2012 Pedal to Plate Tour Team Members

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Jaime McGuireJaime McGuire currently lives in westend Toronto and is from Ottawa. By day, she works as a trauma and abuse counsellor with criminalized women and union activists and by night, she is a cyclist extraordinaire! Well, maybe not quite, but she uses her bike for most inner-city travels, is interested in local and seasonal foods, and has just started a balcony garden this year. Oh yeah, and she’s an omnivore. Jaime is pretty willing to try anything once and is embarking on this tour not only for the physical challenge it brings but also for the opportunity to learn about sustainability and how to incorporate that knowledge into urban living and culture. Jaime is looking forward to learning about how to make healthier and more ethical decisions, for herself, others, and the planet.



Samantha HandSamantha Hand

I grew up just outside Toronto but made the move to Ottawa 5 years ago to come to school. I quickly fell in love with the city and stayed for as long as I could. I returned home for a quick year to finish my post grad in Education, but returned after to work as a project leader for the Katimavik program where I met the very lovely folks at Otesha. I was instantly hooked to the genuine love and passion of this organization! They have taken my love of food and cycling, and combined them into an incredible experience that I am sure will help me appreciate the food from my very own neighborhood. I am thrilled to be a part of this opportunity, using the power of people to come to a greater understanding of our local food system and consumption habits. I have taken many adventures around the country and the world, but I am mega excited to venture via my own means of transportation around this beautiful part of the province.  I am a food enthusiast, lover of plaid, and was nicknamed 'Gramma' in university for my love of solid conversation and knitting! 


 Holly GrinvaldsHolly Grinvalds

Despite having grown up in the “Raspberry capital of Canada" (a.k.a. Abbotsford, B.C.), food and farming issues did not figure prominently in my early days (with the exception of seeing the cow pasture across from my high school developed for new homes). It wasn't until I moved to Kingston, Ontario for a Ph.D. in political studies that I became involved in the area’s local food movement, helping to organize two "Feast of Fields" events, writing for the local independent paper on eating local, some research for the National Farmer’s Union, all kinds of good things.  Besides all the amazing food I ate at meetings and events, a great part of that volunteer work was the people! Whether urban or rural, young students or long-time farmers, I met caring and committed individuals and families whose passion for the health of our land and our communities I found to be very inspiring and hopeful. Having now moved to Ottawa to work for government, I cannot wait to get involved again in learning about and contributing to a sustainable food system in the Ottawa area – and meeting great people along the way! The Pedal to Plate tour is going to be an amazing start in that direction!


 Leonard PooleLeonard Poole

Since retiring from full time employment I have combined my love of cycling with community volunteer work, chairing two different community service boards. In 2007 I represented the Green Party of Ontario in the Provincial election in Ottawa-Vanier. I love to tour by bicycle. In 2006 I rode an 800 km tour around southern England.  Last summer I completed a 1,000 km tour around Lake Ontario by way of Algonquin Park. I seek to accept responsibility for and understand the consequences of all of my lifestyle choices. My personal motto is to “consume less, while enjoying life more!”




Mike TkaczHello, my name is Mike Tkacz.  I am 24 years old and live in Burlington, Ontario.  A year ago I completed my philosophy degree from York University, and in the fall I will be starting an environmental science program at Douglas College in British Columbia.  I enjoy trying to keep an active lifestyle -- I play ultimate frisbee, I love getting out on my bike, I’m trying to develop a yoga practice, and I enjoy hiking, camping and canoeing.  I also enjoy reading a good book and friendly but heated debates with open minded people.  I think of mental improvement in the same way as physical improvement, as a muscle that requires regular practice and increasing and different challenges to strengthen.  Lately I have been concerned with becoming more conscious of my own environmental footprint and steps I can take to lessen my footprint.  I also volunteer at a local community garden.



Margot McCombMargot McComb is a CEGEP graduate from Gatineau, Quebec. She is currently taking a gap year before pursuing her degree in international development at McGill University in the fall, doing a series of volunteer placements with various organizations such as Canada World Youth and Katimavik. So far she has volunteered at an orphanage in Mozambique, Africa, at Meals-on-Wheels in Sooke, BC, at a nursing home in Manitoba, and is completing the final leg of her journey in the small town of Goosebay, Labrador. She has soaked up a lot of knowledge from her experiences this past year and hopes to continue her growth through the Otesha Project this coming July. Along with learning more about the farms in her local area, she hopes to make important connections with the members of her group and learn from their experiences as well. She loves to sing and play guitar, and hopes there will be many sing-alongs during those long days of cycling!



Daniel WenzelHello! My name is Daniel Wenzel and I absolutely love being outdoors. Be it long boarding, running, cycling or swimming, being active and outside is something I strive for. I currently work as a landscaper for a private company in Toronto. In the future, I hope to pursue my dream of becoming an Arborist and possibly moving the B.C. to fulfill that. The Otesha Pedal to Plate tour encompasses everything I am passionate about and fits it into one sweet adventure of a lifetime that I can’t wait to complete this summer!



Gabrielle de MontignyMy name is Gabrielle de Montigny and I am going into my second year at York University. I am currently studying Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Politics and International Project Management. After I graduate, I am hoping to travel around the world, focusing on social justice and animal rights issues. Having volunteered across Canada through Katimavik and in India through WWOOFing, I am very excited to continue on by joining the Otesha’s Pedal to Plate tour! I am looking forward to incorporating cycling, volunteering and meeting new people into one great experience. 





 Paisley CozzarinPaisley Cozzarin

I’m a University of Waterloo student passionate about environmental justice & feminism. Right now, I'm interning for an environmental organization, where my work includes facilitating an anti-tar sands group, and campaigning to support local farmers in the Waterloo region. I sit on the Board of Directors for WPIRG (Waterloo Public Interest Research Group) and I’m currently working on learning about my place as a settler on stolen indigenous land. Outside of the activism work that I do, I also like photography, reading, and being outside! I’m really excited to have the opportunity to embark on a bike journey that will not only teach me skills such as bicycle maintenance, but will also give me the chance to learn about the complexities of sustainable food practices.