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Our Team

Based in Atlantic Canada, on unceded Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik lands, we are a team of passionate staff dedicated to saving forests, innovating positive climate solutions, and empowering more equitable communities at home and abroad.

Daimen Hardie (he/him)

Executive Director

Executive Director

Daimen is a co-founder of Community Forests International and will do anything for the team, working tirelessly alongside colleagues internationally on a shared mission to overcome climate change by unlocking greater social and ecological prosperity in frontline communities. He designs regional climate action strategies for the European Union; establishes regenerative supply partnerships with the world’s leading social enterprises; and champions combined people- and nature-based solutions. Daimen lives off-grid surrounded by his family’s forest in rural New Brunswick. Contact Daimen by email at daimen@forestsinternational.org.

Zach Melanson (he/him)

Program Director

Program Director

Zach is a co-founder of Community Forests International and works across the organization and its partners in Zanzibar to support his colleagues and create meaningful impact for people and the planet. Zach has over a decade of project management, fundraising, and community engagement experience, and is the founder of Plant 4 Pemba, which brings together hundreds of young tree planters every year in Canada and around the world to plant trees and raise funds in global climate solidarity with communities most affected by the climate crisis. A photographer, filmmaker, and sculptor, Zach enjoys creative approaches that help us make meaning and inspire new perspectives on the beautiful and complex worlds around us.

Anne Herteis (she/her)

Grants and Operations Manager

Grants and Operations Manager

Anne has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, focusing on issues of gender, social, and environmental justice. She joined Community Forests International in 2016 as the organization’s grant writer — improving the sustainability of our projects in Canada and Zanzibar through fundraising, project planning, and maintaining partnerships. Most recently, Anne has been managing our Forest Accord and Common Ground projects, helping forestland owners and practitioners access and apply climate smart forestry methods, find community, and improve understanding between settler and Indigenous forestry sectors. Anne has an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies from X University and a BA in Political Science from Mount Allison University.

Megan de Graaf (she/her/elle)

Forest Program Director

Forest Program Director

Megan holds a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University and an MScF in Forest Ecology from the University of New Brunswick. She worked in a diversity of roles and organizations across the non-profit and natural resource sectors for over a decade before joining Community Forests International in 2015. Megan works to safeguard old forests, restore new forests, and integrate carbon storage and climate change resilience into regional forest management practices. Megan comes from a family of forest workers and farmers, and is a forest and farm owner herself.

Craig Tupper (he/him)

Forest Program Manager

Forest Program Manager

Craig holds a BSc in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick, is a Registered Professional Forester in Nova Scotia and has worked in several roles across government, industry, and private woodlot stewardship for close to two decades, including most recently in forest operations, planning, and landowner engagement. He has been deeply involved in many advocacy, landowner, and professional organizations throughout the forestry sector. Craig, a connoisseur of maple syrup, avid gardener, woodworker, outdoors person, and hunter of edible fungi has joined the Forests Program team to help foster and adapt forestry practices to a changing climate and stewardship paradigm. Craig and his family reside in Southeast New Brunswick and are caretakers of 120 acres of mixed Wabanaki forest in Northern Nova Scotia.

Dani Miller (she/her)

Forest Program Coordinator

Forest Program Coordinator

Dani joined Community Forests International in 2019 and supports forest protection and restoration efforts in the Maritimes, promoting climate-adaptive silviculture and developing our Wabanaki forest ecological database. Dani holds a BSc in Plant Biology from McGill University, which has weaved scientific understanding into her lifelong passion for ecology. She has a diverse professional background that includes research in horticulture and renewable energy, wilderness conservation, energy efficiency education, and sustainable vegetable farming. Dani spends every spare moment exploring Maritime ecosystems, and feels most at-home when nestled in the beauty of the Wabanaki forest.

Michelle Evans

Forest Technician

Forest Technician

Michelle is a forestry and wildlife technician who graduated from the Maritime College of Forest Technology. She is part of the forest team supporting 'boots on the ground' collecting data and assisting in operations. When not being a woods troll she can be found paddling anything that floats or running her crazy crew of dogs.

Monica Allaby (she/her)

Communications Advisor

Communications Advisor

Monica crafts a variety of communications, storytelling, and movement building strategies for Community Forests International. She joined the organization in 2018, eager to use her creative strengths to contribute to rural prosperity in the Maritime Provinces. Monica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from McGill University and a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of New Brunswick. When she’s not thinking about punctuation or branding, Monica is happiest reading about technology and watching basketball.

Rebecca Jacobs (they/she)

Digital Communications Manager

Digital Communications Manager

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Rebecca works to support and grow our community through digital engagement and storytelling. With a passion for social and environmental justice, Rebecca comes from a background in environmental governance, international development, and social geography. She has almost 10 years of experience working in public outreach, marketing, and communications in the non-profit and social enterprise sectors. When not writing a new blog or sharing stories online, Rebecca can often be found rock climbing at her local gym! To connect with Rebecca, make sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter!

Natsuki Kyokane (she/her)

Development and Grants Coordinator

Development and Grants Coordinator

As Development Coordinator, Natsuki supports fundraising and grants development to grow and strengthen the critical relationship between communities and the environment. With an academic background in International Development, Natsuki has extensive experience working with community-led organizations based in Central and Eastern Africa, project development and implementation in climate-smart agriculture, and women's empowerment. She is dedicated to social and environmental equity to enhance climate adaptation and resilience through grassroots efforts. Outside of her work, Natsuki likes to spend time cycling beside lake Ontario, assisting Toronto's community climate action project, and a good cup of coffee!

Abigail Christ-Rowling (she/her)

Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant

Abigail Christ-Rowlings is an Environmental Studies student at Mount Allison University, and the Executive Assistant at Community Forests International. Her role is to support the team with administration tasks, as well as pursuing independent research on Indigenous-Settler relations and allyship within the environmental sector. She is excited to bring this passion for the environment and social justice into her work with us.

Board of Directors

Community Forests International is governed by a Board of Directors made up of talented and generous volunteers. The board oversees finances, provides strategic oversight, and helps expand our network.

Jeff Schnurr

Chair

Chair

Jeff Schnurr believes that entrepreneurship and innovation can solve our planet’s biggest challenges. As a social entrepreneur who helps rural communities achieve economic prosperity through sustainable innovation, Jeff co-founded and acted as Executive Director of Community Forests International for 9 years. He is the co-founder and CEO of Jaza Energy, a solar energy start-up working to provide electricity to the 1.2 billion people currently living without it. Jeff was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2015 Special Citation for Social Entrepreneurship, one of Canada’s top ten volunteers by the CBC and Manulife, and one of Explore Magazine’s Top 30 under 30.

Jenelle Sobey

Director

Director

Jenelle is motivated to build a sustainable, competitive and resilient Atlantic Canada and believes tech solutions enable and scale those solutions. Jenelle joins the Board of Directors with formal training in social innovation from the University of Waterloo and a specialization in design-thinking and a cross section of business strategy and tech. She is a Managing Partner of Code + Mortar, an interactive web and invention firm. In 2017, Jenelle won the National Emerging Leader in ICT award at a national event in Ottawa.

Karina LeBlanc

Director

Director

Karina is the Executive Director of the Pond-Deshpande Centre at the University of New Brunswick. Karina has a degree in engineering from Western University and an MBA from York University. She worked in both manufacturing and marketing for Procter & Gamble before getting hooked on the start-up community. She worked for and as a consultant to six different start-up companies in Atlantic Canada before taking on the inaugural role of Executive Director for the PDC. Being a member of the Board allows Karina to continue to pursue these passions through the sustainable and inclusive innovation projects of the organization.