Cheryl Keetch, MANAGER/Coordinator
CONNIE MATTHEWS-CULL, NEWSLETTER
Janice Bell – President
Janice Bell was born and raised in Kirkland Lake, which is a small mining town in Northern Ontario. Her professional career started with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2001, where she learned the professional and business skills that she applies to her farm today. She moved back to Ontario in 2013 to the Ottawa Valley. They rebranded their farm in November 2019 and purchased a small starter bison herd. She now manages the day-to-day operations of their bison farm, White Pine Bison. As a food producer, it was important for her to learn more about our local food supply. She has been volunteering for OVFC’s distribution/delivery day since 2022. “I’m grateful to be part of such a wonderful team of caring people.”
Joanne McManus, Treasurer
Joanne McManus is the current treasurer for the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op board. As the treasurer she is responsible for managing our financial resources. She has worked as an organizational change management and business process management expert within the finance industry and with a number of non-profit organizations. Ms. McManus has a strong background in both finance and accounting. In previous work, she has been responsible for multi-currency, multi-million dollar budgets. She has experience in all aspects of financial forecasting, resource allocation, fund management, accounting and control. Ms. McManus received a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Arts in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University and is a Certified Management Accountant. Currently based in Burnstown, Ontario, she grows organic vegetables to supplement food she buys through OVFC.
Chris Tanner, Secretary
Chris has been on the OVFC board for 3 years and is currently the secretary. He is an active OVFC consumer member and was part of a food coop in Deep River during the 1970’s and 80’s, where he also served on the executive. He served as treasurer of the Deep River Choral Group for a number of years, is on the board of THEOP, which presents concerts in Deep River, and is a member of the executive on the local NDP riding association. He retired from AECL in 2003, where he worked for most of his career, primarily as a computer engineer.
Ashleigh (Ash Anne) moved with her family to the Ottawa Valley from Dartmouth N.S. in 2017. While living in Nova Scotia, she started OH! Bagel, an organic, gluten-free, sourdough bagel business, vending at the famous Keith’s Brewery market in Halifax. Ash Anne attended the University of Waterloo for her undergraduate degree in anthropology, with a special interest in the relationship between food and culture, as well as the use of food as medicine cross-culturally. She went on to earn her designation as a registered holistic nutritionist and continues to develop her knowledge and experience in implementing the use of food as medicine. She has been a consumer member of the coop since discovering its existence after her relocation. Ash Anne enjoys spending her free time learning about the secret and sacred lives of plants and the wisdom they hold. She joined the board in 2019 to contribute to the continuation of an important food system component in the Ottawa Valley.
Perri-Rae grew up on a small hobby farm on the Barr Line between Cobden and Douglas. Her father raised chickens, beef cattle and also had horses. Perri-Rae is the financial advisor/owner of Perri-Rae Boell & Associates Inc/The Co-operators in Pembroke, Ontario. She has worked for The Co-operators for over 30 years. She worked along side her father Brian Yuke who was the farm specialist with The Co-operators in the Ottawa Valley. He taught her the farm business and is happy to carry on with his legacy. Perri-Rae lives in Rankin with her husband Rob, and have 3 children. “I am a huge supporter of local farms and businesses and I enjoy volunteering and giving back to my community.”
Lynne Epps, a retired nurse and office manager, lives in Eganville with her husband John. She is a founding member of the OVFC in 2007, a previous board member and has been volunteering at the sorting depot ever since. Lynne also acts a volunteer coordinator, organizing volunteers to sort food at the monthly depot. When she first moved to the Ottawa Valley, her search for local, healthy food was costing her time and a large carbon footprint to drive to each producer. The OVFC continues to offer a one stop shopping experience online, which also forms relationships with customer and producer. As she returns to the OVFC board, she is excited to be collaborating with such a motivated group who seem set on creative goals to expand the reach of local food into the community.
I have called Renfrew County home for the past thirty years, raised my family here, and practiced as a Teacher and then Principal in the publicly funded school systems. I am very involved with the music scene in the county, and sit on the Board of the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra. My family was a big believer in the power of cooperatives! I am so excited to be able to work toward continuing to make the plethora of locally grown and produced, superior quality, goods and food easily available to my neighbours and family!
NICOLE VIENS BRENNAN
Nicole Viens Brennan grew up in the Ottawa Valley, and has now returned with her husband & young daughter, after spending 13 years working in the film production industry in Ottawa. She is very passionate about community, food sustainability, and thoroughly enjoys trying all kinds of local products.
A self-confessed homemade bath & body product junkie, she also enjoys the many flavours of the Valley in dishes prepared by her Chef husband. Camping, thrifting & volunteering are her favourite hobbies, when she’s not working on film finance projects or bookkeeping courses. She is thrilled to be a part of the OVFC board!
Cameron Montgomery – B.A.Hon., M.A., Ph.D. Currently Cameron is the Special Projects Coordinator for North Algona Wilberforce Township. Formerly she worked as a researcher for the Labour Market Group Renfrew & Lanark and the Local Immigration Partnership at Algonquin College Pembroke Campus, and she was a professor at Algonquin College Woodroffe Campus for 10 years before that. Cameron volunteers for several organizations locally, including EcoPembroke, Kiwanis, and Pembroke Pride. She is the founder of Studio Dreamshare and her creative practice includes making films which showcase the beauty of the Ottawa Valley.