Meet Our Board Members
Barb Koyanagi McMahon
Barb Koyanagi McMahon is the Founder and Visionary behind Sprouting Chefs, kitchen garden program for youth that has been centred out of Forest Grove Elementary in Burnaby, BC since 2011. She has overseen the creation and build of the first edible school garden in Burnaby and as such, understands what it takes to overcome barriers and adversity. Being a groundbreaker in the community of North Burnaby, she has seen the transformation of how building an edible school garden can bring a community together in a healthy holistic way.
A graduate of the Gaia College Organic Master Gardeners Course, Barb is a strong and avid believer in the organic practices of growing food, organic food education and creating natural garden spaces. From crop rotation and companion planting for fertilization methods to using nature as the guide to know when to plant, Barb incorporates heart and nature based knowledge into all her school garden education based programs. Barb has taught Seed Classes, Cooking Classes and facilitates an After School Garden Club with Forest Grove Elementary creating a sustainable Garden Program. She is also now working with other schools in the Lower Mainland of BC, teaching school garden education as well as a Summer Wellness and Cooking Camps.
Shona Neufeld, Chair
Shona has been building an edible and decorative garden over the course of a decade on old orchard land in suburban Burnaby. With southwestern Ontario farm girl roots and values of community-building, lifelong learning and connection to nature, it just seemed natural for her to initiate a garden program at her local elementary school. Enter Sprouting Chefs. Seeing the benefits of a community organization working with schools and educators to provide place-based, holistic education, Shona was keen to join the Board of Directors to support Sprouting Chefs’ vision of bringing a garden program to every school that wants one.
Shona has a Master of Arts in Political Science from SFU and brings 29 years of experience in the Indigenous rights field to the Board of Directors. She is deeply committed to experiential learning and bringing Indigenous perspectives to BC’s schools.
Selena Yip, Board Member
Selena Yip is a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a yoga-enthusiast and a dog-lover. She’s a self-described “foodie”, a gardener, a knitter of hats, scarves, sweaters and a lover of great TV, movies and books. Spending many decades in the service industry.
Selena can relate to people in the public on many levels whether it be on a supporting level or listening to the needs of a cause. For almost a decade Selena has been particularly involved her child’s education utilizing the generous community centres of Burnaby, balancing SEL (social emotional learning) and personal development. Witnessing the strong tradition of parent involved volunteering in her child’s school Selena worked to become a strong link between classes and facilitators through which she built bonds. She discovered a cultural shift in herself and the students at Burnaby’s founding garden and subsequently joined Sprouting Chefs Society in 2017 where it all started and is looking forward to it’s growth!
Rebecca Douglas, Holistic Chef Leader
Rebecca’s background comes from the earth as a Geography Major and winds its way through the kitchen as a Holistic Nutritionist, she loves to create foods that leave you feeling great. Rebecca’s interest in working with children and food started around campfires in Northern Ontario. Having spent 5 years working as an outtrip leader, Rebecca gained invaluable experience about the joys of cooking with kids inside and outside and found that when in the kitchen, children have incredible opportunities for creativity as well as gaining skills and confidence.
Outside of Sprouting Chefs, Rebecca runs her own Nutrition business where she works directly with clients who are in need of support in the kitchen as well as making everyday food choices. She also provides private meal prep and planning and prioritizes Incorporating local and seasonal produce into her business. Working with Barb and Sprouting Chefs has been a perfect complement to all the areas of her experience and business!
Jocelyn, Board Member
Jocelyn’s love for the outdoors began as a young girl growing up in the country. Her passion to support children in areas of education, wellness, and the outdoors is what inspired her to join Sprouting Chefs. With her Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Jocelyn leads the marketing and strategy needs within our team.
A strong believer in cultivating new skills and learning new activities in outside spaces – like the garden, Jocelyn is to proud to be a Board Member of Sprouting Chefs as of 2018, and is excited for what’s to come.