Conversation Leaders at the Sarnia Justice Film Festival
To search out conversation leaders for a specific film conversation you'll have to look them up from either the 'Festival' or 'Film Nights' pages.
Ada Lockridge (2008)
Aamjiwnaang council member
Lockridge is an Aamjiwnaang council member and member of their Health and Environment Committee.
Archie Kerr (2011)
Director of Sustainability for Lanxess
Archie has been an Industrial Environmentalist for almost 40 years. Presently he is involved in:
researching bio sustainable technology and marketing the Bio-Industrial Park looking for new industrial tenants
corporate social outreach
implementation of an environmental management system to meet ISO 14001 Environmental standard and Responsible Care
reducing greenhouse gas emissions
board member of Bluewater Sustainability Initiatives and of the Friends of the St Clair River
Archie has a Masters of Chemical Engineering with a specialty in Occupational Health & Hygiene from the University of Toronto. Archie is a married empty nester with four really sharp grandchildren, is an avid sailor and believes that Sarnia is a great place to live.
Arlene Patterson (2012)
President, Health Coalition
The Health Coalition is a non-partisan organization with the mandate to protect our publicly funded and publicly administrated health system and to advocate for extending services to include pharma-care and home care. The Sarnia Lambton Health Coalition started in Sarnia with Mr. John Newman and Arlene in 2000, holding public discussions around the re-structuring of the system and the implications to patients and families. The organization provides teach-ins, Town Hall Meetings, has conducted a city wide plebiscite and attends many public functions.
Bill Hopkins (2011)
Bill Hopkins is a retired chemist who has been an advocate for greater understanding & awareness of mental health issues for almost 20 years, since his wife became ill with Bipolar Disorder. Bill is currently the vice chair of the Board of the Consumer/Survivor Association of Lambton which comprises the "Open Doors Drop in Centre" & the "Lambton Family Initiative" He was instrumental in bringing Family to Family Education program to Sarnia in 2003. More than 400 family members / care givers in Lambton County have completed this 12 week course.
He is a member of the Children's Mental Health Advocacy Committee of Sarnia, and a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Chatham Kent branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association as well as a member of the Community Advisory Panel of Bluewater Health.
Brenda Lorenz (2011)
Chemist and environmentalist
Brenda is a chemist by training but an environmentalist through practice. She has worked fields, including medical microbiology, quality control operation, College teacher and environmental awareness educator. Brenda has volunteered in the community with many organizations, including Urban Wildlife Committee, Bluewater Trails Committee, Sarnia Concert Association, TD Friends of Environment, Arbor Week, Lambton Wildlife Inc., and the City Roundtable Committee. She believes you get out of a community what you put into it so is always willing to volunteer for a great cause. She tries "to practice what she preaches" at home and beyond, keeping our world a healthy place for all its inhabitants.
Brian White (2012)
I am a father of two, and a grateful husband. I grew up in South Sarnia, and have lived in many parts of the country before returning to my home-town to raise my children. Like so many others, I've suffered losses of loved ones, advocated for my kids when the system let them down, and I do what I can day to day to empower those around me. I've run my own businesses and worked for many others. I am no stranger to doing what it takes to make ends meet for my family. I am a documentary filmmaker. The experiences gained in this career have been immeasurable. I've witnessed incredible people give of themselves to live principled lives, committed to seeking justice for those who cannot stand up for themselves. I've put my body on the line to tell these stories, in order to educate and empower. I hope to have the opportunity to bring these experiences on my journey to be the NDP candidate for the provincial government.
Brian filmed a great deal of the footage for A Walk in My Dream and is a friend of Mike Stevens.
Chrystal Fach (2011)
Chrystal is a 30- year old single mom of 2 boys who is presently a Circles Leader. She
attends Lambton College in the Human Service Foundation Program.
Darren Hakker (2013)
Darren Hakker is a local entrepreneur who volunteers for a number of organizations in Sarnia-Lambton, including Sarnia Christian School, Goodwill Industries, Regen, Ride the Roads and the Sarnia Justice Film Festival. He’s also the co-founder and media director of One Tomato, an organization that has its roots here in Sarnia. One Tomato’s goal is to have everyone participate in a food secure and sustainable community. One Tomato’s elementary school healthy eating program, Food Works, teaches children how to prepare local healthy foods and give them valuable culinary skills. One Tomato’s community gardens initiative, The Commons, helps people have free access to fresh produce in their neighbourhoods. And the One Tomato Project encourages home gardeners to plant, grow and eat more produce, and to give what they have left to local food banks
Deborah Austin (2013)
Debbie is Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in Sarnia and deals with Criminal and Family Law cases. She is in her 20th year. Before that, she was a lawyer and partner of Ray Wyrzykowski until his death in 1989. He is the Ray of Rayjon. Debbie is the vice chairperson of Rayjon and have been active with the organization for a dozen years. Debbie goes to Haiti once or twice each year and has worked with a fourth world community called Simon Pele in Port au Prince, adjacent to cite d 'Soleil, with a large tent city post-earthquake and will be sharing that perspective and experience.
Dianne Holdaway (2012)
Dianne Holdaway is the Associate Director of NeighbourLink Sarnia-Lambton. NeighbourLink is a Christian faith based ministry that networks and equips local churches in the Sarnia-Lambton area to work together to respond to the practical needs of others in their communities.
George Esser (2011)
River City started a homeless shelter in November 2007 in the basement of the church
and has since, been able to help many of the homeless become housed. Meals, clothing and
shower programs are also available for many people, through their facility. George Esser is
the team leader of River City Vineyard. He has been married for 32 years and has 4 adult
children and almost 3 grandchildren. He loves to travel and has done work in Nicaragua and
Janice Littlefield (2009)
Janice has been a member of the Binational Public Advisory Council since 1998 and is currently serving as U.S. Co-Chair. She is one of the founders of the Friends of the St. Clair River Watershed, which is the nonprofit that is involved in stream monitoring and serves the BPAC on the U.S. side.
Janice has over 35 years experience in the nonprofit sector, and currently spends her time grantwriting for water quality issues. At the moment, she is helping with several grants for shoreline and habitat restoration, trying to capture some of the Stimulus Package money from the U.S. Federal government for the St. Clair River Area of Concern.
She is a gardner that loves to cook, an avid sailor, crosscountry skiier, and woodworker. She currently lives in Port Huron with her English Setter, Jake.
Jim Brophy (2008)
Ontario Health Clinics for Ontario Workers
Jim is associated with Ontario Health Clinics for Ontario Workers and is based out of the Sarnia Office.
Jorge deGuzman (2009)
Jorge deGuzman has, since 1999, been an active member of the UNICEF Task Force on Abuse and Exploitation of Women and Children. He is the director and head instructor of the Sarnia Self Defense School, educating youth and children in life skills, fitness, and character development.
Joy Cafazzo (2009)
Joy Cafazzo is wife to Bill, mother to 5 and grandmother to 4. She is music director at Trinity Church and teaches piano at home and at Errol Village School. Joy has been a home school mom and has worked with children and youth for many years.
Kathy Wodezinsky (2011)
Kathy is a Community Legal Worker at Community Legal Assistance Sarnia – the poverty law
clinic in Sarnia/Lambton funded by Legal Aid Ontario. As well as individual representation,
she is involved in Law Reform and Community Development, particularly as it relates to those
living in poverty. Kathy is licensed with the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Paralegal.
For the past 8 years, Kathy has been the Chair of the Community Homelessness Initiatives
Network of Sarnia/Lambton, the local network that monitors the needs of the homeless and
those at risk of becoming homeless. Kathy’s lived experience of homelessness is through the
eyes and stories of those she humbly serves.
Laura Sky (2011)
Laura is the Producer/Director of Home Safe documentary series. Laura has been a
documentary filmmaker for the past three decades and has won many awards for her work.
She founded her non profit documentary organization, SkyWorks Charitable Foundation,
in 1983. She’s made more than 30 films dealing with contemporary social issues such as
families living with homelessness, young people dealing with the loss of a loved one to
cancer, and mothers recovering from addictions. These films have been broadcast on
Canada’s television networks and screened in communities across the country. In 2005,
Laura Sky received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University for her
achievements as "one of Canada's most distinguished documentary filmmakers".
Linda Braichet (2011)
Linda Braichet is a clinical therapist who works with children/adolescents with mental illness and emotional impairment diagnosis as well as individual & couples with emotional issues and adults with diagnosed mental illness. Linda has been the Coordinator of Lambton Family Initiative a support services for family/friends/significant others of those who have a mental illness since its' inception in 1997. In that capacity she counsels with respect to understanding & living with someone with a mental illness.
Margarita Ibbott (2010)
professional organizer - owner of Downshifting Professional Organizing Solutions
Since establishing her business in 2005, Margarita has worked extensively with families, executives and entrepreneurs to bring order to their lives and provide functional, efficient spaces to her clients.
In her work with hoarding clients Margarita has gained hands-on knowledge in a world that many people do not know or clearly understand. Recommended by therapist and psychologists because of her caring nature and determined focus on becoming a 'change manager', she helps guide her clients through this highly emotionally charge process. Her experience has helped hundreds of clients
Guest expert speaker on CBC Radio's Ontario Today
Messiest Teen Room in Ontario
Daytime on Roger's TV: Guest Organizing Expert
Featured Professional Organizer in London Free Press
50 Ways to Lose Your Clutter – April, 2010
London Life (head office)
3M (head office)
City of London – London Public Library
Thames Valley District School Board
Boys & Girls Club of London
Williams Café on Wonderland
Various Church and non-Profit Groups
Mary Jean O'Donnell (2011)
Since 1990, Mary Jean O’Donnell has worked with corporations, educational institutions and all levels of government to develop successful waste minimization and diversion programs. In her role as president of the Recycling Council of British Columbia, Ms. O’Donnell was a key stakeholder in the development and implementation of waste management legislation in the Province of British Columbia. As Associate Director Operations at the University of British Columbia, Ms. O’Donnell worked with the Board of Governors to develop and implement the University’s environmental and sustainability policies and programs.
Clients include corporate sustainability leaders such as Vancouver International Airport, Nature’s Path Foods, Vancity Credit Union and the Vancouver Aquarium. A captivating speaker and mentor, Ms. O’Donnell may best be known for her “infectious enthusiasm”. She collaborates with individuals and organizations to identify cost-effective and efficient solutions to environmental challenges.
Ms. O’Donnell is an avid cyclist and sailor who actively thinks globally and acts locally.
Michael John Kooy (2012)
Michael John Kooy is an Investment Advisor with RBC Wealth Management. He grew up in downtown Sarnia and went to school locally. He holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, and spent several years working in higher education in the UK and France, before joining RBC. While he has extensive international experience, his focus is local and he is deeply committed to a variety of initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life locally.
Michelle Batty (2009)
Michelle Batty is the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Survivors' Centre Sarnia-Lambton
Mike Stevens (2012)
Mike Stevens is a celebrated musician who has played the Grand Ole Opry more than 300 times — made a chance visit a dozen years ago to a troubled First Nation’s community in Labrador. That led him to make repeated trips to remote northern communities.
Myles Vanni (2011)
Myles was involved as a youth and Junior Leader in Scouting and joined the Executive Staff
of Scouts Canada after graduating from Brock University in 1986 with a BA in Business and
Politics. For the next 19 years Myles worked for Scouts Canada in various positions.
In April of 2005, Myles was appointed as Executive Director for The Inn of the Good
Shepherd, a social service agency serving the Sarnia/Lambton community with a food bank,
soup kitchen, youth and adult shelter, rent/utility bank and a free clothing store. Their
current project is the building of an emergency and transitional housing facility which will
have 25 shelter beds and 19 transitional programming rooms.
Myles has always led a life of serving and helping others through community involvement
in many ways - Scouting, Church, coaching soccer, Rotary Club, school fundraising and
more! With wife Cathy, they reside in Sarnia and enjoy gardening, home renovations,
stamp collecting and camping. They have two teenage sons - Dylan and Tharin and most
importantly, one grandson!
Nathan Colquhoun (2012)
Nathan Colquhoun lives with his wife Rachel on College Ave. He lives in community with Dan, Tim and Chris and his direct neighbours are the Shantz family, and the Smith Family. They all live together on the same street with hopes of doing life together in a sustainable way and bringing along as many others as possible along the way. He co-planted a downtown church called theStory five years ago and is a director of Storyboard Solutions, a media company based in Sarnia.
Peter Smith (2013)
Commercial Manager – TransAlta Energy Corporation
Peter is a professional engineer, and has worked in the energy industry for over 30 years. He has a degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of London, England. He has been active in the local environmental movement for many years, and has presented workshops on “Global Warming” and “How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint”. He has lived and worked in Sarnia for 23 years.
Phil Valance (2009)
Born & raised in Windsor, Ontario.
Attended University of Windsor and University of Toronto
Have worked as an employee of Imperial Oil for 30 years, mostly in refining. Worked in a variety of locations, spanning from Halifax to Vancouver. Started with Imperial in Sarnia, and returned to Sarnia in 1997, with a family this time.
Since 2005, have overseen environmental peformance and improvement at the Sarnia manufacturing site.
I am also an industry representative on BPAC (The Binational Public Advisory Committee for the St. Clair River Remedial Action Plan or RAP), and one of the BPAC representatives on the Canadian RAP Implementation Committee).
I have a very personal interest in the St. Clair River. As an avid kayaker, I am on the river over 100 days each year... summer and winter.
Rachel Colquhoun (2010)
CCU/ICU nurse, currently back in school pursing a Masters in Health Promotion at the UOW
I'm passionate about women's health in particular but also active in community health and promoting social justice. I've traveled internationally to Haiti, South Africa/Swaziland and all over South America working in a nursing capacity.
I wrote: Pink Ribbon Marketing is Healthy for Business and Unhealthy for Women as part of my graduate studies in my first year Health Promotion class with my professor Cathy Ward-Griffin. I argued against the Pink Ribbon Campaign using post-feminism and cause-related marketing as influencing factors.
The main thesis of the paper would be that consumption should not be confused with philanthropy. Market transaction is not an acceptable form of activism and only perpetuates the vicious cycle of consumerism.
Randa Roberts (2010)
Counsellor with Financial Fitness for nearly 2 years
Financial Fitness - a non-profit service helping Canadians learn how to manage their money more effectively (Member of the Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services).
Randa Roberts is from Sarnia and has been counselling with Financial Fitness for nearly 2 years. A Lambton College alumni, Randa is a Qualified Insolvency Counsellor, Health MoneyTM Coach, and is currently working towards her Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada certification. She has made presentations on Financial Literacy in the community and has been quoted and featured in local publications Business Trends and First Monday.
Rev. Deacon Mary Belnap (2012)
Rev. Deacon Mary Belnap, ordained in 2008, has been a member of All Saints’ Anglican Church since 2003. Ever since Mary was 12 years old, she has identified herself with the marginalized - all those whom the rest of the world customarily dismiss with contempt. She believes that her life and her teaching are to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless, we are serving Christ himself. When she took early retirement in 1988 she chose to become involved in local social justice issues. Mary advocates locally to those with low-income empowering them to negotiate the systems. This includes the programs of All-Saints church including: pastoral care at Bayside Mall; Legacy for Smiles which provides emergency dental treatment for low-income adults; the Everlasting Eyes program which provides funding for eye examination and one regular pair of glasses for low-income adults. Prayer shawls are provided for warmth for those who feel cold and numb as well as giving comfort, peace and hope at their deepest place of need. All Saints provides money management programs to help eliminate the need for Credit Counselling and or the need to declare bankruptcy. As well, the church is closely allied with the Circles coaches and serves a monthly meal at the Inn of the Good Shepherd.
Richard Teskey (2009)
Richard Teskey is a graduate of the Child and Youth Worker program and has added a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology to his credit. At this time Richard is pursuing a Master's Degree in Education which he hopes to complete in the summer of 2010. As an active member of the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counselors Richard recently was Master of Ceremonies at the 2009 fiftieth anniversary conference in Toronto. Acting is also a part of Richard's portfolio and his current project is in directing the Petrolia Community Theatre's Christmas show to be presented early this December. Richard is a professor with the Child and Youth Worker Program at Lambton College, a part of the Sarnia Lambton Rebound team, and a counselor with a private practice caseload.
Ron Plain (2013)
“I am not an Environmentalist, I am Aanishinaabe. My reverence for Mother Earth is not a conscious decision, rather it is a genetic predetermination.”
To understand Ron Plain is to understand activism. Ron comes from a family of activists and community leaders dating back to contact. Most recently though, it begins with human rights and discrimination protests in the late 70’s early 80’s. Campaigns spanning from Burnt Church to Portland, Oregon Ron has established himself as a leader in the Social Justice Movement with a slant to Aboriginal Rights.
Recently, in these last 10 years Ron has turned the focus of his activism to the Native rights, both Inherent and Treaty as they pertain to the holistic view of environment and health. An Aanishinaabek man from Aamjiwnaang, in southern Ontario, (called the Most Polluted Spot in North America by National Geographic staff and found to have the most contaminated air shed by the World Health Organization), Ron became active in protecting the health of his family, his community.
Ron formed a community environment committee that eventually became a standing committee of Aamjiwnaang Chief and Council. As Chair of this committee Ron steered the committee and community into international media attention. Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia’s Chemical Valley have been the focus of 11 documentaries and feature length news pieces, Men’s Health Magazine, Chatelaine Magazine, numerous print media features and CNN, to name a few.
Currently Ron is the Environmental Policy Analyst for the Southern First Nations Secretariat, the Tribal Council for the 7 First Nation communities of SW-Ontario and is on faculty at Trent University’s Indigenous Environmental Studies program.
I believe that industry and community can live together and prosper in a healthy sustainable environment.
Scott Forbes (2009)
Scott Forbes is a regional representative for International Justice Mission, seeking to raise the profile of IJM in communities across Ontario. Prior to joining IJM, he established Kids Alive International (Canada) with the goal of helping destitute and unprotected orphans in Zambia where he had previously spent five years as a youth worker and leadership trainer.
Tracy Bolzon (2008)
YMCA International Development Coordinator
Tracy has been employed with the YMCA for the past 7 years, most recently as the International Development Coordinator for YMCAs in Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent and Goderich-Huron. In this position she is responsible for global education, peace and social justice awareness programs both within our YMCA associations and in the communities served by the YMCA. Additionally she works as a liaison with partner YMCA in Guatemala - partner relationship with the YMCA of Guatemala since 2002 - financial support provided by our association - reciprocal sharing of program resources, culture, staff etc. The International Development Committee has been part of the YMCA of Sarnia-Lambton since the 1940s, a committee comprised of YMCA staff/volunteers and community members interested in the work of International Development.
Vera Lawlor (2009)
Vera Lawlor is a founding member of Peace Works, The Sarnia Committee against the Trafficking of Women and Children, and OBIOMA. She has also been active in other organizations such as Development and Peace, and the YMCA International Development Committee.