BC Association of Farmers' markets
Supporting BC farmers and sustaining our local food supply means ensuring we have land to farm and fresh food to eat. It's a way to nurture the places we live and visit.

Speaker Bios 2015

Speaker Bios 2015

Jen Comer, Creston Farmers Market and Creston City Councillor

Jen Comer started managing the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market in 2010, and worked hard at developing great working relationships with the various levels of local and provincial governments in her area. She was recently elected as a Councillor for the Town of Creston, and has worked as a Constituency Assistant to Nelson-Creston’s MLA, Michelle Mungall. Her education background is in sustainable community development and local food systems, and she holds a BA Honours in Geography from the University of Victoria.

Session: Working with local governments

Fiona Devereaux, Island Health, Aboriginal Health and local Indigneous people

Fiona Devereaux has lived on Coast Salish Territory for half of her life. She is first generation Canadian from Irish Parents. Her passion for nutrition and food started at an early age. Her mom cooked homemade soup every weekend and taught her the importance of nourishing foods. Her dad has taught her how to grown her own foods and find peace and happiness tending to plants. Her career in nutrition has allowed her to share and collaborate with so many knowledge food champions. She trained in Dietetics at the University of Saskatchewan and interned in the Regina Health Region from 1995-2000. The ocean and the coast called her back and she started her career as a Diabetes Educator. In 2002 she got her dream job as the Community Nutritionist for Aboriginal Health with VIHA. During this time she learned about the local culture and traditions and met many helpful and supportive people. Some of her achievements to date are: Creation and support of the Diabetes Outreach Team, Good Food Box, VICCIFN, Feasting for Change, Traditional Foods Conference, Digital Harvest and many other amazing projects and collaborations. She looks forward to many more years of adventure and learning.

Session: How to can we bring our Indigenous food champions to the market?

Bruce Fatkin, Abbotsford Farm & Country Market

Bruce's working background includes ownership of a landscape nursery in the Bradner area of Abbotsford. Bruce also spent several years serving on Boards of Directors and, as a contractor, managing projects for non-profit organizations beginning with producer-led soil conservation groups, environmental and economic development organizations, and now with a local Community Futures Development Corporation office helping emerging small business owners develop business plans for their new enterprises. Bruce previously served a term as Treasurer of the BC Association of Farmers Markets and has rejoined the Board in that capacity. Bruce has been manager of the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market since 2006 and also managed the Langley Community Farmers Market for the 2010 season. When not at work, Bruce likes to spend time with two grown daughters and their families including three grandchildren.

Session: Getting Good Data - How to and Why to Track Vendor Sales

Sandra Hamilton, Consultant and BC Partner for Social Impact

Sandra Hamilton is no stranger to guiding and inspiring organisations through periods of intense transition. As a Business Manager she has managed the transitions, reputations and new businesses of clients such as VANOC CEO John Furlong and Olympic rower Silken Laumann. She is very comfortable developing big visions and new ideas.

Sandra is a thought provocateur, well known for her innovative, strategic thinking and ability to connect people to opportunity. She is passionate about developing business strategies to drive social change and rural economic development . Inspired by nature, for the past 18 years, Sandra has lived and worked from Pender Island and more recently the Comox Valley.

In Vancouver she held a number of management positions: Senior Partner, Twentyten Group Strategic Sponsorship & Marketing, 
Director of Marketing at The Vancouver Sun,  Sales Manager for Vancouver Magazine and Publisher/owner of BC Woman Magazine.

Sandra currently helps charities develop business capacity and non-traditional revenue streams, particularly in the area of Google marketing, corporate partnerships and commercial rights management. She is now working to bring 30 years of business experience to teaching and developing capacity in the Non Profit sector. This focus led to a recent decision to enroll in an MBA program, where she is working hard to integrate more discussion about Co-operatives and Community Contribution Corporations into the MBA curriculum.

More information can be found on Sandra's website.

Session: Food Systems Thinking - Seeing and Leveraging Connections to Transform Our Food Systems (in collaboration with Brent Mansfield)

Trevor Hargreaves, Director of Producer Relations and Communications, BC Dairy Association

As the Director of Producer Relations & Communications, Trevor Hargreaves represents all dairy farmers in British Columbia. He is an advocate for the dairy industry with all levels of government, media, special interest groups, environmentalists, and other industry associations. He is also the strategic lead for a variety of industry programs ranging from innovation, research, industry education, and public outreach. In a consulting capacity Trevor has also been involved in a variety of recent communications initiatives in related sectors involving the environment, animal welfare, and government negotiation.

Session: Communicating during a crisis

Arzeena Hamir, Amara Farm, Courtenay

Session: When is organic not organic? Why markets need labeling regulations

Adrian Hill, Open School BC

Session: MarketSafe online

Dr. Jenny Horn, Vancouver Island University, Cowichan

Dr. Jenny Horn holds a PhD in Rural Studies, and has worked in a variety of roles to develop sustainable food systems in the Islands region and beyond. Jenny is an “academic-practitioner,” as she is a farmer, veterinary nurse and farm advocate as well as being a researcher and coordinator to establish the Cowichan Center for Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Security/Sustainability at Vancouver Island University. Jenny and a team of Cowichan Valley Smallholders revived the Downtown Duncan Farmers’ Market in the 1990s and she went on to co-write and edit the Farmers’ Market Managers’ and Boards of Governance manuals and instructional guides for the BCAFM. She and her husband operate Left Field Farm in Glenora, BC.

Rick Juliusson,Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace

Rick Juliusson is a co-op developer and small-scale farmer. He has supported co-ops and non-profits for over 15 years both locally and internationally, including work in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Rick facilitated the launch of the Cowichan Valley Co-operative Marketplace, completing the Feasibility Study and Business Plan as well as volunteering on the charter board of directors, and looks forward to selling his garlic and buffalo meat on the online market this season.

Session: Growing our Market - How food co-ops and online marketplace can add to our existing Farmers Market

Jaclyn Laic, ARDCorp and BCAC

Jaclyn Laic is the Senior Program Manager for the BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation. More commonly known as ARDcorp, the organization works cooperatively with industry and government to deliver programs and services to improve the long-term profitability of BC farmers and ranchers.

Session: Environmental Farm Plans and traceability case study

Keith Hunter, First Nations Wildcrafters BC

Keith Hunter is co-owner of First Nations Wildcrafters BC. Keith is also a BC Representative of the Canadian Herb, Spice and Natural Health Products Coalition (CHSNC). Keith is the only CHSNC recognized trainer in BC for the Good Agricultural and Collections Practices (GACPs). Keith developed and delivers the training program for the BC Supplemental GACP Training. He also represents the BC First Nations Forestry Council as Co-chair of the First Nation Forestry Council and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Workgroup for Cultural Heritage Resources and Non-Timber Forest Resources Steering Committee.

Session: How to can we bring our Indigenous food champions to the market?

Angus McAllister, McAllister Research

Angus McAllister is President of McAllister Opinion Research. McAllister uses an array of qualitative and quantitative interview, data capture & analytical tools help clients understand what works and what doesn’t work in engaging and moving the constituencies that matter to them.

In the past decade, McAllister Opinion Research has surveyed over 350,000 citizens and thought leaders in over a dozen nations. McAllister Opinion Research past clients include:

  • 8 colleges & universities in Canada and the US
  • 7 federal government agencies
  • Government Ministries in 4 provinces - Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver
  • Thinktanks like California Forward, the Frameworks Institute in Washington, DC, the Pembina Institute
  • Ford Motors Global HQ, Shell USA, Suncor, BASF, DuPont, DeBeers, The Nueva Group, Dep Schwarzkopf, Sarah Lee, American Aluminum
  • Dundee Securities, TD Canada Trust, Manulife Financial, BC Securities Commission, Up Capital
  • National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Ducks Unlimited & the Pew Trusts
  • Greenpeace, Sierra Legal Defence, Ivey Foundation, The David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, World Wildlife Fund & the Columbia Institute

Prior to founding McAllister in 2001, Angus served as Vice President, Global Research with Ipsos-Reid, and prior to that was Vice President with Environics International in Toronto.

He also enjoyed five years with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Energy in the early 1990s. Angus studied sociology and statistics to earn his Masters degree from Carleton University in 1989. He is a qualified member of ESOMAR, the international professional body for opinion and market research. Angus is also co-founder and owner of the online data visualization platform www.sayzu.com

Session: Foodlands and green space: The ALR matters

Lorne Maccallum, Nourish Farm, Qualicum Beach

Session: When is organic not organic? Why markets need labeling regulations

Hans Peter Meyer, Marketing Creative

Hans Peter Meyer (aka hpm or hanspetermeyer) is a marketing creative. His skill set includes market research, writing, photography, interviewing, and social. He has been working with organizations and small businesses in the local food sector for several years. HPM is credited by the organizers of the first-ever Flavour Gourmet Picnic for their sold out status, weeks before the event.

HPM chooses to work one-on-one with innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors, including local food.

Session: Lessons learned: Two years of social media marketing with the Comox Valley farmers' market

Gordon Murray, Lytton Two Rivers Market

Gordon Murray is president, barrista, and chief bottle washer of the Lytton Two Rivers Farmers Market. Lytton (population 227) has had a farmers market for over a decade but it was in a severe downward spiral to irrelevance. Over the last two years that trend has been reversed somewhat but how do we move from surviving to thriving?

Session: Survive or thrive? A small market forum

Chris Quinlan, Whistler Farmers' Market

Chris Quinlan is the manager of the Whistler Farmers' Market and a past member mentor and facilitator for the Strengthening Farmers' Markets program. His experience as a member of Whistler Municipal Council during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in addition to being small business owner and operator has provided Chris with the "chops" to successfully grow the Whistler Farmers' Market from a position of revenue deficit to a profitable social enterprise that funds community organisations through a $10,000/ year grant program. The Whistler Farmers Market was the first market to have a liquor vendor approved to sample and sell at a BC Farmers' Market.

When he is not promoting and facilitating the regional economy through the farmers market and his position as a director of the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, Chris is the host of Whistler Mornings on 101.5 Whistler FM. The radio thing is part of his mind life crisis, it was either get a job in radio or buy a red sports car...same impact on the bank account, so he went for the radio job.

Session: Enabling and maximising the benefits of beer wine and liquor sales at your farmers' market

C. Anne Robinson

C. Anne Robinson is a Tseshaht First Nation member and co-owner of First Nations Wildcrafters BC.  Anne has lived her entire life following the traditional teachings and protocols passed down to her from elders in her family and community.  Anne has vast lifetime experience in the numerous boards, committees, and task or work groups she has served her community on since her teens.   Anne’s commitment to the integrity of traditional values and passing these on to the next generations of all that moves and breathes on land and in the waters forms the core values and principles of First Nations Wildcrafters.

Session: How to can we bring our Indigenous food champions to the market?

Hedy Rubin, Real Estate Foundation of BC

Hedy Rubin has a passion for connecting with worthwhile organizations and assisting them to fulfill their missions. In her role as Grants Manager at the Real Estate Foundation of BC, she helps organizations access funding by reviewing grant proposals, liaising with applicants about their projects, and making funding recommendations to the Board of Governors. Hedy has strong research and communication skills, and over 17 years working in grantmaking and community programs, including 13 years at Vancity. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of BC.

Session: Foodlands and green space: The ALR matters

Lydia Ryall

Lydia is the owner of Cropthorne Farm, a 15 acre Certified Organic farm, located on Westham Island, in Delta. Along with her sister Rachel and their field crew, they grow 50+ types of vegetables. They market their crops through a CSA, a farm stand, to restaurants and through four summer farmers' markets and two winter markets.

Session: Season Extension Opportunities and Post Harvest Handling Tools for the Market Grower?

Jared Williams, Aluxut Traditional Foods Program

Jared “Qwustenuxun” Williams is a young traditional foods student who works with, and learns from, the Cowichan Elders. Spending his youth with his grandmother, Jared was immersed in Cowichan culture. This immersion allowed Jared to become familiar with the many cooking methods and techniques used by the Quw’utsun Mustimuhw (Cowichan People). In 2001 Jared graduated from culinary arts and spent the next few years working in restaurants across Vancouver Island. After spending many years gaining western cooking experience Jared decided to move home to Quw’utsun (Cowichan); and blend his culinary experience with his Snuw’uy’ulh (traditional teachings).  Having spent his life working with elders to learn the many traditional sulhtun (food) and slhexun (medicine) it came as no surprise when Jared became the kitchen manager at the Cowichan Elder’s Building with Cowichan Tribes.

Jared not only spends his days working with Cowichan Tribes to ensure that the elders receive a nutritious and healthy daily lunch. But, Jared also manages a traditional foods program called Aluxut  and works with Wilderness International as a traditional foods advisor. When he is not at work Jared spends his time up the mountains with his loving wife and son; harvesting the many traditional foods and medicines that Tumuhw(Earth) and Tsi’tsulh Siem (the Creator) provide.

Session: How to Bring Our Indigenous Food Champions to the Market 

Michelle Wolf, Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia and Whole Green Heart

Michelle Wolf is a certified coach, workplace education trainer, and Director of Training for Farmers' Markets of Nova Scotia, their 'go to' expert on all things farmers' market related. She has worked with over 200 farm owners, managers, and entrepreneurs to help them grow successful markets and businesses through her extremely popular training programs and as private clients. She runs an annual 60-hour farmers' market manager training program, and several 40-hour vendor training programs on a range of marketing, business, and social media topics. Michelle owned and operated a profitable farm-based company for 20+ years and sold at farmers' markets for 18 years, also winning Market Manager of the Year from FMNS while she was the manager of the Kentville Farmers' Market. Michelle is a dynamic, engaging workshop facilitator with a wealth of farmers' market expertise, and she is also a sought-after motivational speaker on business and personal development topics. She holds a Master's Degree from York University, is former president of Seeds of Diversity Canada, and now runs a training consulting company at www.WholeGreenHeart.com

Session: Strategies for successful product pricing, Top 12 tips for growing a successful farmers' market business, Marketing your farmers' market