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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".

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 Solution. She currently also serves as Vice-Chair of the City of London's Trees and Forests Advisory Committee.

Her favourite tree is Eastern Cottonwood.

 

Christy Cook
Neighbourhood ReLeaf Coordinator

Christy is ReForest London’s Neighbourhood ReLeaf Coordinator. She completed her B.A. in Environmental Resource Studies and International Development Studies from Trent University, where she did a study-abroad year in Ghana, West Africa.

After graduating, Christy travelled back to Ghana and worked in the non-profit sector for two years at educational institutions committed to making positive environmental impact - the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Alma Mater Education. While working in Ghana, Christy also volunteered for Trees for the Future, helping to give farmers and their families the ability to transition from unsustainable farming techniques to a Forest Garden system.

Christy is passionate about tree-planting and sustainable food movements.

Her favourite native tree is Staghorn Sumac, and her favourite tropical tree is Moringa, also known as “The Miracle Tree” in Ghana due to its plentiful nutritional, medicinal and agricultural uses.

 

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 renowned 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 - imageryoflight.com - 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 Community Tree Challenge Coordinator &
Green Legacy Study Coordinator

Brianne is the School Community Tree Challenge 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. Currently she is also coordinating a collaborative feasibility study which will explore large scale Tree Growing programs in our region. 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. 

 

Justine Lorch

Neighbourhood Projects Assistant

Justine LorchJustine is the Neighbourhood Projects Assistant for the Neighbourhood ReLeaf program (Tree Depots & Blitzes). Coming from a media and communications background, Justine is finishing her degree at Western University in Media, Information and Technoculture. Having moved from a horse farm in her hometown of Lucan, Justine now calls London home and has worked with multiple community supports on Western campus and throughout the community.

Justine is passionate about supporting her community, finding scenic hiking trails, visual arts, and sustaining the beautiful Canadian landscape!

Her favourite trees are the Weeping Willow and Redbud.

 

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.

 

Kaitlin Richardson
Project Manager - Naturalizations & Aftercare


Kaitlin is ReForest London’s Project Manager for our naturalizations and aftercare programs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo as well as two diplomas in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation and Environmental Assessment. Her research focus in the past has been in biogeography, looking at climate change adaptations for sugar maple and the impact on the maple syrup industry. 

Growing up in St. Thomas, Kaitlin has a strong connection with the London community. Prior to becoming ReForest London’s Project Manager, she has worked in various roles in the environmental sector including Thames Talbot Land Trust, City of London and B.A. Blackwell and Associates Forestry Consulting.  Kaitlin also spent 4 months volunteering with the environmental sector in Hanoi, Vietnam.

She is passionate about turtles, her native plant garden and getting others involved in nature!

Her favourite tree is the Eastern Flowering Dogwood.

 

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.