The Better Choices executive was chosen by our supporters during the Better Choices 2013 community consultations. Together, the ten of them represent a wide range of backgrounds, knowledge, and experience from across the Waterloo Region. Continuing reading to learn more about them.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Citizen Engagement and Transparency; Inclusion and Diversity; Public Spaces and Age-Friendly Design
Married with grandchildren, Larry is a graduate of the University of Waterloo. Currently a member of St Mark’s Lutheran Church’s finance (support) committee, having previously served as treasurer. He has been involved with his neighbourhood association and is politically active. He is retired from Budd Automotive and is actively involved with UNIFOR 1451 Retirees.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Traffic Congestion and Enhanced Transit; Walkability and Intensification; Good, Steady Jobs.
A life-long resident of Kitchener, Paul studies economics at the University of Waterloo. Despite his young age, he has already played numerous leadership roles: he was coordinator of the LGBTQ student service at the University of Waterloo, co-founder of the Tri-Cities Transport Action Group, and currently holds a leadership position with a provincial political party. While Paul’s current pursuits involve society and community, his studies originally started in computer science, and his other interests include web design, technology, and popular sci-fi. A believer of the quote, “decisions are made by those who show up,” Paul is involved with Better Choices because he believes that, with youth engagement in politics being so low, it is that more important for the youth who are engaged to get involved as much as they can.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Positive Labour Relations; Living Wage; Citizen Engagement and Transparency.
Jake Frandsen has lived in the Kitchener–Waterloo area since 2006. He is an electrician with the IBEW and has been involved with their Political Action Committee since 2010. Prior to moving to the area, he volunteered with the Developmental Education Centre and aided in organizing the volunteer-run Uprising Bookstore. He has helped organize local food drives, petitions, and lobbies under the umbrella of the IBEW.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Discretionary Benefits; Housing and Homelessness; Inclusion and Diversity.
Laura has been married for 31 years, and lived in Cambridge for 29 of them. She has three grown sons and two grandchildren. Laura has volunteered in her community for years, including as a summer playground coordinator, as a Board member for her community centre, a member of her children’s School Councils, and as President of the St Vincent de Paul. She has worked for the Catholic School Board for six years.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Good, Steady Jobs; Living Wage; Water Quality and Protection of the Environment.
Nancy is an elementary teacher who has worked in bullying prevention and equity and inclusion education across the province. She has volunteered in organizations as diverse as minor soccer and hockey, women’s shelters, and homeless shelters. Nancy has been an advocate for fairness and equity throughout her career and is currently Vice-President of ETFO-Waterloo. She believes that governments have a major impact on the lives of citizens and that citizens can also have a profound impact on the work of government.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Inclusion and Diversity; Citizen Engagement and Transparency; Public Spaces and Age-Friendly Design.
An accomplished international judge, choreographer, teacher, coach, and former business owner in the areas of dance, baton twirling, and other performing arts, Deardra is pleased to be a part of Better Choices Waterloo Region. Deardra has been recognized in Chatelaine’s Who’s Who of Canadian Women, and is a recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Ontario Sports Federation, Canadian Dance Teachers Association and Canadian Baton Twirling Federation. Currently, Deardra is an active volunteer in our community and serves as the volunteer coordinator for SPECTRUM — Waterloo Regions Rainbow Community Space.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Water Quality and Protection of the Environment; Local Food and Energy; Public Spaces and Age-Friendly Design.
Shane has been working on community energy, Co-operative development and renewable energy in Kitchener for the past four years. He is Director and Past President of Community Renewable Energy Waterloo (CREW) and is manager of Local Initiative for Future Energy Co-operative (LIFE Co-op), and sits on the Policy Committee of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. Shane spent some of his earlier years researching, writing on and teaching about the environment and politics, and he looks forward to seeing urban and regional decisions reflecting better, more environmentally sensitive choices.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Buy Local, Buy Canadian; Living Wage; Water Quality and Protection of the Environment
Bobbi has a long career history working for children, families, the unemployed, seniors, and immigrants. As such, she is a tireless and dedicated advocate for social justice both in her paid and volunteer work. Bobbi currently works with foster children and their families at Family & Children’s Services of Guelph – Wellington and is a member of CUPE 4325. Bobbi believes in the importance of municipal politics and in our responsibility to protect future generations through a strong, sustainable community, local economy, and preservation of our environment.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Housing and Homelessness; Good, Steady Jobs; Positive Labour Relations.
Father of three daughters, grandfather of two grandchildren, Ed lives in Cambridge with his wife, Mary, and is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, holding degrees in Arts and Education. Ed teaches high school History, Civics, and Careers and is actively involved with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA). Ed has been involved with a number of anti-poverty initiatives through Bridges, The Cambridge Shelter.
Issues of Interest/Expertise: Positive Labour Relations; Local Food; Walkability and Intensification.
Marc Xuereb works for the Regional government in Public Health, where he focuses on ways to change the food system to make healthy eating choices easier. He is also very involved in his union, and is President of the Waterloo Regional Labour Council. He has been a social justice activist for over twenty years, and is optimistic that politics can make material improvements in people’s lives.