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Staff Biographies

Amber Cantell
Director of Programs

Prior to becoming ReForest London's Director of Programs, Amber worked for five years as Project Manager for our naturalizations and aftercare programs, completing over 100 planting projects for our organization with the help of thousands of caring and dedicated Londoners who share her passion for trees. Amber is proud to have the opportunity to be working in her hometown as our Director of Programs, and is looking forward to the chance to increase ReForest London's impact in the community and help keep London "the Forest City".

As Director of Programs, Amber supervises our planting programs and helps to set strategic direction for the organization. Her work also includes fundraising for the new Westminster Ponds Centre for Environment & Sustainability, our largest project to date.

Amber holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo as well as a post-graduate certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College. Amber has previously worked as a green building education coordinator for the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax and as the Well Aware project coordinator for Waterloo Region Green Solutions. She has also previously served as Vice-Chair of the City of London's Trees and Forests Advisory Committee. Outside of work, Amber has a great love of exploring, encaustic painting, and tree identification, a skill which she happily shares with our new volunteers.

Her favourite tree is Eastern Cottonwood.


Sheila Creighton
Partnerships and Marketing Manager

Sheila Creighton comes to ReForest London with 20+ years’ experience in marketing, communications and management and a passion for trees and helping the environment. A graduate of Sheridan College's Media Arts program, Sheila also studied Commercial Photography and New Media at Sheridan. Born and raised in London, Sheila is glad to return to the Forest City after working predominantly in the GTA.

Sheila has worked promoting arts, heritage, tourism, healthcare and economic empowerment through municipal government and non-profit organizations locally, regionally, and provincially. Her work has included Communications Director, The Ontario Historical Society; Sr. Corporate Communications, Corporation of the Town of Oakville; Project Manager, Halton Healthcare Services Corporation; and Marketing Manager, Muskoka Tourism Marketing Agency.

A member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, Sheila is a published author of three books, many articles and countless photographs. She has a daily photoblog - - where a favourite subject is trees and nature. Sheila enjoys giving back to the community through her work on the Board of Directors for ATN. 

Her favourite trees are White Oak and White Pine.


Brianne Curry
School Program Coordinator 

Brianne is the School Program Coordinator and the Green Legacy Study Coordinator with ReForest London. Since the launch of the School Community Tree Challenge in 2014, Brianne has been fortunate to have worked with over 75 schools to support their tree planting and tree educational projects, to the tune of over 18,000 trees planted, grown, sold and given away in our community.  Brianne is passionate about outdoor and environmental education, and getting her hands dirty with kids. 

Originally from Nova Scotia, Brianne is now a proud Londoner of 18 years. She is actively involved in a number of community initiatives, including school councils, “Plant A Row, Grow A Row”,and Autism Ontario. She also sat on the Special Education Advisory Committee for the Thames Valley District School Board for four years. She loves veggie gardening, community, baseball, and nature walks with her kids in nearby Medway Creek. She holds both a Bachelor’s & Master’s degree in Geography from Western, having specialized in human geography, health geography, health promotion, and environment & health. 

Among her favourite trees are the Trembling Aspen and Silver Maple. 


Susan Hewitt
Office Administrator

Susan Hewitt is excited to bring to ReForest London a wealth of experience in accounting and administrative management, finance, client services, facilities management, human resources, and developing and implementing processes in both the public and private sectors. 

Highly skilled in operations management, financial reporting, negotiation and problem-solving, some of Susan’s work experience includes: Branch Manager for a home healthcare company where she was responsible for managing day to day branch operations; Accounting Manager for a property management firm where her accounting skills shone in all financial aspects of the business; and as Finance/Administrative Manager for London InterCommunity Health Centre where she oversaw a capital building project that led to an increase of 14K square feet.

Her favourite tree is Black Walnut


Ben Hobbs
Partnership Developer and Community Animation Assistant

Ben HobbsBen is completing his BSc in Biology from the University of Western Ontario and is excited to be joining ReForest London as the Partnership Developer and Community Animation Assistant for the summer before returning to school to finish his degree. Ben comes with experience in the non-profit sector, working alongside the education industry to develop partnerships between academic institutions and K-12 classrooms across the country. Ben is looking forward to fostering his passion for environmental stewardship while continuing to develop his understanding of conservation and ecosystem health.

Growing up in the Kawartha Lakes, Ben spent many summers in Haliburton County where he developed his love for the outdoors.

His Favourite tree is the West Indian Rosewood 


Heather Hawkins Jensen
School Program Assistant

Heather is excited to join ReForest London as a School Program Assistant.
She holds a B.S. in conservation biology and a B.A. in French studies from Brigham Young University, and will begin the Master’s of Environment and Sustainability program at Western University in the fall. Heather developed a love for environmental education and outreach while working as an intern for Utah’s Hogle Zoo. Since moving to Canada, she has continued to be involved with conservation by volunteering with Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre and ReForest London. She cares deeply about encouraging local sustainability and believes kids often have the biggest and best ideas to help the environment.

A native of Utah, Heather enjoys running, hiking with her husband, and reading. She loves London’s forests and lakes, but will always be partial to mountains and no humidity.

Her favorite tree is the American sweetgum.


Victoria Kacer
Program Assistant/Aftercare Coordinator

Victoria is thrilled to join ReForest London for a second season as Program Assistant/Aftercare Coordinator. She recently completed her BESS in Environmental Science and Studies at Trent University where she conducted research on the interconnections between volunteering for ecological restoration projects and mental health. Victoria plans to move to Victoria, B.C. in the fall to attend the University of Victoria's Faculty of Law with the hope of pursuing a career in environmental law. She loves spending time outdoors and is so excited to spend the summer caring for trees before she has to hit the books again this September.

Her favourite tree is Trembling Aspen.


Mackenzie Lauermeier

Summer 2019 Fundraising and Volunteer Coordinator Intern

Mackenzie Lauermeier

Mackenzie is completing the internship as part of the Western Continuing Studies Not-for-Profit Management Diploma Program. She completed her BSc in Forest Sciences at the University of British Columbia and her MSc in Integrative Biology at Guelph University. She wrote her thesis project on Mycorrhizal fungi and Birch tree interactions. She enjoys reading about new trends in Forest Ecology research and supporting local community events.

Her favourite tree is the Northern Catalpa.


Susan McPartlin
School Program Assistant 

Susan is ReForest London’s School Program Assistant. She completed her B.S. in Ecological Restoration from a joint program at Fleming College and Trent University. After graduating she worked in the Toronto Region planting native tree and shrub species in both urban and rural settings. This helped to improve the ecosystem’s health and increase biodiversity in areas where it was diminished. She has volunteered at Children’s Water Festivals on many occasions to help educate children on the importance of water conservation. Susan is excited to help educate children in the London area on the importance of forest ecosystems in their local community.

Susan is passionate about restoring our waterways and forests to a more sustainable state. She is helping to kick start that change by educating the youth of today on the importance of ecosystem health and on how they can make a positive impact to their local environment.

Her favorite tree is the Tulip Tree. 

Alex Meilutis

Project Manager - Park Naturalizations and Aftercare


Alex is ReForest London’s Project Manager – Park Naturalizations and Aftercare.  She holds a B.Sc in Biology and Environmental Science and a Master’s of Environment and Sustainability from Western University.  Upon finishing her Master’s degree, Alex worked for the City of London in both the Environmental Programs and Parks Planning departments where she focused on environmental outreach and community programs.  She then spent two years working for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as an ecologist for Ontario Parks and the Science and Research Branch where she worked on classifying ecosystems along the Great Lakes Shorelines. 

Alex is excited to be joining the ReForest London team.  She enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with others, and is continuously exploring new hiking trails around Southern Ontario.

Her favourite tree is the Sycamore.


Kelsey Nicholls
Community Engagement Coordinator

Kelsey is thrilled to join ReForest London as the Community Engagement Coordinator. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environment and Sustainability from Western University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Restoration Biology from Laurentian University. During her undergrad, her research involved characterizing plants grown to restore a mine site in her home town of Sudbury. She moved to London to attend Western, in order to expand her experience in community engagement and communications. Her Masters included a capstone study on ways to foster environmental action at the local level.

She first joined ReForest London as a volunteer and has over a decade of volunteering experience for various environmental organizations. Prior to joining ReForest London, Kelsey also worked in outdoor education for a conservation authority and in community outreach for the City of London’s Environmental Programs department.

Her favourite tree is White Pine.


Dean Sheppard
Executive Director

Dean Sheppard is an environmental consultant owning and operating his own consulting firm since 1996, specializing in management processes and systems.

Not being able to decide between undergrad fields, Dean decided not to choose. He studied two degrees studied concurrently: Honours Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and Honours Environmental Studies at University of Waterloo. Dean is currently working on a Masters of Public Administration at Western University where he also teaches a capstone project course in the Masters of Environment and Sustainability program.

Being active in making his community a better place for today and for tomorrow is a hobby and a passion. He has served on several City of London Advisory Committees and taskforces, including several years as Chair of the Ecological and Environmental Planning Advisory Committee. Other involvements include Trees and Forest Advisory Committee, Coves Sub-watershed Implementation Committee, Engage London and London Transit Commission.

Dean is an honoured recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service, has been nominated for the London Community Foundation’s Ivey Award of Excellence and has received an Award of Recognition from the Old South Community Organization for outstanding contribution to life in Old South where he lives.

His favourite tree is Hackberry.