Our Team

Tikvah Mindorff

Executive Director

A life-long resident of the region, Tikvah is a graduate of the Political Science program at Brock University and lives in St Catharines with her husband. As the Executive Director of NSI, Tikvah oversees the non-profit organization with five full-time employees and over fifty volunteers. NSI's flagship program, the Carbon Project, supports over 20 members from local organizations who are actively improving their environmental footprint through on-going monitoring, managing and mitigation of their carbon emissions. In her short tenure with NSI, Tikvah has been recognized as one of Corporate Knight Magazine's 30under30 in Sustainability, Niagara's 40u40 leaders in business, a finalist for the Women in Business Award from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and as an emerging leader in Canada's Clean50 awards. Tikvah is heavily invested in community development in Niagara and volunteers her time outside of NSI as a board member of the TD Friends of the Environment Fund and as the financial agent for the Green Party association of Niagara.

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Melissa Gallina

Program Director

A native of the Niagara Region, Melissa is excited to be applying her passion for the environment to improve local sustainability. Melissa has both a MA in Geography and a BSc in Earth and Environmental Science from McMaster University. Currently, she sits on the Women in Niagara Council for the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

Melissa first became interested in sustainability while at McMaster, where she completed two internships with the Office of Sustainability. In 2014, Melissa was named one of Canada's Top Environmentalists Under 25 by The Starfish. She looks forward to educating and engaging local businesses on carbon reduction activities as NSI's Education and Outreach Manager.

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Kristen Farrell

Outreach Manager

Kristen comes from a background in organizing communications and engagement for environmental projects across Ontario. Her focus is predominantly in creating effective public engagement programs to mobilize communities and facilitation of public participation to obtain meaningful feedback. She is passionate about encouraging community members to get involved in local decision making processes to ensure their feedback is heard and sustainable decisions are reached. Kristen holds a BA in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph. She currently sits as a Deputy Board Member on the Canadian Board of Directors for the International Association of Public Participation.

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Board of Directors

Rob MacKenzie

Board of Directors Chair, President & Co-Owner, Quartek Group Inc

Rob brings over 25 years of experience managing a private practise as an architect and as a consultant in the building, planning and technology industries within Niagara. He is a co-owner and president of Quartek Group Inc.

architects, engineers, planners and project managers, a Niagara-based firm that services both public and private clients over a wide spectrum of projects throughout the Peninsula and the Province beyond. Complimenting the Company’s service offerings in LEED Design and other sustainable design capabilities, Rob has helped align people skills and to promote a culture within their business that reaches out to the community at large on matters of global environmental welfare and efficacy for glass root sustainability causes, reduction of carbon emissions and other social changes that align with NSI goals.

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Jennifer McKenna

Director, Territory Manager, Violin Power

Jennifer McKenna is the Territory Manager for Violin Power in St Catharines, Ontario. She holds a Masters Degree in Engineering Design & Sustainable Community Infrastructure from McMaster University. Jennifer’s interests as board member speak to her experience as a geologist and engineer as well as a representative for a SME in Niagara. Jennifer lives in Niagara with her husband and two children.

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Neil Freeman

Director, Principal and CEO of NBF Group Inc.

Neil brings extensive sustainability leadership in business to the NSI board.

He currently provides strategic consulting services in the utility and municipal sectors. Most recently, he served for 10 years as Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Relations at Horizon Utilities Corporation, the first Canadian Electricity Association member utility to be designated a Sustainable Electric company™. Earlier in his career, he worked in senior roles in power system planning at the Ontario Power Authority, which included the first sustainability screening of long-term plans, business development at Hydro One Networks Inc., strategic planning at Ontario Hydro, and worked as a consultant on electricity, water, and municipal issues.

Neil received his PhD from the University of Toronto and is the author of The Politics of Power: Ontario Hydro and its Government, 1906-95 (University of Toronto Press, 1996). In 2016, Neil was named the Canadian Electricity Association’s first ever “Individual Sustainability Leadership” award recipient.

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Alison Braithwaite

Director, Writer, Motivational Speaker and Corporate Trainer

Alison is a writer and visionary leader who challenges the status quo. She is a passionate believer in the power of appreciation to empower employees and create cultural change. Alison is the architect of the Walker EARTH 1st program.

EARTH 1st is designed to optimize environmental performance by engaging employees in making decisions that support the environment. Alison has 30 years of experience in the environmental field most recently as the Vice-President of Environmental Performance for Walker Industries Holdings Limited Prior to joining Walker Alison worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, in various capacities including Supervisor of Approvals and Planning, Waste Management Supervisor and Waste management specialist for the Investigations and Enforcement Branch.

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Emily Keene

Director, Lawyer, Legal Aid Ontario

Emily is a proud long time Niagara resident. She has studied at Brock University, where she graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and English Literature, and the University of Alberta, where she received her Juris Doctor in 2013.

Emily is a lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario.

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Michael Sullivan

Vice Chair, Independent Planning Consultant

Michael guides communities towards their own definition of greatness using a principled approach that focuses on health, sustainability, and resiliency, while ensuring the public interest is upheld.

He has successfully applied this approach to urban, small town and rural communities in Ontario and across Canada. His passions are climate planning, sustainable infrastructure and community engagement. He satisfies these passions through a combination of professional and volunteer activities, including leading the Climate Change Sub-Committee of the Canadian Institute of Planners. He is an experienced and visionary manager, with experience in both the professional and not-for-profit sectors, with proven skills in recruiting, team building, empowering staff to attain corporate goals, encouraging creativity and development of best practices through continuous professional learning to provide technical oversight on all projects.

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Linda St. Amand

Director, Financial Controller, Pen Financial Credit Union

Linda is born and raised in Niagara and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Brock University. Linda acts as the Financial Controller of PenFinancial Credit Union with 10 years’ of experience preparing Financial Statements, Budgets, and Enterprise Risk Management.

Prior to the Credit Union, Linda worked at Deloitte in the auditing and taxation division for 18 years. In her spare time Linda enjoys golfing, motorcycling and spending time with her family.

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Randy Taylor

Director, Consultant, Investors Group (Grimsby)

Randy Taylor is a consultant for Investors Group- Niagara. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Tampa College. Randy’s interests as a board member lies primarily with his work as a financial professional, however his 20+ years of experience as a golf professional with the Professional Golf Association. Randy lives with his family in St Catharines.

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Laura Dunkley

Principal, L. Dunkley Communications

Laura Dunkley, Principal at L. Dunkley Communications, is a communications strategist with expertise in the area of digital marketing, public relations, and social media. She assists organizations, in both the private and public sector, as they work to develop their communications best practices to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced, digital climate.

With a passion for wellbeing in our community, Laura seeks opportunities to offer her expertise and time to help organizations communicate and build relationships that positively impact wellness and environmental sustainability within our community.

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Brodie Mosher

NOTL Hydro

A home-grown Niagara resident, Brodie has been in the sustainability sector for 6 years focusing on energy efficiency. As part of Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro’s conservation department, Brodie’s sole purpose is to help area businesses and residents manage their energy consumption.

He works with Save on Energy conservation programs to help incent businesses to lower their consumption and become efficient and productive. Prior to joining NOTL Hydro, Brodie spent 8 years in sales & marketing in the Consumer Electronics Industry.

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Taryn Wilkinson

Niagara College

As a graduate of Brock University and Niagara College, Taryn is passionate about advancing organizational sustainability in the Niagara Region. Taryn first joined the NSI Team as an intern during her studies in the Environmental Management and Assessment Program at Niagara College.

She has continued to volunteer in the role of GHG Support Team Lead and received the first annual Volunteer of the Year award in 2011. Taryn is proud to work with a team of talented young professionals, striving to make a difference in the community.

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John Armstrong

Armstrong Strategy Group

John Armstrong is a strategic thinker who combines balanced counsel with creative energy to deliver communications and public affairs strategies that work. John started his career as a public liaison officer for former Ontario premier William Davis.

After completing his bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in political science, he moved into the private sector as general manager of Armstrong Communications’ cable advertising channel in Niagara. After obtaining his Master of Arts degree in political science, John taught current affairs and the media to Niagara College journalism students and lectured in Canadian studies at Brock University. His commitment to leadership took him to Ottawa, working along government officials until joining the private sector in 1998. John has delivered hundreds of highly effective communications strategies and tactics to clients in all sectors from large multinational corporations to various levels of government, the broader public sector, industry associations and not-for-profits. Over the years John has become a skilled facilitator developing a unique set of tools that he applies to strategic planning, focus group testing and specifically when dealing with difficult audiences and public meetings.

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Kyle Monteith

Walker Industries

Kyle is a proud lifetime Niagara resident and graduate of York University and Niagara College. Currently Kyle is an Account Manager for Organic Resources (a division of Walker Environmental Group) where he assists large industrial clients and restaurant owners to manage their organic waste.

Organic Resource then utilizes the waste product to make Bio Gas or Bio Fuel. Previously Kyle oversaw Walker Environmental Group’s Carbon Services and managed the company’s Voluntary Carbon Offset Portfolio. Carbon Management continues to be a passion of his and he maintains a detailed understanding of current greenhouse gas regulations, environmental commodity markets, verification protocols and voluntary greenhouse gas reduction registries.

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Heidi Levitzky

General Motors

Heidi is the Environmental Officer at General Motors Canada in St. Catharines. This dynamic role involves a variety of responsibilities related to continual improvement and environmental management.

Heidi is also involved with Niagara College and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority supporting efforts towards achieving several sustainability commitments such as wildlife habitat certification and community outreach. She believes these affiliations are a powerful way for industry and education to work together in a manner which greatly benefits the environment, community, students, business and employees. She holds an Undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Windsor and a Postgraduate Certificate from Niagara College’s Environmental Management and Assessment Program.

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Mishka Balsom

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Mishka is the President and CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and TorStar Top Executive Development Program.

She has over 25 years of experience in Marketing and Communications with companies such as Clearstone Consulting, Sun Media, TorStar and CanWest & Osprey Media Groups.

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Tom Saint-Ivany

Brock University

Tom is the Associate Vice-President, Facilities Management at Brock University. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada in Civil Engineering with 21 years of construction and combat engineering in support of Canada’s Army, both at home and abroad with the United Nations.

Upon the Federal Government’s 1994 announcement to close Canadian Forces Base Calgary, Tom, as the Base Construction Engineering Officer, was at the hub of the real property and environmental decommissioning of the Base and its preparation for handover to the Canada Lands Company for re-development using New Urbanism principles, including sustainability. On retirement from the Canadian Forces in 2000, Tom served as the Controller of Plant Services at Niagara Catholic District School Board and Superintendent of Facility Services at Simcoe County District School Board. At Brock, his secondary duties include championing and chairing the University’s Sustainability Coordinating Committee consisting of dedicated, interested, and committed volunteer representatives. Tom is a licensed Professional Engineer in both Ontario and Alberta.

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Paul Grenier

Regional Councillor

Councillor Grenier started his first full term on Regional Council in 2014.

First elected to Welland City Council in 2003, he began three consecutive terms. Councillor Grenier was the Chair of Welland’s Corporate Services and Budget Review Committees from 2009 to 2011 and in 2014. He also served as a director of Welland Hydro Corporation, Welland Recreational Canada Lands Corporation, and Chair of the Welland International Flatwater Centre Technical/Construction Committee, as well as the Chair of Conservation Committee (2006-14). Councillor Grenier completed his 11 year tenure on Welland City Council with perfect attendance of 409 consecutive meetings.

From 2005-14, Councillor Grenier was a member of the Ontario Small Urban Municipalities (OSUM) Board and was Chair from 2010-12; and during this time, as an elected representative from Small Urban Municipalities, served concurrently on the Board of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). Since 2009, he has acted as Treasurer for the Canadian Association for Public Alerting and Notification (CAPAN). He currently sits on AMO Board as a representative of the Region and single tier Caucus.

Councillor Grenier, a graduate of Brock University in Economics, operates a business consulting firm, Earth Services Products Inc., providing sales of waste handling equipment and business development and advocacy for environmental and green energy companies. He lives in Welland and is married to Niagara College Communication Professor Wendy Ward, their children Luc and Claire are both completing High School this year.

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