ALUS grows its national team to better deliver ecological benefits in Canadian farm communities.
In ALUS Canada’s March 2020 update, CEO Bryan Gilvesy noted that “ALUS Canada is already a geographically dispersed organization that is ready and able to continue to support our community partners as before. We’ve had all the needed systems and training in place for years. We are also adding new work-from-home staff and some powerful technological tools to our arsenal, starting next week.”
And so we have.
ALUS has hired three new people to join its roster of professionals in the fields of policy development, program management and communications. These new hires will help ALUS better deploy the program nationally, connect with more communities, and strengthen the production of cleaner air, cleaner water, more biodiversity and other ecosystem services on the land.
For instance, ALUS is pleased to welcome Mark Juhasz as Director of Policy and Partnerships. Mark will conduct research and analysis related to policy development, which will help ALUS obtain important funding from federal and provincial governments to expand its reach and document its benefits for Canadian communities and the environment.
Mark has an extensive background in the field of policy and strategy for sustainable development in agro-ecosystems. He has worked with a range of organizations, including Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Global Affairs Canada, OMAFRA, HEXO, Business Development Bank of Canada and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. He also holds a PhD in Sustainable Rural Development from the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph and a MES (Master’s in Environmental Studies) from York University.
Mark is passionate about developing policies and partnerships that serve ALUS participants by supporting programs and initiatives that are meaningful in Canadian communities.
“We’re at an important time,” said Mark of why he wanted to join ALUS Canada.
“I am excited to help ALUS thrive and grow—it is unique as a national, grassroots environmental organization with a strong understanding of Canadian farmers’ and ranchers’ needs.”
Another new addition to the national team is Alyssa Cousineau. As ALUS Canada’s Eastern Hub Manager, Alyssa will liaise with ALUS community program coordinators and serve as a management resource throughout Ontario.
With extensive experience working with ALUS Canada’s communities and a Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainability, Alyssa is passionate about how ALUS serves its communities on the ground.
Alyssa was formerly the Program Coordinator for ALUS Elgin. After four years, she was motived to join the national team to make a bigger impact:
“After seeing how the ALUS Elgin program developed while I was coordinator, I wanted to be able to do even more to help ALUS,” she said.
“I now support eight ALUS communities in Ontario, and coordinate with my counterparts managing the Prairie and Western Hubs.”
Last but not least, the third new national team member is Todd Westcott, who is helping ALUS Canada strengthen its communications program and capacity as Communications Associate.
Todd’s background ranges from grassroots community organization work to teaching overseas, while for the last three years he’s worked in professional communications. Using his background in marketing and digital platforms, Todd helps ALUS Canada cut through the noise of modern-day media and deliver stories to a bigger audience.
“When we can reach new people with stories on the work of ALUS participants, and their beneficial impact on the ground, we can make a difference by, for example, helping urban people understand where their food comes from and how we’re all connected to the land,” he says.
Todd has already contributed to these efforts by orchestrating a national check-in on how ALUS participants are keeping essential agriculture work moving forward during the COVID-19 global health crisis. Scroll through our social media feeds to check out the news from Gord & Marg Hammell in Manitoba, Pearl Gregor, Kevin & Roxanne Ziola, and Duane Movald in Alberta, and Stephen & Katie Hotchkiss, Kathryn & Michael Boothby, and Scott & Susan Stephens in Ontario.
ALUS Canada also grew its national team with the movement of Casey Schelock, our former Eastern Hub Manager, to the role of Associate Director, Development and Operations. Although she’s not new to the national team, in her new role Casey will help to support the administration and management of funding and grants that keep our participants’ projects on the ground.
With this expanded roster of talented professionals on deck, ALUS Canada will be even better equipped to continue to support all 27 ALUS community partners, along with their participants and programming. In this unprecedented time, ALUS is committed to improving the environment and benefiting agricultural communities across this land we all share.
Visit the Our Team page to keep tabs on our growing team as time goes on.