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Forests Ontario Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors - Environmental Communication Options/Huff Strategy

Forests Ontario Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

Feb 15th, 2024 11:26 PM

Forests Ontario Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors 

Barrie, Ont. (February 14, 2024) – At Forests Ontario’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the organization welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors: Carol Walker Hart, Dan Marinigh, Will Martin, and Kim Rapagna. Forests Ontario would like to thank outgoing Directors Gail Beggs, Bob Hyland, David Sisam, and Riet Verheggen for their service and commitment to forest restoration, stewardship, awareness, and education. 

The four new Directors join Forests Ontario at an exciting time in the organization’s history. 

This past fall, the Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced an investment of over $61 million that will see 31 million trees planted across Canada by 2031 through Forests Ontario’s national division, Forest Recovery Canada. The Government of Canada’s financial contribution comes from the 2 Billion Trees program and Forests Ontario will work with our donors, corporate partners, and planting partners to ensure these new trees are planted in the right place and for the right reason.

The new Directors will also have the opportunity to join Ontario’s largest forestry conference at Forests Ontario’s 2024 Annual Conference on February 28, 2024, in Vaughan, Ontario. Canada’s forests are facing unprecedented challenges – including climate change, increased fires, and invasive species – and Forests Ontario has put together an extraordinary day of expert speakers, important discussions, and valuable networking opportunities to empower attendees and inspire real change in our communities.

“I’m incredibly proud to be able to announce our new additions to our Board of Directors. Getting the opportunity to work with and learn from Carol, Dan, Will, and Kim is a thrill,” Jess Kaknevicius, CEO, Forests Ontario, says. “I believe that collaboration and partnership are the keys to long-term sustainability and success, and I’m excited to welcome them to our team.”

Carol Walker Hart is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) and graduate of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry. She is a long-time advocate for the forestry profession and supporter of education and initiatives that raise awareness of the value of trees and forests. Carol specializes in Urban Forestry and spent 33 years managing a diverse portfolio of projects for the City of Toronto. She is a former president of the Ontario Forestry Association and has also been an active member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association.

Dan Marinigh attended Lakehead University, earning an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry. After graduation, Dan had a 34-year career with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, beginning as a field forester and retiring as a Branch Director. In 2014, Dan was appointed as the Chief Administrative Officer/Secretary-Treasurer at the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, retiring from the Authority in 2022. Throughout his working career, Dan has led teams responsible for operations, program and service delivery, and policy and program development. 

As an Executive Vice President for the American Forest Foundation (AFF), William Martin is leading strategic innovations to drive meaningful conservation impact through the empowerment of family forest owners. Priorities for addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and assurance for sustainable forest product supply chains all require the active participation of family forest owners. Will’s focus is on developing the business models and implementation strategies for AFF’s work in bridging public and private solutions to these conservation challenges. 

Kim Rapagna has over 15 years of experience in corporate responsibility and sustainability, having worked for major multinational companies such as Target Canada, TD Bank, Mondelez International and Kraft Foods. Prior to joining the corporate sector, Kim worked in the non-profit sector with World Wildlife Fund and the Canadian Human Rights Foundation. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Concordia University and has pursued executive education in Corporate Social Responsibility at Harvard Business School and earned a Global Competent Boards Designation in Toronto.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing Directors, Gail Beggs, Bob Hyland, David Sisam, and Riet Verheggen. They helped Forests Ontario accomplish some incredible things in the past few years and were incredibly warm and welcoming when I joined the organization in April 2023,” Kaknevicius says. “We appreciate everything they have done for Forests Ontario and will always be part of our community.”


For more information, individual photos, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Matthew Brown
Communications Manager
Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada 
Cell: 519-471-4751     
E-mail: MBrown@forestsontario.ca

About Forests Ontario & Forest Recovery Canada 

Forests Ontario is the province’s leading charity dedicated to the creation, preservation, and maintenance of forest and grassland habitats. Our ambitious, large-scale tree planting initiatives, extensive educational programs, and decades of community outreach result in millions of trees being planted each year.
Together with our national division, Forest Recovery Canada, we work with our many partners across the country to plant native trees and ensure our efforts today thrive and grow into tomorrow’s diverse, healthy, and resilient forests. 

Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn to find out more.

Photo (continued on next page)

Caption: (from left to right) New members of Forests Ontario’s Board of Directors: Carol Walker Hart, Dan Marinigh, William Martin, and Kim Rapagna.