Executive Director – Ian Lai

Ian is a chef educator, beekeeper, yogi and rock climber.  He lives and works in Richmond and brings with him 15 years of environmental education and project management experience.  He has a background in teaching in diverse and inclusive spaces, and is committed to building a resilient community.  Ian loves  collaborating and building strategic partnerships to bring joy and meaning to food.

Ian has lived in South Africa and Japan and contiues to travel the world seeking out new adventures.

 

Urban Agriculture Program Manager – Grace Augustinowicz

Grace comes from a long history of community outreach and development. She graduated from the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and completed her Masters in Soil Science at the University of British Columbia. Over the last 7 years, Grace has worked as a research associate for the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at KPU. In her free time, Grace loves to put on her rubber boots, be out in her garden and connect with the land and the community.

Urban Agriculture Program Coordinator – Stephanie Mak

Steph is the Urban Agriculture Coordinator and coordinates our Fruit Recovery Program, while supporting our Community Gardens and Community Seed Library programs. She graduated from UBC with a BA in Political Science and was driven to build equitable food systems. She has spent the last four years in the non-profit and private sectors while honing her organic farming skills on Salt Spring Island, Toronto, Japan, and the Okanagan.

 

Education Program Coordinator – Alicia Gowan

Alicia is the lead facilitator of our Kids in the Garden Program , the Get Rooted Youth Program, and the Learning Gardens at Garden City Lands. She recently completed her Master’s in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science from Lund University in Sweden. While overseas, she dedicated her free time to two community-based non-profit organizations which focused on sustainable food systems and sharing economies. She has spent her upbringing gardening alongside her father and has volunteered on a carbon-neutral regenerative farm. 

She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and experiences with Richmond residents to build community resilience through the love of food! In this role, she hopes to help youth create a deeper connection with nature and gain an understanding of the processes behind the food on our dinner plates. 

Grant Developer – Deena Kae Beno

More info to come. 

Geethu KurianOffice Coordinator – Geethu Kurian

Geethu was born in Kochi, a small and very beautiful seaside city of Kerala which is the southernmost state of India. She is a Graduate in Commerce and Tourism and holds a Master’s in International Business from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. She has a passion for numbers, which is why she chose accounting as her career.

She has worked with Ernst & Young in the UK. She was also a TV host for a popular Indian Channel, Kairali and a Weddings and Events Planner. Geethu’s professional background is a mix of accounting, guest relations, and hospitality and thus she has developed a diverse skill set. Her other interests include cooking, driving, and painting. She is now a proud member of RFSS.