Hosts

Philippe Choinière (Host)

Co-founder, Oneka Elements

Bio
Philippe grew up on a large conventional apple farm. He had the privilege of seeing the damaging effects of a chemical based monoculture system and the opportunity to redefine the future of the family farms 11 years ago, along with his wife and business partner Stacey, he started Oneka , a line of biodegradable, toxic free hair and body care products made from plants grown on the now certified organic, polyculture farm bought from his parents and partners. Passionate about regenerative practices, he has been working to utilise his farm to sequester carbon.

B. Lorraine Smith (Host)

Writer and Consultant

Bio

B. Lorraine Smith is a writer and an independent consultant. She imagines a future where business, people and markets serve a thriving society in a healthy biosphere. In other words, she invests her time in the evolution of a regenerative economy.

As a writer, Lorraine shares her ideas through her blog which introduces different people, places and possibilities connected to the future we want. Her forthcoming book, Where the Trees – ten human stories made possible by trees, journeys through landscapes and moments that challenge us to evolve our roles in nature. And she writes reports and articles about new mindsets and business models.

Since 2004 she has been working with global companies and leaders who are keen to shape the next phase of business. Along with working directly with clients, Lorraine is also an Associate Director at Volans, a catalyst for system level change led by John Elkington, where she informs the agenda on the New Carbon Economy initiative. She is also a senior consultant with BuzzWord, a leading sustainability reporting and strategy group based in the US.

She sits on the Board of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and is a member of the Release Council of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, an open source tool that quantifies how businesses are contributing to a sustainable future.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Lorraine has lived in Australia, Brazil, Germany, New Zealand and New York City. She currently calls Montreal home. To find out more about Lorraine’s work at https://www.blorrainesmith.com/.

Antonious Petro

Logistics Coordinator, Regeneration Canada

Bio
Antonious Petro is a biologist and a certified permaculture designer whose vision of an ideal society would be a symbiotic collaboration of permaculture principles, circular economy and social justice. He has a Bachelor's degree in Biology From Minia University, Egypt and a graduate degree in Community Economic Development from Concordia University. He is passionate about soil regeneration, social innovation and bike mechanics. Since his arrival in Montreal in 2013, he has gathered a vast experience in project coordination in sustainability, food security, business development and ecological land management. At Regeneration Canada, Antonious coordinates the soil education program and is the administrative assistant.

Sarah Dobec (Host)

Marketing Manager, The Big Carrot Community Market

Bio
Sarah Dobec has always been inspired by the natural world and the answers it holds including building healthy soil as a solution to climate change. She is the Marketing Manager at The Big Carrot Community Market in Toronto and a recent graduate of the Kiss The Ground Soil Advocate program. Sarah is a proud board member for the Canadian Organic Growers and the Carrot Cache. She received her Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University, her Certified Nutritional Practitioner designation from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and her Public Relations Certificate from the University of Toronto. Sarah spent 5 months volunteering on an organic farm where she experienced food from seed to harvest and all the weeding in between!

Ananda Fitzsimmons (Host)

President of the Board, Regeneration Canada

Bio
Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons is an out-of-the-box thinker, visionary and environmentalist, with a passion for soil and growing food. She has had lifelong interest in sustainable food production and land management as well as social change and personal empowerment. She spent many years experimenting with microbial potions based on naturally occurring microbes extracted from plants, composts and soil. In 2008, she teamed up with Dr. Margaret Bywater Ekegard and they founded Inocucor Technologies. The company, now called Concentric, commercializes products for agriculture based on consortia of naturally occurring beneficial microorganisms. She now works as a consultant promoting soil health and regenerative land management practices.

Yan Gordon (Host)

Organic vegetable gardener, Les potagers des nues mains

Bio
Yan is co-manager of self-built CAPE and a member of Biolocaux winter baskets. He has been an organic vegetable gardener at Les potagers nues mains since 2005. "After graduating from Macdonald College in Agronomy and worked here and there, as seasonal contract worker for agricultural financial sector insurance or as a nomadic agricultural worker from Mexico to BC, two seasons' time, after seeing dusty soils, as dry even though wet ... I believed in the importance of leaving crop residues on the surface and reducing erosion, promoting root formation, flower blooming and admiring rhyzobia pink and the extent of mycorrhizae ... I had to become a farmer to take care of the soil."

Claudia Goyer (Host)

Soil Microbiologist, Fredericton Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Bio
Dr. Claudia Goyer has obtained her PhD at the University of Sherbrooke, Québec. She was awarded the Alexander von Humbold fellowship for a postdoctoral position at the Max-Planck Institute on Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany. Dr. Goyer was hired at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Fredericton in 1999. Her research program focuses on understanding the importance of diversity of soil microbial communities on plant disease, and soil ecosystem functioning including nitrogen cycling and crop productivity. Dr. Goyer is investigating how agricultural practices and environmental conditions influence the diversity of microbial communities and soil ecosystem functioning.

Brian Maloney (Host)

Carbon farmer

Bio
Brian Maloney is a career farmer with his family at Ferme Brylee farm. A grassfed beef and lamb producer, direct marketer and grazing consultant, he is passionate about continuing to improve the land that has been in his family for 4 generations and transferring the knowledge to the next generations of regenerative farmers.

Jordan Lebel (Host)

Associate Professor, Marketing of Food, Concordia University

Bio
Jordan Lebel's research focuses on hedonic and aesthetic consumption, especially as it relates to the definition of pleasure, its various dimensions, and its impact on decision making and behaviour in the areas of food choices and healthy eating and lifestyles. His research on comfort foods, and particularly chocolate, has been featured extensively in both broadcast and print media around the world. He is a regular commentator on food and restaurant marketing issues in the local and national media.

Caroline Magar (Host)

Landscape architect intern, member of the AAPQ

Bio
Caroline Magar is trained in environmental design and landscape architecture. She has been working for 10 years in Montreal in urban ecological planning.

Odette Ménard (Host)

Engineer and Agronomist, Advisor in Soil and Water Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture of Québec (MAPAQ)

Bio
Odette Ménard is an agricultural engineer from Ste-Hyacinthe in Quebec who has become the first woman to be admitted on the Conservation Hall of Fame of the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (CCSC). Along the years, Ms. Ménard has had a major role in the promotion of soil conservation in the southwest region of Quebec. She has participated actively in many councils, associations and clubs focused on soil health and conservation.

Alain Olivier (Host)

Professor of Agroforestry, Université Laval

Bio

Gabrielle Bastien (Host)

Founder & Executive Director, Regeneration Canada

Bio
Gabrielle’s life mission is to promote regenerative land management as a way to mitigate climate change and foster healthy food systems. This passion arose while obtaining her Master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University, completed in 2016, where she realized that soil regeneration presents the greatest opportunity to simultaneously alleviate the food, climate, water and biodiversity crises. Interested in diving in deeper in the practical aspects of permaculture, Gabrielle did an apprenticeship on Ben Falk’s Whole Systems Design farm in Vermont in 2015 and focused her Master’s thesis on the economic viability of permaculture-inspired farms in Quebec. Prior to her graduate studies, she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at HEC Montréal and gathered years of work experience in communications, project management and event planning. Gabrielle led the team that launched the Living Soils Symposium Montreal in 2017 and founded Regeneration Canada.

Karen Ross (Host)

Project Manager, Agriculture and Pesticides, Équiterre

Bio
Karen Ross is a Project Manager at Équiterre, one of Canada's leading environmental organizations working on policy and education in climate change and agriculture. Karen comes to Équiterre with a Ph.D. in geography with a focus on agricultural policy and years of experience as a policy advocate and researcher on sustainable food systems. From Équiterre’s Ottawa office, Karen advocates for federal policy change to reduce dependence on pesticides, reduce agriculture's carbon footprint and increase the sector's climate mitigation potential.

Karl Thidemann (Host)

Co-founder, Soil4Climate

Bio

Karl Thidemann, co-founder of Soil4Climate, serves on the board of the Somerville Community Growing Center, an urban oasis offering artistic, cultural, and educational programs in a regenerative-organic garden setting. Karl has experience in the environmental laboratory field, and he marketed electric vehicles for the company that began as MIT’s Solar Car Team. His focus is climate communications including poetry. Karl holds a B.A. in chemistry from Wesleyan University.

Paul Slomp(Host)

Farmer, Grazing Days

Bio
Paul Slomp was raised on his family’s dairy farms, first in the Netherlands, then in Alberta—farms that were at the forefront of the grass-based dairy movement. His love of mathematics and science led him to study engineering at the University of Alberta. After volunteering near the Zambia-Malawi border with Engineers without borders for four years, he returned to Canada to work in Canadian food policy and later to start his own farm to develop and showcase the ability of alternative models of agriculture to produce food for people in a way that regenerates soil and rejuvenates ecosystems while being economically viable with the aim of providing a different model on which to base agricultural development. Paul, his partner Josée and two kids are currently breathing new life into the abused soil of a recently acquired farm in St-André-Avellin, QC. Their farm is called Grazing Days and they mob graze a herd of 200 bovines and a sounder of 70 pigs on 370 acres and market the meat from 70 cattle and 70 pigs per year directly to households in the Ottawa, Gatineau and Montreal areas.