Alexa Pitoulis

Alexa Pitoulis (she/her)

Executive Director

Alexa is a creative strategist with over 20 years of experience leading teams and change initiatives in public, private and non-profit spheres. A change leader with an MBA in Sustainable Systems, Alexa is skilled at moving the whole working of an organization, and its effects on systems, in ways that illuminate potential and build capacity.

Most recently, Alexa launched Goodly Foods, a social enterprise that repurposes surplus produce by working with local partners and providing training and employment for persons with barriers to traditional employment. Her time spent in her father’s restaurants as a child spurred a deep interest in “Good food for all!”. She led a successful project to have the City of Ottawa adopt policy supporting community garden development, served on the Ottawa Food Security Council, and was chair of the Inuvik Food Bank. No stranger to Fresh Roots, Alexa has been a volunteer and a Fresh Roots Board member. she looks forward to hearing from you!
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ED@freshroots.ca

Good Food Farm Team

Camille Flanjak

Camille Flanjak (she/they)

Good Food Farm Manager

Camille is a farmer with experience in Urban, Community, and Homestead growing. She is known by many as ‘the mushroom girl,’ having connected people with the mycelial network for over 10 years.

Her power as a connector between people and food is what brings her to Fresh Roots, where she can share her delight for growing vegetables with students, interns, volunteers, staff, CSA members, and market-goers.
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camille@freshroots.ca

Cheyanne Ripley

Cheyanne Ripley (she/her)

Acting Good Food Farm Manager

Cheyanne has been working as a farmer since 2016, and is passionate about creating healthy and resilient communities through sustainable, small-scale farming. She studies western herbalism in her spare time and can be found crafting all sorts of herbal potions in her home kitchen.

Future plans include blending her two passions by starting a medicinal herb farm.
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cheyanne@freshroots.ca

Youth Empowerment Team

tathali-urueta

Tathali Urueta-Ortiz (she/her)

Youth Empowerment Manager

During the last 10 years, Tathali has been working in diverse capacities at the intersection of two worlds: Food and Education! Her professional experience in these years has been shaped by her interest and passion in sustainability education, garden-based learning, science education, and food studies.

She has had the opportunity to work and enjoy the indoor and outdoor classroom with learners spanning from pre-kindergarten to higher education. Tathali holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies and an M.A. in Science Education from The University of British Columbia. Tathali is committed to the transformation of society toward more equitable and sustainable ways of living through education that empowers ALL learners.
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empowerment@freshroots.ca

Nicole Bruce

Nicole Bruce (they/them)

SOYL Lead Facilitator

Nicole started their journey with Fresh Roots in 2016 as a SOYL participant as a SOYL participant and has since become a lead facilitator for the SOYL Program in Delta.  Nicole believes that growing your own food is one of the most rewarding things you can do and wants to share that passion with as many youth as possible. Since working at Fresh Roots, they have changed career paths from engineering to sustainable agriculture with the hope to contribute to urban food security.

Nicole’s favourite part of each summer is watching the SOYL participants grow and become confident and compassionate leaders with the power to change the world they live in.
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Experiential Learning Team

Kat Vriesema-Magnuson (she/her)

Director of Experiential Learning

Kat loves to help kids literally get their hands dirty, and seeing a kid hold their first worm is the highlight of her day. Kat has a Graduate Certificate in Education, Environment and Community from IslandWood, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from the University of Washington, and over a decade of experience in environmental education.

She is excited to put her skills to work helping students and teachers connect with the land and their community through growing, cooking, and eating Good Food.  When not creating dynamic hands-on learning opportunities, Kat can be found cooking for family and friends, singing,  and learning to sword fight.
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education@freshroots.ca

Andrea Lucy (she/they)

Experiential Learning Program Lead

Andrea enjoys the curiosity, wonder and play that comes from spending time on the farm, whether it’s digging in the soil or tasting plants where they grow. With a background teaching in museums and gardens, she is passionate about hands-on learning and environmental education.

Andrea assists in creating memorable experiences for students and campers.
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andrea@freshroots.ca

Jaimie Rosenwirth

Jaimie Rosenwirth (they/them)

Suwa’lkh Program Lead

Jaimie brings diverse work experience to the Fresh Roots team. Having worked with folks with autism since 2015 they bring qualities of patience and understanding. Jaimie’s relationship with Fresh Roots started out by volunteering with an individual at Suwa’lkh School who has autism in 2018 and has grown into the Environmental Education Lead role.

The sense of community Jaimie brings to the Suwa’lkh farm is a result of many years of being a part of the garden. Jaimie loves the Farm to Cafeteria Program for the support it provides to get the students at the school eating what they have helped grow and trying new things.
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jaimie@freshroots.ca

Operations & Engagement

Caroline Manuel (she/her)

Communications Specialist

Caroline is an East Coast transplant who spent her formative years spinning yarns and attending university in Halifax where she studied ethnolinguistics and anthropology.  After living abroad in Asia and Europe Caroline finally put down roots in Vancouver where over the years she has owned and operated a diner, produced documentary TV, and in recent years has applied her communications and fundraising skills to increasing awareness about food insecurity through her work in the non-profit sector.

She is passionate about the importance of using the right communications channels, strategies, and techniques to connect people to organizations they care about. She is thrilled to be working at the intersection of food justice and communications as a member of the dynamic Fresh Roots team.
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caroline@freshroots.ca

Vivian Cheung (she/her)

Operations and Digital Engagement Speacialist

Vivian gets excited by details and systems, whether it is life or data. Her curiosity for food systems began while working at her family’s restaurant and flourished as a 2016 Fresh Roots intern.

With a BSc in Biology, Vivian hopes to help inspire environmental stewardship and food sustainability in the community.
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ops@freshroots.ca

Hope Rapp (she/her)

Fund Development Coordinator

Moving to Vancouver from England, Hope joined Fresh Roots as a chef educator for LunchLAB in the spring of 2023. With an Anthropology degree and strong experience in London’s non-profit food waste and food education fields, she loves working within school communities to create change from the ground up. Bringing her partnership-building, writing skills and the belief that food is one of the most powerful ways to connect with others, beyond the LunchLAB kitchens and gardens, she supports us in our fund development.

hope@freshroots.ca

Accounting

Gillian Cofsky (they/them/she/her)

Accounting & Payroll Manager

Gillian is a former dancer, movement instructor, and entrepreneur who left the dance world for a career in the accounting industry. Gillian is the founder of Make It Count – bookkeeping, tax services, & financial education for creative entrepreneurs!

After experiencing in the past the bewilderment that can come along with interacting with accountants and other financial professionals, Gillian was inspired to work with artists, creatives, non-profits, and small businesses to understand their finances and feel empowered in their relationship with money.www.letsmakeitcount.ca

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accounts@freshroots.ca

 

2023 Seasonal Staff

Experiential Learning Team

  • Tirpat Sekhon – Assistant Camp Director
  • Chloe Baknes – Camp Program Specialist
  • Kira Slykhuis – Camp Facilitator
  • Charlie Sutherland – Camp Facilitator
  • Min Zhou – Camp Facilitator
  • Tallulah Mund – Camp Facilitator
  • Fahima Mohibi – Camp Facilitator
  • Bea Banack Tapia – Camp Facilitator
  • Freya Inghammar Windsor – Camp Facilitator

SOYL Team

  • Ria Pearson – SOYL Vancouver Facilitator
  • Carolina Diaz – SOYL Vancouver Facilitator
  • Benjamin Ingoldsby – SOYL Suwa’lkh Facilitator
  • Maria Gesualdi – SOYL Suwa’lkh Facilitator

Good Food Farm Team

  • Clementine Nixon – David Thompson Lead
  • David Hanam – Van Tech Lead
  • Nicole Bruce – Market Lead
  • Stephanie Slen – Market Assistant

LunchLAB Community Eats

  • Luca Schifano – Vancouver Chef Educator
  • Mary Yap – Suwa’lkh Chef Educator