Meet the Team at BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation
Pat Tonn - Executive Director
Pat’s passion is agriculture education, and she enthusiastically brings this energy to her role as Executive Director. Pat has over 20 years of work experience with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, including program development in youth leadership for 4-H and building awareness of the BC agriculture industry and career opportunities in agriculture. Pat’s management experience with the Sector Development Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture, along with a team approach to running effective programs, is helping build new partnerships for BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. As a former secondary school teacher, Pat brings additional expertise from within BC's education system.
Pat is the provincial representative to the Board of Directors of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada. She enjoys local food and wine experiences!
Holly Johnson - Education Specialist
Holly is excited to begin her journey as the Education Specialist this school year. Raised on a small berry farm on Vancouver Island, she is ready to share her enthusiasm for food and first hand agriculture knowledge with teachers across BC. Holly has taught Kindergarten, Grade One, Grade Two, and Grade Four and has worked in independent and public schools in Vanderhoof and in Kelowna. When not helping teachers with the sharing of BC’s Food Story, Holly likes to wrangle her three small children and pursue her new hobby of canning her freshly grown produce.
Paul Boudreau - Logistics Coordinator
As the BC School Fruit & Vegetable Nutritional Program Lead Program Coordinator, Paul coordinates the deliveries from the farms to the classrooms by connecting with the farmers, drivers, stores and school staff to ensure that students receive their fresh deliveries on time. Paul also runs the Take a Bite of BC Program, liaising with chefs and suppliers to get fresh product into secondary school teaching kitchens.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys the outdoors; gardening, walking, hiking, and kayaking. He also enjoys playing music (particularly stringed instruments) and hobby building — creating new out of the old.
Alison Speirs - Garden Program Coordinator
Alison leads the Ag Adventures farm and garden tours, and the school Harvest Bin program. She recognizes that developing awareness through experiential learning, to understand why things happen, or why they are important is very rewarding. Alison has 30 years of experience with the provincial government (Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health/BCCDC) in the areas of the Environmental Farm Plan, Beneficial Management Plans, the FOODSAFE program, and developing educational resources. Alison’s teaching experience started within public health, then went on to BCIT’s Environmental Health Program, government programming and youth development. As a 4-H club leader, Alison sees firsthand how education impacts youth in such positive ways.
Alison enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to agricultural fairs with 4-H, community events, hiking, backpacking, swimming/biking/running (the odd triathlon), and experimenting in gardening.
Tina Evans - Program and Events Coordinator
Tina is a multi-talented Program and Events Coordinator, taking care of Spuds in Tubs, Summer Institute, events, and volunteers. She also assists with the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program +Milk. Tina has a variety of experience in many different industries from the private and public sector and holds a Marketing Management Diploma. She has a passion for helping people and brings over 20 years of administrative and volunteer experience, to the role. She is proud of her British Columbia farming roots and is eager to share all that BC agriculture has to offer to students and educators.
In her spare time, Tina enjoys spending time with her family including 2 small children and showing her kids all that this beautiful province has to offer. She enjoys gardening, nature photography, and getting outside and doing anything on the water, especially paddle boarding.
Nathan Tiedeman - Project Coordinator-Administration
Nathan brings his dynamic energy to the team. His role includes school coordinator assistance and product delivery of the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program +Milk. He takes care of organizing Fresh to You, Planting a Promise, and Common Ground Programs. Nathan holds a variety of experience within the non-profit sector and has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources from NAIT. He truly believes that all people matter and holds this close in his role at BCAITC. He is passionate about sourcing fresh local ingredients and supporting local farmers.
In his spare time, Nathan enjoys spending time outdoors with his partner, gardening, and cooking with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Nathan loves music most of all.
Rishu Sachdeva - Communications Coordinator
Rishu is our highly organized communications coordinator and throughout her professional journey, she has actively volunteered her time and expertise within the sector to bring people together toward the common goal of excellence. She is a passionate communicator who loves to work with people and bring creative and innovative strategies to communicate with audiences and incite meaningful dialogue through crafted content. She has 8 years of marketing experience and holds an MBA in marketing and leadership. As a communication coordinator, she is responsible for communicating with BCAITC’s target audiences, so they are informed about the organization and specific initiatives. Outside of work, she likes to spend her spare time gardening and enjoying BC’s beautiful nature with her dog.