Board of Directors

John Montesano, President

John is co-chair of Big Night at The Green Barn, an annual fundraising event in support of The Stop that pays homage to backyard garden pioneers. He is an entrepreneur who is currently a Managing Partner at Bond Paving and Construction, as well as a consultant on media projects and events. As a writer, editor, and TV executive, John previously worked as the General Manager at Telelatino Network, where he launched the annual Salsa on St. Clair street festival, and a columnist for the Toronto Star. Along with his wife and two children, John lives near The Stop and is inspired by its efforts to use the power of good food to build strong communities.

Sean Caragata, Vice-President

Sean is a Director of Legal Services at Cisco Systems. He is a former Treasurer and Board member of the National Theatre School of Canada. Sean has worked in the technology and telecommunications sector for 20 years, and in the Saskatchewan public service and employment law fields before that. Sean’s practice at Cisco has included the use of information and communications technology to promote sustainable urbanization and transform emerging countries and citizen services. Sean’s commitment to community, social development, and poverty reduction, and passion for local, sustainable, and good food, led him and his wife Renee to become supporters of The Stop. They and their daughters can be found at The Stop’s Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns nearly every Saturday.

Leigh Knowles, Treasurer

Leigh is currently Director at Street Capital and a chartered accountant. She was attracted to The Stop’s role in the community, the variety of programs, and The Green Barn’s back-to-basics farming concepts.

Cecile Chung, Secretary

Cecile is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Samuel Group of Companies, a leading metals distributor and manufacturer with operations in Canada, US, Mexico, China, and Australia. As General Counsel, Cecile is responsible for all legal, governance, and compliance matters. Prior to joining Samuel, Cecile was General Counsel for Carillion Canada, one of Canada’s largest integrated providers of highway maintenance services, construction services, and public-private infrastructure partnerships. Cecile began her career at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP where she practiced corporate and securities law. Later, Cecile joined Astral Television, A Division of Astral Media, where she was the Director, Business and Legal Affairs, of one of Canada’s largest broadcasters. Cecile is also a board member of the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation.

Nuria Bronfman, Director

Nuria is Executive Director of the Motion Picture Theatre Associations of Canada. She has done PR and communications for some of Canada’s top media, film, and charitable organizations. She was born in Argentina, and has studied in the United States, France, and Canada.

Nina-Marie Lister, Director

Nina-Marie is Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in the School of Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto. From 2010-2014, she was Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. In 2012, Nina-Marie was named Senior Scholar with the Centre for Humans and Nature. A Registered Professional Planner with a background in landscape ecology and urban planning, she is the founding principal of PLANDFORM, a creative studio practice exploring the relationship between landscape, ecology, and urbanism. At Ryerson University, Nina-Marie founded and directs the Ecological Design Lab, a collaborative incubator for community-based ecological design research and practice. This year, in recognition of her international leadership in ecological design, she was awarded Honourary Membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Joshna Maharaj, Director

Joshna is a busy chef with big ideas about good food! Joshna’s strong social justice and sustainability ethics flourished during her time at The Stop, where she built innovative and delicious community food programs, putting a grassroots kitchen on par with the rest of the kitchens in the city. Recently, Joshna has been working with hospitals in Toronto, trying to reconnect good, wholesome food with wellness, and create new models for institutional food procurement and production. Joshna is currently the Assistant Director of Food Services & Executive Chef at Ryerson University, where she is working on a new campus food strategy with a focus on offering students, staff, and faculty more sustainably-sourced, wholesome, affordable food. Joshna was a regular guest chef on CBC Television’s Steven & Chris, and she was a speaker at the 2011 TEDxToronto conference.

Nan Oldroyd, Director

Nan was most recently Vice-President, Human Resources – Market & Emerging Business Divisions at Loblaw Companies Limited, where she served clients in Store Operations, Merchandising, Pharmacy, Optical & Multi-Cultural to support 400+ locations, 33,000+ employees, and businesses totalling $15B+ in revenue across Canada. She started as a Senior Director, Talent at Loblaw, where she led a team that developed initiatives including the grad@loblaw program, the women@loblaw network, executive succession planning, engagement strategy, and the Inclusion Council. Previously, Nan held increasingly progressive roles at Toys R Us, Costco Wholesale, Tim Horton’s, and The Home Depot. Nan has her Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) designation and, in 2014, was awarded the Outstanding Senior Human Resources Professional by the Human Resources Professionals Association. She was one of 25 leaders in the Greater Toronto Area selected as a 2011 DiverseCity Fellow, and was recognized as a Women of Influence’s 2012 Canadian Diversity Champion. Nan is currently an Advisory Council Member of the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University.

Sarah Powell, Director

Sarah is one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers, certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Environmental Law. She has extensive experience in all aspects of environmental law, including strategic advice on environmental and social impact assessments, environmental approvals, energy approvals, contaminated sites, environmental class actions, and aboriginal risk assessments. Sarah is Past Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association and the Chair of the National Environmental, Energy, and Resource Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

Maureen Thompson, Director

Maureen has been working in leadership positions in the health promotion and community health sectors for over 20 years. She started her career in drug prevention, international development and human rights, community development, and health promotion. She held the position of Director of Community Health at Regent Park Community Health Centre, leading the health promotion, community programs, nutrition, social work, and homeless outreach departments. More recently, she oversaw the implementation of the Pathways to Education Program in 11 communities across Canada. She has worked with diverse communities, including people who are homeless, immigrants and newcomers, Aboriginals, youth, seniors, and women. She has an established reputation for her commitment to the values of equity, inclusion, and the social determinants of health.

Laas Turnbull, Director

Laas is widely recognized as one of the media world’s most creative, innovative executives. He was most recently Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Grid, a Toronto city magazine that he launched for Torstar in 2011. In addition to being the world’s first true hybrid of a newspaper and a magazine, The Grid was named World’s Best Designed Newspaper for three years running by New York’s Society for News Design. During that time, Laas was also a member of the Executive Committee of Star Media Group, which includes the Toronto Star, Metro, and other leading media brands. Laas has held a variety of other top positions in the Canadian media industry. During the dot-com boom, he became the Editor-in-Chief of Shift magazine, which he launched internationally and established as a leading voice in the emerging world of digital culture. He was then named Director of Magazine Development at The Globe and Mail and Editor of Report on Business magazine. Laas went on to become Executive Vice-President of Brunico Communications, a global B2B media company and Canada’s largest independent B2B publisher. In addition to co-authoring a Canadian best-seller—Urban Decoder: Secrets from the Dark Underbelly of the Mega-city—Laas also sits on the board of Dingo Mobile.

Angela Young, Director

Angela is a seasoned Chartered Accountant and Chief Audit Executive with over 20 years of experience in health care, entertainment and broadcasting, consumer goods, financial services, and management consulting with international exposure to Asia Pacific and Europe. In her senior management roles, Angela was responsible for a wide range of accountabilities including strategic planning, enterprise risk management, financial management, internal audit, compliance, procurement, and government liaison in private and public sector. She has led finance and audit teams in dynamic, challenging environments with demonstrated success in building trust and credibility with boards of directors and stakeholders. Angela is passionate about helping people and believes in equality for all. She is also an avid animal lover.