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Staff Biographies

Zach Anderson
Finance and Business Support Manager

Zach AndersonAs Finance and Business Support Manager Zach supports key business functions of the organization including Finance, Human Resources, Westminster Ponds Centre Facilities, and supporting the Executive Director and the Board of Directors.

Zach previously spent 5+ years in non-profit management positions while also operating a Consultancy that supports the evaluation and research goals of Social Purpose Businesses across Canada.

Zach holds an Honours Specialization in Political Science, Minor in Philosophy from King’s at Western University and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication and Management from the DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies at Western University.

Originally from Newfoundland, Zach is a proud Londoner of 10+ years. He is involved in a number of community initiatives focussed on the arts, sports, sharing economy, community building and organizational development. When he’s not working, you’ll find Zach walking London parks with his children and playing musical instruments in a kitchen!

Among his favourite trees are the Balsam Fir and Paper Birch

 

Amber Cantell
Director of Development

Prior to becoming ReForest London's Director of Development,Amber Cantell 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 Development, 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 Development, Amber works to grow support 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 - imageryoflight.com - where a favourite subject is trees and nature.

Her favourite trees are White Oak and White Pine.

 

Brianne Curry
Director of Programs & Westminster Ponds Centre Coordinator

Brianne works to provide leadership and oversight of ReForest London's tree-planting programs. Her work also includes coordination of the new Westminster Ponds Centre for Environment & Sustainability project. She is excited about developing partnerships and programs for the WPC and helping to create a truly unique and vibrant community space driving sustainability here in London. 

Brianne previously spent 5+ years managing ReForest London's school planting and education programs and working with multiple partners on a large research study exploring tree growing programs in the region.

Brianne holds both a Bachelor’s & Master’s degree in Geography from Western University, having specialized in human geography, health geography, health promotion, and environment & health. Originally from Nova Scotia, Brianne is now a proud Londoner of 20+ years. She is involved in a number of community initiatives focused on equity, urban agriculture, and community building, and she is the current President of Autism Ontario London Chapter. When she's not working, you'll find her happily at home with family & friends, sharing good food, and spending time in the garden. 

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

 

Armando Gonzales 
Ecological Restoration Assistant

Armando is joining the ReForest London team as the Ecological Restoration Assistant. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While completing this degree, he volunteered in a number of environmental areas including sustainable farming, wildlife rehabilitation, and ecosystem restoration. Armando is also currently a student in Western University’s Masters of the Environment and Sustainability program.

In his new role Armando is excited to gain more experience working in an ecological capacity and to improve London’s environmental health through planting trees and engaging with the community. During his free time Armando enjoys many outdoor activities including spending time at the beach, kayaking, and hiking.

His favorite tree is the Giant Sequoia.

 

 

Dan Marina
Planting Programs Manager

Dan previously worked for ReForest London back in 2014 and is thrilled to return as the Planting Programs Manager in 2021. In this role, he oversees the tree planting programs in parks, schoolyards, and other areas throughout the City of London.

Dan completed his Master of Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto in 2012 and hisBachelor of Environmental Studies with honours in geography and minor in history at the University of Waterloo. He has also obtained a post-graduate certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College Canada. Since finishing school, Dan has gained almost 10 years of experience in the fields of forestry and arboriculture. Having also worked in both the private and public sectors, he is excited to be given the opportunity to return to the non-profit world and work with the local community to conserve and restore our natural spaces.

Dan is passionate about forest ecology, so you will often find him wandering the woods with field guides in hand. Otherwise, you will find him outside hiking, canoeing, camping, or gardening.

His favourite tree is Tulip tree.

 

Emma Meriano
Social Enterprise Development Assistant

Emma is a recent addition to the ReForest London team, joining as the Westminster Ponds Center Social Enterprise Assistant for the duration of her summer internship. Emma is a graduate from Western University, having obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Specialization in Media, Information and Technoculture and a Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management. Both these programs have inspired Emma to work in industries surrounding environmental sustainability, locally and internationally. After spending 5 years of her university career getting to know the wonderful Forest City, she is elated to begin hands-on work with the community.

In her spare time, Emma loves to be outdoors, whether cycling, swimming, snowboarding, or reading a good book. Overall, Emma strives to grow her environmental knowledge and passion through her work and everyday life.

Her favorite tree is Black Cherry.

 

Walker Pityn
Web Content Developer

Walker PitynWalker joins the team at ReForest London as the Web Content Developer and is thrilled to be part of a community-based organization.

After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and completing a Publishing Certification from Ryerson University, Walker returned home to London to freelance with local businesses. He has worked with various industries—occupational health & safety, education, skilled trades, publishing, and others—and seeks to effectively communicate brand identity, core principles and mission statements of London businesses.

Having spent time teaching English in South Korea and working within the educational sector, Walker recognizes the need for youth engagement and activism on both political and environmental issues. Having participated in a number of local protests, he is encouraged by the youth turnout and is hopeful for the local and global future of the environment.

His favourite trees are White Pine and Japanese Cherry.

 

Ellise Proctor
Residential Planting Programs Assistant  

Ellise is newly joining the Reforest London team as the Residential Planting Programs Assistant. She is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and primarily focused on plant and forest ecology. During her degree, Ellise had the opportunity to work at various co-op placements where she developed an interest in environmental outreach programs. She plans to further grow her environmental knowledge in her new role and is extremely excited to become more involved in the community. During her free time, Ellise loves spending time outdoors, especially hiking, and playing board games with her family.

Additionally, Ellise plans to continue her education this coming Fall by pursuing her Master's of Science in Geography at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Her thesis will be focusing on the restoration and conservation of the boreal forest ecosystem.

Her favourite trees are the Yellow Birch and Tulip. 

 

 

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.