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.
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.
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.
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 when not chasing bats, enjoys mountain biking, photography and occasionally going outside during daylight.
Species at Risk Technician
Nadine is OLTA’s Species at Risk Technician. Nadine has been interested in animals and wildlife from a young age. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at the University of Guelph and during that time volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation hospital as well as took a field biology course on bats. Since then, she completed her Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Manitoba where she studied the ecology of the star-nosed mole. She has since both worked and volunteered to conduct bird surveys, reptile and amphibian surveys, bat acoustic monitoring surveys, planted trees and participated in wildlife outreach and environmental education events. In her spare time she enjoys birdwatching, hiking and spending time with her pet leopard gecko.
Species at Risk Intern
Michael is OLTA’s Species At Risk Intern. Well on his way to completing a MEnvSc from the University of Toronto, he specializes in the science and policy surrounding Species At Risk conservation. He will assist in OLTA’s Conserving Species At Risk project by helping to collect and analyze data for a different species throughout Ontario. Michael has experience working on conservation projects in the lab and field as well as running youth naturalist programs in green spaces throughout the city. Michael lives downtown Toronto and enjoys spending his afternoons biking, taking photos, and looking at plants.
Allysa Tjon-Hing is OLTA’s Communications Assistant. She will be working on media relations, marketing, and event coordination alongside the OLTA team. Allysa is currently a student at Ryerson University, working on completing a degree in Creative Industries. She’s worked on various branding projects and events throughout Toronto within the last few years and has always had an interest in land conservation and environmentalism. From Markham, she enjoys travelling, taking pictures, trying new things, and reading in her spare time.
Jean is a non-profit consultant in the accounting field. Having worked for not-for-profits for over 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.
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. 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.