THE AWN TEAM

The Ag Women’s Network wouldn’t be possible without our awesome volunteers. Our operational volunteers, advisory team and supporters ensure we hold great events, have a solid blog and continue achieving our mission of cultivating and connecting leaders through the empowerment of women.
 
Interested in volunteering? Learn how to get involved here.
 
LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBERS
JEN CHRISTIE 
Chairperson

Why did you join the AWN? Initially, I was looking for a female mentor within our industry. Unfortunately, like the Canadian agriculture industry overall, there were few women in leadership roles in my company to approach. Thus, it became critical we provide the means for women to network with each other to learn and exchange ideas. If more women can achieve their full potential and ascend into agriculture leadership, than the whole industry will be stronger.
Role Models: My grandparents & my parents
Word to live by: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” Unknown. 
Favourite book: Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
Comfort food: Homemade Mac & cheese

ROBYN WALSH
Director-at-Large

Why did you join AWN? Many voices are stronger than one. Collaboration, communication, and compassion can bring change.
Role Model: Malala Yousafzai
Words to live by: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and do so with some compassion, some passion, some humour, and some style." –Maya Angelou
Favourite Book: Damned Nations
Comfort Food: Jiggs Dinner

NUZHAT JILLANI
Virtual Events Lead

Why did you join the AWN? To support like minded women in the agriculture industry in Canada and help create an inclusive future to help further expand Canadian agriculture industry.

Role Model: Fatima Al-Fihriyya founder of the first university in the world (Morocco)

Words to live by: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”

― Maya Angelou

Recommended reading: Al Qur’an and The Prophet by Khalil Gibbran

When not volunteering you’ll find me: I like to travel and learn about different cultures, food and history which helps me seek similarities amongst the great diversity of people on this planet. I love to read mostly about history and find inspiration from old civilisations.

CLAIRE COWAN
Director at Large
JOAN CRAIG
Mentorship Co-Cordinator

Why did you join the AWN? : I saw it as an opportunity to get to know more women involved with agriculture and to make a contribution to the development of this community of women and to the broader rural community.
Role Models: Grace Pym (my Mom), Craig Kielburger, Clara Hughes, Dr. Mary Bigler,
Words to live by:“It takes a village” (the root phrase is from African culture – “it takes a village to raise a child”) I often use this phrase to remind myself and others that we all have a role to play in getting things done or helping others. We need to respect and value diversity!.
Favourite book: As a school librarian I had the opportunity to read many books for children. I love kids’ books! Two of my favourites are “Love You Forever” (Robert Munsch) and “On A Beam of Light : A Story of Albert Einstein (Jennifer Berne). My favourite adult author is Alice Munroe.
Comfort food: Scalloped potatoes and meatloaf ( I wish I could say kale but I am just not there, yet)

ANNEKE STICKNEY
Financial Coordinator
COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS
The AWN Leadership Team relies heavily on a strong group of committed volunteers who help implement our communications.
Social Media and Graphic Design Coordinator
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The Ag Women’s Network wouldn’t be possible without our awesome volunteers. Our operational volunteers, advisory team and supporters ensure we continue achieving our mission of cultivating and connecting leaders through the empowerment of women.
 
Interested in volunteering? Learn how to get involved here.
 
TEAM MEMBERS
JEN CHRISTIE 
Chairperson

Why did you join the AWN? Initially, I was looking for a female mentor within our industry. Unfortunately, like the Canadian agriculture industry overall, there were few women in leadership roles in my company to approach. Thus, it became critical we provide the means for women to network with each other to learn and exchange ideas. If more women can achieve their full potential and ascend into agriculture leadership, than the whole industry will be stronger.
Role Models: My grandparents & my parents
Word to live by: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” Unknown. 
Favourite book: Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto

ROBYN WALSH
Director at Large

Why did you join AWN? Many voices are stronger than one. Collaboration, communication, and compassion can bring change.
Role Model: Malala Yousafzai
Words to live by: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and do so with some compassion, some passion, some humour, and some style." –Maya Angelou
Favourite Book: Damned Nations
Comfort Food: Jiggs Dinner

NUZHAT JILLANI
Virtual Events Lead

Why did you join the AWN? To support like minded women in the agriculture industry in Canada and help create an inclusive future to help further expand Canadian agriculture industry.

Role Model: Fatima Al-Fihriyya founder of the first university in the world (Morocco)

Words to live by: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”

― Maya Angelou

Recommended reading: Al Qur’an and The Prophet by Khalil Gibbran

When not volunteering you’ll find me: I like to travel and learn about different cultures, food and history which helps me seek similarities amongst the great diversity of people on this planet. I love to read mostly about history and find inspiration from old civilisations.

CLAIRE COWAN
Director at Large

Why did you join the AWN? A diverse industry leads to more innovation, better risk management and more success overall. I joined the AWN so I can be involved in creating a future for our industry where barriers are knocked down and all genders are supported equally

Role Model: My peers in the industry who work smart, think creatively and dive head first into the tricky challenges.

Words to live by: “"Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou

Recommended reading: Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

When not volunteering you’ll find me: Working in the seed industry, paddling a canoe, hiking a trail, sipping a beer or all of the above.

ANDREA GAL
Content Manager

 

Why did you join AWN? I joined the AWN as I finished grad school and wanted to grow my connections in the industry. Now, I’m thrilled to support this organization that connects and uplifts women in ag from diverse backgrounds.

Words to live by: I think many of us have moments of doubt. So, this quote has stuck with me over the years: “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

Recommended reading: Literature can serve as a good escape from some of life’s stressors. My bookshelves are eclectic, but I enjoy historical fiction (like the novels of Phillipa Gregory) or thrillers/fantasy (like the novels of Kelley Armstrong).

When not volunteering, you’ll find me: Likely in the farm office but I try to spend as much time with my mare, Monica, as I can. I go to the gym once or twice a week to help clear my mind, too.

NICOLE VANDOORNIK
Social Media Coordinator

 

Recommended Reading: Honestly you won’t catch me sitting still for long enough to read many books, but I do love podcasts! Anything from agriculture, to motivational,
to true crime!

When not volunteering, you’ll find me: I love to travel, hiking new trails, walking fields, mountain biking, DIY projects and photography.

NATALIE DIMEO
Facebook Group Coordinator

Words to live by: “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” ― Buddha

Recommended Reading: Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman); Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams); Disney U (Doug Lipp); anything else you can get your hands on to expand your mind.

When not volunteering, you’ll find me: practicing my public speaking at my Toastmasters club Town & Gown Toastmasters, adventuring with my husband Gareth or dog Chester, hiking, fishing or hunting.

KATHLEEN BAIRD
Website & Newsletter Coordinator

 

Why did you join AWN? To develop a network and to encourage women in the Canadian Agri-food sector to become leaders, innovators and change makers within this ever-growing and changing industry. 
Role Model: Temple Grandin 
Words to live by: "Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it." Ziad K. Abdelnour 
Recommended Reading: Educated by: Tara Westover 
When not volunteering you'll find me: In a dairy barn or curled up with Netflix or a good book.

AMANDA PEER
Mentorship Co-Cordinator

 

Role Model: My Mom

Words to live by:  Be the best you, get involved, network, grow and absolutely laugh!

Recommended Reading: “Girl Wash Your Face”

When not volunteering, you’ll find me:  Outside of the AWN I am generally found in the barn and riding my gelding Caliente! When not in the barn, generally outside walking our family dog Lutzi and spending time with two special little people and their horses.  Very common to see me sitting at night with my laptop open replying to customer emails and making sure grain loads are all in line for the next day and customers have what they need to grow a successful crop.

JOAN CRAIG
Mentorship Co-Cordinator

Why did you join the AWN? : I saw it as an opportunity to get to know more women involved with agriculture and to make a contribution to the development of this community of women and to the broader rural community.
Role Models: Grace Pym (my Mom), Craig Kielburger, Clara Hughes, Dr. Mary Bigler,
Words to live by:“It takes a village” (the root phrase is from African culture – “it takes a village to raise a child”) I often use this phrase to remind myself and others that we all have a role to play in getting things done or helping others. We need to respect and value diversity!.
Favourite book: As a school librarian I had the opportunity to read many books for children. I love kids’ books! Two of my favourites are “Love You Forever” (Robert Munsch) and “On A Beam of Light : A Story of Albert Einstein (Jennifer Berne). My favourite adult author is Alice Munroe.
Comfort food: Scalloped potatoes and meatloaf ( I wish I could say kale but I am just not there, yet)

ANNEKE STICKNEY
Financial Coordinator