Our Board of Directors and the standing committees which report to the Board provide strategic direction and oversight for our program and operations. Board members bring experience in management, agriculture, radio broadcasting, development communications, finance, legal counsel and – last but certainly not least – fundraising.
The committees provide specific direction and also help staff to implement some of the activities directed by the Board.
- Kevin Perkins, Executive Director and Secretary
- Doug Ward, Chair
- Charles Marfull, Vice-Chair
- Nancy Brown Andison, Treasurer
- Bernard Pelletier
- Caitlynn Reesor
- Glenn B. Powell
- Heather E. Hudson
- Jacqueline Toupin
- Jean Christie
- John Morriss
- John van Mossel
- Liz Hughes
- Rick Gallop
- Sarah Andrewes
Kevin Perkins, Executive Director and Secretary
Kevin Perkins has been the Executive Director of Farm Radio International since May 2006. Prior to joining Farm Radio, Kevin was the Director of Programs for Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) in Toronto. Between 1997 and 2004, Kevin turned his attention to his own Toronto neighbourhood, establishing the ACCESS Riverdale Community Loan Fund and leading the Riverdale Community Development Corporation as the Executive Director.
Doug Ward, Chair
Doug worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for 28 years as a radio producer, station manager, regional director and vice president. He was on the team of producers that started CBC Radio’s long-standing program “As It Happens”. Later, he directed CBC’s northern operations, emphasizing the recruitment and training of native northerners. Since 1988 he has served on the board of Inter Pares, a Canadian international social justice organization. He joined the board of Farm Radio International in 2001, and has been Chair of the board since September 2002.
Charles Marful, Vice-Chair
Charles is the Director of Human Resources for Ernst & Young’s Tax Practice. As the leader of the Tax People Team, he oversees the design and implementation human resource development strategies and initiatives. In addition to a career in human resources management, Charles has significant international experience. He was AIESEC’s Regional Development Officer for Africa in 1986/87, and a Working Group Chairperson for the International Conference on Sustainable Development in Tokyo. In 2002, he co-facilitated a workshop in Accra, Ghana, on Developing an Indigenous Leadership Model for Africa. He serves on two Boards in addition to Farm Radio International’s: Youth APEEL, a development initiative for youth in the Peel Region of Ontario, and GLOKAM, an international NGO that provides medical and health assistance to African Countries
Nancy Brown Andison, Treasurer
Nancy is a former management consultant for IBM in Toronto, and specializes in change management, program design and evaluation, and agriculture and agri-food industry programs and policies. Nancy has a family farming background and remains active in her parents’ family farm business. She holds a B.Sc. (Agriculture) from University of Guelph, and a MBA from Queen’s University.
Bernard is a research associate and project manager at McGill University, where he obtained his PhD in 2001. His research interests focus on the development of research methods (quantitative, participatory) for studying complex social-ecological systems. For his PhD research, he studied the effect of smallholder farming practices on soil quality and maize yield in Malawi. Bernard was also involved in various community development projects in Africa (Ghana, Malawi) as a project supervisor with Canada World Youth and as a volunteer with WUSC. He also worked as a consultant for the CECI in Haiti. He was the McGill project manager of a 3.5 year DFATD- and IDRC-funded food security research project in Kenya (2011-14).
Caitlynn lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she works as the writer, host and producer of a popular agriculture radio show called Call of the Land. It is broadcast by 27 radio stations across Alberta. Prior to taking the helm at Call of the Land, Caitlynn was the writer, host and producer of The Agri-business Report, a one hour daily radio program broadcast by CFCW. Caitlynn is strongly connected to and respected within the agriculture and agricultural communication field in Canada. She has been recognized with a number of awards and is frequently invited to make presentations, emcee events and give media interviews.
Glenn B. Powell
Glenn grew up on a small farm near Paris, Ontario where the family raised Jersey cattle, laying hens, and turkeys for the year-end festive market. He graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College, B.Sc.A.(Animal Science) in 1962 and was employed as a provincial government agricultural extension agent. Glenn later joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a farm commentator and there began a career in journalism and communications that was very much influenced by the founder of FRI, George Atkins. Glenn and George worked together for many years and remained lifetime close friends. As a National Reporter for CBC Radio News, Glenn travelled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and Western Europe – including one assignment to Western Samoa where he served as lead trainer for rural broadcasters of the South Pacific. Today, Glenn continues to work as a freelance writer and communications consultant.
Heather E. Hudson
Heather is Professor of Communication Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and formerly founding director of the Telecommunications Management and Policy Program at the University of San Francisco. She also served as Coordinator for Evaluation and Learning Systems of IDRC’s Acacia Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work focuses on applications of information and communication technologies for socio-economic development, regulation and public policy issues, and policies and strategies to extend affordable access to new technologies and services, particularly in rural and remote areas. She is the author of many articles and several books, and has planned and evaluated communication projects in North America and more than 50 developing countries and emerging economies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. Awards include two Fulbright Fellowships, a Sloan Industry Fellowship, and IEEE Distinguished Lectureship. Heather holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University in Communication Research, J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and Honours B.A. from the University of British Columbia.
Jacqueline has 30 years of experience as a communicator, journalist and broadcaster dedicated to issues of development, rural and hinterland regions, peace and conflict, human rights and health, in particular women’s and children’s health. She has a wealth of experience in radio and TV production (on air, writing, technical operation and producer) as well as radio training, including with First Nation communities in Canada’s north. She also spent three years in Mozambique training journalists at Radio Mozambique, and trained local broadcasters in East Timor during the United Nations’ UNTAET mission. She also brings expertise in communications and web-based social media development, having worked on media and advocacy work for the World Health Organization in Geneva. Jacqueline is fluently bilingual in English and French and can converse in Portuguese and Spanish.
Jean has worked with civil society organizations for over four decades, in Canada and internationally. Except for a short foray into the domestic not-for-profit sector in Canada, her paid work has been international in scope. She served as the Executive Director of Inter Pares in the 1980s, the Director of International Liaison for the Rural Advancement Foundation International (now the ETC group) in the 1990s, and as Executive Director of the Voluntary Sector Forum in the early 2000s. Since then, she has been engaged as a consultant by a wide variety of civil society organizations. She has a special interest in the relationship between organized citizens and their governments, and in the role of civil society organizations in government and multilateral policy processes.
John has spent most of his career in agricultural communications and publishing, including as a freelance writer, director of information for the Canadian Wheat Board, publisher and editor of the Manitoba Co-operator, and publisher and editor of the Farmers’ Independent Weekly. He is now associate publisher and editorial director of Farm Business Communications, Canada’s largest agricultural publishing group, which includes titles such as Country Guide, Canadian Cattlemen, Grainews, the Manitoba Co-operator, and Alberta Farmer. He has received an award for his coverage of Canadian food aid projects in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and in 2012 received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to farm journalism.
John van Mossel
John has worked for over 30 years in international development and environmental programs. He has considerable Africa experience, including the last 13 years focused on governance and sustainable development/climate change programs. Currently he is a senior consultant for ICF Marbek (Ottawa) where he has recently managed a five-year climate change adaptation project in Nigeria. As a private consultant, John has worked several clients including CARE, Commonwealth of Learning, the Canadian Coalition for Climate Change and Development, Development and Peace, Development Workshop (Angola), Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAIT), One Sky and Greenpeace International. Earlier, John was a senior consultant with GCSI Inc, (Ottawa) where he was the operational manager for two multi-year climate change adaptation projects (Nigeria and the Caribbean), participated in World Bank environmental projects and prepared environmental reports for Canadian clients. Prior to 1999 John worked for CUSO for 18 years, including 6+ years as Country Director (Botswana) and Regional Program Coordinator (Zambia). He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Waterloo) and a Master of Arts – public administration/innovation, science and environment (Carleton).
Liz has worked for the CBC for more than 35 years. She has a wealth of experience in radio, television and online formats, and as a reporter, producer, executive producer, managing editor, bureau chief and most recently as a senior director of CBC News. Throughout her career she has been as a passionate advocate for local news. Liz was one of the first internal consultants at the CBC, applying her expertise in change management to some of the biggest and most complicated change projects in recent decades. She also led the CBC’s leadership training department, which took her to South Africa before the country’s first post-Apartheid election to train radio journalists and editors. Liz lives with her family in Vancouver, but developed her lifelong appreciation of farmers while growing up in rural Quebec, south of Montreal.
Sarah is a Vice President at Hill & Knowlton, Canada’s industry leader in public relations, public affairs and strategic communications. Sarah has over 12 years of communications experience during which time she has worked with many leading Canadian companies in the agriculture and food, professional services, financial services, technology and other sectors. Sarah holds a bachelor of arts degree from Carleton University and a public relations certificate from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology. The eldest grandchild of Farm Radio International founder, Dr. George Atkins, Sarah first learned about the organization watching her grandparents stuff scripts into envelopes destined for fara way places.
Rick spent the first 20 years of his career in Canada in marketing and advertising. An interest in health lead him to the not-for-profit sector as President and CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, a position he held for 16 years. He was awarded Marketer of the Year in 1994 by the American Marketing Association and the Biomedical Science Ambassador Award by Partners in Research in 2003. He is the author of the G.I. Diet and several subsequent titles, including a cookbook and special editions for diabetes and menopause, which together have sold over 2 million copies in 23 countries. He was formerly a Board member of the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada and is currently a Board member of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.