Foundation Staff

Meet the staff at the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. For information about our sister organization, the Greenbelt Fund, including staff, please visit greenbeltfund.ca.

Office of the CEO

Edward McDonnell
CEO

Namgyal Dolker
Executive Assistant      

Operations

Susan Murray       
VP Communications and Operations

Jason Rombouts
IT Manager

Michele Jenkinson
Accountant

Communications

Susan Murray
VP Communications and Operations

Megan Hunter
Director, Engagement and Digital Strategy 

Erica Woods
Communications Manager

Andreea Nicoara
Senior Communications Coordinator 

 

Grants

Shelley Petrie
Program Director

Research and Policy

Kathy Macpherson
VP Research and Policy

Thomas Bowers
Research Manager

Anna Golovkin
Research and Policy Assistant

  

 

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Edward McDonnellEmail.gif  
CEO

Edward McDonnell joined the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund as CEO in October 2017, bringing more than 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, public sector executive and senior advisor to a broad range of public sector organizations.

A social entrepreneur and passionate believer in public service and the power of civil society, Edward co-founded MD+A Health Solutions, a leading Ontario-based health planning professional services firm with clients in Canada and the Caribbean. A mission driven organization, MD+A was established to support not-for- profit and public-sector organizations with socially-significant mandates in the innovative use of information and management systems to deliver and improve programs and services.

Edward has also held senior executive roles in public institutions and organizations in the education and health sectors. A former senior advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance, he oversaw policy, regulatory, and legislative initiatives related to consumer protection, community access to capital, and alternative financial services.

Edward’s background in public and community health has reinforced his belief in the interconnected nature of health, environment, urban design and access to fresh, local food. Having grown up in rural Ontario, he is excited for the opportunity to work to strengthen rural economies in and around the Greenbelt.

Edward has a Masters of Health Administration (MHsc) from the University of Toronto – Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. He has also received a number of awards for his professional contributions to the public service including the Government of Canada, Head of the Public Service Award for Excellence in Service Delivery.

Edward has served on the boards of a variety of health, cultural and environmental organizations including currently serving on the board of Regent Park Community Health Centre.  

 

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Namgyal Dolker  Email.gif
Executive Assistant

Namgyal was raised in close proximity to nature, as she was born into a farming family. As she grew up, she was trained as an administrative assistant for the hospitality industry.

Barely three years in Toronto, after completing the Finance and Office Assistant Program from Skills for Change, she found herself working with Friends of Greenbelt Foundation under the Investing in Neighbourhood program and recently hired by the Foundation as EA to the CEO. Namgyal brings excellent inter-personal and organizational skills that proved to be a great addition to the Foundation.

She believes in the adage “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible". She is passionate about helping people, taking social responsibility and working for organizations that touch people's lives. 

 

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Susan Murray  Email.gif
Vice President, Marketing and Operations

Susan joined the Foundation in September 2009 after almost five years as an Account Director with Manifest Communications, one of Canada's premier social marketing agencies. She brings over 15 years of marketing, communications, and branding experience to her role, and has worked in Toronto, New York and Poland for a broad range of clients including the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, OCAD, Artscape, Goodwill, Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Baycrest, Ophea, the Arthritis Society and Doctors Without Borders Canada.

Susan holds an M.A. in Political Philosophy with a focus on International Negotiations from the University of Toronto, a B.A.H in Political Science from Queen’s University and a diploma in Conflict Management from Columbia University. She volunteers as a mediator at St. Stephen’s Conflict Resolution Service in Toronto.

 

Kathy Macpherson

Kathy Macpherson  Email.gif
Vice President, Research and Policy

Kathy joined the Foundation in May 2008, bringing more than 25 years of management, policy and program development, and evaluation experience in Canada and abroad. Kathy worked for 11 years in Southeast Asia, including with the World Bank on poverty reduction and directing a CIDA project to help build evidence-based policy development capacity within the Indonesian government. Prior to that Kathy worked in different Ontario ministries and Ministers’ Offices on a range of policy and program reforms. She was delighted to return to Ontario to find that the province had permanently protected prime farmland and areas of environmental significance in the Golden Horseshoe where she grew up. She enjoys everything the Greenbelt has to offer—from Niagara's peaches and other tender fruit to hikes on the Escarpment—and is looking forward to cycling the Greenbelt Cycling Route in 2015. 

Kathy has volunteered with a variety of organizations for the last 30 years and is currently on the Executive and Board of Crossroads International.  

 

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Shelley Petrie  Email.gif
Program Director

Shelley came to the Foundation in January of 2006, from the Toronto Environmental Alliance, where she served as Executive Director for almost five years and as campaigner for ten years. Shelley has also worked for Great Lakes United and for Greenpeace. She has served on the Boards of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Wildlands League, and Greensaver. Hailing from New Brunswick, she went to Mount Allison University. Her interests lie in broad community partnerships to further the environmental, economic and cultural evolution of communities towards a healthy future.

 

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Jason Rombouts  Email.gif
IT Manager

Jason joined the Foundation in July 2011, drawing from an extensive background in information technology and multimedia. Having spent many summers of his youth working on his grandparent's farm, Jason has formed a solid appreciation for where our food comes from. With the belief that technology is a tremendous aid in easing our work, Jason has proven himself a valuable asset to the whole Foundation team.

When his beard is not behind a computer screen, it is likely enjoying vegetables, catching the breeze on a bike trail, talking to cats or focused on a board game -- sometimes all four.

 

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Michele Jenkinson  Email.gif
Bookkeeper

Michele joined the Greenbelt Foundation in February 2013, bringing over a decade of experience in the accounting arena. Michele has worked primarily with small to mid-sized companies and her knowledge of software and databases has streamlined the Foundation's reporting. Since the Foundation utilizes public funds, she understands the importance of transparency and accountability, and works diligently to ensure the Foundation meets the highest standards of accounting.

 Having grown up on the Oak Ridges Moraine, Michele watched the development of the marshland and saw its impact on the local wildlife. A strong advocate for responsible development, she enjoys contributing her skill set to the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation team. Since joining the Foundation, Michele has developed a new appreciation for Ontario's Greenbelt and all it has to offer local residents

 

megan hunter

Megan Hunter  Email.gif 
Director, Engagement and Digital Strategy

Megan Hunter joined the Greenbelt Foundation in 2014 after four years working for the Greenbelt Fund. Working on both the Market Access Grant Stream and Ontariofresh.ca during her tenure at the Greenbelt Fund, Megan helped develop market opportunities for local food in the Greenbelt and throughout Ontario. Megan now manages the Greenbelt Foundation's public engagement program.

Megan has a degree from the University of Toronto in International Relations and Environmental Policy with more than a decade experience in sales, communications, public relations, and foodservice.

 

eric woods

 

Erica Woods Email.gif 
Communications Manager

Erica joined the Friends of the Greenbelt in spring 2016, with over 5 years of communications experience in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, she was at Toronto City Hall in the office of Councillor Paula Fletcher working to build a green, inclusive and vibrant city.

Having grown up canoeing, hiking and camping across Ontario, Erica considers herself to be quite the outdoorsman. Her experiences in Canada's wilderness have given her a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.

As our communities become more thoughtful about food systems and living sustainably, Erica believes the Greenbelt gives us the opportunity to support local farmers, reduce our carbon footprint, and live healthier lives. She's jazzed to join the team at the Foundation and work together to support all that the Greenbelt has to offer.

 

Andreea Nicoara

 

Andreea Nicoara  Email.gif
Senior Communications Coordinator

Andreea joined the Foundation in April 2014 after having completed her MA in Sociology from McMaster University. She currently lives in the Greenbelt, where she enjoys cooking with vegetables bought at farmers' markets and loves exploring the trails found within the Greenbelt.

 

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Thomas Bowers  Email.gif
Research Manager

Tom joined the Foundation in December 2014 bringing more than 10 years’ experience of research and analysis from working in the public, private, and not-for profit sectors. He began his career in the UK working for local government before undertaking an MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy. This led to work for an international NGO before starting up a boutique environmental research and consulting company that worked with organizations wanting to improve the sustainability of their operations. He is passionate about building sustainable and resilient communities and enjoys the many opportunities for outdoor fun the Greenbelt has to offer.

 

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Anna Golovkin  Email.gif

Anna joined the Foundation in September 2016 bringing over three years of experience in environmental policy, public sector research and urban planning. She believes that the health of our environment is inherently linked to the way we design our cities, organize our supply chains and facilitate the movement of people.

As a resident of the GTA for nearly 20 years, Anna has witnessed the transformation of the region since the creation of the Greenbelt. This has inspired her to become an advocate for the Greenbelt in both her professional and personal life.   

Anna has a MPl in Urban Development from Ryerson University, as well as a BES in Environment and Business and a diploma in Environmental Assessment from the University of Waterloo.

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