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Our Staff

Shannon Benner, CEO

Shannon Benner

Chief Executive Officer

As 4-H Canada’s leader and a visionary in the field of positive youth development, Shannon has more than 20 years of experience with youth development organizations. After getting her start with Outward Bound in western Canada, Shannon went on to leadership opportunities with several youth organizations, including The Princeton Blairstown Center at Princeton University, and the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. Shannon was recently appointed as Chair of the Global 4-H Network Board of Directors, where she contributes her leadership skills and a Canadian perspective to the worldwide 4-H movement. When she’s not brightening up the national office with her dedication, vision for positive youth development in Canada, and incredible sense of humour, Shannon spends time with her sports-crazy family: her husband, Chris, and her two sons. 

Erin Smith Headshot

Erin Smith

Senior Director

A true youth ambassador, Erin has worked to promote youth engagement for almost 20 years, both within Canada and around the world. As the creative mind behind our national programs, Erin is instrumental in creating and implementing 4-H Canada’s positive youth development program model, and outcomes-based youth engagement strategy. Erin loves building opportunities for youth to become engaged in their communities and take action on the issues that matter to them. She works hard to ensure positive youth development is alive and well, not just within 4-H, but also in her own home, with her tween and teen daughters. Erin also has a chronic travel itch, and is up for a road trip any day, especially if warm weather and snacks are involved!

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Trish Hill

Executive Assistant

When staff members have questions about 4-H Canada, they know it’s a safe bet that Trish has the answers. Trish grew up on a beef and dairy farm, and as a 4-H member, participated in a range of projects from dairy to rabbits to baking. Trish later attended Canadore College, studying Office Administration with a specialization in Office Systems, and joined the 4-H Canada team upon graduation. For the past eight years, she has been a hard-working and dedicated admin expert, helping to ensure the national office runs smoothly and efficiently. In her spare time, Trish has been heavily involved in competitive curling for more than 17 years and has attended the provincial championships three times.

Programs

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Melina Found

Youth Programs Manager

Raised on a farm in Peterborough, ON, Melina is the fourth generation in her family to be involved in 4-H. Working for 4-H Canada was a natural choice for Melina, who connected with the organization’s focus on fostering positive youth development. A former camp counsellor and science teacher, she brings a true passion for youth engagement to 4-H Canada and ensures our national programs run smoothly and efficiently. An avid traveller, Melina also has cross-cultural experiences that include studying in India and addressing food security issues with youth in Nicaragua and Jamaica.

Sue Steeves

Sue Steeves

Admissions Manager

After living on a hobby farm in rural Quebec, Sue embraced her love of animals and enjoyed working in and managing two veterinary clinics for 22 years. In 2011 she returned to school, graduating with an Event Management Diploma before joining 4-H Canada in 2012. With a long list of strengths that include a razor-sharp eye for detail and an incredible talent for organization, Sue ensures 4-H’ers can enjoy well-planned and well-executed national programs, events, and opportunities. Sue also has a long history of promoting positive youth development. Having been involved in both Girl Guides and Pony Club as a youth, Sue has given back by helping today’s youth get engaged by volunteering her time toward everything from Boy Scouts activities to hockey and soccer team management.

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Kelsey Norris

Admissions and Travel Coordinator

Kelsey graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Social Sciences before moving on to Algonquin College where she obtained a Graduate Certificate in Sports Business Management. She spent three years working in the sports industry first as an intern with Equestrian Canada and then Own the Podium before moving on to the role of Program Coordinator with Wrestling Canada. In 2015, Kelsey participated in the Parapan American Games as a Results and Scheduling Coordinator.  An avid equestrian for 20 years, Kelsey can be found riding horses and competing at various competitions in her spare time.

Sarah Naylor

Sarah Naylor

Community Service Coordinator

Raised on a dairy farm in Grey County, Ontario, Sarah was a 4-H member with her local clubs for nine years. She went on to graduate from the University of Ottawa with a Social Science degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights in 2016 and then pursued a post-graduate certificate in International Development from Humber College. After spending three months in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Sarah realized she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and 4-H Canada seemed like the perfect fit for starting her career. During her spare time, you can find her planning her next adventure, or at home reading.

Marketing and Communications

Camille Ferrier

Camille Ferrier 

Communications Manager

Originally from France, Camille brings over a decade of non-profit communications experience to 4-H Canada. After graduating from a joint Master’s degree in International Relations from Université de Provence (France) and Loyola University (Chicago), she worked in marketing and events planning for several French organizations in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia before settling in Ottawa. Most recently, Camille worked at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, promoting large scholarly conferences across Canada. Camille is fully bilingual in French and English and is a former freelance translator and translation projects manager. A conservatory-trained pianist, Camille likes to spend her free time playing the piano and singing, as well as cooking and playing with her toddler son.

Ryan

Ryan Baan 

Marketing Manager

A recent graduate of Carleton University in the Bachelor of Commerce, Honours program, Ryan is a 4-H alumnus from Huron County, Ontario. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the 4-H program and a strong belief in the value of 4-H. Previously, Ryan was the Communications Intern of the 2017 Global 4-H Network Summit. Ryan was active in his school community up until graduation where he served most notably as Vice President Marketing of the Sprott Business Students’ Society. His passion for 4-H, combined with his drive for success and experience in agriculture and not-for-profit, empowers him to continue to grow the national 4-H movement.

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Brier Cook

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Brier is a recent graduate of Carleton University's Bachelor of Journalism program, with a minor in Communication and Media Studies. She spent her last three years working in various communications and student affairs roles at Carleton, where she developed a strong passion for student leadership and community engagement. Brier was an active undergraduate student, undertaking everything from mentoring 150 first-year students, to speaking at Carleton's SOAR Leadership Conference. Most recently, she worked as a Community Developer with the Department of Housing and Residence Life Services, where she was responsible for campus-wide marketing initiatives, event planning, and social media coordination. Born and raised in Sudbury, Brier enjoys reading, cycling, playing guitar, and photography in her spare time.

Business Development

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Jennifer Christie

Business Development Director 

Jennifer is an influential marketing professional with a decade of experience in agriculture-based leadership roles. While employed at John Deere, she earned her MBA at the Ivey School of Business and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. Her authentic and dedicated relationship with 4-H began as a youth member in her local dairy club and has grown to include serving on the national board of directors and as a club leader. She dedicates her spare time to her family’s 6th generation dairy and grain farm in Bruce County and as chair of the recently established Ag Women’s Network.

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Nicole Maclauchlan

Events Coordinator

Nicole brings her passion for event planning and equestrian life to the 4-H Canada team. Nicole studied psychology at Carleton University while working for an event and association management firm. Throughout her experience in the planning industry, she has coordinated events for a variety of clients from the Royal Society of Canada to the Gastroenterology Nurses Association of Canada. Nicole admires what 4-H stands for and the positive roots it provides to youth across Canada. Nicole has recently relocated to Ottawa where she hopes to explore the city and settle down.

Sponsorships

Megan Bomberry

Megan Bomberry 

Sponsorships Director

A fundraising professional, Megan brings over a decade of experience working for youth-serving organizations. Throughout her time in the not-for-profit sector, she has fostered strong relationships with stakeholders of all levels, instilling a culture of collaboration and high performance. Currently, Megan leads 4-H Canada to develop transformational partnerships in the social sector with top tier corporations and foundations to support positive youth development in: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, Science and Technology, the Environment and Healthy Living, and Community Engagement and Communications. Megan grew up in Stouffville, Ontario and currently lives with her husband Seamus and sons Sam and Freddie in the heart of the Rideau Lakes. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and always looks forward to her upcoming travel adventures - wine tasting and exploring the globe!

Amanda Neadow

Amanda Neadow

Sponsorships and Corporate Giving Manager

Amanda comes to 4-H Canada after spending seven years with the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters, growing and maintaining industry relations and stakeholder engagement. A mom to two 4-H members in Lanark County, Amanda is passionate about positive youth development and agriculture. Recently, Amanda and her Dad have started a family farm where they raise beef Cattle.

Government Relations

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Elizabeth Jarvis

Government Relations Director

Liz brings a passion for agriculture and close to a decade of communications experience to the team. Liz has worked for Dairy Farmers of Canada doing strategic communications and government relations, working on a variety of files including research, international trade, animal health, food safety and environmental sustainability. Most recently, Liz worked for a public affairs agency near Parliament Hill, advising clients in a wide range of sectors on communications initiatives and media relations. Liz also has experience providing communications and public relations services to not-for-profit organizations and the Government of Canada. Born and bred in Ottawa, Liz loves to ski, travel and try new restaurants with her husband and their two young children.

Risk Management and Accreditation

Jennifer Dewar

Risk Management and Accreditation Director 

With over 15 years of experience as a Guiding and Scouting leader and parent, Jennifer understands the joys and challenges of being a volunteer leader. Jennifer spent 15 years at IBM where she used her Computer Science degree and Masters of Education in her roles as a software developer and then as a senior learning consultant. Having worked with large government and business organizations, down to non-profits she brings a diverse perspective to 4-H Canada. She looks forward to using new technologies to bring training and support to 4-H leaders across the country. Having grown up in a farming community in Wellington County, Jennifer and her family are busy discovering Ottawa and the small farming towns nearby. She loves to figure skate and trail run, and to travel, camp and ski with her husband and three kids.

Finance

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Don Singer

Finance and Administration Director 

Don brings a wealth of financial and not-for-profit management experience to 4-H Canada. His connection with rural Canada began when working with Farm Credit Canada and then subsequently serving Canadian agriculture through his employment with Farm Management Canada. The later afforded Don the opportunity to participate in the creation of learning resources for Canadian farm managers and marketing these publications, CDs and DVDs at many agricultural exhibitions and conferences from coast to coast. In his role of leading a national not-for-profit training and development organization for accountants in governments, Don introduced distant-learning to this community through a successful series of webinars. Beyond the workplace, Don has served as a volunteer on several not-for-profit boards, been a travel agency group tour leader to numerous locations worldwide, and is a sports aficionado organizing an adult volleyball league, being a downhill skier and is a tennis enthusiast.

Aden Gebremeskel

Finance Coordinator