The startup Steering Committee was formed in November 2009 and consisted of five members at the time. Following is our current Steering Committee:
Derek Barber - Derek learned of Transition Toronto in 2012 and was immediately drawn to its focus on building communities. He and his wife, Vinyse, reached out and took a leadership position in the Midtown Transition Toronto neighbourhood.
Derek strongly believes that the world needs to move away from the very recent trend of consumerism and towards a greater degree of self-sufficiency in areas such as food, energy, and knowledge. Accordingly, he strives to live efficiently, leave a minimal ecological footprint, and never stop learning. However, real victories are won in groups and movements such as Transition are needed to empower others to make the same movements and exchange ideas on further improvement.
Prior to returning to Toronto in 2011, Derek grew up in numerous cities throughout Ontario and BC. He has spent the past 20 years working in the financial industry and has volunteered with several Toronto-based groups such as Toronto Green Community, Dogs of the Ganges Society and Paper Kite Foundation. His passions outside of work and volunteering include vegetable gardening and, more recently, woodworking.
Vinyse Barber – While living in Vancouver for 5 years, Vinyse learned a lot about food security and other Transition initiatives. When she moved back home to Toronto in 2011, she was thrilled to find a community of like-minded people at Transition Toronto. She thoroughly enjoys living with her husband and two dogs in midtown, where neighbours stop by with muffins to say hello, and cafes and a local food store are a 5 minute walk away.
After starting a career in the corporate sector doing financial and operational audits, Vinyse followed her heart and went back to school to complete a Masters degree in not-for-profit management. The shift in focus led her to find her calling in the field of volunteer engagement, currently as a Coordinator of Volunteers with March of Dimes Canada. There is nothing more inspiring than going to work every day, speaking with people who want to make a difference in their community!
Vinyse has spent her whole adult life volunteering, most recently with: Woodgreen Community Services welcoming newcomers; Toronto Green Community in their community garden; AppleTree Markets; and Paper Kite doing field work at orphanages in India. After her recent trip to India, she is starting Dogs of the Ganges Society, a Toronto-based not-for-profit to fund a clinic for street dogs in the holy city of Varanasi.
Ken Fair – Ken has been interested in peak oil since 2007 and got involved in the Transition movement in 2009. He is a member of the initial Steering Committee of Transition Toronto.
Ken works as a project engineer for an environmental consulting firm, whose clients are mainly manufacturing companies. Among other things, Ken helps firms reduce their water and energy consumption and thus lower their ecological footprint.
A firm believer that the world is on the downward slope of oil production, Ken feels that the Transition movement can be a positive force in dealing with the problems and stresses that will arise from the lower world energy supply. He maintains a relatively small ecological footprint by North American standards, and feels that Toronto is a city with wonderful potential for Transition. Already it is moving in the right direction for bicycling, walking, public transit, sustainable energy, energy reduction, local food, and community.
In his spare time, Ken is an avid marathon runner and has already completed 25 races. He also likes kayaking, reading and research and loves Toronto’s great library system.
Joy Jolie – As an independent Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) and computer consultant with her own company SparQ Learning Solutions, Joy has been delivering technology training for over 22 years. Her passion for her craft and for empowering people to reach their potential has led her to contribute to many different non-profit organizations as a volunteer, who believes in the power of people to transform the world. These include MINT Film Festival, Toronto Dollar, FCJ Refugee Centre, and Amnesty Canada.
Joy has undertaken extensive research in many areas where our communities have challenges – the environment, politics, energy, the economy and our monetary system – and is dedicated to sharing these results. As a presenter and facilitator, she likes providing people with the tools and skills to live productive and healthy lives in communities that support and nurture personal and family well-being, as well as the well-being of our planet.
In her private life, Joy is equally passionate about personal health and physical fitness. She has taken many forms of dance training (including ballroom and Hip Hop), is currently learning to play the guitar, and even started writing her own music. She hopes to share her love of music and dance.
Andrew Knox – While working in the UK as a renewable energy consultant, Andrew was inspired by the local Transition culture in Exeter, Totnes, and elsewhere. After his return to Toronto, he co-founded Transition Toronto (TTo) in autumn 2009, and is a member of the initial Steering Committee. He is also developing reskilling opportunities through TTo as Director of the Reskilling workgroup.
Andrew is currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Engineering department. His study focuses on low-energy buildings for Canadian climates and he hopes that the Transition concept can accelerate the social aspects of the adoption of the technology-based carbon reduction strategies he studies.
Andrew’s dream job would be full-time work on practical implementation of Transition principles in the engineering world and elsewhere – but he needs to graduate first.
Martina Rowley – Martina started learning about Transition Towns in early 2009 and together with a friend began outreach in their east end neighbourhood. She collaborated with Andrew Knox on the first open space meetings and co-founded Transition Toronto in autumn 2009. Martina is a member of the initial Steering Committee, active with the East End Transition neighbourhood group, and has started building a Beach In Transition team.
Martina`s upbringing in rural Germany formed her connection to nature and eventually her job life caught up. She has over ten years experience working in the environmental sector, including Procter & Gamble UK; LGL Ltd. in King City, Ontario; and three years working as Community Animator with EcoSpark/Live Green Toronto. Her studies include a Diploma in Environment and Third World Development from the Open University (UK), and more recently a Bachelor of Environmental Studies Honours (BES Hons.) degree from York University, Toronto (2008). She is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (UK).
Martina has been an active volunteer since 2005, first with local grassroots group ETCAG (East Toronto Climate Action Group), and from 2010 to 2013 as Environment Convenor of the Toronto and Area Council of Women. With Greening Ward 32 (GW32) she helped plan, obtain a grant, and plant a community garden, founded Friends of Woodbine Park in 2012, and initiated an Adopt-A-Tree program for some of its 140 new trees she got City Parks to plant.
Since starting her own business in November 2012 - a coworking space called Beach Business Hub - she has a lot less free time but still enjoys cycling, canoeing & kayaking, hiking, growing food in her garden, and gardening. Martina lives in the east end with her handsome orange tabby cat Dexter.