OLTA Staff

Lori DeGraw

Executive Director

Lori DeGraw is a lifetime Ontario resident and passionate personal advocate for the protection of natural environments and healthy farm and food culture. She has lived in Toronto for over 20 years, but loves her property on Lake Huron, as well as a family cottage in Muskoka, and spends as much time being active and outside as possible. Her career experience includes executive leadership in strategic partnerships, media, communications, business development, brand building, and operations.

Lori has travelled and worked extensively internationally and has a working proficiency in French. She has a BA in Political Science from Western University, has completed financial courses at University of Toronto, and is currently pursuing a part-time MBA program at Thompson Rivers University. She is thrilled to be part of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance at an exciting and critical time and to support the growth and success of its membership, staff, board, and partners.

Phyllis Lee

Member Services Coordinator

Phyllis has been OLTA’s Member Services Coordinator since August 2008. Her responsibilities include organizing the annual conference, managing OLTA’s external communications and maintaining the office and related information. Phyllis has worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2002. Her experience includes event management and outreach projects. Prior to this career change, Phyllis held numerous senior management positions within the Reuters Group, both in Toronto and London, UK. Phyllis lives in Limehouse, on the Niagara Escarpment with her husband Glenn.

Alison Howson

Director of Programs

Alison Howson is our Director of Programs.  Alison oversees the efficient and well-managed development, execution, and reconciliation of OLTA Projects and Programs, Program Staff, Program Partnership Management, and critical fundraising activities. Alison started with OLTA as the Species at Risk Specialist (SAR). She focused on delivering technical training and working one-on-one with local land trusts to develop targeted SAR action plans to inform their conservation work.

Alison has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and a Research Masters in Ecology and Environmental Management. She has many years of experience working in the field of ecological survey and evaluation, particularly on the design and implementation of habitat restoration programs for Species at Risk. Since arriving in Toronto in 2013 from the UK, she has built her skills in survey and protection of Ontario SAR through continuing education and volunteering with various conservation groups. Alison lives in Toronto with her young family.

Kristen Callow

Program Officer

Kristen is OLTA’s Program Officer, working on our three-year Cross-border Conservation Training Program in partnership with the American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts. She will be coordinating the training, mapping and a small grants program to help build members’ capacity to work with US taxpayers on land acquisition projects.

Kristen has a diploma of Ecosystem Management and has worked in many capacities for land trusts throughout central Ontario during the past 10 years. At the Magnetawan Watershed Land Trust, Kristen worked through the process of becoming a land and cash grantee with American Friends and helped complete the Land Trust’s first cross-border transaction.

Kristen enjoys living in and exploring Muskoka with her young family.

Jean Labrecque

Bookkeeper

Jean is a non-profit consultant in the accounting field. Having worked for not-for-profits for the past 37 years she has extensive experience with accounting as well as charity guidelines. Jean lives in Port Credit with her husband Paul and enjoys the small town feeling of the Port. Any free time they have is spent at the cottage in Georgian Bay.

Toby Thorne

Species At Risk Technician

Toby is OLTA’s Species At Risk Technician. Toby caught his first bat at the age of eleven, and spent his teenage years learning about bats through a variety of voluntary projects. He gained a bachelors in biological sciences at the University of Oxford, including an honours project studying social networks in bat populations. He then undertook a master’s degree at the University of Western Ontario. His master’s research involved using acoustic monitoring to study migration by bats in Ontario, supervised by world renowned bat biologist Brock Fenton. Since graduating he has used his knowledge of Ontarian bats to undertake a variety of consulting projects.

Toby lives in Richmond Hill and, when not chasing bats, enjoys mountain biking, photography and occasionally going outside during daylight.