This dynamic and knowledgeable group provides governance to the Manitoba Eco-Network, and represents our member groups (with three positions available for members-at-large). They are elected at our Annual General Meeting and follow the Manitoba Eco-Network by-laws.
Chairperson - Kisti Thomas, Member at Large
Kisti Thomas is a individual member of the Eco-Network. Over the past two and half years she has served as board member, vice chair, and chair on the Eco-Network board. Kisti's interest in environmental and sustainability issues grew during her time as an undergraduate student at the U of W, where she was involved in the students' association environmental student group and where she later worked in the UW Sustainability office. Kisti's favourite hobbies are reading, farmers markets, and cooking dinner for friends.
Treasurer - Alec Stuart, Planners Network Manitoba
Alec’s passion for the environment dates back to grade 2, when his self-published picture book on the effects of pollution on the Assiniboine River received rave reviews from his parents (although his teacher encouraged more attention to spelling in the future). Encouraged by this, he went on to complete a BA in Env. Studies and Urban Studies at the U of W and did a graduate degree in City Planning at the U of M, writing his thesis on sustainable urban development in Winnipeg. After working in both the non-profit and public sectors, he is now works on environmental management systems for Manitoba Hydro. He has served on several Boards including the Wolseley Resident’s Assocation and Winnipeg Campus/Community Radio Society. Alec enjoys cycling, hiking, yoga, cooking & music and teaches wine appreciation classes.
Secretary - Kevin Freedman, Member at Large
Kevin Freedman is an individual member of the Eco-Network, and is famous for the Water Conservation Challenge awareness and stewardship project (could you live with just 25L of water a day for a month or more?). He has a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management and has substantial governance experience as he also sits on the Boards of the Sexuality Education Resource Centre, the University of Winnipeg Alumni Council, and the Riverdale Institute. In keeping with the "water" theme, an avid water polo player, coach, and referee and is currently the Executive Director of Triathlon Manitoba.
Carol Hitchon, Nature Manitoba
Carol has been a member of Nature Manitoba for several years. She is interested in conservation and enjoys spending as much time as possible pursuing outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, cycling and skiing.
Sylvie Hebert, Green Action Centre
Sylvie has had a passion for living sustainably since she was a child. Without hesitation, Sylvie chose to pursuit an environmental career, earning a degree in Environmental Science at the U of M. She has been active in her community by being a board member for various non-profits, including Save Our Seine and the Consumer's Association of Canada - Manitoba Chapter, and also volunteering at Folklorama and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. She is employed at the Green Action Centre as Coordinator for the Compost Action Project. She enjoys camping and canoeing, and keeps active by playing ultimate frisbee and practicing yoga.
Jim Chapryk, Bike to the Future
Jim was raised in Winnipeg, and moved to Ontario after finishing his Commerce degree at the U of M. He became actively involved in the environmental movement while living in Stratford, ON where he also co-owned a gardening store and served on City Council. Upon returning to Winnipeg, he participated in the formation of a local chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada and creation of the Winnipeg Rapid Transit Coalition that worked to get rapid transit back on the city's agenda. Jim is a member of Bike to the Future, the North Winnipeg Parkway group, and the Point Douglas Resident's Committee where he has served as Treasurer and Chair of the Environmental Group. In his spare time, Jim sings with the Rainbow Harmony Project, curls in the Keystone Rainbow Curling Club and attends Quaker Meetings.
Curt Belton, Member at Large
Curt Belton is the Principal of Rockwood School in the Winnipeg School Division. He sits on the school division’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) committee, and chairs the ESD committee for his district. Curt has worked extensively in the field of ESD and is also a member of the steering committee of the Manitoba Education for Sustainable Development Working Group, as well as the Provincial Active and Safe Routes to School Committee. At the school level, Curt has promoted sustainability and worked with his staff at Rockwood Elementary School to develop a model of whole school sustainability. This would include initiatives such as organic gardening and a bicycle education program as well as supporting those in need locally, and internationally. This has led to Rockwood School achieving Eco-Globe recognition.
Curt participated in the 2009 UNESCO World ESD Conference, and the 2010 Sustainability and Education Academy. Curt presented on ESD at the provincial principals' conference, to schools in the Winnipeg School Division, and at the Council of School Leaders Summer institute in July of 2011. Curt coordinated and was a presenter of a 2-day program on ESD for the Administrators of the Winnipeg School division and also presented on the relationship between ESD and the Aboriginal perspective at the Council for Aboriginal Education of Manitoba.
In 2011, Curt received the Protecting Our Earth Award from the Manitoba Eco-Network for his long-standing efforts in the field of sustainability. Curt is also researching Successes, Drivers, and Barriers to ESD in Canada, England, and Australia, through the Environmental Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba. Curt has had a life-long interest in sustainability and is involved in sustainable transportation and community gardening in his home life. He sits of the executive of the South Winnipeg Gardening Club.
Alana Lajoie-O'Malley, University of Winnipeg
Raised both in Winnipeg and in a small bilingual community in Southeastern Manitoba called Saint-Anne-des-Chênes, Alana returned to her alma mater in 2009 to become the Manager of its Campus Sustainability Office. She has spent nearly eight years championing and supporting The University of Winnipeg’s sustainability goals.
Before winning a Rhodes scholarship in 2007, Alana was a founding member of a student group that lobbied UWinnipeg to establish a sustainability initiative. Once that initiative launched, she sat on the task force which developed the sustainability policy framework currently in place. Upon graduation, she was hired into UWinnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy’s office to assist with research on sustainability, international affairs, and human security.
Alana holds a BSc in Physics and an interdisciplinary BA emphasizing Political Theory and the History of Science from The University of Winnipeg. She also holds an MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies from The University of Oxford. Her passion for the study of the Humanities, alongside her practice and teaching of ashtanga yoga, compel her to focus on the human dimensions of sustainability change management. Her work stresses new responses to the principles and values we apply to the management of our institutions, consideration of how they must evolve, and a strong emphasis on the role our education systems can play in this process.
John Fjeldsted, Manitoba Environmental Industries Association
John is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association (MEIA), a position he has held since July, 2007. He has Bachelor of Arts in geography from the University of Manitoba. He also holds journeyman licences in both the Power Electrician and Construction Electrician fields. Previous to joining MEIA, John worked for over 35 years for Manitoba Hydro retiring from the position of Manager of Corporate Planning and Environment.
During his time with Manitoba Hydro, he worked as a journeyman power electrician, held various positions in corporate purchasing and human resources, and since 1995 in Environmental Management and Corporate Planning. Additionally, he was a member of the executive committee and co-chair of the task group for the Environmental Commitment and Responsibility Program of the Canadian Electricity Association. John was also a member of the technical committee on Environmental Auditing and Related Investigations for the Canadian Standards Association and as such participated on the joint committee responsible for Canadian input to ISO 19011, the Guideline for Quality and/or Environmental Management Systems Auditing.
Sean Petty, Sierra Club Prairie Chapter
Sean Petty is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg, having completed a B.A. in English and History. A graduate of the Leadership Winnipeg program, Sean has also completed training in conflict resolution and mediation. In 2008, he was privileged to receive climate change training from former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. Sean has worked extensively in government. He has worked for the Manitoba government (Highways and Government Services), the federal government (Canadian Heritage), and as a political assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Hon. Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan. In 2000, he had the privilege of serving as the Canadian Liaison Officer to the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister at the War-Affected Children Conference. Fluently bilingual (English, French), Sean has a long history of volunteering in the community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Manitoba, the Celebrate Canada Committee (Manitoba), the United Nations Association of Canada (Winnipeg branch), and the Sierra Club of Canada's Winnipeg group. He has also sat on the Board of the Liberal Party of Canada (Manitoba), acting as Manitoba Chair to the Liberal Party's National Standing Committee on Policy Development. In 2006, he co-chaired the Winnipeg City Summit's Youth Speakout event at the invitation of Winnipeg's mayor.