Staff

our team

administration + communications

Rebecca Danard
Executive Director
(705) 674-1685

As Executive Director of reThink Green Rebecca Danard is passionate about finding collaborative solutions to environmental challenges. With extensive experience in non-profit leadership, project management, and community engagement, she built reThink Green from being the only paid to staff to the current staff team. Since coming to reThink Green in 2014, Rebecca attracted new programs (Green Economy North, Smart Green Communities, Shared Platforms, Commuter Challenge), funders (Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Independent Electricity Systems Operator, Eco Canada, Environmental Defence) and partners (Clean Air Sudbury, Plastic-Free Greater Sudbury, Greater Sudbury Food Policy Council) to reThink Green. She has represented reThink Green at the Green Economy Learning Network (2019-2020), State of the North (2019) and Renewable Cities conference (2017). Under her leadership reThink Green received the Innovation Award from Green Communities Canada in 2016 and the Environment Community Builders Award from Northern Life in 2019. Also interested in education, Rebecca mentors staff, interns, and academic placements at reThink Green.  Rebecca communicates effectively and bilingually with staff, clients, volunteers, board members, and the media. Trained in the Art of Hosting, Rebecca uses personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges. Rebecca is slowly growing a fruit tree orchard and loves teaching her young sons about the plants and animals on their rural property in Wahnapitae. 

Leigha Benford
Chief Executive Officer

Leigha has a graduate diploma in Science Communication from Laurentian University and a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-Resource Management from the University of Guelph

Leigha has been with reThink Green since 2016, first as Communications Director and now as its Chief Executive Officer.

Leigha believes that Sudbury has a major role to play in the environmental movement for northern Ontario communities.

Sustainability matters to Leigha for “a million reasons, but now mostly because I’m a mom. I want my daughter to grow up with clean water, clean air, and access to everything that I’ve been able to access. I do what I do for her and her generation.”

When Leigha isn’t working on rethink Green programs and advancing sustainability she practices yoga, active living and healthy eating. She can often be found outside enjoying what Sudbury has to offer with her family.

David st. georges 
Communications & Sponsorship Manager

A graduate of Cambrian College, David St. Georges had spent near 15 years working to build community change through the charitable sector. Starting by developing ground-level efforts for the Canadian Red Cross, David shifted his focus to the environmental field through reThink Green a few years ago. Having worked to lead teams in many natural disaster responses at the Canadian Red Cross, he felt this was his chance to prevent these events before they occurred.  

Now an expert in frontline waste reduction, David has built many carbon reduction plans for businesses and events here in Northern Ontario. Small changes over time that that are easy for people to understand is how David approaches every project. He believes living sustainably is a key strategy in growing social and economic efforts here in the North.  

When not working in community sustainability, David volunteers as a community television host with Eastlink TV. 

marc Maisonneuve
Communications Officer
Marc-Andre Maisonneuve has earned his Diploma in Public Relations from Cambrian College.
 
Marc believes that environmentalism needs to be taken by every level, from all levels of government, personal choices, and business actions. Marc has a lot of hobbies, like poetry, writing, business swimming sports physiology etc. He will most often be found out in nature hiking or running. Marc has said ‘’It is my job as someone who lives on this planet to try and make sure we and the planet can live in harmony”.
 
Alison Dawson
Digital Communications Officer

Alison Dawson is a 2020 graduate of Cambrian College’s Graphic Design Program. She has interned with Greater Sudbury Utilities’ Communication’s department and with Fuel Media.

Alison started her environmental passion with Eat Local Sudbury before its closure. She has a personal mission to become waste-free and eats a vegan diet with a local focus to lower her carbon footprint. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home with two black cats, one white cat, four guinea pigs, a bearded dragon, and her partner.

Amanda McKelvey
Digital Media & Events Specialist 

Amanda McKelvey has a background in film and political science, and an interest in where the two fields intersect. Adjacent to her formal education, Amanda developed a passion for the environment and a growing knowledge of the consequences of climate change. 

Joining the Canadian Conservation Corps program confirmed that her desired career path was one that helped to reduce negative human impacts on the planet. She is very excited to be in a communications role with reThink Green, where she can combine her skills and passions to promote positive change.

programs

Simon blakeley
Regional Manager Program Development & Government Relations, Green Economy North

Simon Blakeley has a Masters’ Degree in Urban Environmental Design, an Undergraduate Degree in Geography and Planning, and a Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Business & Administration.

Simon has approximately 16 years’ international experience, supporting and enabling sustainable business practices, across different levels of government, not-for-profits, academia, and the private sector. Simon is an active member of the Board of Directors at the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) and the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre (NBDMC). He is also one of the founding members of Next Economy: North Bay (NENB)

Jan van Oordt
Member Engagement Manager, Green Economy North

Jan’s first career was immersed in the tourism industry where providing top notch Customer Service was the priority. She decided to return to school and study Sustainable Tourism Planning and while completing this programme, Jan realized that sustainable development was what she really was most passionate about and so, she then returned to school to take several Certificate and Mentorship courses focused on sustainable practices.

Jan has 20 + years experience working with clients to ensure that their experience in their destination was the very best in service. This work included stakeholder engagement, Project Management, and multi-layered Government collaboration.

Jan also has practical and academic experience in Sustainable and Permaculture development. This includes a year long creation of a Sustainable Action Plan in collaboration with a business in St. Jacobs, Ontario, design of a Permaculture Trauma Centre in Arizona, USA, and a thesis that analyzed and created new policies for the operation of sustainable cruise tourism into National Parks in collaboration with Parks Canada in the Canadian Arctic. She is also included in a book written on the Livelihood in Ecovillage design. Her two chapters focus on the value of focusing on Social Permaculture and how Ecovillages can achieve Livelihood success by following thought concepts laid down by Indigenous Peoples.

It is very easy for Jan to identify her greatest lifelong passion which is simply time spent in Nature-whether it be hiking or Bird watching or clearing out and unclogging streams after the spring thaw. Time in nature is a spiritual experience that keeps her grounded in self.

alex millar
Sustainability Officer

Alex Millar has a BASc. in Sustainability,  Science & Society from McGill University and a Masters in Science Communication from Laurentian University. 

As a climate activist, Alex is passionate about environmental justice and making the complexities and realities of climate science and public health accessible for all audiences. Her research experience includes exploring how elements of narrative and storytelling in academic articles about climate change influence article popularity, and, more recently for her Masters research, Alex conducted a rhetorical analysis of COVID-19 public health communications in BC. ​

Megan Sheffield
Program Coordinator, Northern Home Energy Assessment 

Raised in the small northern community of Redbridge, Ontario Megan understands the challenges home owners face with the drastically changing seasonal conditions.

Coming from a background in architecture from Laurentian university, Megan focused studies on sustainable design with a personal interest in off grid living.  

After spending over 5 years in the sales of home construction materials Megan is now transferring that knowledge to help owners get exactly what they need to increase home efficiency. 

Also, an avid craftsperson that enjoys digital fabrication, woodworking, leather working and all manner of fine arts and crafts. 

shared platforms

Laura Fylyshtan
Green Building Research Coordinator

Motivated by a love of design and equipped with a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto, Laura is committed to building sustainable communities. 

She’s an advocate of Slow Living and the Circular Economy and believes in putting quality of life at the heart of every decision. Laura can often be found walking by the river, attempting to grow sunflowers on her balcony or eating all the cookies in her kitchen.

Fionna Tough
Urban Food Coordinator, Flour Mill Community Farm

Fionna Tough is a Settler person, born and raised in Sudbury/ N’Swakamok.  She studied Linguistics and Political Science at U of T before graduating from Fleming College’s Sustainable Agriculture Program and has been growing food and educating others to do the same for the better part of the last eight years. In 2021, Fionna began studying Project Management at Cambrian College where she learned how to apply the PM Framework to community development work. She is very excited to be coordinating the Flour Mill Community Farm (FMCF) through her role as the Urban Food Coordinator via reThink Green & The Foodshed Project. The FMCF is very close to her heart, and she supports its efforts in honour of David Dubois & Erica Lagios, who were movers and shakers in the local food movement.