenty years in the social services and community development field. An avid lifelong gardener and outdoors enthusiast, Neil directed his passion for food security and the protection of green-space into the development of two community gardens in South Surrey; and the creation of both a healthy food policy and sustainable practices policy for Alex House. Neil is a strong proponent of community gardening as a vehicle for enhancing community capacity through fostering natural connections between neighbours, who then come together as advocates and activists for food security and green-space connection in their communities. In addition to gardening, Neil also enjoys hiking, cooking, and cycling.