Board of Directors
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is dedicated to promoting and sustaining the Greenbelt as a beneficial, valuable, and permanent feature, enhancing the quality of life for all residents of Ontario. The following is a list of the Board of Directors who help the Foundation in obtaining these goals.
Rodney V. Northey, Chair - Folger, Rubinoff LLP
Mary Desjardins, Treasurer - TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
Donna Lailey, Secretary - Lailey Vineyard Wines Inc.
Eric Bowman - Bowmanview, Gallery on the Farm
Marcus Ginder - Canopy
Peter Kendall - The Schad Foundation
Rob MacIsaac - Mohawk College
David McKeown - City of Toronto, Toronto Public Health
Rick Smith - Broadbent Institute
Rodney V. Northey, Chair
Mr. Northey is a Partner at Fogler, Rubinoff LLP in Toronto, certified as a specialist in environmental law by Ontario’s governing body for lawyers and recognized nationally and internationally by Canada’s Best Lawyers and Practical Law Company’s Which Lawyer? for environmental law.
He provides advice to all levels of government and major proponents on project planning and approvals in the transportation, energy, resource, extraction, manufacturing, and waste management sectors, including the integration of environmental and resource use approvals, federal and provincial environmental assessments, and municipal land use & building code laws. He has been Counsel in more than thirty reported environmental law decisions before Federal and Ontario trial and appellate courts, and Ontario administrative tribunals.
He wrote the 1995 Annotated Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and EARP Guidelines Order (Carswell, 1994).
Currently, he is adjunct Faculty Member for Osgoode Hall Law School, Municipal Law LL.M. program, for its course on environmental protection. Past Adjunct Faculty Member: University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Ryerson Polytechnic University, University of Ottawa Law School. Mr. Northey was also a past member of Ontario’s Greenbelt Task Force (2004) and the Minister of the Environment’s panel on environmental assessment reform for green projects in energy, transportation, & waste sectors (2004-2006). He co-chaired the November 2009 major legal conference on Ontario’s Green Energey Act, 2009. He served as a Board member for the Canadian Environmental Defence Fund (now Environmental Defence Canada) from 1990 to 1998, and was their President in 1996. He was also a Warden for his Church over the past three years.
Mary Desjardins, Treasurer
Mary is the Executive Director of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and is responsible for defining and leading the strategic direction of the foundation as it enters its twentieth year of operation and beyond. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is a national not-for-profit organization, formed by TD Bank Financial Group, with a grassroots focus that funds local projects dedicated to preserving the environment. The foundation works with Canadians who are committed to protecting the environment in their own community and across the country.
Mary joined TD in 2008 as the strategic marketing planner on the bank’s environmental file. Prior to joining TD, Mary held a number of senior marketing positions with companies in Canada and the U.S. including Travelex, Thomas Cook Financial Services and Indigo Books & Music.
Mary graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a B.A. in English Literature and subsequently received her M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Donna Lailey, Secretary
Donna left a teaching career in 1969 to become a mother of two daughters. She began her farming career in 1970 and soon became a leader in the grape and wine industry as a founding member of the Vintners’ Quality Assurance (VQA) and served as Vice-Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario from 1992 to 1996.
She is past Chair of Vision Niagara and a founding member of Taste of Niagara. Donna has served as a governor of Niagara College, a director for the Agricultural Research Committee, and as a commissioner for the Niagara Parks Commission.
Presently, Donna is a director of Meridian Credit Union, Chair of the Producers of Authentic Ontario Wine, and serves on the Greenbelt Council. She manages a 10 hectare grape farm and is President of Lailey Vineyard Wines Inc.
Eric is the third generation to farm at Bowmanview/ Gallery on the Farm in Enniskillen Ontario. He graduated with his Honours Degree in Animal Science from the University of Guelph in 1973. In 1976 he started as a conventional dairy farmer and moved to a certified organic beef farmer in 2005. His volunteer time is spent as a member of the Durham Agriculture Advisory Committee, the Agricultural Advisory Committee of Clarington, and the Durham Soil and Crop Association.
Eric was also a past Provincial Director of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association and a 4H leader for 20 years. Since July 2011, he has served on the Greenbelt Foundation’s Grants Advisory Committee member.
His farm goal is to maintain a healthy environment for the current farm inhabitants - cattle, soil and people - and leave an environmentally sound legacy for his successors.
A career environmentalist with entrepreneurial experience, Marcus has spent more than a decade working for non-profit environmental groups such as Canopy, Pollution Probe, World Wildlife Fund, and the Ontario Environment Network. In addition, he led pollution prevention projects at Environment Canada for five years.
Over his career he has pioneered several innovative environmental programs and policies. For example, working in collaboration with the U.S. EPA, he introduced environmentally friendly dry-cleaning technology to Ontario that was then widely adopted by the industry. Marcus also helped the City of Toronto develop of its award-winning Pollution Prevention Sewer Bylaw. Today he works with U.S. printers and multi-national forestry companies to increase forest conservation success through eco-paper procurement policies.
Marcus has a long history in serving his community. Volunteer engagements have included Directorships with the Toronto Environmental Alliance, the Urban Environment Center, and RiverSides. As a small business owner, he provided adventure travel advice and guidance for specific areas in Central America.
Living in Toronto with his wife, he was a stay-at-home dad for his now teenage children, and spends his free time sailing, managing a 100-acre conservation forest, and on an online graffiti art project.
Peter is the Executive Director of Earth Rangers has been with the organization since its inception in 1999. Peter also serves as the Executive Director of The Schad Foundation.
He has been instrumental in the development of many of its major projects including Niigon, a $23-million partnership with the Moose Deer Point First Nation to create a role model for sustainable development within an aboriginal community.
Prior to joining The Schad Foundation, Peter held senior executive positions with different technology and organic foods companies. He also has several years of experience working with youth as a camp director and teacher.
On February 1, 2009, Rob MacIsaac became the 7th President of Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology. Under Rob’s leadership, Mohawk has initiated the largest campus renewal project in the college’s history, initiated the first environmental plan among Ontario colleges, established Mohawk as a leader in applied research and forged a first-of-its-kind partnership with Sheridan College to co-locate programs.
Rob MacIsaac was the first Chair of Metrolinx, the transportation authority responsible for planning and governing transportation in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). Prior to his work at Metrolinx, Rob MacIsaac served as mayor of the City of Burlington between 1997 and 2006. During this time, he became well-known for his regional approach and progressive growth management ideas for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Rob completed his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Waterloo in 1984 and received a Law degree at the University of Western Ontario in 1987. He was called to the Bar in 1989. Born in 1962, Rob is a lifetime resident of Burlington. He is married to Anne and has two children, Sarah and Catherine.
Dr. McKeown is the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto and Executive Officer of the Toronto Board of Health. He leads Toronto Public Health, Canada’s largest local public health agency, which provides public health programs and services for 2.6 million residents. He is a physician specialist who has worked in the public health field for twenty-five years.
Dr. McKeown is also an Adjunct Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. As a volunteer, he has served as Chair of the Laidlaw Foundation Environment Program and as a member of the Board of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and the Clean Air Partnership. He has been an outspoken advocate on environmental health issues and is currently leading the development of a Toronto Food Strategy.
A prominent Canadian author and environmentalist, Rick is the Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute, a national progressive policy thinktank. From 2003 to 2012 Rick was Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada.
Along with co-author Bruce Lourie, in 2009 Rick wrote “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health” – a bestseller in Canada and Australia, the book has now been translated into six languages. Their second book, “Toxin Toxout” will be published by Random House Canada in December 2013.
Rick holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph, and has formerly been a member of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s Multi Stakeholder Advisory Committee, and Director of the Greenbelt Foundation, Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation and Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate.