Our diverse skills and interests allow us to see change from a variety of perspectives.
Food connects us all.
Laura’s drive and passion is in reinforcing local food systems and building thriving local food economies. Having worked for over 15 years with community-driven initiatives related to circular economies; social innovation and social entrepreneurship in connection with local food systems development; Laura is passionate about helping those on the ground leading needed change to achieve their desired impact.
She is the Co-Founder of Collectif Récolte and Parler la Bouche Pleine, as well as the organization Taking Root. Her previous experience includes working with agricultural communities across Canada and around the world: supporting the start-up phases of a FoodTech company for farm-to-restaurant sourcing solutions, and working with a diversity of stakeholders throughout Québec and beyond in support of systemic shifts in the future of food.
Judith Colombo, agr.
Judith’s dream is to provide healthy, diverse, colorful and eco-responsible food for all by developing sustainable agricultural models and creating spaces that reconnect citizens with food. Her ultimate goal: To ensure the sustainability of ecosystems through a dynamic, respectful, and diverse occupation of the territory. Judith studied agricultural science and has been an Agronomist for almost 20 years. Her experience at a youth-focused social enterprise in agricultural production inspired her to promote diversified and eco-responsible agriculture. Following this, she specialized in marketing for different collective organizations. The completion of a master's degree in project management from UQAM in 2019 then led her to explore the emergence of collaboration within food governance. The combination of these past experiences allows her to actively participate in the dynamism of local and eco-responsible food systems at Collectif Récolte.
Dominique contributes to the creation of fair and regenerative food systems by sharing knowledge and exploring new sustainable models that create a healthier and more flavourful world.
Documentary Production Manager for 17 years she was drawn to food entrepreneurship in 2015. Dominique has a deep love for food and possesses solid global management experience, committed to supporting the continuing development of this organization. She is also co-founder of Fleuron, an organization dedicated to promoting local, sustainable and diverse grain and organizer of the annual ‘A Taste for Grain’ event.
A real nature enthusiast, it is deep inside the woods that Susie really comes to life. She has always been tuned in to the issues tied to the environment, like the protection of natural habitats and biodiversity, as well as forestry and agricultural territories. She makes her life choices based on their ecological impact, may it be by buying local products or by reducing waste output with more sustainable products.
While she believes in the importance of those individual choices, she is thrilled to be joining Collectif Récolte, so that she can participate in a more organized, collective, effort. Before deciding to devote her time fully to her family, Susie was an editing technician for newsrooms. She then decided to pursue a degree in secretarial studies so that she could join an organization in line with her values. She wishes to be a real pillar in the team so that everyone can deploy the full span of their creative force for the collectivity.
Marie-Neige has an eclectic background that has taken her all around Quebec, through Italy and Albania (a small country north of Greece). For the past ten years, she has worked as a communications manager for various Quebec organizations in the agri-food and social economy sectors.
However, it was while traveling to northeastern Italy to explore the world of agritourism and social and educational farms that she became passionate about social innovation in the food system. Upon her return home, she worked to put her skills and knowledge into practice in the agri-tourism world in Outaouais, the region where she grew up.
She has found that it is through communications that she can best contribute to the necessary changes for a more sustainable and fair food system.
With an academic background combining communications, creative writing, philosophy and art history, Karolane has developed a natural inclination toward social justice and climate issues. During her professional experiences with women artists and street artists, she conceived the communication aspect as a device that can, and should, serve to make visible the actors of a culture and a fair and equitable system.
Having been fortunate enough to enjoy the riches of the land and the generosity of a family unit with farms and gardens, she is now invested in and passionate about food and its ecological, sustainable and accessible elements.
One sentence at a time, Karolane intends to put her motivation and skills to good use at Collectif Récolte, its affiliated projects and local communities.
Nadia is inspired by the immense potential that food systems have to create a more sustainable and tasty world and seeks to share this with others by encouraging them to rethink their relationship to food and how their food choices can be used as powerful avenues of social and environmental change. Her adaptability, diverse skill set, and boundless curiosity allow her to work on a variety of projects at Collectif Récolte. Blending her academic background in geography, geographic information systems and sustainable community development with her passion for everything related to food, she strives to transfer and build knowledge, inspiring individuals to make empowered decisions regarding their food options.
Strongly driven by social, community and climatic justice, Maggie believes in the power of solidarity and civic commitment. It is while studying community economic development that her interest in food security, and its intricate relationship with issues of climate change and social justice, was sparked. Kindness and continuous improvement of our communities can only be obtained through shared accountability. We need the audacity to dream and to innovate in order to move towards new food system models that allows for the well-being of everyone, and of our delicious planet.
Passionate about a need for social change and innovation, Synthia loves to bring out new ideas. She is a final year student at McGill University and specializes in urban geography, international development and social entrepreneurship. The sense of community and the desire to improve the social fabric of Quebec’s society through food and agriculture is what drew her to Collectif Récolte. She is motivated by the opportunity to learn and acquire new skills to use them to give back to her community. Collectif Récolte represents a perfect opportunity for her to create meaningful connections, and understand the complexity and challenges of social entrepreneurship.
After a career in corporate finance and performance analysis, Mathilde worked as a consultant in information technology for over a year. Her thirst for food systems began when she started working in a local, bio and zero waste grocery store. It awakened her desire to learn about and participate more in the reduction of socio-economic inequalities in the access to local and healthy products. Coming from a management background, she wishes to use her expertise to help Collectif Récolte in its endeavours concerning participation in social innovation and strengthening Montreal's local food systems.
Following an academic journey in human resources management and environment, Raphaël has worked in the field of social economy, sustainable development and collaborative processes facilitation. Driven by ecosystem dynamics and the cities’ role in dealing with major contemporary issues, he is especially drawn to Collectif Récolte’s mission, as he is convinced that food plays a central role in the socio-ecological transition. Raphaël is now dedicated to putting his skills to use towards the creation of shared knowledges that highlight the different learnings that emerge from the projects carried by Collectif Récolte. Being able to navigate within the food innovation scene and to promote knowledge transmission is one of his main motivations for joining the collective.
After having completed an academic career focused on environmental sciences, health and urban geography, Gabriella became involved in municipal politics in Montreal as a policy advisor on various issues such as the smart city, information technologies, citizen participation, human resources and public safety. These experiences helped her better understand the relevance of a concerted and collaborative approach to better address the social challenges we face. Gabriella now wishes to use her skills to help strengthen the local food ecosystem.
Liam is passionate about making people's lives a bit better by finding and building accessible tech solutions to complex issues. With years of experience as a web developer, he transitioned into building and improving tech tools for community food organisations in Montreal, and is excited to be working on the SALIM project.
Concerned about environmental protection, Michel has always chosen to place it at the heart of his personal, professional and academic development.
As an agronomist and master of applied biology in urban forestry, he can link food production, the environment and the city.
Deeply humanistic, his jobs have led him to act for the accessibility to a healthy and pleasant environment, as well as to sustainable and local food: essential rights. He has worked in vegetation management and urban agriculture, notably in community settings or as a consultant. Today, his goal is to act for the environment by participating in the change of our food systems.
After working on an agroecological project in Nicaragua, Maryse boomeranged back in Quebec because of the COVID epidemic. She then decided to go back to school to finish her master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation before joining ranks with Collectif Récolte. She has experience in social entrepreneurship research and focused her work on initiatives that aim to fight poverty in marginalized groups, and how to replicate them in other contexts.
Maryse has a BA in political sciences and international policies, her interests are as wide as the universe! A sporty outdoors type, she loves her plants just as if they were her kids. You can probably find her in a park near you, even in the winter, and enjoys public spaces and believes in their essentiality. She also adores discovering new foods, with bonus points if it has a history, a culture and a whole lot of flavours!
Louis works to promote the emergence of a sustainable food system, through collective human, technological, and physical infrastructures.
Louis thinks that small-scale farms are essential to preserve biodiversity, to guarantee access to healthy food, and to build relationships between producers and consumers. In 2016, Louis started to work for an urban agriculture project in Montreal, and more globally got involved in the healthy food ecosystem. Louis brings a background in Economics, non-profit and social entrepreneurship experiences, as well as a solid organic farming and farm-to-fork background.
Since 2004, Isabelle has contributed to improve the sustainability and inclusivity of food systems. She has managed numerous international projects with organizations as varied as the World Food Program, research centers, and the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI-Montreal). She holds a doctorate in agronomy and is committed to the fight against world hunger. In 2012, she developed a course on this topic whilst working at the University of Montreal, where she has been teaching since. In her project management work, she draws on co-creation principles to develop innovative and sustainable solutions adapted to the specific realities of the stakeholders involved.
Isabelle joined the Collectif Récolte to share her expertise and approach to the strengthening of food systems in Montréal. She works to catalyze social innovation with on the ground actors to ensure an inclusive and ecological transition of our food systems.
With Collectif Récolte, Emilie believes that she can support systemic changes in today’s dominant food systems. She is passionate about the latest advances in sustainable development and responsible consumption.
As a graduate student in Management Science, Social and Environmental Responsibility (RSE) at UQAM, her interests are more specifically related to issues of insecurity, circular economy, short circuits, commons, sovereignty and resilience in the food sector. In parallel to her RSE journey, she has developed a growing interest and expertise in social innovation as well as social and solidarity economy as solutions to many food insecurity issues.
Trained as a lawyer, Élise has worked in law firms and non-profit organizations in the cultural sector in France. Concerned about the impact of human activities on the environment and particularly on food systems, Élise came to Quebec to study sustainable development and to give more meaning to her work. Passionate about issues of health and ecology, it was only natural for Élise to join Collectif Recolte in order to put her enthousiasm and versatility to good use by contributing toa more resilient, citizen-based and local food system. Élise collaborates on various Collectif Recolte mandates including, setting up workshops, as well as collecting and analyzing data.
Aline studied urban management and is currently finishing her master's degree in governance and alternative urban policies. Since her experiences working and volunteering on different farms and production sites, she is passionate about all issues related to agriculture and food. Her background has also allowed her to understand the issues of food governance and the different actors involved.
She also enjoys spending time in local canteens, sharing recipes and cooking with people. Aline believes that food is a way to bring people together.
Lydie Servanin is VP of Terre des jeunes, a network of local groups in West Africa and Haiti dedicated to environmental protection by youth. She is also a founding member of the Bioenergy Haiti project, which aims to create a waste management model with solar/biogas co-energy. In addition, she has extensive experience in project management: she has completed dozens of web projects with the Koumbit collective and in the environment for over 20 years.
Her accomplishments in the food sector include: collaboration in the creation of collective gardens, school and community gardens and reforestation with youth groups in Haiti, Togo and Ivory Coast; 10 years of community redistribution of Rachelle Béry's food surpluses in Montreal; co-direction of a medium-length documentary, Pousse égal, about two farmers in the CSA network; permaculture training with Wen Rolland, soil health and agricultural work.
Fabien wants to apply his information technology skills to causes that are good for society and the environment. He has a background in computer engineering and experience in product management for sustainable mobility, in addition to a degree in computer engineering from Polytech Nantes in France.
He then contributed to improving telecommunication services and worked to encourage the use of buses as an economical and sustainable mode of transportation. Today, he is a volunteer mechanic in a community bike shop and is proud to contribute to the accessibility of healthy and local food with the Collectif Récolte.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering specialized in sustainable agriculture and territorial development in Rennes, France, Logan is now a PhD candidate in environmental sciences at UQAM. His research focuses on the practices of home food gardening in the Montreal area. He focuses on the food potential at the household level. Despite his various attempts at gardening on his balcony in Montreal, he loves to go on a quest for fresh produce at farmer’s markets in order to later cook them! This interest in food, and more broadly agriculture, drives him to want to learn more about food systems. His knowledge of agro-industrial and alternative food systems has given him an insight that he wishes to share with Collectif Récolte as an analyst.
Geneviève believes that the world is transitioning to a new paradigm that is more respectful of the systems that sustain life. She observes that we are collectively locked in a straitjacket, like a shell that is gradually breaking down as our beliefs change. She has acquired a vision of a more equitable and healthy world through various experiences including many readings, meetings and travels.
With a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in environment, in addition to three years of studies in naturopathy, she combines her technical knowledge, her project management skills and her passion for healthy, local and sustainable food in her job at Collectif Récolte. She believes deeply in change through action and in transforming individual and collective thinking. She sees collaboration as an answer to the various plagues that afflict us. She is aware of the challenges ahead and looks forward to the future with serenity.
Believing in the power of the collective and horizontality to change things, it is quite natural that he got closer to the Collectif Récolte. His involvement with SALIM as a Local Community Procurement Specialist, for a second consecutive year, allows him to continue to use his motivation and enthusiasm with food security organizations and to get closer to agricultural production, which he is passionate about and is constantly learning from.
Benjamin has been working in the food industry for several years, first in Australia and now in Montreal. His sensitivity to environmental and social issues guides him in his daily reflections, choices and decisions. He looks for solutions and alternatives to promote local and responsible production. Passionate about entrepreneurship, Benjamin accompanies people in the development of their business projects or their personal growth.
Trained in agricultural engineering and working in the non-profit sector, Carlo brings technical expertise balanced with a sensitivity to human dynamics. He is involved in the collective effort to create a more sustainable and just food system, focusing primarily on the creation of urban gardens, popular education on agriculture and food justice. He is also interested in coaching groups in collective decision-making. When he's not developing workshops or planning consultations, you'll find him in the forest foraging for mushrooms, or in his kitchen fermenting whatever he has on hand.
Eric Abraham Viggo Hanson is a Montrealer at heart and soul who loves local and organic food. As co-owner of Les Jardins Carya, an organic farm located on the island of Montreal, Eric has been fortunate enough to bring fresh, local vegetables to Montrealers' dinner tables for the past 3 years. Professionally, Eric is particularly interested in the notions of equity for small farms that are low carbon, sustainable and environmentally friendly in their packaging approach.
He is also focused on establishing a sustainable food network in the greater Montreal area. As a collaborator of Collectif Récolte and the SALIM project, Eric is working hard to establish a food logistics hub to serve farms on the West Island of Montreal.
Gwenaelle Reyt has been specializing in the food sector for more than 10 years. First, as a food journalist writing for several media outlets in Quebec and Europe including Le Devoir and Atabula, then as a researcher on a PhD on restaurants in Montreal. She is also a lecturer at UQAM where she teaches about food and its links to territory; gourmet tourism and food production and processing in Quebec.
Melissa's theme song is "I'm every woman". Mélissa touches on everything related to gastronomy, food security, sustainable food, community spirit as well as all forms of learning. Mélissa founded Les Tours de la Table in 2012, which organizes gastronomic explorations and tasting excursions. These are opportunities to spend quality time with the people who create delicious food with history. Melissa loves people and her community. Her goal is to understand the players in the agri-food industry, value their journey, tell their story, accompany them in the search for solutions to their problems and to connect them with other players in order to collaborate synergistically, notably in the planning of training programs and performance improvement campaigns.
Melissa is trained in professional cooking and tour guiding, has a degree in Canadian Studies from McGill, a business start-up, a doula (birthing coach) and is a Masters candidate in Educational Technology at Concordia, with a focus on insurrectionary design.
She is involved with the Réseau d'entraide food bank in Verdun by managing a delivery program for seniors and people with reduced mobility and with Coop CAUS (Coopérative de solidarité d'abondance urbaine solidaire) as a member of the board of directors. Her role includes fundraising and business development, such as providing more vendors and products for farmers' markets and being involved in public relations.
Her passions include cycling, cross-country skiing, cooking and her supper club which has been going on for 18 years! She is also interested in sexual and reproductive justice.
Nathalie believes that our approach to food can be a very concrete way to promote our values. She has several years of professional experience in biological and local food procurement and social economy project management.
In 2010, she co-founded the Coopérative de solidarité des Bons Voisins, in Pointe-Claire, where she managed a restaurant and a grocery store adhering to the locavore movement. In 2018, Nathalie was instrumental in starting the Marché et bistro fermiers aux petits oignons, in Mont-Tremblant, as co-manager. Most recently, she founded Assiette Turquoise, which offers sustainable food procurement consulting services in the Laurentians.
Tim holds an environmental degree from McGill University. His areas of expertise are project management and coordination in the field of food security, sustainable development, organic agriculture, climate change and other environmental issues. Tim is one of three co-founders and partners of The Green Line: a market garden project whose mission is the creation and exploitation of new spaces for the practice of multifunctional, sustainable and organic urban agriculture. He has led several projects, including the largest organic vegetable garden in Canada in Ville St-Laurent. He is currently working as the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Environmental Network.
Nutritionist and contributor to the daily newspaper Le Devoir, co-host of "On s'appelle et on déjeune", a Radio-Canada OHdio podcast about food
Catherine Lefebvre is a nutritionist and a contributor to the Le Devoir newspaper. She also co-hosts On s’appelle et on déjeuner, a podcast available on Radio-Canada’s OHdio platform, where she approaches subjects around food and nutrition. She loves to travel and to learn about the culinary culture of the places she visits, and she is very curious about the history hidden behind the agricultural practices and the traditional dishes of every country.
Her expertise and her desire to broadcast Collectif Récolte’s mission and goals through her network will undoubtedly help bring together the various stakeholders of the bio-food industry so that they can take part in enacting a real change in the current model.
Board of Directors
PhD candidate, lecturer and community engaged worker
Stephen R. Penner is a PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Planning at The University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. He is a settler born in traditional St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Mohawk, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee Territory; within the Rotinonhsdn:ni Five Nations Confederacy. Stephen is a lecturer in Indigenous Politics and Governance as well as courses for the Master’s of Development Practice (MDP): Indigenous Development at the University of Winnipeg. His work is based on Indigenous-led and co-created understandings that build capacity around food systems. His dissertation is based in understanding how the Eeyou Cree define food security and how food insecurity affects their socio-economic and cultural lives.
Valentin's academic background led him from Montreal to Brussels via Toronto, and it is through this he became interested in short, resilient and solidarity-based food systems aimed at food justice. Through the choice of his internship, but especially through the choice of his master's thesis, Valentin was able to experience the development of an urban agriculture and market gardening project in Toronto. For the past 3 years, he has been working as a project manager for Youth Fusion, a non-profit organization that aims to help young people stay in school. The issue of food accessibility is never far away in his remote communities, which is why he wishes to get involved with the Harvest Collective to continue learning, sharing and working towards fairer food systems. Otherwise, Valentin seeks to stay in shape by practicing sports and physical activities in order to enjoy long evenings of board games around a table with friends!
Amélie Côté is a business law and intellectual property lawyer. She assists and advises various companies, from start-ups to multinationals, on business strategies as well as on the protection and commercialization of innovative assets. With both a legal and scientific background, she works in various fields, such as life sciences, entertainment and emerging technologies. She wishes to contribute her expertise to positively contribute to the objectives of the Harvest Collective to work towards a better future for food.
Bernard has a diversified experience
experience of nearly 40 years in management
including general management and business
and business development in complex
complex and international environments
international environments, in the private sector
government and non-profit organizations. He has also served on the board of directors of organizations for ten years.
His experience is based on a university education in finance leading to a professional accounting designation, a master's degree in
in international marketing management and training in interculturalism.
His professional and social contributions are centered on the full deployment of people's talents, teamwork, innovation and organizational change.
Passionate about travel and meeting people from other cultures, he is also an epicurean who enjoys cooking and gardening.
His motivation for joining the Collectif Recolte
is to participate in the emergence of a local
of a local, ethical, resilient and inclusive food system resilient and inclusive food system and to continue learning about this field.
I am passionate about the world of finance and have gained experience in the tax field. In addition to my passion for the financial world, I am passionate about cooking and I love to cook for my friends and family! My goal in getting involved with Collectif Récolte is to find efficient solutions for food production and to respect the environment more. Through Collectif Récolte, I hope to adopt agri-food technologies so that our community can feed itself and come together to help each other.
Procurement Engineer and Manager
Stéphanie has held management positions in the agri-food sector for the past twenty years. With a keen interest in a sustainable development approach that promotes sound economic growth and social prosperity, she is particularly committed to an equitable and self-sufficient food system. After obtaining a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from McGill University, she is currently completing a professional graduate certificate in Sustainable Development at MIT. She hopes to use her experience and new knowledge throughout her mandate with the Collectif Récolte.
Technical patent advisor
Surena wishes to get involved in his community and to encourage sustainable practices in his hometown. He plans to promote integration of emerging technologies within sustainable agricultural operations that are anchored in traditional farming practices in order to find long term solutions to feed our community. He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and works in the field of intellectual property. He believes that every action counts when it comes to sustainability and that everyone can have a huge impact on their social networks.
Financial advisor and marketing strategy
Danielle Balem has 16 years of experience as a sales team manager in the telecommunications industry, mainly in the African market. After a bachelor's degree in socio-anthropology from the Catholic University of Central Africa and a master's degree in law and economics (marketing orientation) from the University of Montpellier, Danielle went on to complete an MBA at the IAE business school in Paris and a master's degree in Public and Private Enterprise Management from the Sorbonne University. After moving to Canada, she seized the opportunity to change her field of activity and to take on new challenges in the financial industry by obtaining a certificate from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers. This field allows her to continue to keep in touch with her clients and to be in contact with people from diverse backgrounds.
Danielle is committed to the Collectif Récolte in order to develop her management skills while contributing to the development of this organization working for the food and agricultural ecosystem.
With fifteen years of experience in journalism at CBC and Radio-Canada under her belt, Amanda has just joined the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives as a Senior Communications Specialist. She was drawn to the CCPA's mission to empower the public to understand issues of social, economic and environmental justice through a progressive policy lens. She sees parallels in the work of Collectif Récolte, which supports local food systems and producers in Quebec to create a safer, more democratic and more resilient food system for all of us. And she is excited to help further that work.
With a hybrid profile in accounting and strategy, Mathieu has been coaching management teams in their strategic thinking and planning exercises as well as managing complex organizational transformation projects for about two years. In the past, Mathieu co-created, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal, a program that uses the vehicle of entrepreneurship to foster the development of psychosocial skills in youth aged 15 to 21. In his spare time, you'll find Mathieu teasing walleye or bass on a Quebec lake in the summer, or with a glass of wine in hand discussing the complexity of pinot noir.
Mathieu believes that sustainable agri-food systems and their many variations have profound ramifications for the urban fabric, including environmental, social justice and civic relations, values he holds dear. The Collectif Récolte perfectly embodies these values and Mathieu wishes to contribute to the development and perpetuation of the organization.
Involved in the development of sustainable and inclusive food systems for over 17 years, joining the Board of Directors of the Collectif Récolte is a way to actively pursue my desire to improve our food systems. I also see my participation in the Board as a great opportunity to nourish my reflection on food-related issues and to sow innovative ideas that I hope will germinate micro seeds of ideas and projects. The destiny of nations depends on the way they feed themselves, we are at a turning point, we must act and it is now!
A thank you to our co-founders !
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Marina Jolly and Marie-Noël Ouellet, co-founders of Collectif Récolte. Without their passion, energy and exceptional talents in communications, research and organizational development, Collectif Récolte would not be where it is today! They have been integral parts in the creation and management of Collectif Récolte, helping guide the organization through its first years of operation. Thank you for being key members of our community and for taking such a significant place in the early years of our history!
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