Board of Directors
CCEDNet’s Directors are elected by our members to 3-year terms. The Board meets about eight times a year.
At the age of 25 Victor Beausoleil Co-Founded Redemption Reintegration Services one of the largest youth-led, youth justice agencies in Canada. As the founding Executive Director, Victor managed a $3.5 million dollar budget and
through research and advocacy built RRS into a leader in youth justice.
In 2013 Victor Beausoleil received his first public service appointment by the Premiere of Ontario Kathleen Wynne as a member of the PCYO (Premiere’s Council on Youth Opportunities). Victor has worked diligently in the broader equity seeking communities across Canada for the past fifteen years. As a lecturer Victor Beausoleil has travelled extensively throughout Canada, the United States and Africa for speaking engagements for community organizations, institutions and philanthropic foundations.
Victor Beausoleil has been a board member of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation, The Harriet Tubman Community Organization, as well as a member of the grant review committees of the Laidlaw Foundation, the Toronto Community Housing Social Investment Fund and Victor is currently on the board of the Toronto Community Benefits Network. The Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, National Post, Share Newspaper and The Caribbean Camera, have all highlighted Victor Beausoleil’s work in communities across Canada.
Victor Beausoleil is currently the President + CEO of Intuit Consulting and the founder of SETSI – The Social Economy Through Social Inclusion Coalition. Victor has written eleven books and currently resides in Toronto with his wife and four children.
Michelle has over 30 years of experience working with local and First Nation governments and NGO’s in Canada to strengthen their strategic impact and capacity, working for many years with the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal.
Her experience across all roles in community work givers her a solid understanding of the diversity of perspectives and resources communities need to get stuff done. Michelle was the community research lead in the design of the Community Resilience Manual and worked with the Government of Botswana to train facilitators there. She facilitated a diverse multi-sector Advisory group for Western Forest Products resulting in successful forest certification, was Canada’s first Transition Town Trainer and is co-founder of Building Resilient Neighbourhoods.
Currently Michelle works with SHIFT Collaborative to strengthen systems change practice and adaptive learning in action with a focus on multi-stakeholder initiatives and regional food systems. Her current work includes coaching three Collective Impact initiatives, supporting deepening inclusive practices within IPCC Working Group I, coaching NGOs to strengthen financial acumen through Thriving Non-Profits and delivery of CMHC Housing Solutions Labs.
Dr Gail Henderson is an assistant professor with Queen’s University Faculty of Law. Her research interests include corporate law, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, securities regulation and the regulation of financial institutions.
Professor Henderson graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School as Gold Medalist in 2005, and served as law clerk to The Honourable Louise Charron of the Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to pursuing graduate studies at the University of Toronto, she practiced commercial litigation and environmental and municipal law at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto. Her doctoral research focused on the role of corporate governance in encouraging greater corporate environmental responsibility.
Professor Henderson has received funding for her research from the Ireland Canada University Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Foundation for Governance Research and the Canadian Centre for Ethics & Corporate Policy.
Barb is a facilitator, educator and practitioner of social impact.
In her role at Mount Royal University with the Institute for Community Prosperity and Trico Changemakers Studio, Barb develops transformational learning experiences that build bridges between campus and community and uses developmental evaluation to foster a vibrant changemaking ecosystem on campus.
Previously, Barb worked for Momentum, a changemaking organization in Calgary that uses systems-based approaches to address poverty reduction. Her work focused on strengthening supports for social entrepreneurship both locally and provincially. In addition, she developed learning initiatives to empower individuals to use economic tools to address social issues, including hosting an award-winning national conference.
Barb is a co-founder of Local Investing YYC, an impact investment cooperative that provides capital to Calgary-based businesses generating social and environmental returns. She has also served on the board of Green Calgary and participated on advisory committees with Health Canada on regulatory approaches within the natural health sector. As the previous owner of a leading natural health retailer in Calgary, Barb built bridges in the community growing awareness for local producers and growers and served on the board of the Business Revitalization Zone. Barb uses a values-based approach to advance sustainable solutions that prioritize people and place.
Derek Bassey, originally from Nigeria, moved to Canada to pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration through the Canadian Mennonite University. Since May 2021, Derek has been working as the Finance and Office Coordinator for CCEDNet member Fireweed Food Co-op. For Derek, community economic development means relying less on globalization and more on local partners and players. He believes the heart of a community is people’s spirits, and they thrive best when they feel they are safe and encouraged to be themselves. When it comes to good governance, Derek believes the key is open communication, willingness to collaborate, and communicating through conflict. In his spare time, Derek likes to paint and listen to music.
Katie Daman (they/she) is a human who loves board games, laying in the grass, reading, talking about and eating food, being in a canoe, and spending time with friends, among other things. They are a settler living on Treaty 1 Territory, raised in rural Manitoba, and currently living in Winnipeg. Katie believes in the importance of advocating for systems and actions that will stop harming our communities (including friends, family, neighbours, and beyond). In addition to non-harmful and anti-oppressive systems, she thinks a lot about what daily practices can contribute to a healthy and supported community. One of their hopes is that overtime they will see more and more people practicing and experiencing joy, connection, and agency – foundations of her ideal community.
They are a co-founder and past co-chair of Fireweed Food Co-op, currently sit on board of the Canadian CED Network, and work on a project called the Food Ecosystems Project. They hold a Bachelor of Business Administration and have additional volunteer experience working with West End Commons, Pollock’s Hardware Co-op, and the South Osborne Farmers’ Market.
Based in Winnipeg, Kaye is the key Consultant with Reconnaissance Management Consulting Group Inc. Kaye is also the Communications Manager for the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF), a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization that supports the growth and development of worker co-operatives.
Kaye has worked for over 25 years within the non-profit/social enterprise sector in a number of roles. Kaye’s experience in working with the non-profit sector and local community groups enables her to maintain working relationships within the community. Kaye sits on the Peg City Car Co-op as Vice President and the Manitoba Co-op Association Board as the CWCF representative. Kaye has been an active member of CCEDNet in Manitoba for over 10 years and has regularly presented at The Gathering event in Manitoba. Kaye has a passion towards poverty alleviation and strength building and has focused her work with organizations that contribute to these mandates.
Originally from Toronto, Michael quickly became involved in educational politics, being elected president of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association. After sitting on the Premier’s steering committee for Major Capacity Expansion and the establishment of UOF, Michael completed his studies at the University of British Columbia in International Economics and Sustainable Development. He then returned to Toronto to work with Conseil scolaire Viamonde in Labour Relations and Community Development, as well as with l’Université de l’Ontario français as a consultant. His passion for economics and sustainable development is what brought him to the CCO, where he manages their Organizational Management & growth strategy. Outside of work, Michael cycles frequently with Morning Glory and is a member of the Board of Directors of COFRD.
Ryan O’Neil Knight
Ryan O’Neil Knight has surely demonstrated his inestimable influence as an ecosystem animator. Ryan is a co-founding partner and President of the Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN), a network for the Black community that bridges the economic gap for Black entrepreneurs providing Black businesses with the resources they need to start, grow and scale up. As one of Canada’s leading organizations for mentoring and developing Black businesses, it also created the first Black-led micro loan program in Ontario. Also, Ryan created the first Black-led micro loan program in Ontario in partnership with Alterna Savings and Credit Union.
Ryan’s commitment to black and youth entrepreneurship, compassion for others, ability to build consensus among partners, strong capacity for leadership and his dedication to community economic development initiatives and co-operative principles has led to multiplied impact within the community.
Recently, Ryan championed the planning of the Federal Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Conference 2022, a strategy developed in partnership with the government of Canada and the Ecosystem Strategy. The event focused on building capacity within the Black entrepreneurship ecosystem and was an important step towards rebuilding community since the onset of the pandemic.
Ryan’s energetic commitment to community economic development and personal mantra There is No Progress without Collaboration continues to create impact through CCEDNet’s CreateAction program, his contributions as CCEDNet’s Parliamentarian and Elections Officer, ACBN’s role in the Investment Readiness Program and his participation as part of the CCEDNet delegation to meet with Minister Hussen in March 2020 in Ottawa.
Ryan is married to Cherriton and together they have two wonderful children Jasmine and Christian.
Vidal A. Chavannes, Ed.D, M.A.Ed., B.A., B.Ed, is currently the Director of Strategy, Research & Organizational Performance with Durham Regional Police Service. In this regard, Dr. Chavannes charts the strategic direction of the organization and manages teams responsible for strategic planning, key performance indicator (KPI) development and tracking at the organizational and divisional levels, and all education and training for members, inclusive of the use of force and academic portfolios.
Vidal has more than fifteen years of extensive experience in education and training in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, including secondary, post-secondary and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) teaching and program development, delivery, evaluation and review.
He holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Calgary, with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership. Dr. Chavannes has worked in a full-time and consulting capacity with a variety of public, private and non-profit organizations, all within the training and education ecosystem. Through these engagements, he has written curriculum, developed articulation agreements, managed faculty and staff and charted the strategic direction of a variety of organizations across North America and internationally.
Yvon has a long history of involvement in the labour and social movements in Québec and Canada. He was founding President of the Corporation de développement économique communautaire de Québec in 1994, and member of the organizing committee of the Global Meetings on Community Economic Development in Sherbrooke, Québec in 1998.
From November 2003 to July 2013, he co-edited a monthly international e-newsletter on sustainable local development published in four languages. He has been a CCEDNet member since 2003 at first as an individual and since 2012 he represents the CDÉC de Québec.
He has been involved in international representation for CCEDNet since 2004. His most significant international involvement has been in the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS). He has participated in many RIPESS conferences in different continents and since October 2013 is a member of the RIPESS Board of directors. He has also participated in different World Social Forums and he represents RIPESS in the UN Inter-Agency Taskforce on SSE.
Adriana Zylinski (she/her)
National Membership and Learning Manager
Adriana joined CCEDNet in September 2019 as the Network Engagement Lead. She has 10+ years of experience working in the non-profit and co-operative sector within membership development and program evaluation, translating value driven organizational goals into solutions-based programming and engaging community events. She is dedicated to continuous learning about developments impacting community health and targeted strategies that increase value.
Photography is her secret weapon to witness the balance that’s needed for our collective sustainability. This is the place from which her enthusiasm for planet and people emanates.
Alexandre Applin (he/him)
Impact Learning Lead
Alex support social purpose organizations building their impact measurement capacity and oversees CCEDNet’s impact management through the tracking of our theory of change, ensuring we are meeting our objectives.
Alex has worked on both international and national projects and has developed a sound expertise for monitoring and evaluation. He has completed a PMP certificate, which allows him to apply universally recognized project management quality standards to my work. Alex holds a B.A in Political Science, a Master’s degree in International Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Programs.
Alex’s ideal community is one that is thought and designed by its members for its members. An environment reflecting local aspirations and where support is at the core of its foundation.
Alex loves volleyball and couldn’t live without his passport, and he spends way too much money on restaurants. Movies from Pedro Almodovar, Wes Anderson, and Wong kar-wai make Alex happy. Music is essential!
Amanda San Filippo (she/her)
Director of Learning and Innovation
Amanda’s role involves leading CCEDNet’s Learning and Innovation strategy, a key component of the organization’s Theory of Change.
Prior to joining CCEDNet, she spent the last two decades working for private and predominantly non-profit organizations on several environmental initiatives before co-founding a software startup dedicated to promoting energy efficiency in the commercial real estate sector. She has a degree in Business Administration from the Université de Saint-Boniface and a Masters in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo.
Amanda believes in changing systems rooted in colonialism, patriarchy, and traditional economics. Luckily, building, creating, and delivering innovative, educational, and transformative programming that brings together community, and empowers social and environmental justice is at the core of all her work.
Amanda has a very hard time sitting still, and in her spare time cares for her family & pets, gardens, and volunteers for several local organizations. She is also Manitoba’s representative for Efficiency Canada’s Regional Champions Program, and active in her Métis community.
Anita Lambton (she/her)
As part of the engagement team Anita supports learning programs, membership engagement and communications. Her role helps to deepen the memberships’ engagement within CCEDNet as we collaboratively strengthen CED and advance related policies.
Anita is passionate about building thriving relationships and crafting considerate communications that enhance collective power and action with the goal of advancing economic justice. Her previous experience includes working with a communications team, as an educator, a social economy project coordinator and as a housing and employment advisor. Anita is also a graduate from Concordia’s graduate diploma program in CED.
Anita loves outdoor adventures, spending time with family and friends, talking to strangers and mostly her beloved pup.
Beatrice Anane-Bediakoh (she/her)
Program and Engagement Manager
At CCEDNet, Beatrice’s role focuses on supporting the administration of the CreateAction work experience program whilst providing leadership development opportunities rooted in decolonial frameworks for youths.
Beatrice is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at York University. She holds a Master of Education in Humanities, Social Science, and Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto (OISE) and earned her Hons. Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University. Beatrice’s academic work is motivated by an unwavering commitment to the collective struggle for Black freedom(s) and life forms. With over five years of leadership experience, she has worked in a variety of educational and community settings. With critical stakeholders, she has designed workshops, analyzed organizational policies, developed program evaluations, and implemented equity-oriented projects and research initiatives that reflect the knowledge(s) of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) folks, proposing practices that reaffirm their lives.
In Beatrice’s ideal community, all forms of exploitation and marginalization are eradicated. The diction, “The humanity in me, can see the humanity in you” will be actualized in a profound and meaningful way where we (as a community) can move through the power of love, respect, and collective reciprocity. Beyond her academic work, she is intimately invested in the Black community, where in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel, she participates as a Big Sister/ Mentor. Beatrice also offers affordable individualized tutoring services to low-income families in both Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
Ben Losman (he/him)
National Communications Manager
Ben manages communications for CCEDNet. He has also helped implement and manage projects such as CreateAction and Community Leadership Program.
Prior to joining CCEDNet, Ben did communications and programming for a number of social purpose organizations across the U.S., Canada, and India. His professional perspective is shaped by his studies in social justice education and his experiences in the world of anti-colonial activism and popular education.
Ben’s ideal community is built around the principles of Indigenous sovereignty, ecological justice, prison abolition, free and wonderful public transit, and abundant access to great local food.
Outside of work, Ben loves exploring the world with his kids, participating in movements for love and justice, and reading.
Christine Clarke (she/her)
Program Manager, STARCAP
Christine is the Program Manager for the Synergia Transition and Resilience Climate Action Program (STARCAP). STARCAP is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that presents theories and practices supporting system change and transition towards a political economy that is both socially just and environmentally sustainable.
She is a co-operative business educator and developer and co-founder of Freedom Dreams Co-operative Education, a platform that supports co-operative development in Black, Indigenous and Person of Colour communities.
Her ideal community is one where both political and economic democracy is healthy and thriving and where “all voices at the table” isn’t a platitude but is meaningfully considered and activated in the different spheres of life.
You can find her seeking out and enjoying the quiet moments of the day.
Donna Hall (she/her)
CPHR, CEC, Director, Human Resources
Donna supports CCEDNet to be a place where employees thrive and create impact. With a focus on collaborative strategies and empowerment, Donna is committed to reducing barriers to inclusion and to exploring innovation.
Donna is motivated by empowering individuals and organizations to thrive in ways that are in alignment with their values and goals. This motivation has led Donna to a diverse career in human resources, career development, and executive coaching. Keeping in alignment with her own personal values, Donna’s career has focused in the non-profit, co-op, post-secondary education, and entrepreneurship realms.
Donna envisions a community where everyone has access to employment that utilizes their strengths, aligns with their values, and creates a ripple effect of positive impact into their communities and family.
When not at work, Donna can be found exploring the unceded territory of the shíshálh and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nations by kayak and bicycle.
Elizabeth Milan (she/her)
Director of Policy
Elizabeth leads CCEDNet’s policy efforts. Until recently Elizabeth worked in the federal government as a senior policy advisor on various issues including First Nations health, anti-gender-based violence, and anti-racism. Previously she spent over 15 years in non-government organizations as a fundraiser for social change and as a community developer/social worker with children and youth, women, immigrants and refugees.
Genevieve Dack-Tittley (she/her)
Spark Recruitment Co-ordinator
Through Spark, Genevieve helps connect organizations to ideas, resources and people. The centerpiece of the service is creating short term and high impact matches between the organizations and volunteers with professional skills.
After graduating from the University of Manitoba Genevieve worked in various arts and education based programs both locally and internationally. It was the love of this programming that brought her to CCEDNet and her role at Spark
In Genevieve’s ideal community everyone has access to free active and public transportation, free and easy access to childcare, and a Universal Basic Income
Genevieve is an active volunteer in her community and enjoys watching bad reality television
Spark Program Manager
Geoff manages the Spark service, which connects local organizations to ideas, resources and people. The centerpiece of Spark’s work is creating short term and high impact matches between the organizations and volunteers with professional skills.
Geoff is a graduate of the Master of Social Work program at the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the CCEDNet team he worked for 5 years in Bolivia as a cooperant with CUSO International, strengthening the capacity of a large non-profit and their projects with children and families.
In Geoff’s ideal community, people have the resources and the connections they need to live their best lives, but not at the expense of others’ ability to do the same.
Geoff is a year-round active commuter and outdoor adventurer.
Director of Finance
Guylaine is responsible for the global management of the organization’s finances. She supervises and controls all financial activities, prepares, and analyzes financial reports and budgets, supports project managers as well as directors and prepares the documents for the external audit. When Guylaine arrived at CCEDNet, she had fifteen years of experience in the administration and management of finances in not-for-profit organizations and the private sector. She has also worked as a social worker in women’s organizations operating with collective management and as a private consultant for small- and medium-sized enterprises. She was involved on the boards of directors as a volunteer for numerous community organizations and social economy enterprises. She has also done cooperative internships in Western Africa and in Latin America with Crossroads International and Oxfam-Québec.
In Guylaine’s ideal community, everyone lives in dignity, has access to healthy food, drinking water and no one goes hungry, everyone is adequately housed, has access to schooling, health services and free public transportation, can realize their full potential, and lives in an egalitarian, safe and solidarity-based world that is environmentally conscious.
Guylaine loves to get involved, garden, walk, play outside, cook, discuss, discover, spend time with family and friends.
Spark Recruitment Co-ordinator
In his role at Spark, Lindsey connects organizations to ideas, resources and people. The centerpiece of the Spark service is creating short-term and high impact projects between the organizations and volunteers with professional skills.
Lindsey has had the pleasure of working in several roles at CCEDNet over the past decade, including communications, policy development, member engagement and in his current role with our Spark service. In addition to his Spark work, Lindsey has played an active role as a LITE Board Member and currently chairs the steering committee of the Right to Housing Coalition.
In Lindsey’s ideal city, there would be universal access to the foundational supports, specifically the housing and jobs required to end poverty and exclusion. In this city, people would be sufficiently interconnected to act in solidarity, and from that, build systems and spaces that are both collective and sustainable.
Lindsey likes helping to shovel the snow off the local hockey rinks and making new ice, so everyone has a shared public space to enjoy the windchill.
Marisol Fornoni (she/her)
Partnership Manager- Investment Readiness Program
Marisol is supporting the Investment Readiness Program with partners convening, connecting, and implementing a principles-focused evaluation for the IRP partnership.
Marisol is a facilitator, fundraiser, and social enterprise practitioner who prioritized working with BIPOC, women, and non-binary social entrepreneurs in her social enterprise practice.
In Marisol’s ideal community people will feel safe in their communities and can easily access a green space nearby. They can unwind with nature around them while eating
affordable and local snacks.
Marisol loves cooking, biking, writing, reading and having coffee with family and friends.
Marlis Funk (she/her)
Manitoba Events and Engagement Coordinator
Marlis contributes directly to the Network Weaving and Manitoba Learns program areas of our Manitoba regional network, and supports engagement among members and the broader CED sector. Marlis plans CCEDNet events and creates learning and networking opportunities that bring people together. Marlis brings over 13 years of experience as a professional photographer and entrepreneur in Vancouver and Winnipeg, and recently worked in administration and events at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg.
In Marlis’ ideal community, we support each other in times of celebration and in times of difficulty. We love to share good food and stories, and everyone cares for each other and the environment!
Outside of work, Marlis loves finding ways to incorporate bike rides, ice cream (or coffee), and friends into my everyday social time.
Director of Engagement
“I work in CED because it realizes that healthy communities are those that are economically, ecologically, and socially vibrant and that everyone has important contributions to make in building this kind of society.”
Matthew holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College, where he studied leadership skills and public policy. His volunteer and work life has carried him to Jamaica, Italy, and France in diverse capacities from organic farming to building community with people with developmental disabilities to community organizing.
Matthew has been working with the Canadian CED Network since 2007 in various capacities particularly in the areas of research and knowledge mobilization, event organizing, and the coordination of the national internship program, CreateAction. Matthew also co-authored Assembling Understandings: Findings from the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships, 2005-2011 a thematic summary of close to 400 research products on the Social Economy in Canada.
Melissa Lessard (she/her)
Melissa performs all CCEDNet and CCEDNet-RCEDC Association accounting transactions, and prepares all required payroll submissions to the payroll service provider. She also handles membership information and serves as CCEDNet’s public liaison.
Melissa joined the CCEDNet team in December 2014. She is a graduate from Cégep de Drummondville and has been working in accounting in the private sector for 9 years within the Centre-du-Québec. Being part of the Canadian CED network is important for her. She is inspired by and proud to be working with people who are helping to create a positive future through improving the social and economic welfare of communities across Canada.
An ideal community is a place where your race, sexual orientation, and beliefs are not judged, but rather are considered and accepted. A place where services that aid daily life are within reach. A place where houses of worship, education, health are accessible for all.
Melissa loves to read, spend beautiful quality time with family and friends, and to take the time to sit down and enjoy the little moments. Life goes by way too fast.
Melissa Sinfield (they/them or she/her)
Regional Initiatives Manager
Melissa’s work is dedicated to building an ecosystem of support for CED at the regional level by engaging with members and partners at regional and provincial scales.
Prior to joining CCEDNet, Melissa was centrally involved in two startup innovation non-profits where she worked multiple roles including Coordinator and Director of Communications. Melissa has degrees in Conflict Studies, International Development, and a Minor in Gender Studies. For the past decade, her research has centred on systemic violence, decolonization, and critical disability studies in the Ottawa Valley region where she resides on unceded Anishinaabe territory.
Her ideal community is one where land is respected and everyone has access to clean water, nutritious food, safe-healthy shelter and labourers are celebrated for their invaluable contribution to sustaining life in our communities. Melissa is also a professional artist who explores social and environmental justice in her works, and is an avid organic gardener and outdoor enthusiast.
Michael Barkman (he/him)
Manitoba Network Manager
Michael’s work at CCEDNet focuses on the Manitoba CCEDNet membership and regional network, implementing a regional plan focused on building knowledge, strength, connection, and power among Manitoba members and the CED sector. Member relationship-building and convening through events and meetings, leading public policy advocacy through coalitions and direct government relations, and supporting CCEDNet’s Manitoba Learns program and the Gathering are Michael’s primary activities.
Michael is a life-long Winnipegger, based in Treaty 1 Territory. He cares deeply about social, economic, and climate justice and the power of collective movement and solutions rooted in the knowledge of local communities. Involved in organizing and advocacy work throughout the province, he has previously served as the Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students – Manitoba, the interim Executive Director of the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, the Chair of Make Poverty History Manitoba, and has a BA in Political Science and Urban & Inner-City Studies from the University of Winnipeg. A respected and cared for earth with easy access to local food, accessible transit, good bike lanes, and inclusive, green jobs would be in Michael’s ideal community, plus regular drag shows.
Michael thrives in the outdoors (hiking, paddling, or cross country skiing), on a stage (improv theatre), quietly at a piano at home, or spending time with family and community.
Mike Toye (he/him)
Mike works with the Board and members to articulate strategies and supports staff to implement them and track progress against our theory of change.
Mike has been a consultant on community economic development and the social economy, co-founder of two worker co-operatives, author, lecturer, researcher and a Policy Analyst for the Library of Parliament. His involvement with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network started in 2000, and he has been Executive Director since 2008.
Mike’s ideal community is one where everyone’s basic needs are met, where self-determination is balanced with collective responsibility, where people have the opportunity to contribute with dignity and pursue their passions, where the wellbeing of all our relations — present and future — is considered, where there is much to celebrate and many times to do so.
Outside of work, Mike enjoys exploring with his kids.
Sarah Leeson-Klym (she/her)
Director of Regional and Strategic Initiatives
As Director of Regional and Strategic Initiatives, Sarah works with members and partners to convene groups and initiate projects focused at the regional level or on key practices or sectors within the CED field. A good example of this work is leading CCEDNet’s involvement in the federal Investment Readiness Program.
Starting with CCEDNet in 2011, Sarah supported Manitoba’s regional office, organizing learning events, membership engagement, public policy, and a social enterprise development program.
Before CCEDNet, she finished a degree in Social Justice Theory & Practice at the University of Winnipeg, an Arts & Cultural Management Certificate at MacEwan University, and worked at a range of community organizations as well as a summer camp.
Sarah’s ideal community is one where people have what they need, have real input into decisions that affect them, and share with each other easily – it’s beautiful and fun and sustainable.
Even though she’s an ‘extraverted introvert’, you can often find Sarah laughing in the midst of her big extended family or helping to build the Rainbow Trout Music Festival with a group of close friends.
Susanna Redekop (she/her)
Engagement Manager, Investment Readiness Program
As part of the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) team, Susanna builds and maintains relationships and communications between the various partner organizations involved in delivering and supporting the IRP to ultimately support a stronger ecosystem for Social Purpose Organizations (SPOs) across Canada. Her role helps to strengthen the social finance / social innovation sector, helping to convene partnerships and guide SPOs to reach their next steps of growth with IRP funding.
With over 10 years of experience in co-operative development and supporting Social Purpose Organizations paired with my MES degree in Environmental Studies, Susanna brings the experience of co-operative grassroots organizing and community-led economic development with a focus on engagement and communications. She also brings passion for supporting the development of alternative economies outside of our capitalistic, extractive and colonial-based systems, empowering human-centric means of connection and sustainability.
Susanna’s idea of a thriving community includes every person feeling a sense of safety, nourishment and belonging. Ancestral knowledge of how to care for oneself and all of our relations within the skills and expertise we already possess and share with one another would be the central principle of this community.
Susanna loves to spend time with her family outdoors, adventuring and cooking particularly with her 3 rambunctious, brilliant children who are my biggest teachers and inspiration daily.
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