Board of Directors

Brian Gilroy

Brian Gilroy

President

Ontario

Brian Gilroy is President of CHC and is 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.

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Jan VanderHout

First Vice-President

Ontario

Jan VanderHout is a Greenhouse cucumber grower from Hamilton Ontario, where he and his brother Dale operate 30 acres of greenhouses. Jan has served as a director on the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers board of directors for 15 years, is Chair of the Ontario Greenhouse Alliance, and is Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.

Stéphanie Levasseur

Stéphanie Levasseur

Second Vice-President

Québec

Stéphanie Levasseur runs the 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, Quebec Apple Growers. Stéphanie's father, Steve Levasseur, is a Past President of CHC.

Beth Connery

Beth Connery

Chair, Labour Committee

Prairies

Beth Connery operates Connery Riverdale Farms in Portage La Prairie with her children, Sam and Chris. The farm covers about 1,000 acres, 650 of which produce asparagus, strawberries, broccoli, carrots and cooking onions, while the rest is in wheat as a rotation crop. The farm also includes a U-Pick and Pre-Picked Strawberry operation.

In addition to Chairing CHC’s Labour Committee, Beth also sits on the Board of Directors at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC) and is Chair of Peak of the Market.

Gerald Dykerman

Atlantic

Gerald operates Brookfield Gardens Inc. with his brother and nephew. They grow 250 acres of vegetables, as well as rotation crops, in Brookfield, Prince Edward Island.

Bill George

Bill George

Ontario

Bill George and his wife Lesliann grow 160 acres of wine grapes in the Niagara region. They also harvest and process ice wine juice on a farm that has been in the family since 1796.

Bill studied horticulture at the University of Guelph. While he continued to farm, he was elected to the Grape Growers of Ontario as a board member in 1995, and eventually moved up to become Chair – a position he held for 9 years. Bill had the honour of being voted “Grape King” by the Grape Growers of Ontario in 2001.

Bill currently holds the position of Vice-Chair for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.

David Hoekstra

Prairies

David was raised in small-town Alberta. After working for the federal government, he returned to his agricultural roots and joined Big Marble Farms, a multi-generational vegetable greenhouse in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

In addition to working for Big Marble he represents the Red Hat Co-operative, a packing facility comprised of 30 local growers, as well as the Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association.

Marcus Janzen

Marcus Janzen

British Columbia

Marcus Janzen is the President of Calais Farms Ltd., a pepper greenhouse operation located in Abbotsford with 20 acres under glass. Prior to that, Marcus operated a hog farm with his father in Matsqui Prairie. He has been an active member of the agriculture sector in Abbotsford since 1991.

He sat on the City of Abbotsford's Agriculture, Dyking, Drainage and Irrigation Advisory Committee for the past 8 years, is a former Chair of the BC Greenhouse Grower's Association, previously sat as a member of the BC Agriculture Council, and is a past President of the Canadian Horticultural Council.

Marcus has a Master’s degree in Agribusiness from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of British Columbia.

Peter Simonsen

British Columbia

Peter farms 60 acres of tree fruits with his son Anders, and the family runs a cidery that is operated by his daughter and daughter-in-law, Annelise and Kaleigh. They are the 5th generation to be involved in their orchard business. The orchards have been certified organic since 1996.

Peter holds a BSc in Agriculture (UBC 1981) and has been on the board of Summerland Varieties Corp for the past 7 years. Peter is currently Vice President of the BC Fruit Growers Association.

Jocelyn St-Denis

Jocelyn St-Denis

Chair, Finance Committee

Québec

Jocelyn St-Denis is a Chartered Professional Accountant who 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 producers in Canada. Specializing in the growing, packaging and marketing of baby lettuce under the Fresh Attitude brand, Vegpro International also sells a wide range of vegetables grown on its own land in Quebec and Florida.

He is a Director of the Quebec Vegetable Growers’ Association (APMQ) since 2008. “I am happy to represent the province of Quebec on the CHC Board and to work to enhance the condition of the horticulture sector in Canada”.

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