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administration + communications

leigha benford
Executive director
(705) 674-1685

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 Executive Director.

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 
Director of Communications + events

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 that has 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, two guinea pigs, a bearded dragon, and her partner.

programs

Simon blakeley
Program Director, Green Economy North + Smart Green Communities

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)

Angela Jiang
program Officer, Smart Green Communities

Angela Jiang has an undergrad in Environmental Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and a post-graduate certification of Environmental Management from Canadore College. 

Angela has an interest in sustainability because the choices that we make everyday can affect our world as a whole, and she wants to influence others on making more sustainable choices. 

When not working, Angela can be found in nature adventuring with her dog, Izzy or baking treats for family and friends

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.

michaela penwarden-watson
program coordinator, Plastic-Free Greater Sudbury

Michaela Penwarden-Watson has an undergrad in Health Promotion from Laurentian University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Guelph. 

Through Plastic-Free Greater Sudbury she helps restaurants and cafes reduce their plastic use. 

Michaela believes that “being sustainable means being mindful of consumption, output, and waste so that we can all take small actions to be more sustainable.” She does clothing swaps with her friends, buys only the necessities, and will bike or take public transportation whenever she can to reduce her consumption, output, and waste. 
 
She is an avid knitter, tea drinker, and trail seeker who volunteers with Girl Guides and at the Nickel Refillery