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, and a member of Cisco Canada’s Civic Council. 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 15 years, and in the Saskatchewan public service before that. Sean’s practice at Cisco is focused on the use of information and communications technology to promote sustainable urbanization and transform emerging countries. Sean’s commitment to community and social development and his passion for local, sustainable, and good food led him and his wife Renee to become supporters of The Stop. They and their daughter can be found at The Stop Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns nearly every Saturday.

Leigh Knowles, Treasurer

Leigh is currently Director, Head of Operations at Deutsche Bank 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 provider 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.

Michael Curry, Director

Michael is a managing partner at Investeco Capital, Canada’s first environmental investment company, focused on renewable energy, water, clean technologies, and sustainable agriculture. He grew up on a farm in Southern Ontario and now lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. Michael served as vice-chair at Organic Meadow for five years and is vice-chair of Rowe Farms since 2006, two of Canada’s leading sustainable agriculture companies, both of whom are strong supporters and partners of The Stop. Michael is also a trustee on the board of Trees Ontario. Michael is inspired by the success and mission of The Stop, and the idea of building healthy communities based on the simplicity and power of good food.

Laura Manes, Director

Laura is a management consultant and has worked with clients across many industries in strategic planning, project investment decisions, market intelligence, and continuous improvement. She is passionate about social justice, healthy living, and the role of the family, and is inspired by The Stop’s commitment to food security for all community members.

Nan Oldroyd, Director

Nan is Vice-President, Human Resources – Conventional Division at Loblaw Companies Limited, serving clients in Store Operations, Merchandising, Pharmacy & Optical to support 400+ locations and 43,000+ employees across Canada. In her past role as Senior Director, Talent, Nan led a team that developed programs including the grad@loblaw program, the women@loblaw network, and the Inclusion Council. Previously, Nan held increasingly progressive roles at Toys R Us, Costco Wholesale, Tim Horton’s, and The Home Depot. 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, and is also part of CivicAction’s Youth Strategic Task Force.

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 the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Grid, a Toronto weekly city magazine that he launched in May 2011, and is a member of the Executive Committee of Star Media Group. Laas has held a variety of top positions in the Canadian publishing industry. In 1998, he became the editor of Shift magazine, which he launched internationally and established as a leading voice in the then-emerging world of digital culture. He went on to become editor of Report on Business magazine and, at the same time, was director of magazine development for The Globe and Mail. Laas later became executive vice-president of Brunico Communications, a global B2B publishing company. Between these gigs, he co-authored a Canadian best-seller, Urban Decoder: Secrets from the Dark Underbelly of the Mega-city. Since 2000, Laas has run a publishing consultancy, Noice Inc. He 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.