Around the world, the 4-H movement benefits from the leadership and commitment of youth, volunteer leaders, and professionals to organize programming that fosters positive youth development. Our organizing team is made up of a diverse group of volunteers and professionals, representing the 4-H movement globally. These folks are working hard to make sure the Global 4-H Network Summit is an unforgettable experience, full of amazing memories and opportunities to grow the momentum!
Co-Chair – Debra Brown
Executive Director, 4-H Ontario
- Why are you excited to be part of the global 4-H movement? I loved the experience I had in South Korea at the first Global 4-H Network Summit. It was exciting and energizing. It really broadened my horizons and let me get a peek into how big the 4-H program is – it is actually a movement!
- If you could lead or take any 4-H club what would it be? I would love to be a part of a chocolate club. I have an unhealthy love of chocolate!
Co-Chair – Sue Steeves
Manager of Admissions, 4-H Canada
- What do you hope to learn from the global 4-H delegates attending the Summit? I am also very excited to see how 4-H differs between countries as I am sure that there are many lessons to be shared!
- If you could lead or take any 4-H club what would it be? If I could take a club, it would have to do with public speaking. I truly believe this is one of the most important skills our 4-H members develop during their time with 4-H, and as difficult as it is, it is something that benefits everyone throughout their life.
Admissions & Registration Committee Members
Jacqlyn Carek, 4-H Regional Specialist, Government of Alberta
Dawn Krinke, Office Manager, 4-H Manitoba
Paivi Haapsalo, Director Administration, Finnish 4-H Foundation
Amy McConchie, 4-H Canada Youth Advisory Committee Member, New Brunswick
Co-Chair – Jim Lindstrom
4-H Youth Development Program Director, University of Idaho Extension
- What is your favourite 4-H memory or proudest 4-H moment? Years ago when my wife and I assisted the Estonia 4-H program launch. It was so gratifying to be part of something just getting started and now 20 plus years later to see their success.
- If you could lead or take any 4-H club what would it be? I’m a champion cookie baker and would lead a baking 4-H club.
Co-Chair – Erin Smith
Director of Programs, 4-H Canada
- Why are you excited to be part of the global 4-H movement? I’m so excited to see colleagues I met at the first Global Summit in Korea and I’m looking forward to meeting even more people this year and learning about their 4-H work. I’m also very happy that we have designed the 2017 Summit to engage members and youth in a very meaningful, authentic way – I can’t wait to watch that unfold and be part of it.
- If you could lead or take any 4-H club what would it be? Right now am I a co-leader of a small 4-H Club in my urban community of Aylmer, QC. We focus on foods, life skills and healthy living. I would love to lead a children’s rights club and a 4-H pottery club!
Program Committee Members
Ron Blake, Executive Director, Jamaica 4-H
Sarah van Heeswijk, Youth Development Manager, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture
Casey Morey, 4-H Canada Youth Advisory Committee Member, Alberta
Elizabeth Sparks, 4-H County Agent, Arizona State University
Val Stone, 4-H Canada Director
Co-Chair – David Hovell
Vice-President, 4-H Canada Board of Directors
- Why are you excited to be part of the global 4-H movement? I am excited to be able to share our Canadian 4-H experience with the world. 4-H Canada does exceptional work in preparing young Canadians to become model citizens. As we continue to evolve, I am eager to learn about how 4-H around the world continues to be relevant and engaging for young people.
- What is your favourite 4-H memory or proudest 4-H moment? My favorite and the proudest 4-H moment has been being a 4-H father. To be able to share the same 4-H experiences I had with my daughter, Taylor, and to see the pride in her accomplishments. Plus, watching her become a more confident and articulate person and understanding the value in developing relationships with others in her community.
Co-Chair – Hannah Plexman
2017 Global 4-H Summit Event Manager, 4-H Canada
- What do you hope to learn from the global 4-H delegates attending the Summit? I am very intrigued to learn more about the sustainable agriculture strategies and initiatives that 4-H members are working on.
- If you could lead or take any 4-H club what would it be? I would lead a 4-H Club and call it Back to Basics. We would focus on canning, pickling, sewing, and gardening. My favorite things to do!
Signature Events Committee Members
Donna Bridge, President, 4-H Canada Board of Directors
Julie Labossiere, Volunteer Leader, 4-H Manitoba
Carlie Whetter, President, Manitoba 4-H Council
Mathieu Rouleau, 4-H Alumni, Quebec
Mackenzie Kerr, 4-H Canada Youth Advisory Committee Member, BC
Chesley Davis, 4-H Agent, University of Georgia
Heidi Vallinga, Fund Development Coordinator, 4-H Canada
Stefanie Nagelschmitz, Trustee, 4-H Canada
Co-Chair – John Drummond
Volunteer, 4-H Ontario
- What is your favourite 4-H memory or proudest 4-H moment? Being named 4-H Canada’s Volunteer of the Year for 2013 was a total honor. As someone who loves the 4-H program, I can’t think of a greater thrill that could have been bestowed on me. I consider it my ‘Oscar’.
- Why are you excited to be part of the global 4-H movement? I’m excited to meet people involved in 4-H from around the world and learning about their programs. I want to show them what great hosts 4-H Canada can be. I will do everything I can to make it a great conference and networking opportunity. It will be an awesome experience.
Co-Chair – Emily Brown
Program Manager, 4-H Canada
- What is your favourite 4-H memory or proudest 4-H moment? My favourite 4-H memory is, in fact, a global one! I was proud (and lucky!) to attend the 2004 USA National Members Conference as a Canadian delegate. The Canadian gang had a fabulous week, getting to know so many other amazing 4-H youth and learning more about various state 4-H programs. The Canadian eagerness and openness did not go unchecked. In gratitude for the Canadians enthusiastically learning and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner every morning, the rest of the 300+ delegates surprised us on the last morning, by proudly singing O’ Canada with us. It was a moment of 4-H, national and generational pride that still makes my eyes a little wet.
- If you could lead or take any 4-H club what would it be? Superhero Project! With my club, we would blend media literacy with community service and skill development to become local superheroes!
Volunteer Management & Hosting Committee Members
Tracy Claeys, Volunteer Leader, 4-H Manitoba
Linda McRae Walker, Administrative Assistant, 4-H Manitoba
Andrew Hickey, Shawville 4-H Club Member
Cam Crogie, Volunteer Coordinator, 4-H Ontario
Megan Burnside, Volunteer Coordinator, 4-H Ontario
Leanne Sprung, Rural Leadership Specialist, Manitoba Dept. of Agriculture; Director, 4-H Canada
Global 4-H Network Summit Committee Members at Large
Jennifer Christie, Global 4-H Network Summit Event Chair
Ryan Baan, Global 4-H Network Summit Communications Intern
Elizabeth Jarvis, Director of Marketing & Communications, 4-H Canada
Erin Helmer, Fund Development Manager, 4-H Canada
Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada and Chair, Global 4-H Network Board of Directors