Staff

Jennifer Ruddy

Executive Director

A graduate of the Masters of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program with the School for Public Policy at Carleton University, Jennifer is a seasoned non-profit and charitable sector leader with experience fundraising at the national and local levels. She is also a graduate of the Stratford Chef School and enjoys sailing, paddling, simply being by the water. Jen was raised in Kingston and is absolutely delighted to be returning home with her partner, their children, and their yellow dog, Percy.

Melanie Redman

Operations Manager

Melanie has had a long and adventurous career in the not for profit sector.  Armed with a background in Social Services, Gerontology and Volunteer Resource Management, Melanie has managed offices, been deployed to respond to natural disasters in Canada and the United States, worked alongside President Carter in New Orleans and Thailand and worked with and led teams to Tajikistan, Guatemala, Mozambique and Chile.  An adoptive mom of two children, Melanie knows first hand the impact good food has on health, behaviour and education and is passionate about using her skills to increase access to real food in her community.

Sarah Keyes

Program Manager

Sarah grew up and studied on the east coast of Canada, completing her B.A. in environmental studies and political economics at St. Thomas University, and her Masters of Environmental Studies in food systems at Dalhousie. Prior to moving to Kingston in 2014 to join the Loving Spoonful team, Sarah was in B.C. designing and implementing critical food skills camps for youth. She now manages Community Kitchen programs and the GROW Project, using her knowledge of food, gardening, and healthy cooking to help build skills, literacy, and community around good food. Sarah also loves dancing, adventuring, and yoga.

Anne Munier

GROW Project Coordinator

Anne’s background in biology, ecology, and climate change research has led her to work in eastern, western, and northern Canada as well as Central America before finally landing in Kingston. Her professional and personal interests have long been converging on the importance of soil health and food security as crucial components of healthy communities and resilient environments. She is excited to coordinate Loving Spoonful’s GROW Project, helping to instill knowledge and passion for growing good food, community, collaboration and environmental stewardship among Kingston’s youth.

Brenda Moore

School Food Educator

Brenda joined the Loving Spoonful team in October 2017 as a School Food Educator with the GROW Project. After a thirty-year career as a teacher and Principal with the Limestone District School Board, she retired in June 2016. Her first year of retirement gave her wonderful opportunities to spend time with family and friends as well as reading, cooking and knitting. The part-time job as a School Food Educator seemed to be the perfect place to use her expertise as an educator and her experience as the long-time Chair of The Food Sharing Project. Brenda is thrilled to be working on GROW and looks forward to working with her colleagues, teachers and students to bring garden-based learning to more schools.

Tibratā Gillies

Community Kitchen Coordinator

Tibratā Gillies is a Red Seal Certified Chef with over 35 years of professional cooking, 15 years as a culinary educator, 15 years of farming and 8 years of special event programming experience. Her outlook on sustainable food systems is rooted in her training and perspectives as a Biogeographer and as an Applied Food Researcher. As a professional chef in Kingston, she has been active in the local food movement for over 20 years.  In the fall of 2017, Tibratā made a life-long commitment and is training to become a Sacred Fire Keeper and as a Sacred Gardener.  Tibratā’s life work revolves around food in one way or another as a means of offering love and opportunities for connection.  Tibratā joined Loving Spoonful in May 2019 and enjoys coordinating Community Kitchens.

Ashley Burns

Fresh Food & Systems Coordinator

Ashley has local roots in Kingston and its surrounding area. She brings close to 20 years of customer service experience to the Loving Spoonful table with some side dishes. These skills vary in an array of fields from having a background in banking, being a Childbirth Educator and Family Photographer. Ashley’s admiration of the uniqueness of people is the true driving force behind Ashley’s passion of getting involved with non-profits, which she has done through volunteering and working in non-profits, and holding executive positions on non-profit board of directors. Ashley's heart and drive to serve the community is key to her role as the Fresh Food and Systems Coordinator. As a mom of 3, she understands the importance of eating good food and the connection between healthy food options and mental health. When she’s not working, you can usually find Ashley at a local coffee shop or market, at a craft fair with a few kids in tow, on a hike, out camping or snowshoeing with her kids, or painting or quilting.

Mary Gauthier

Outreach Coordinator

Since graduating from the University of Waterloo with a BA in Psychology and Social Work, Mary has always been drawn towards work that uses education and community to chip away at attitudinal and systemic barriers that prevent many from accessing resources that help us all thrive, particularly in areas of mental health and wellness. Her 20 years’ experience in the non-profit sector in various roles has included coordinating efforts to promote service programs and social causes to a wider community through relationship-building, and more recently, online engagement. Mary’s passion for good food and natural health became more prominent as raising a family became a priority. Mary can be found hiking and camping with her family, taking lots of pictures, and singing with one of Kingston’s community choirs.

Ayla Fenton

GROW Garden Coordinator

Ayla Fenton is a new farmer and community organizer. She graduated from Queen's in 2011 with a B. Sc (Honours) in Biology, then spent two years in Toronto teaching English and volunteering with urban agriculture projects and community food centres. Since 2013, she has worked full time on organic farms in the Kingston area, and is currently developing a new cooperative farm with other young farmers to produce organic vegetables, heritage grains, and pastured pork. Over the past 5 years, Ayla has been a board member of the National Farmers Union, and has been involved with organizing young farmers and farmworkers nationally and internationally, and advocating for the transition to agroecology, food sovereignty and climate justice. Ayla also represents the NFU in the global peasant movement La Via Campesina. She is excited to bring her passion for food and farming to the GROW program! 

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Board of Directors

Catherine Styles

Chair

Catherine has lived in Kingston since 1999 raising two children and working with community organizations.  With a background in commercial design and management, she is the founder on The GROW Project and continues to work with students in the Limestone District School Board teaching about community interaction and social responsibility.  Catherine joined the Board of Directors in October 2012.  

Maggie Shepherd

Vice-Chair

Margaret B.K. Shepherd is a professor in Management and Economics at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) where she currently serves as the Chair of the Master of Business Administration program. Moving from the Maritimes to complete her studies, Maggie is a graduate of Laval University, RMC and completed her program on Negotiation through Harvard University. An advocate for social justice, she has a profound commitment to social change through education and empowerment. Maggie serves and has served on several not-for-profit and professional boards and has been a member of Loving Spoonful's Board since June 2017.

Michelle Kehoe

Secretary

Born and raised in Kingston, Michelle’s love for the city grows every day. She has always believed in food as a powerful connector. Food can act as a vehicle to teach youth about community and patience or bring together a group of people to learn valuable life skills. After spending the last 11 years in the north, working with Indigenous communities in the field of health and wellness, she has recently moved back to Kingston to focus on a new career, as well as her family and dear friends. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics, and a Master of Arts in Human Kinetics. In her spare time, you can find her spending time outdoors, finding treasures at flea markets, playing hockey and cooking. Michelle joined the Loving Spoonful Board of Directors in January 2019.

Lisa Wittur

Treasurer

Lisa is new to Kingston and Loving Spoonful but is delighted at the welcoming she and her family have received. Lisa's career has been focused in the financial industry for almost 25 years but has always found time to give back to the community through women's shelters, fundraising at school's her son has attended or volunteering at Loving Spoonful summer event The Night Market and other local fundraisers. Lisa now has the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers with her interest in healthy food as Treasurer with Loving Spoonful. Other interests include travel, photography, knitting and gardening. Lisa joined the Loving Spoonful Board of Directors in June 2020.

Carey Bidtnes

Member at Large

Carey Bidtness is an experienced Human Resources Generalist, with expertise in recruitment, training, employee relations and organizational development.  She has worked in the hospitality, non-profit, public and private sectors in both human resources and operational roles.  Carey has served on the Board since 2011.  

Fairleigh Seaton

Member at Large

Fairleigh joined the Board in July 2014 after volunteering with Loving Spoonful in other capacities. With a background in Public Health Nursing, Fairleigh has a keen interest in food security and community health. Fairleigh’s previous work also includes the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Program at Kingston General Hospital and Queen’s University School of Nursing.

Suzanne Biro

Member at Large

Suzanne has an extensive employment and volunteer history in public health, research, and facilitation.  she has worked throughout Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, and Prince Edward Counties.  She has been involved with a local Slow Food initiative, and has been a food writer for several Canadian newspapers.  Suzanne joined the Board in 2013.  

Brian Smith

Member at Large

Brian joined the Board in June 2017, having retired after spending his working life in the human services field and the last twenty years as Executive Director of the Community Living agency in Prince Edward County. He is a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, and others who live with disadvantaging social conditions. He attended Queen’s University, and achieved a Master’s Degree in Canadian history.  As well as serving on the Board, Brian volunteers with Loving Spoonful in the food reclamation program. Brian also spends a lot of his time learning French and Italian cooking and working in his vegetable garden.

Jock Devonshire

Member at Large

Jock is a long time Kingston resident and has worked as a manager at Camera Kingston since 1984.  He has been a volunteer in the community for a number of years, most notably with Food Not Bombs.  He is a founding member of Loving Spoonful.  

Jackie Stoneman

Member at Large

Jackie Stoneman joined the Loving Spoonful board after a 22-year career in vocational rehabilitation working with individuals in recovery from mental illness. She has worked closely with Loving Spoonful’s Cooking Connections program to build community capacity and reduce barriers created by stigma. She is also a Mental Health First Aid instructor, facilitating classes in the Kingston community for the past four years to help people develop a better understanding of mental illness. Jackie has worked in the non-profit sector as a volunteer in many roles and enjoys supporting Loving Spoonful in reaching their goals. As a mother of five and grandmother of ten she is very aware of the important role that food security plays in our society.  

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