OUR TEAM

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President

Rebecca tirelessly shares a lifetime passion for food and travel across Canada and around the world. As a result she’s built an unparalleled collection of expertise and relationships that make her one of the most popular and sought-after tourism speakers and experience developers.

Over the past two decades, Rebecca has developed tourism products and destinations for a broad range of government, educational, Not-For-Profit and corporate clients. Widely regarded projects include Prince Edward County’s award winning Taste Trail and Arts Trail, the 2005-2015 Ontario Culinary Tourism Strategy, the Culinary Tourism Alliance’s innovative Feast On™ certification program and the ground-breaking food tourism software – the Experience Assessment Tool (EAT™).

Rebecca contributes her expertise to a variety of industry Boards including the Terroir Symposium, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Sector Committee, the OceanWise Advisory Group, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Gastronomic Tourism Network.

Rebecca spent her final year of high-school on a 156-foot tall ship sailing to 20 countries in Europe and Africa – an experience that rooted her passion for travel and adventure.

She splits her time between Toronto and Prince Edward County, and practices her craft with a personal project – the Terroir Run. For food travel inspiration follow Rebecca @CanadaCulinary

Director of Food Tourism Development & Innovation
Director, Food Tourism Development & Innovation

Trevor is a socially-minded systems thinker, progressive project manager, and enthusiastic enterpriser, who is as passionate about collaborating with others to create meaningful change in the way we experience and value not only food but also the people and places that make it taste so great.

For the past 10 years, Trevor has been working to support the development of short value changes and local sustainable food systems, and he loves only one thing more than cooking and eating food with others, and that’s travel. Trevor feels privileged to have worked for a couple of years in London’s 1,000-year-old food market (Borough Market) and counts himself among the blessed to call the culinary capital of the Caribbean (Barbados) his second home.

Trevor brings vast experience in community-based and market research, evaluation and impact assessment, marketing and sales, and social enterprise development and capacity building. He has a background in Sustainable Local Food as well as Law and Human Rights, and sits on the Advisory Committee of FoodShare Toronto’s Cross-Cultural Food Access Innovation Hub.

By working in cross-functional teams and on diverse projects, Trevor has learned how to turn challenges into opportunities, plan strategically, growing sustainably, partner wisely, and measuring accurately.

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Community Manager

Agatha believes in local food, responsible purchasing practices and the health benefits of a glass of good pinot. She once considered law school, but after completing a degree at the University of Toronto, she realized she would much rather eat than be eaten.

Agatha achieved a diploma in Culinary Management from George Brown College after which she spent time in Toronto kitchens. She’s since traded in her spoons to spread the word about Ontario’s amazing food experiences and help develop our province’s rich and varied food culture.  In 2011, she was recognized by the OHI as one of Ontario’s Top 30 Under 30 in the hospitality industry.

Agatha has had many roles since joining CTA in 2011, but can now be found rubbing elbows with members, managing communications and coordinating delicious events across Ontario. She is the CTA’s brand manager, social media maven and content curator. She was instrumental in developing the Experience Assessment Tool (EAT™) and Ontario’s foodservice designation program, Feast On. She has contributed to numerous food publications including The Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, Westjet Magazine and The Toronto Star. She was also the managing editor of The Ontario Culinary Adventure Guide.

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Research Intern

Nalisha has a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing a diploma in Hospitality and Tourism at George Brown College. Nalisha was born in England and has lived in Kenya. Yet, her heart belongs in the Haliburton Highlands where she worked as an outdoor educator for three summers.

Nalisha believes in eating conscientiously — digging out the where, who, and why surrounding food production. She loves watermelon radishes, espresso, and hearty stout beers. Nalisha is constantly searching for new soup recipes that use fresh, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables. When she isn’t hovering over a pot of bubbling soup she can be found hiking, canoeing, or reading.

Nalisha is very excited to begin her term in Research and Development for the CTA!

Danielle-Brodhagen
Senior Product Developer

Danielle lives to travel and loves to eat. Her passion for food led to a 15-year career in hospitality. Danielle worked with the Culinary Tourism Alliance as the Director of Product Development for two years supporting food tourism development projects in the Haliburton Highlands, Windsor Essex & Pelee Island and Central counties to name a few. Danielle has returned to the CTA as a Senior Food Tourism Developer on a project basis.

Prior to joining the CTA, she spent five years developing Stratford’s Culinary Tourism Program and was the founder and the force behind the award winning Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival and past co-chair of Slow Food Perth County.

After graduating from Queen's University, Danielle traveled to India and Nepal, searching for spice markets, fish markets and night food markets. In Southeast Asia, she used Anthony Bourdain ‘A Cook’s Tour’ as her guidebook to join the locals at off the beaten path restaurants and street food stalls. Danielle lived in Japan for three years as an English teacher, followed by a year in Australia before moving back to her hometown of Stratford. It was in Australia that she was introduced to farm to table cuisine and the slow food movement.

Danielle and her husband, Paul and 6-year old daughter, Elloise believe in eating seasonally and enjoy spending weekends visiting with farmers at local markets. Their family spent six weeks eating their way through Japan, Thailand and the UK and return to Asia to travel to Taiwan in December. Since Paul loves to cook, Danielle and Elloise live a good life! Their biggest challenge moving to the big city is leaving their deep freeze full of the eighth of a cow and half a heritage pig they just purchased from their farmer friends…and their wine cellar full of Danielle’s favourite Ontario pinot noir!

Barb colour
Senior Food Tourism Developer

Barb is the founder and principal of 2gener8 solutions inc., a results-based consulting practice in the food and agri-food sectors. Her work with clients includes strategic design, partnership development, community engagement, curriculum development and training, and project management.  

Barb’s training and passion in the food and beverage sector and experience as an entrepreneur have been instrumental in the scope of work and results generated in the private and public sectors including the development of the food and entrepreneurship strategy for Georgian College, the strategic growth plan including the facilities’ upgrade and expansion of the George Brown Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and the 10-year Ontario Culinary Tourism Strategy and Action Plan for the Ministry of Tourism. She was one of the founders of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) and served on the board from 2008 – 2009.  Barb has also worked with the food and farming community assisting food business entrepreneurs in proof of concept and strategic business planning and has worked with regional economic development organizations in North America to develop food cluster concepts to improve economic development.

Barb is the Executive Officer of the Essa District Agricultural Society, Past Chair of the Toronto Food Business Incubator (now called Foodstarter), Past Vice Chair of the Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee (GTA AAC), Past Chair of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA), and Past Director of Cuisine Canada. In 2006 Barb received the University of Toronto Arbor Award and in 2008 she was inducted as a Fellow in the Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI).

 

REBECCA MACKENZIE

Rebecca tirelessly shares a lifetime passion for food and travel across Canada and around the world. As a result she’s built an unparalleled collection of expertise and relationships that make her one of the most popular and sought-after tourism speakers and experience developers.

Over the past two decades, Rebecca has developed tourism products and destinations for a broad range of government, educational, Not-For-Profit and corporate clients. Widely regarded projects include Prince Edward County’s award winning Taste Trail and Arts Trail, the 2005-2015 Ontario Culinary Tourism Strategy, the Culinary Tourism Alliance’s innovative Feast On™ certification program and the ground-breaking food tourism software – the Experience Assessment Tool (EAT™).

Rebecca contributes her expertise to a variety of industry Boards including the Terroir Symposium, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Sector Committee, the OceanWise Advisory Group, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Gastronomic Tourism Network.

Rebecca spent her final year of high-school on a 156-foot tall ship sailing to 20 countries in Europe and Africa – an experience that rooted her passion for travel and adventure.

She splits her time between Toronto and Prince Edward County, and practices her craft with a personal project – the Terroir Run. For food travel inspiration follow Rebecca @CanadaCulinary

 

TREVOR JONAS BENSON

Trevor is a socially-minded systems thinker, progressive project manager, and enthusiastic enterpriser, who is as passionate about collaborating with others to create meaningful change in the way we experience and value not only food but also the people and places that make it taste so great.

For the past 10 years, Trevor has been working to support the development of short value changes and local sustainable food systems, and he loves only one thing more than cooking and eating food with others, and that’s travel. Trevor feels privileged to have worked for a couple of years in London’s 1,000-year-old food market (Borough Market) and counts himself among the blessed to call the culinary capital of the Caribbean (Barbados) his second home.

Trevor brings vast experience in community-based and market research, evaluation and impact assessment, marketing and sales, and social enterprise development and capacity building. He has a background in Sustainable Local Food as well as Law and Human Rights, and sits on the Advisory Committee of FoodShare Toronto’s Cross-Cultural Food Access Innovation Hub.

By working in cross-functional teams and on diverse projects, Trevor has learned how to turn challenges into opportunities, plan strategically, growing sustainably, partner wisely, and measuring accurately.

 

NALISHA SANKREACHA

Nalisha has a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing a diploma in Hospitality and Tourism at George Brown College. Nalisha was born in England and has lived in Kenya. Yet, her heart belongs in the Haliburton Highlands where she worked as an outdoor educator for three summers.

Nalisha believes in eating conscientiously — digging out the where, who, and why surrounding food production. She loves watermelon radishes, espresso, and hearty stout beers. Nalisha is constantly searching for new soup recipes that use fresh, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables. When she isn’t hovering over a pot of bubbling soup she can be found hiking, canoeing, or reading.

LINDSAY YOUNG

With a BA in Human Geography from the University of British Columbia and an MSc (Distinction) in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey (UK), it’s safe to say Lindsay’s a wee bit nerdy about places and their people. Lindsay spent five years heading up the marketing department in a roll-up- your-sleeves start-up style global city tour company, leveraging her resourcefulness, creativity, and never-ending curiosity to grow a team of smart marketers and make things happen. Her favourite thing about tourism development is fostering personal connections through storytelling in all mediums. In 2015, she was named to Phocuswright’s Young Leaders Summit Top 35 Under 35. Lindsay joined CTA in 2016 to work with destinations to develop their food tourism potential. An avid traveller, Lindsay has been to Iceland four times, counting it as her favourite of the 45ish countries she’s been to. When she’s not working, you can find her planning her next adventure, eating cheese, drinking wine, training for her next race, learning a new language, reading, and making friends with dogs.

 

AGATHA PODGORSKI

Agatha believes in local food, responsible purchasing practices and the health benefits of a glass of good pinot. She once considered law school, but after completing a degree at the University of Toronto, she realized she would much rather eat than be eaten. Agatha achieved a diploma in Culinary Management from George Brown College after which she spent time in Toronto kitchens. She’s since traded in her spoons to spread the word about Ontario’s amazing food experiences and help develop our province’s rich and varied food culture.  In 2011, she was recognized by the OHI as one of Ontario’s Top 30 Under 30 in the hospitality industry. Agatha has had many roles since joining CTA in 2011, but can now be found rubbing elbows with members and coordinating delicious events across Ontario. She is also the CTA’s brand manager, social media maven, designer and content curator. She was instrumental in developing the Experience Assessment Tool (EAT™) and Ontario’s foodservice designation program, Feast On™. She has contributed to numerous food publications including The Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, Westjet Magazine and The Toronto Star. She was also the managing editor of The Ontario Culinary Adventure Guide.

 

DANIELLE BRODHAGEN

Danielle lives to travel and loves to eat. Her passion for food led to a 15-year career in hospitality. Danielle worked with the Culinary Tourism Alliance as the Director of Product Development for two years supporting food tourism development projects in the Halliburton Highlands, Windsor Essex & Pelee Island and Central counties to name a few. Danielle has returned to the CTA as a Senior Food Tourism Developer on a project basis. Prior to joining the CTA, she spent five years developing Stratford’s Culinary Tourism Program and was the founder and the force behind the award winning Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival and past co-chair of Slow Food Perth County.

After graduating from Queen’s University, Danielle travelled to India and Nepal, searching for spice markets, fish markets and night food markets. In Southeast Asia, she used Anthony Bourdain ‘A Cook’s Tour’ as her guidebook to join the locals at off the beaten path restaurants and street food stalls. Danielle lived in Japan for three years as an English teacher, followed by a year in Australia before moving back to her hometown of Stratford. It was in Australia that she was introduced to farm to table cuisine and the slow food movement. Danielle and her husband, Paul and 6-year old daughter, Elloise believe in eating seasonally and enjoy spending weekends visiting with farmers at local markets. Their family spent six weeks eating their way through Japan, Thailand and the UK and return to Asia to travel to Taiwan in December. Since Paul loves to cook, Danielle and Elloise live a good life! Their biggest challenge moving to the big city is leaving their deep freeze full of the eighth of a cow and half a heritage pig they just purchased from their farmer friends…and their wine cellar full of Danielle’s favourite Ontario pinot noir!

 

BARB SHOPLAND

Barb is the founder and principal of 2gener8 solutions inc., a results-based consulting practice in the food and agri-food sectors. Her work with clients includes strategic design, partnership development, community engagement, curriculum development and training, and project management.  

Barb’s training and passion in the food and beverage sector and experience as an entrepreneur have been instrumental in the scope of work and results generated in the private and public sectors including the development of the food and entrepreneurship strategy for Georgian College, the strategic growth plan including the facilities’ upgrade and expansion of the George Brown Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and the 10-year Ontario Culinary Tourism Strategy and Action Plan for the Ministry of Tourism. She was one of the founders of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) and served on the board from 2008 – 2009.  Barb has also worked with the food and farming community assisting food business entrepreneurs in proof of concept and strategic business planning and has worked with regional economic development organizations in North America to develop food cluster concepts to improve economic development.

Barb is the Executive Officer of the Essa District Agricultural Society, Past Chair of the Toronto Food Business Incubator (now called Foodstarter), Past Vice Chair of the Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee (GTA AAC), Past Chair of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA), and Past Director of Cuisine Canada. In 2006 Barb received the University of Toronto Arbor Award and in 2008 she was inducted as a Fellow in the Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI).