Staff Biographies

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Mike Toye

Executive Director

Mike Toye"It is at the community level where the failures of fragmented development approaches are most keenly felt. Community economic development integrates social, economic and environmental concerns into inclusive strategies which are not only more effective and sustainable, but improve the well-being of all citizens. CCEDNet is an inspiring and rapidly growing movement of people who recognize this reality, and are committed to a healthy, vibrant and more just future."

Michael Toye became Executive Director of CCEDNet in August of 2008, bringing a deep background in community economic development (CED) to the Director's chair. Upon earning his Master of Social Work at McGill, Michael helped set up two worker co-operatives that provide research, consulting and training services related to CED and the social economy.

Michael's involvement with CCEDNet dates back to 2000 when he helped organize CCEDNet's National Policy Forum while serving as a coordinator with the Coopérative de consultation en développement La Clé. In 2003 he joined CCEDNet officially as Community Learning Program Director.

As CCEDNet's program director from 2003 to 2006, Michael coordinated a 3-year action-research project exploring the links between social inclusion and CED. In addition, he led the coordination of CCEDNet's annual national conferences, which attract hundreds of CED experts and practitioners from across the country each year.  Subsequently, Michael deepened his knowledge of Canadian social policy and parliamentary process by serving as a policy analyst at the Library of Parliament in Ottawa, while teaching courses on CED and social enterprise at Concordia University.

Michael has written a number of articles and other publications on CED and the social economy, including co-editing the book, Community Economic Development: Building for Social Change.

Contact Mike:
(819) 795-3056 ext 222  |  mtoye at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Guylaine Simard

Director of FinanceGuylaine Simard

Guylaine has 15 years experience in financial management and administration in the non-profit and private sectors. She has worked in women’s organizations in Montréal, in accounting firms and as an independent consultant in the Beauce and Centre-du-Québec regions of southern Québec.

She has been active on the Board and as a volunteer with several community organizations, including cooperant placements in Africa and Latin America with Canadian Crossroads International and Oxfam-Québec.

Contact Guylaine:
(819) 795-3056 ext 223  |  gsimard at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Melissa Lessard

Melissa LessardAdministrative Coordinator

Melissa joined the CCEDNet team in December 2014. She is a graduate from Cégep de Drummondville and has been working in accounting in the private sector for 9 years within the Centre-du-Québec.  Melissa has also worked in construction and as an independent consultant.

Being part of the Canadian CED network is important for Melissa. She is inspired by and proud to be working with people who are helping to create a positive future through improving the social and economic welfare of communities across Canada.

Contact Melissa:
(819) 795-3056 ext 0  |  m.lessard at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Sarah Leeson-Klym

Manitoba Regional Director

Sarah Leeson-KlymSarah believes that communities are the experts of their lived experience and that CED provides great approaches for them to develop creative and grounded solutions to the biggest challenges we collectively face. She first obtained an Arts and Cultural Management certificate from MacEwan University, then worked and volunteered in a range of capacity building programs before graduating with a BA (Honours) degree in Social Justice Theory and Practice from the University of Winnipeg in 2012.

Starting in 2011, her previous position as Learning and Engagement Coordinator focused on engaging CCEDNet’s Manitoba members, creating learning programs, coordinating The Manitoba Gathering, and the Enterprising Non-Profits program for social enterprise development. Sarah is active in her neighbourhood as a board member of the Daniel McIntyre St. Matthews Community Association. She is also a dedicated board member of the growing Rainbow Trout Music Festival and a regular volunteer for the LITE Wild Blueberry Pancake Breakfast.

Contact Sarah:
(204) 943-0547  |  sleesonklym at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Frank Atnikov

Frank AtnikovSocial Enterprise Program Manager

Frank Atnikov is the Social Enterprise Program Manager with the Canadian CED Network and has over 30 years of experience and a passion to help people succeed.

He believes that the right business solution is a powerful tool to help people prosper and solve social problems.

His collaborative and holistic approach to developing sustainable business solutions has helped dozens of non-profits, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and social enterprises flourish.

As a coach, trainer, consultant and facilitator, Frank will work with you to come up with customized solutions that work for you, your business or organization — whether it’s improving processes and systems to make your operation more efficient, or mapping out great customer experience; helping with your business plan or feasibility study; or understanding the story that the financial/management reports are telling you; or creating solid marketing strategies to grow your organization. Frank helps clients bridge the gap between business best practice and the greater good.

Contact Frank:
(204) 943-0547  |  f.atnikov at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Dunja Kovačević

Events and Communications Coordinator Dunja Kovačević

Dunja Kovačević has joined CEDNet Manitoba as the Events and Communications Coordinator, tasked with coordinating The Manitoba Gathering and helping shape CEDNet's evolving communications landscape. She holds a BA (Hons) in English and an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Winnipeg. While new to CED, her background in communications and facilitation in the community health and feminist sexual health sector, as well as her own immigrant experience, alerted her to the social determinants of health and the need for community-led solutions to address them. 

Dunja is an active community member who currently sits on the executive board of the North Point Douglas Women's Centre, volunteers with Synonym Art Consultation, and publishes an independent feminist print anthology, Dear Journal. 

Contact Dunja:
(204) 943-0547  |  d.kovacevic at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Michael Barkman 

Michael BarkmanManitoba Public Policy Coordinator

Michael is a life-long Winnipegger, based in Treaty 1 Territory. Michael cares deeply about social, economic, and environmental justice, and believes in collective movements and solutions rooted in the knowledge of local communities. At CCEDNet, Michael’s role focuses on membership policy resolution, and taking action to advocate to the provincial and local government for positive policy change. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg and is the current Chair for the Make Poverty History Manitoba coalition.

He has participated and collaborated on numerous community events and actions for public education, anti-poverty and economic justice, LGBTTQ* rights, and the environment. He served previously as the Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students - Manitoba, and the Interim Executive Director of the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, working on wide-ranging policy areas in public policy, human rights, and community development. In his spare time, he is an improviser, sometimes combining his love of the arts with social justice initiatives.

Contact Michael:
(204) 943-0547  |  m.barkman at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Geoff Ripat

Spark Program ManagerGeoff Ripat

Geoff is a graduate of the Master of Social Work program at the University of Manitoba, where he did a thesis on the community kitchen movement. Prior to joining the CCEDNet team he worked for 5 years in Bolivia as a cooperant with CUSO International, strengthening the capacity of a large non-profit and their projects with children and families. Geoff has worked and volunteered in community development and CED initiatives in Winnipeg for almost 15 years, and is excited to continue to contribute to their successes, and engage others in doing the same.

Contact Geoff:
(204) 837-7275 (or 83-SPARK)  |  geoffspark at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Lindsey McBain

Lindsey McBainSpark Recruitment Co-ordinator

"We need to work toward more sustainable livelihoods through greater engagement with our neighborhoods and our democracy."

Lindsey McBain is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and has worked in both local and international development. His work in CED has re-rooted him in his own city, connecting him to people and ideas that bring inspiration and determination to the work of CED. He contends that CED's emphasis on capacity building and participation offer a solid proposition for the long-term stability of struggling communities.

Contact Lindsey:
(204) 837-7275 (or 83-SPARK)  |  lmcbain at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Genevieve Dack-Tittley

Lindsey McBainSpark Recruitment Co-ordinator

After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a BA (Honours) in Political Studies, Genevieve has worked in various arts and education based programs both locally and internationally. It was the love of this programming that led her to return to school to earn her certificate in Community Development/Community Economic Development at Red River College.  She is excited to now be part of the CCCEDNet team.

In her spare time Genevieve is an active volunteer in her community. She currently sits on the boards of both One Trunk Theater and Friends of Sherbrook Pool. 

Contact Gen:
(204) 837-7275 (or 83-SPARK)  |  genspark at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Matthew Thompson

Communications Manager

"I work in CED because it realizes that healthy communities are those that are economically, ecologically, and socially vibrant and that everyone has important contributions to make in building this kind of society."

Matthew holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of New Brunswick's Renaissance College, where he studied leadership skills and public policy. His volunteer and work life has carried him to Jamaica, Italy, and France in diverse capacities from organic farming to building community with people with developmental disabilities to community organizing.

Matthew has been working with the Canadian CED Network since 2007 in various capacities particularly in the areas of research and knowledge mobilization, event organizing, and the coordination of the national internship program, CreateAction. Matthew also co-authored Assembling Understandings: Findings from the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnerships, 2005-2011 a thematic summary of close to 400 research products on the Social Economy in Canada.

Contact Matthew:
(416) 760-2577  |  mthompson at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Tom Jakop

Communications Coordinator

Tom JakopTom will be working alongside Matthew in assisting with CCEDNet’s overall communications plan through the website, social media and national newsletters. He brings his web development and analysis experience with him to help increase the strength of our network.

Tom graduated with a BA Degree in International Commerce and Global Development and hopes to continue working in the field of economic development. He has previous experience working for the non-profit Niagara Sustainability Initiative as their events and marketing coordinator and will also be helping prepare CCEDNet for our 2016 National Conference.

Contact Tom:
(416) 760-2578  |  tjakop at ccednet-rcdec.ca


Mathilde Gougeau

Mathilde GougeauNational Conference and Membership Engagement Coordinator

Mathilde has 7 years of experience as a Communications and Events Coordinator for non-profit organizations and public institutions. She has managed projects and partnerships in the fields of media, environment and education in Belgium and Canada. She believes in the principles of CED to strengthen our society, bring more solidarity and actions to reduce our environmental impact. Involved and active, she has many volunteering experiences abroad, including in India, England and France.

Mathilde holds a Master's degree in Media, Culture and Education from the Institute of Communication and Journalism in Belgium and a certificate in Graphic Design from the California Institute of Arts.

Contact Mathilde:
(416) 760-2554  |  m.gougeau at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Erin Mackie

Social Enterprise Ecosystem Program Director

Erin MackieErin Mackie joined the CCEDNet team in March 2017 as Program Director for the Social Enterprise Ecosystem Project. Erin believes we can create social value through social enterprises if we focus our efforts on consciously designing organizations and businesses that build social capital, connections and communities.

For the last 15 years, Erin has had the privilege of working in the field of international development building co-operatives around the globe with the Canadian Co-operative Association. As a senior manager, she has extensive experience in over 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe specializing in the design, delivery and evaluation of programs focused on improving livelihoods through locally owned enterprises.

Erin holds a Masters in Business Administration in Community Economic Development from the University of Cape Breton.

Contact Erin:
(613) 668-0450  |  e.mackie at ccednet-rcdec.ca​

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Alexandre Applin

Social Enterprise Ecosystem Evaluation Manager

Alexandre Applin

Alexandre Applin joined CCEDNet team in May 2017 as Evaluation Manager for the Social Enterprise Ecosystem Project. Alexandre is particularly interested in socioeconomic development as a means to design sustainable communities reflecting local aspirations and needs of its members.

For more than 10 years, Alexandre has worked for international NGOs, multilateral organizations and community-based organizations on both international and national projects. He has gained extensive expertise in the design of evaluation systems and in the development of impactful methodologies and tools. Alexandre also has strong competencies in knowledge management and organizational capacity building.

Alexandre holds a Master in International Studies from University of Montreal and a Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Programs from l’École Nationale d’Administration Publique (ENAP).

Contact Alexandre:
(613) 668-0450  |  a.applin at ccednet-rcdec.ca​

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Patrick D'Almeida

Social Enterprise Ecosystem Communications Coordinator

Patrick D'AlmeidaPatrick is fluently bilingual and holds a Bachelor in Communications with a minor in Information Technology. Patrick is an active member of Malaïka Television Network. Malaïka Television is an Afro-Caribbean Web-television created to broadcast through Internet educational, cultural and recreational programs to promote cultural exchange within the Afro-Caribbean Diaspora of Canada. He is well versed in social media and has written an e-book on how to enhance your online presence. He is motivated to work with CCEDNet as it aligns with his values of encouraging sustainable human development and promoting social justice.

Contact Patrick:
(613) 668-0450  |  p.dalmeida at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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Phillipa Wiens

Senior Program Manager for the Social Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund

Phillipa Wiens

Philippa Wiens is the Senior Program Manager for the social Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund (PIRF) project for social enterprises, funded by the Government of Ontario. She joined the CCEDNet team in June of 2018.

Philippa has worked for over 15 years in Community Economic Development overseas and in Canada. Her professional career has taken her extensively to Latin America and also to Africa to support capacity building processes of co-operatives and associations. In Canada, she has supported initiatives for refugees. Philippa believes strongly in the power of participatory processes, the collective generation of knowledge, and horizontal power structures for facilitating these processes. Philippa believes in the importance of equitable and inclusive processes, including gender equality, and has led gender mainstreaming processes in various organizations throughout her career.

Philippa holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters from the Collaborative International Development Studies (CIDS) program from the University of Guelph.

Contact Phillipa:
(613) 668-0450  |  p.wiens at ccednet-rcdec.ca

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