Our Staff

Amanda Coad

Executive Director

Amanda Coad is currently a Master’s student in the Environmental Studies programme at York University, studying environmental communication and fiction. She has an advanced diploma from Sheridan College in Ecommerce and System Management, and an Honours degree from York University in Political Science focused on economics, social justice, and environmental policy. 

Amanda’s passion for the environment was kindled in the 11th grade through her completion of the Bronte Creek Project (BCP). The BCP is an educational experience where students learn about the environment, humans’ impact on the planet, and the need for sustainable environmental change. She has been interested in the environmental crisis ever since. In the years since BCP, she has continued to learn about the individual’s potential impact on the environment and other significant potential impacts. 

A diverse background in team-focused project and financial management, business and information systems, and creative and innovative approaches gives Amanda strong foundational knowledge to support HEN’s strategic operations. With her over 15 years experience and climate education, Amanda is passionate, determined and committed to bringing her highest level of effort, challenging herself to do amazing work with HEN.

Amanda’s goal is to increase HEN’s impact on advancing climate action by educating and engaging the Halton community to create a more sustainable future.

Andrea Rowe

Deputy Director

After leaving the corporate world to raise her two boys, Andrea rekindled an appreciation for nature from her childhood. In 2017, she joined the Halton Environmental Network in the Greening Sacred Spaces program, helping Faith-Based Organizations reduce their environmental impact through greening initiatives.

Now, as Deputy Director, she also spearheads Halton Food, community gardens, and garden-based education throughout the community of Halton, including permaculture and pollinator gardens. She also facilitates "Depave Paradise" projects by removing asphalt and pavement to create new greenspaces to support healthy communities.

Andrea has connected with thousands of Halton citizens, sharing her passion for gardening, healthy food, environmental sustainability, and climate action.
Andrea also represents HEN on a number of community initiatives, including the Halton Climate Collective, the Tamarack Climate Transitions Cohort, the Halton Interfaith Council, OakvilleReady, and the Debwewin Oakville project.

Elin Marley

Halton Food - Region Manager North Halton

Elin has always enjoyed exploring the outdoors and started developing a passion for environmental issues thanks largely to her grade 1 teacher and her elementary school Nature Club. After studying anthropology at the University of Guelph, Elin found that food was a perfect way to tie together her interests in cultural studies and environmental issues. Working on an organic farm in 2009, Elin learned a ton about growing food and was also reminded of how real carrots taste! Since 2010, Elin has worked as a School Garden Educator, teaching elementary school students about growing food, where our food comes from, and getting hands-on experiences in the natural world.

One of Elin's favourite things about school and community gardens is the community connection that grows around it. She believes gardening ignites curiosity from people in all age groups, across cultures and languages. Elin also enjoys cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing and folk dancing.

Helen Stephenson

Halton Food Program Manager

With nearly 200 square feet of vegetable gardens in her backyard, a certificate in Horticulture from the University of Guelph, and a degree in Biology from the University of Waterloo, Helen has extensive knowledge in sustainable urban agriculture. Helen joined Halton Food Council, now Halton Food, in 2017 but had been leading the Junior Gardening Program through the Oakville Horticultural Society for many years before that. Her program included lessons on vegetable growing, weeding, watering, harvesting as well as talks by experts on soil, bugs, milkweed and bees. She has also spent many years independently studying, identifying, and growing species native to the Carolinian Region. She is committed to remaining up-to-date and involved with current trends in horticulture. When she isn’t gardening, Helen is actively involved with the sport of curling.

Iga Balazy

Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Shortly after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, Iga was confident she wanted to pursue a career in food justice. She was introduced to Halton Environmental Network (HEN) while volunteering with Kerr Street Mission, one of HEN’s many community partners.

In her role as a Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, Iga spends most of her time out in the community, whether it be getting her hands dirty in a local community garden or connecting with local schools and places of worship.

She has a strong interest in the food system and believes it is critical for regions to advance sustainable, place-based, food-growing practices in our increasingly urbanized communities.

Manuel Vazquez

Environmental Education Program Coordinator
manny@haltonenvironment.caManny began his work in the field of sustainability with his time as a program coordinator at a sustainability focused charter school in Los Angeles. During his tenure as a program coordinator he took many opportunities for professional development, including certifications as a UC Master Gardener and a California Naturalist.After moving to Ontario in 2018, he desired to build upon previous experiences in the environmental sector with further professional development specific to the climate zones and ecosystems of the province.Manny is a recent graduate of the Niagara College Environmental Technician program and a Forest Gene Conservation Associations' Certified Seed Collector.

Sundus Hussain

Community Climate Action Plan, Project Coordinator

Sundus Hussain graduated from Imperial College London, the UK, with a degree in Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology following an undergraduate degree in Biology. She is passionate about environmental issues and the use of science and technology to tackle these challenges. She is excited to be working with Halton Environmental Network on greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the Halton community.

She hopes this inventory will help shape new initiatives and bring awareness about GHG emissions within the Halton community. In her spare time, Sundus enjoys crocheting.