Board of Directors

Taking Root’s Board of Directors is a dynamic group providing vision for the organization. Our 2013-2014 Board is composed of the following five members:

Jean-Benoît Grégoire Rousseau

Jean-Benoît Grégoire Rousseau is a Partner in the Montreal office of McKinsey & Company. Since joining the firm in 2010 he has worked with clients across a range of industries; his areas of expertise include operational excellence and lean manufacturing. Before consulting, Jean-Benoît held a post-doc position with the CIRANO Montreal and lectured at the HEC Montreal. Jean-Benoît holds an Economics PhD from the University of Michigan where he completed a thesis on the Economics of Happiness. Prior to that, he completed a Masters in Economics and a Bachelor in Psychology, both at the University of Montreal.

Sabine Audette-Hall
Secretary and Director

Sabine Audette-Hall is an associate in the Business Law Group of McCarthy Tétrault’s Montreal office. Her practice is focused on banking and corporate finance. Before joining the Bar of Quebec, among other things, she served on the board of Sustainable Campus of the University of Sherbrooke and worked in the forest industry in western Canada. She is interested in business law and aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the business sector.

Maxime Aucoin
Director and Treasurer

Maxime is Vice-president, Strategy, at La Caisse de depôt et placement du Québec. Previously he was an Engagement manager at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he worked with multinationals in the high tech and financial services sectors on operational and organizational issues. Prior to joining McKinsey, Maxime worked at Cirque du Soleil in strategy and business development. Maxime has a strong interest in corporate social responsibility and its impact on sustainable development. He has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a bachelor’s degree in Finance from HEC Montreal and was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Laura Howard
Director and Co-founder

Laura has 10 years experience in community economic, social entrepreneurship and local food systems. She is one of 4 Co-Founding members of Taking Root. Her work has since focused on organizations and projects related to food security and food sovereignty include: Santropol Roulant as Community Economic Development Coordinator; Canada World Youth (CWY), as Project Supervisor of 3 consecutive programs in the areas of food security and local agriculture, working with communities in Canada and internationally. Based on personal interest and study, she was later hired by the food tech start-up, Provender in the role of Director of Communications, Marketing and Community Engagement. She is currently launching an enterprise that focuses on local food systems and local economic development.

Brooke van Mossel-Forrester
Director and Co-founder

Brooke has a B.A in Communication Studies, Minor in Art History/Studio Art (2006) and a Graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development (2007) from Concordia University. From 2006-2011 she worked as the Online Communications Officer for Icograda, the world body for professional communication design. During this time she helped found Taking Root and, in 2011, began working full-time as Communications Coordinator. In this role she managed the organization’s brand identity and develops and implements its international communications and promotional strategy. She also acted as the Business Development and Communications Director from 2013-2015.

Nicole Lefebvre

Nicole Lefebvre is a partner and co-founder at Holdur, a premium handbag and accessories business based out of Montreal, Canada. Before launching Holdur, Nicole was a strategic planner with Digital Cement, a marketing agency in Toronto serving multi-nationals across Canada and the US. Prior to this, Nicole was a Principal with AMS, now CGI, with a specialty within the financial services sector. Nicole holds an MBA as well as a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University. Nicole is active member of the community and is active with other boards and organizations.

Jérome Dupras

Joining the board in August 2014, Jérome Dupras is the bassist for the Cowboys Fringants and the Chairman of the Cowboys Fringants Foundation, an organization dedicated to the protection of the environment. He is also a professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at the Université du Québec en Outaouais and a researcher at the Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée. His research interests center on ecological economics, ecosystem services, land use planning, and green infrastructure. Jérome is a member of the executive committee of the Green Belt Movement and the Cercle scientifique of the David Suzuki Foundation.

David Baumann

David is a Senior Analyst at Dunsky Energy Consulting. Since joining the firm, he has utilized his analytic and cartographic expertise to assist the firm’s clients in achieving a sustainable energy future. Previously, he was the Technical and Financial Director at Taking Root. In this position, David supervised the organization’s data management systems, directed its finances and accounting, and aided in the supervision of project development and operations management in Nicaragua. He holds a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jane Boles

Jane is a Vancouver-based sustainable land use consultant with NatureBank Asset Management Inc. She has 9 years of experience using various market mechanisms, including carbon markets and impact investment, to achieve positive social and environmental impacts. She has worked in the non-profit, donor-agency and private sectors, primarily in the Congo Basin and Latin America, for organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Era Ecosystem Services and the One Sky Institute for Sustainable Living. She has a degree in Political Science and Environmental Geography from Concordia University (2007) and a pending Masters degree in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University (2017). She joined the Taking Root board in late 2016.

Phil Cull

Phil Cull is the Chief Financial Officer of NatureBank Asset Management. NatureBank is a publically listed Canadian company that specializes in advisory, technology and impact project investment services that create value and enhance sustainable commodities and ecological assets while managing climate change risk and maximizing long-term investment in nature. He has been with NatureBank in various roles since 2010. Prior to working at NatureBank Phil was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs International having spent nearly 10 years working in the City of London. Phil holds an MSc in Climate Change and Risk Management from the University of Exeter and a BSc in Applied Geology from the University of Hertfordshire.

Past board members

Taking Root would like to thank its past board members for their invaluable contribution to the organization: 

  • Robert Gervais, President 2010-2013
  • Andrés Restrepo, Director 2011-2013