EL Members 2009

Naomi AdamsKate BoyleJennifer ElkinsMarella Fallat
Vivian Gosselin
Jesse GairMaggie GilbertKarim Harji
Stacia KeanÉmanuèle Lapierre-FortinRyan Legault-McGill
Sarah McDonaldRaïmi OsseniCharles C. Perrin
Nicole Rosenow-Redhead

Kezia CowtanMeghan Mergaert

Alison ColwellLaura HowardKrystal Payne

EL Committee

Naomi Adams (co-chair), Victoria
Naomi has been the co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Committee since November 2007, and represents the Committee on CCEDNet’s Board of Directors. She has been a member of Emerging Leaders and CCEDNet since 2005.

Naomi works at the BC Ministry of Advanced Education on Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education. She is currently finishing her Masters in Public Administration at the University of Victoria. She completed her undergrad at Carleton University, Ottawa, in Public Affairs and Policy Management. Her hobbies include bike polo, running and field hockey.

Kate Boyle, Toronto
Kate has a long-standing interest in community economic development, youth leadership development, and the point at which these two intersect. Her interest in community economic development began while writing her undergraduate thesis, which explored the potential of Local Economic Trading Systems (LETS) as a tool for sustainable community development. Upon graduation, she initiated and coordinated a LETS for the Fredericton community, gaining valuable skills in organization, networking, and public engagement, as well as furthering her knowledge of community development.Kate worked as a Project Leader with Katimavik, a national service-learning program, and then as Program Officer with the Uniterra program coordinating a group of 29 young Canadian and African AIDS activists. Experiences with community development and with youth leadership have brought Kate to the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, where she completed a Masters degree in Adult Education and Community Development, examining youth civic engagement and involvement in community development.

Kate currently works for the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation, managing an internship program for some of Canada’s brightest young leaders, helping them to stretch their boundaries in the fields of public policy, non profit and enterprise work.

Jennifer Elkins, Kitchener
Jennifer is a new member of the Emerging Leaders committee as of 2009. She recently completed a Master of Social Work degree that focused on Community Development work and has had a long-standing interest in issues of community formation and social inclusion. In 2004, Jennifer began volunteering within a L’Arche community, communities where individuals with developmental disabilities live with those who support them, and, in 2008, completed her Master’s thesis on change within intentional communities like L’Arche.

Jennifer is currently a CreateAction intern, working as a Housing Support Researcher at Lutherwood in Kitchener, Ontario. She hopes to continue to build on her knowledge of community economic development and contribute to building community capacity locally and nationally.

Marella Fallat, Vancouver
Marella Falat is currently completing a degree in Global Resource Systems at the University of British Columbia. Her interests include sustainable agriculture, and global food security. She has spent a semester studying in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas Mexico and participated in a field studies course in sustainable agriculture last May in Cuba. As food is at the heart of many other issues including climate change, poverty, war, energy, and sustainable (or not so sustainable) economies she finds herself passionate about all of these issues and hopes to bring a sustainable food system lens to the table.

At UBC she is involved with a student run organic and locally focused cafe called Agora, and is currently moving on from her position as Inventory Manager – looking to engage more of her energies into projects at the UBC Farm or The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems. Her plans for the near future include apprenticing on an organic farm this coming summer and becoming a Professional Agrologist after graduation.

Vivian Gosselin, Winnipeg

Jesse Gair, Winnipeg
Jesse has a passion for the possibilities of CED. He holds an honors Diploma in Community Development, Community Economic Development from Red College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a committee member of Emerging Leaders for CCEDNet and a member of the Early Career Advisory Committee of the HR Council for the Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector.

Jesse has many years of experience working with and inspiring youth. Currently he is The Youth Outreach Coordinator for The Spence Neighbourhood Association in Winnipeg, MB. Over the past few years Jesse has focused on developing and implementing projects which support inner city youth deemed at-risk of joining gangs, dropping out of school and becoming sexually exploited. Jesse has worked on youth related projects in food security, social enterprise, recreation, volunteerism and advocating to government social service agencies.

Jesse has traveled and volunteered extensively across Canada and Mali, West Africa.

Maggie Gilbert, Vancouver
Maggie Gilbert Behn is a graduate of the International Studies program at the University of Northern British Columbia where she focused her studies on the health and wellness of northern and rural communities. She then spent a year working as the Editor of the Chetwynd Echo Newspaper in the small, northern B.C. town of Chetwynd. It was in Chetwynd that she was given the opportunity through a local planning society to participate in CCEDNet’s Youth in Charge program. Maggie’s experiences with CCEDNet through this program inspired her to join the Emerging Leader’s Committee upon moving to Vancouver at the end of 2008. Maggie remains committed to helping communities become healthier and more sustainable and hopes to continue working with more CED organizations in the future.

Karim Harji, Toronto
Karim Harji is the Manager for Partnership Development at Social Capital Partners, a Toronto-based venture philanthropy firm. Karim is also a Senior Research Associate at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University, and an advisor to the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation. He is the founder socialfinance.ca, an online platform for the community of people and organizations that are actively trying to advance the development of a social finance marketspace in Canada.

Prior to joining SCP, Karim was a management consultant at Aperio, where he advised social sector clients on strategy, business planning, partnerships and social enterprise. Karim previously worked the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation and the Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program (CEDTAP) on issues related to community investments, corporate social responsibility, blended value, and program evaluation. His other work experience includes human rights at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), microfinance in Pakistan, and community health in Kenya. Karim holds a Masters degree in Public Administration with a focus on International Development from Carleton University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from McMaster University.

Stacia Kean, Thunder Bay
Stacia is the Project Coordinator for Accelerated Access Consulting, a social enterprise of PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise in Thunder Bay, Ontario. With a background in social work (BSW) and business administration (MBA), Stacia works with PARO to design micro-lending and social enterprise projects for clients in the non-profit sector.

Bringing 10 years work and volunteer experience in the areas of social planning, women’s programming, small business development, and youth engagement, as well as having lived and worked in both rural and urban areas in Canada, Stacia is aware of the need for CED strategies that strengthen local economies; CED strategies that give people the means and guidance to support their families, in their communities, through meaningful and satisfying work.

Through ongoing participation in community and economic development initiatives, such as the Entrepreneurship Program at Confederation College in Thunder Bay (Advisory Council member), the Diabetes Association (Team Diabetes, Half-marathon 2009), and CCEDNet’s Emerging Leaders committee, Stacia looks forward to a continued involvement in Canada’s growing CED sector.

Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin, Toronto
Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin heard about the EL committee when she was volunteering as the newsletter writer at the 2008 CCEDNet’s Annual Conference in Saskatoon, and wanted to join the “community of practice” ever after its spirit of cooperation stroke her with full force.

Émanuèle is passionate about community economic development, with strong equity politics and a vibrant interest in documentary film making. She has worked in microfinance and support to micro-enterprise with the Access Community Capital Loan Fund in Toronto, as well as with Uniterra and the World Food Program in West-Africa. She is currently working as a Project Manager for a Job Creation Partnership Project at Working Skills Centre. She absolutely loves people, cycling and coordinating, which led her to become a Ride Leader for for Global Agents for Change’s Europe Tour, a bicycle ride from Amsterdam to Istanbul (4000km), in which 25 youth will raise $100 000 for microfinance. She is absolutely enthused by the possibility of creating an amazing experience for this group as well as EL, for they are agents of empowerment that inspire others to commit to a life they love.

Ryan Legault-McGill, Ottawa
Ryan Legault McGill has lived in Ottawa for several years, where he attended Carleton University to earn a Master’s of Arts in Public Administration (Concentration in International and Development; Concentration in Science, Innovation and Environment) and a Bachelor’s of Public Affairs and Policy Management (Specialisation in International Studies; Minor in Economics). Ryan has worked for the Government of Canada as a policy analyst and researcher in several capacities, namely in the fields of international children’s rights and participation; sustainable development; and, Aboriginal housing on First Nation reserves. Ryan has also worked within the NGO community at the United Way of Canada, Family Services Ottawa, and Northern Youth Abroad.

Ryan has been an active member of the Child Poverty Action Group of Ottawa (CPAG) for several years. CPAG researches the impacts of low-socio-economic capital on children and families in the Ottawa community, and advocates on their behalf. Ryan has also published on how access to computers and internet impacts socio-economically marginalised families in Ottawa.

Sarah McDonald, Calgary
Sarah Macdonald graduated from the University of Guelph in June 2008 with a degree in International Development, emphasizing in Political Economy and Administrative Change.  Sarah has just recently begun working at Momentum, which is a Community Economic Development Organization in Calgary. Sarah is involved in the Financial Literacy department at Momentum, which entails matching and saving programs for low income families in Calgary. Working at Momentum has allowed her to gain a deeper understanding of Community Economic Development.  She is excited to be able to share her knowledge surrounding Community Economic Development and also broaden her perspective and gain valuable insight.

Raïmi Osseni (Interim Co-Chair), Winnipeg
Raïmi is bilingual. After a Commerce degree in management and finance completed at HEC Montreal, I studied international development at the University of Winnipeg and discovered a passion for Community Economic Development (CED), a local action by people to create economic opportunities and better social conditions for the most disadvantaged. I then worked in the non-profit sector for a few years, doing CED work, project coordination and marketing. I am very interested in social economy, entrepreneurship, immigration and the Cooperative model.

L’Afrique, l’Amérique latine et le Canada sont les régions du monde qui m’intéressent le plus. J’ai travaillé comme assistant de programmes pour le Réseau canadien de développement économique communautaire (RCDEC) dans le cadre du programme CreateAction, le premier programme du genre au Canada qui offre des opportunités d’emploi aux jeunes intéressés à faire du développement économique communautaire dans leurs communautés. En 2006, j’ai joint les rangs du Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba (CDEM) en tant qu’agent de DEC. Mon goût pour le développement international m’emmène ensuite à l’automne 2007, dans le cadre du Programme de jeunes stagiaires internationaux de l’Agence canadienne de développement international (ACDI), à apporter un appui technique en gestion et en commercialisation à une ONG locale et à des groupes de femmes autochtones en Amérique latine.

I am also very interested in youth leadership which inspired me to create Development in Action inc., a non-profit which mission is “to contribute to the sustainable development of communities by empowering youth, transferring skills, and promoting youth-led actions for social change”. I currently work in market research for Statistics Canada

Charles C. Perrin, Kingston
Originally from Vancouver, Charles is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Queen’s University. He holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Community and Public Affairs from Concordia University in Montreal.

During his time at Concordia University, he worked as a research assistant specifically looking at social enterprise in Canada and North America. Following graduation, he spent half a year in Quebec working to improve his French at both the Centre Linguistique du College de Jonquiere and Université Laval. Chris recently completed a six month work term with a youth career resource centre run by the YWCA of Vancouver.  In the summer of 2006 he interned at the Environmental Youth Alliance in Vancouver, working as part of the World Urban Forum and learning about the many programs EYA runs to encourage youth through community economic development.

Nicole Rosenow-Redhead, Halifax
A new member of the Emerging Leaders committee, Nicole is currently a CreateAction intern with the Social Economy Network, researching nonprofits and cooperatives in the Atlantic region. Nicole grew up in Halifax, and has lived in the Caribbean for several years. She lived in Trinidad where she worked as a counsellor and teacher in a large orphanage and spent another year attending the University of the West Indies during her BA.

Nicole completed her MA in International Development two years ago. By that time, her research interests had centered more on community development issues surrounding immigration, health promotion and disaster management.

Nicole went to Sri Lanka in 2004, ten months after the Tsunami to research reconstruction efforts through community development for her Master’s thesis. She returned home and, having grown up in the north end of Halifax and seeing injustice evident in many areas of life, she is currently working with other community leaders to open a free dental clinic aimed at serving the area’s marginalized populations. Nicole plans to return to Trinidad one day to work with poverty-stricken youth.

CCEDNet Staff Support

Kezia Cowtan (Manager, Youth CED Youth Programs (Parental Leave Replacement))
“I look forward to bringing my learning and experiences in youth capacity building to my new position as National Youth CED Programs Manager at CCEDNet. I am very passionate about community engagement and important role youth play as active contributors for a new social, environmental and economical future. My continued dedication to community development creates capacity and opportunity for that change.”

Kezia Cowtan has spent the last ten years working with a local community food and youth capacity building organization, LifeCycles Project Society in Victoria, BC. Kezia has been the Executive Director for the last 3 years and continues to support the on-going programming, youth engagement, social ventures, indigenous food sovereignty and organizational capacity building. Prior to her work with LifeCycles, she was involved with an array of non-profits working in youth engagement, international development and women’s issues since 1995.

Meghan Mergaert (Youth Engagement Coordinator)
“I am excited to be a part of CCEDNet because it connects people with vision and hope for better communities to a whole library of resources.”

Meghan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and has worked with young people in the social justice field for over 10 years. Most recently she has worked with Immigrant and Refugee communities and continues to be inspired by individuals with the courage and hope to create more vibrant and resilient communities.

EL Resource Committee

Alison Colwell
Alison Colwell has seven years of academic and professional experiences working in the areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR), community economic development (CED), private sector development (PSD), and social and economic development in North America and Latin America. A M.A. graduate of the International Development Concentration of Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, Ms. Colwell also holds Bachelor of Commerce (Business) and a Bachelor of Arts (International Development Studies) from Queen’s University.

Ms. Colwell has professional experience in the private sector, public sector, non-profit/NGO sector, and with bilateral and multilateral development agencies. Additionally, Ms. Colwell has worked as a researcher for two CSR projects. She was the lead field researcher for a study of CSR in Chile, conducting over 40 in-depth, personal interviews with diverse set of stakeholders including senior corporate and NGO managers, consultants and government representatives, and co-authored “Corporate Social Responsibility in Emerging Markets: The Chilean Experience.”

Ms. Colwell was the research assistant for the Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program’s (CEDTAP) corporate sector engagement project in community economic development (CED). Previously, she had volunteered for the Canadian-Latin American Community Local Economic Development International Network (CLEDINET).

Laura Howard
Laura has been an active member of the Montreal community and has worked in the field of community economic development over the past year. Her internship with CCEDNet last September allowed her to become well acquainted with the idea of the greater CED community working on amazing projects throughout Canada.

Laura has experience working with several non-profit, community activism groups. She planned and facilitated “A World of Difference ~ a conference on Youth and Community Economic Development”, increasing her desire not only to create discussion and debate around CED principles, but also to work on making CED a term more individuals, especially youth, identify with and can apply to their own communities. Laura is currently working on a new project called “Taking Root”, a non-profit organization that will focus on sustainable reforestation and CED projects in Nicaragua. She is fluent in French and English, with a beginner level Spanish and has valuable experience in volunteer coordination, working with youth, and peer mentorship.

Krystal Payne, Winnipeg
Krystal first became interested in Community Economic Development through the co-operative sector. She was part of a youth organized group that created a fair trade, worker controlled, collectively organized, not for profit co-operative café and bookstore in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The group of youth, varying at times from 5-9 people from 16 to 28 years old, had varying degrees of experience, but all had a similar goal: to create a community space that could be used by various groups to meet, to organize events, to have workshops, presentations, art showings, music showings, you name it, because the community took ownership! Krystal recently moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where she is studying conflict resolution at the University of Winnipeg in preparation for graduate studies in that subject. She is currently interested in communication within activist and co-operative groups, the break downs and conflicts that occur, learning skills to stop these from happening, and helping others benefit from this knowledge as well.