Team Members

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Mari Takeda: I grew up in beautiful British Columbia but moved to Ontario a few years ago. I used the move as an excuse to make some lifestyle changes, thinking more about organic, sustainability, nature, simplicity, and health... since then, I have tried to incorporate these thoughts into my daily life. And although I enjoy commuting by bike in the summer and leisurely cycling around the city, I am super excited - and a little bit nervous - to face this new and very cool challenge of living off of my bike. I strongly believe that we should not be so focused on accumulating material goods but more focused on accumulating memories. I look forward to learning from everyone I meet through this tour, as they will surely yield some memorable moments for me. I also love to travel and feel this is an incredible way to see the Ottawa Valley whilst feeding the brain with discussions on social justice issues.

 

Bridgit Muldoon: I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Ottawa. I have this desire to inspire people to be the best they can be, which is why I currently work for Encounters with Canada – Canada’s largest youth forum. I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to be aware of the world around them and as Gandhi once said “to be the change you want to see in the world.” I love to adventure around the globe; as soon as I was ‘free’ I set off. Right after high school I flew to Australia to live/work/farm my way around the country. Eventually, after a year and a half on the road I made my way back to Ottawa to work, but I didn’t hang around for long. I moved first to Whistler, then zipped off to Japan, back to Whistler and then found myself backpacking around Europe for two years. For the past few years I have been working in Ottawa and completing a diploma in Health and Fitness but there is this itchy feeling, this bouncy, jumpy sensation that makes me want to get on the road again. I am going to start with cycling around the National Capital Region in July but then who knows…


Steve O’Halloran: Currently, I find myself studying nutrition at George Brown College and taking an Adult Education Certificate at Humber College, so the Pedal to Plate Tour is right up my alley. I am an avid cyclist, gardener, and cook, therefore the tour combines many of my favourite things; I am stoked! Spending my formative years in a village near Southern Georgian Bay, I was fortunate to have the ability to work on raspberry, tree, and rose farms. These experiences made nature an important part of my life from the beginning and I still love it today. Living in downtown Toronto, I am continually searching for avenues to integrate my country roots into city life. I try to do this via interacting/supporting farmers at the local markets, growing my own veggies, and shopping with supporting local businesses and charities in mind. I also ride my bike everywhere around the city, but this will be my first bike tour. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful region of the country to explore and am really looking forward to the experience. 

 

 

David Chernushenko: I live in Ottawa, Canada where I work as an entrepreneur, educator, public speaker and film producer in my aim to promote prosperous communities and healthy livelihoods. In October 2010 I was elected to Ottawa’s city council, and recently I served as Vice Chairman of Canada’s National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. At this point, I have written three books on sustainable management practices and am a co-founder of Clean Air Champions, a national charity that involves athletes in tackling air pollution while promoting active living. I have also served for six years on the International Olympic Committee’s commission on Sport and the Environment. Currently I find myself promoting the Living Lightly Project, a multi-media initiative that shares stories and solutions to build a richer future for all on a healthy planet; it will be interesting to see how it goes in comparison to my last projects. My first film, Be the Change, was independently produced and distributed on DVD in 2008. Then my first feature-length film Powerful: Energy for Everyone – was premiered in November 2010.

Carryl Potter: I was born in 1943, in Worthing, England, but arrived in Canada in 1944. I grew up in the Maritimes (Bloody Creek, Nova Scotia and Oromocto, New Brunswick); attended Military College 1962-1967 and served 11 years in the RCAF, flying Tutor and T-33 aircraft out of Gimli, Manitoba. In 1973, I left the military to pursue a career in teaching where I taught mathematics and physics from 1974-1981. I then completed a Masters degree in counseling and transitioned into counseling secondary school students for the remainder of my career. After retirement in 1998, I took a two-year contract in Hong Kong to teach in a different venue, but I became an official retiree from teaching in 2001. Afterward, as I can’t sit still for too long, I began to develop office management software using FileMaker Pro and did this for the following six years from 2002-2008. Much of my adult life has been focused on raising four children, home renovation and on outdoor activities (canoeing, cycling, X-country skiing, hiking, camping, and volleyball in younger years). I am also a novice photographer and a somewhat competent wood worker. Personally, I am greatly motivated by young people and their ideals. I very much enjoy spending time with people who want to make a difference. I am looking forward to the Pedal to Plate Tour, especially if it does not rain every day and the wind is at our backs.

 

 

Jenn Rouselle:  I moved to Ottawa from Cornwall about five years ago, mainly for the excitement. I love to play floor hockey, ice hockey, soccer (indoor & outdoor), swim and adventure out on my bicycle. This is really only the beginning as I consider myself an active and outdoorsy being; I also enjoy kayaking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing... Presently, I am a landscaper and groundskeeper at Good Nature's Groundskeeping through Causeway.  This is where my connection with Otesha began; it was there that I met Jess Lax, one of the Otesha co-founders, and became inspired to become an Otesha member. I'm looking forward to learning more about food and nutrition on this trip. It may even motivate me to put together a recipe book!

 

 

 

Frank Iacobucci: I was born and raised in an Italian household in the Annex area ofTorontoand with that, food was always a major focal point. We had a backyard garden and a farm near Lake Simcoe. This spurred my passion for food and led me in the direction becoming a chef, which I did from 19-30 years old. After that I switched careers to work as a ScenicPainter and Carpenter in film. At that time, I found myself desiringto still be involved with food so I began volunteering, teaching children and youth cooking and gardening skills. My first gig was with the High Park Children’s Garden, and a little while after I moved onto working with Toronto’s Greenest City. I still remain active in my community as Secretary/Treasurer of my union and by sitting on a United Way agency panel.  Also, I sat as the communications chair forGreenScreen Toronto, an organization founded for the greening of the film industry of Ontario and Canada. And presently, I am the Access Coordinator for the Shelter Valley Folk Festival. Even though I have been involved in many interesting initiatives and projects throughout my life, I am really excited for what will come in the 10 days ahead. I think it will give me the ability to meet some incredible people andpossibly change my life forever.

 

Lauren Edmonds:  I was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario where I spent many years telling myself I would take the challenge of biking to my cottage – it never happened. Then I moved to Guelph about five years ago (where I just finished my degree –whoop) and it just so happens that Guelph has an inner green community that I have found myself taking a liking to. With this and perhaps some reading, I find my choices becoming more focused around sustainable living. So that’s where the interest in this project started. Not to mention, being a student, my bike has become my main means of transportation – we have gotten tight enough that perhaps it can be considered a dear friend (it may be named by the end of the tour). So, instead of biking down to the Guelph farmer’s market this Saturday I’ll be changing it up and go to one in Ottawa. From there I’ll keep on biking. This time, instead of picking up some fresh strawberries I plan to meet some interesting people and learn some new things to shake me up – after all, these opportunities are the real sweet treat.