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.
- Bernard Pelletier
- Caitlynn Reesor
- David Okidi
- Glenn B. Powell
- Heather Hudson
- Jacqueline Toupin
- John Morriss
- John van Mossel
- Sarah Andrewes
- William Stunt
Doug Ward, Chair
Doug worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) 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 FRI 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 FRI’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 the University of Guelph and an MBA from Queen’s University.
Bernard is a faculty lecturer and research associate in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2001. His research interests focus on the development of research methods (quantitative, participatory) for studying complex social-ecological systems. For his Ph.D. 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 World University Service of Canada. He also worked as a consultant for CECI (Centre d’étude et de coopération international) in Haiti. He is currently the McGill project manager of a 3.5 year CIDA- and IDRC-funded food security research project in Kenya.
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.
David is a long-time collaborator of FRI and the pioneer station Manager of MegaFM in northern Uganda. He brings a wealth of experience in radio station management, program production and presenting. He currently works with a peace building charity based in Kampala as a project manager, working closely with the private sector. David knows that while engaging the private sector to build peace is unique in Uganda, it is important because peace or conflict affects private sector actors more than anyone else. Peace is good for business to flourish as much as business is good for peace to consolidate.
Glenn B. Powell
Glenn grew up on a small farm near Paris, Ontario, where his family raised Jersey cattle, laying hens and turkeys for the year-end festive market. He graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College with a B.Sc.A. (animal science) in 1962 and was employed as a provincial government agricultural extension agent. Glenn later joined the 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 Europe. He also had an assignment in 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.
Dr. Heather E. Hudson
Heather is a 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, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. Awards include two Fulbright Fellowships, a Sloan Industry Fellowship and an 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’ 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 UN’s 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.
John 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 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 experience related to Africa, including the last 13 years focused on governance, sustainable development and climate change programs. Currently he is a senior consultant for ICF Marbek in Ottawa where he has recently managed a five-year climate change adaptation project in Nigeria. As a private consultant, John has worked for several clients including CARE, the Commonwealth of Learning, the Canadian Coalition for Climate Change and Development, Development and Peace, Development Workshop (Angola), Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), One Sky and Greenpeace International. Earlier, John was a senior consultant with GCSI Inc. in 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 more than six years as country director for Botswana and regional program coordinator for Zambia. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Arts in public administration/innovation, science and environment from Carleton University.
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 and has worked with many leading Canadian companies in 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 FRI founder, Dr. George Atkins, Sarah first learned about the organization watching her grandparents stuff scripts into envelopes destined for faraway places.
Bill has 25 years of broadcast experience with CBC Radio. He has produced many network programs over the years including a long association with Global Village, CBC Radio’s long running music and current affairs show. In that role, Bill worked with dozens of correspondents from the developing world, helping them to craft documentaries and news items for broadcast. He’s also a well-known music producer, having worked on recordings for many major Canadian and international artists.