Board of Directors

Current Board of Directors

Jenny Marsh – Chair
Jenny is the Executive Director of the Vancouver Public Library Foundation, where she and her team raise, steward and disburse funds for VPL collections, programs, services and spaces. She is passionate about building connected, creative, and sustainable communities.

Prior to her role with the Library, Jenny was a major gifts fundraiser in the Faculties of Medicine and Science at UBC, and further back in time, worked as an account manager with marketing agencies in Vancouver and Tokyo. She grew up surrounded by the berry fields of the Fraser Valley and has loved growing, preserving, and preparing food since childhood.

Jenny has volunteered with a number of organizations including Farm Folk, City Folk and Slow Food Vancouver. She spent several months in residence reconstructing what is now the Ecovillaggio Torri Superiore in Liguria, Italy. She has been an enthusiastic customer of VFM (currently Riley Park) since 2005.

Lana Shipley – Vice Chair
Lana grew up in the Fraser Valley, where she spent summers shelling peas and eating carrots fresh out of the dirt in her parents’ large backyard garden and picking enormous buckets of strawberries and raspberries with her siblings at local farms. She has been a regular customer of Vancouver Farmers Markets for over 20 years and still gets excited to see the first greens in the spring, the first peaches in the summer, the first butternut squashes in the fall and the first Brussels sprouts in the winter. Lana is proud to be part of an organization that is so integral to our city, providing opportunities for engagement with local and regional farmers, producers and artisans and giving back to the community through programs like the Fresh to Families Fund.

Lana practices corporate and commercial law at Lawson Lundell LLP in downtown Vancouver, and specializes in the areas of energy, environmental and Indigenous law. She has an undergraduate degree in Bio-Resource Engineering from the University of British Columbia with a focus on soil management and irrigation and drainage systems and planning, and worked for three years with undergraduate students as a Residence Life Manager in the UBC Residence Life program prior to law school.

Terry Burmas – Treasurer
Terry is born and raised in Vancouver and has worked in senior Finance and Accounting roles for over 20 years. He spent 18+ years with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Vancouver, Seattle, and Switzerland. His other work experience is within bars, restaurants and theatres across Canada.

He is also a VFM vendor who along with his amazing wife and Pickle Crafter Mandi Burmas, operate the Mandi’s Mickles canning business. They offer fermented dill pickles as well as other delicious canned products from carrots to fiddleheads.

Terry is very excited to work with the different vendors to help grow their businesses as well as work with the VFM board to achieve their short-term and long-term goals and objectives.

He is an avid sports and music fan and loves attending live events.

Jeremy Dyson – Secretary
Jeremy currently runs programming for a non-profit agency called GROWcery Food Network Society that focuses on empowering people to grow their own food. Last year the organization created a modern sub-irrigated community garden in New Westminster with a group of participants who were retraining for the workforce. The project also included trainee landscaper positions from a temporary housing complex that the garden backs onto, where each trainee also grew a food garden.

Prior to his work with GROWcery Food Network, he managed programs for Western Canada Community Projects, including First Nations racing canoe building programs. Tapping into his film and photography background, he has produced a short documentary on intergenerational knowledge transfer within a local canoe carving family that is currently playing film festivals world-wide.

Jeremy obtained his degree in environmental geography from UBC and has pursued various passions since graduation including producing films, commercial photography, and more recently has turned his attention towards food security initiatives. Previous volunteer work includes 7 years on the Vancouver Aids Memorial Society and 3 years with the Pacific Club Vancouver. This is his first board position since becoming a parent.

Jeremy lives in North Vancouver with his wife, 2 kids and 2 cats and spends a lot of time in the Cariboo.

Ally Dick
Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Ally is a chartered accountant with extensive experience working across a wide range of industries. He spent ten years with Ernst and Young, in London, UK and Vancouver, supporting startups to large multinationals. Ally has spent the last 3 years at Lululemon, and is currently a director in the finance department, providing guidance on finance and accounting matters.

Ally is passionate about the farmers markets’ goals of supporting our farmers and producers around Vancouver, and building the community atmosphere which enhances our neighbourhoods. As an avid cook, he recognizes the ability to source incredible organic and delicious food across the whole city is something that requires the continued amazing commitment from all of those involved in the markets.

He enjoys visiting his local West End market or cycling further afield to visit others with his young son. He is particularly excited about being able to bring his financial experience to ensure that VFM can maintain a stable base that will allow it to continue to flourish for many years to come.

Lauren Akin
Lauren was born and raised in Vancouver and is passionate about fresh, healthy food. She lives a primarily plant-based lifestyle and as an avid home cook, is an advocate for using the best locally-grown and seasonal ingredients available. For her, the Vancouver Farmers Markets represent an essential connection to BC farmers and the best year-round source for delicious, sustainably grown food for all  Vancouverites.

A regular at the Vancouver Farmers Markets, she has watched the organization grow from one weekly market to a thriving, multi-market artisan food and craft experience which is an integral part of Vancouver’s identity as a community.

Lauren works as a lawyer at the Vancouver office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She regularly advises public and private companies in connection with complex transactions, the negotiation of contracts and corporate governance matters. Lauren also has experience in marketing and advertising, brand management, public relations, event planning and fundraising initiatives. Lauren has a degree in commerce and marketing from the Sauder School of Business and a law degree from Dalhousie University.


Elyse Crowston
Elyse is an enthusiastic convenor, impact investor and is a passionate advocate for solutions for a sustainable future. Elyse’s career has been exclusively focused on environmental sustainability and an inclusive, resilient economy.

Elyse is the Vice President of Operations at Active Impact Investments, a Certified B Corp based in Vancouver, whose mission is to support environmental sustainability through profitable investment. Active provides money and talent to accelerate the growth of early-stage climate tech companies in Canada and the US. At Active Elyse is responsible for internal operations, investor relations, marketing and communications, and platform services for portfolio companies.

Elyse began her career cultivating climate and sustainability campaigns at Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity, where she recognized the need for financial incentives to drive environmental action. Elyse then spent five years with Renewal Funds (BCorp) where she supported their raise of $147M for sustainable consumer goods and environmental technology. Elyse also developed accessible place-based venture funds with Rhiza Capital (BCorp). In addition to being the Treasurer and serving on the Revenue Generation Committee for VFM, Elyse is also a founding Board Director with Vancouver B Local (the community of local B Corp businesses), Board Director of the Global Venture Capital Platform Community, and was a 2021 Advisory Board Member for Nada Grocery. In 2020, Elyse was named a Clean50 Emerging Leader.

Joanne MacKinnon
Engaged in food security and the local food movement for 14 years, Joanne works for Little Mountain Neighbourhood House (LMNH) as the Community Engagement Coordinator and at CCEC Credit Union in Member Relations. As the steward for the Riley Park Community Garden, a food sustainability project of LMNH, she builds allyships to increase our community capacity and resilience. As a former volunteer with Slow Food for 9 years, she feels allied with farmers and teaching co-consumers where their food comes from and who is growing it. She attended Terra Madre and Congress during the time she chaired the local slow food group. During this time, she was involved with starting the slow food cycle tours in the Fraser Valley and the Bike the Blossoms event in Vancouver.

The Garden’s partnerships, that include the Riley Park Farmers Market, has created an inclusive gathering point that reflects our core visions to improve food security, ecological sustainability and community development. Joanne wants to bring this perspective and experience to her role as a VFM Director.

Geneviève Blanchet
Geneviève was born and raised in the eastern country side of Québec surrounded by maple trees, apple orchards and vegetable gardens. At an early age, she was introduced to foraging wild plants and harvesting fruits and vegetables from her family’s land. Through this experience, her passion for food was born. In different capacities, much of her life has been spent around food; she is a registered holistic nutritionist, recipe developer and owner of Le Meadow’s Pantry, handcrafted preserves inspired by the season and award winning marmalades. Geneviève has been a vendor at the Vancouver Farmers Market for almost 10 years and chair of the Vendor Advisory Committee; she understands the importance of community and is dedicated to making strong connections between farmers, small business owners and VFM.

Lisa Lam
Lisa is a local Vancouverite who grew up surrounded by fresh fruits and veggies. She is passionate about food, eating and most importantly supporting local communities and small businesses. She lives a mostly plant based lifestyle and enjoys sourcing local ingredients at various VFMs to create simple but delicious meals for friends and family. She is a real estate professional passionate about developing sustainable communities and their connection to food. She believes in providing equal accessibility to food and building and supporting connections between farmers and their consumers. She loves to travel and visit other farmers markets throughout the world and experience the ambiance and local food culture. She is a lifelong learner and is interested in learning more about permaculture and it’s impacts on local food agriculture.

Beth Shelton
Born and raised in the UK, Beth is a food enthusiast, passionate about holistic approaches to health and wellbeing. Appreciating food for its healing & energetic qualities, Beth enjoys sourcing fresh and seasonal food from her local farmers market to explore and share in her home kitchen. She loves the vibrant atmosphere experienced at Vancouver’s Farmer’s Markets and being part of a community that inspires more intentional food choices and the celebration and appreciation of quality food.

Taking her lived experiences from the benefits of sharing food, yoga, movement and community, Beth integrates her passion for connection into her work as a HR professional, helping individuals and teams navigate their personal and professional development. Beth has worked across multiple industries in the UK & Canada, supporting different people priorities that contribute to positive workplace culture and overall organisational progression.