Board of Directors

2017 Board of Directors

Photo: Jody Mott

andrew lovell

Andrew Lovell

Chair, Industry Standards and Food Safety Committee

Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick

More information coming soon.

Fred Steele

Fred Steele

Kelowna, British Columbia

Fred Steele represents CHC’s British Columbia region on behalf of the British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association (BCFGA) and in additional to serving on the Board of Directors he is a member of Apple Working Group.  He has been part of the BCFGA since 2007 and has served as President since 2014.  He is also on the Interior Horticulture Council, the BC Agriculture Council Board of Directors and the BC Agriculture Minister’s Agri-Food Advisory Committee.

When not helping guide the future of BC’s apple industry, Fred operates an apple orchard in Kelowna, BC.  He and his wife, Joan, have 24 grandchildren.

Robert Purton

Robert Purton

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Robert has been involved in growing vegetables since 2001 and is currently in partnership with his son since 2012. He is currently the president of the Saskatchewan Vegetable Growers Association and has held this position since 2011.

Brian Gilroy

Brian Gilroy

Chair, Apple and Fruit Committee

Meaford, Ontario

Brian represents CHC’s Ontario region as a member of the Georgian Bay Fruit Growers, which he has been part of since 1990. He has served as Chair of the Property Section of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association and is also past Chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. Brian owns Nighthawk Orchards near Meaford, Ontario, where he has farmed since 1987.

Jocelyn St-Denis

Jocelyn St-Denis

Sherrington, Québec

Jocelyn is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and started in agriculture in 2000 when he joined Cams Inc, a grower and packer of carrots and onions in Sherrington, Quebec. In 2010, he joined Vegpro International, one of the largest vegetable producer in Canada. Specializing in the washing and packaging of baby lettuces, they also sell a wide range of vegetables grown on their own land in Quebec and Florida.

He is a director of the Quebec vegetable growers association (APMQ) since 2008, and is now their Secretary Treasurer. “I am happy to represent the province of Quebec in CHC and to work to enhance the condition of the horticulture sector in Canada”.

Adrian Huisman

Adrian Huisman

St. Catharines, Ontario

Adrian retired in 2012 after 47 years in the Ontario tender fruit industry, 15 of which were as the manager of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board. Adrian now represents the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) as one of the Ontario directors on the CHC since 2012. Adrian chaired the Oversight Committee in 2013-14, is the current Chair of the Budget Committee and is a member of the Business Risk Management Working Group. Adrian and his wife, Shirley, live in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Bar Hayre

Bar Hayre

Abbotsford, British Columbia

Bar Hayre has been on the CHC Board of Directors since 2012 and is a delegate from BC Blueberry Council nominated to represent the BC region.  He operates a 40-acre blueberry farm in Abbotsford, and brings experience both in primary production and food processing to the board. He is a past chair of the BC Raspberry Industry Development Council and his off-farm career includes a position as a Senior Relationships Manager with Farm Credit Canada.

Bar operates Mirage Blueberries with his wife, Aman, their two daughters, Mira and Genna, and his parents, Gurmit and Manjit, who have been farming in Abbotsford since the early 1970s.

Beth Connory

Beth Connory

Portage La Prairie, Manitoba

More information coming soon.

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca Lee

Executive Director

Ottawa, Ontario

Rebecca joined the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) in August 2016 as Executive Director. Rebecca has significant experience in the industry. She spent six years as Technical Director of the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO), where she also served as Acting Executive Director. During her time with NAPPO, she worked very closely with government, research and industry representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Prior to that, she worked as Technical Director with the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, for whom she designed the Colombian Centre for Innovation in Floriculture. She then served as Executive Director of the Centre for six years.

Alvin Keenan

Alvin Keenan

President

Souris, Prince Edward Island

Alvin Keenan is a past director of PEI Potato Producers, PEI Potato Board, Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) and is Past President of PEI Federation of Agriculture. Alvin and his brother, Ray, grow, pack and market fresh potatoes from their company Rollo Bay Holdings Ltd, out of Souris, PEI where they produce approximately 800 tractor-trailer loads of fresh potatoes, (40,000,000) lbs. for the retail and food service markets in Canada and the US, as well as in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Alvin grew up on a potato farm in Woodstock, New Brunswick with three sisters and four brothers.  In 1975, he, and his wife, Nancy, and their three children Jennifer, Patrick, and Angela moved to Prince Edward Island.

Keith Kuhl

Keith Kuhl

Past President

Winkler, Manitoba

Keith Kuhl represents the Prairies region on the Board of Directors and served three terms as President (2013-2016). He owns and operates Southern Potato with his two sons and is also chair of the Board of Directors at Peak of the Market. Kuhl served as Chair of the Potato Committee and Potato Council for nearly nine years, and is currently Vice-Chair of the Horticultural Value Chain Roundtable. Keith’s father, John, was actively involved with the CHC for many years and served as president in 1987.

Stéphanie Levasseur

Stéphanie Levasseur

Frelighsburg, Québec

Stéphanie Levasseur and her husband David Testu run their family orchard, Au cœur de la pomme, in Frelighsburg, Québec. Stéphanie is currently a Board Member of Union des producteurs agricoles and is President of their affiliate, Les Producteurs de pommes du Québec. Stéphanie's father, Steve Levasseur, is a Past President of CHC.

Peter Swetnam

Peter Swetnam

Centreville, Nova Scotia

Peter is the delegate for Horticulture Nova Scotia to CHC and represents the Atlantic Region on the Board. He is a member of CHC’s Crop Protection Advisory Committee, Business Risk Management, and Vegetable working groups.

Peter and his brother, John, operate a second generation family farm, Dominion Produce, in Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia. It was started by their father and mother, William and Mary Swetnam, and has been in business for over 50 years. The farm consists of broiler chicken production and grain crops (corn, soybeans, and wheat). There are 700 acres in rotation, of which 140 acres are fresh market onions that are grown and packed in cooperation with another local farm. These onions are marketed all over the Atlantic Provinces and exported on occasion.

HortShorts newsletter

Keep up to the date with the latest news from CHC and Canadian horticulture in our monthly e-newsletter. Sign up today!

Fresh Thinking magazine

Our free semi-annual bilingual print publication features high-level industry perspectives and useful tips for growers. Subscribe today!

Support our labour awareness campaign

CHC is preparing an awareness campaign featuring heart-warming and inspiring videos about international farm workers, their families, and the farmers who employ them, but we need your help!