Our Board of Directors

John Ballantine, Chair

John is a Manager with the Municipal Finance Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, winning numerous achievement awards since joining the Ministry in 2000. He holds a Masters in Public Administration. John has managed high-profile projects and developed policy through strategic planning within a sensitive political environment (components of the Green Energy, Green Economy Act, among others). He has developed and undertaken numerous stakeholder consultation strategies and community engagement projects.

Mercedes Markowski, Vice Chair

Mercedes has a B.Sc. in environmental science from the University of Toronto, a graduate certificate in Green Business Management from Seneca College, and is also a LEED Accredited Professional. As a Sustainability Consultant & LEED Project Manager at Ecovert Sustainability Consultants her responsibilities include the coordination of projects seeking LEED certification under various rating systems. She also assists companies in the development of comprehensive corporate sustainability programs that include benchmarking, carbon footprint reporting and strategies for mitigating environmental impacts. Mercedes has been volunteering with the Toronto Green Community since 2008.

Sandra Hill, Secretary

Sandra is a retired senior business executive with a Bachelor in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. She has been President and CEO of The Environment and Plastics Institute of Canada, and of the Ontario Training Corporation; Senior Managing Director of TVO; Vice President of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association; Policy Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Health, and an officer in the Canadian Air Force. Sandra was a Commissioner on Ontario’s first Status of Women Council and has served on a wide variety of Boards of Directors including Sir Sanford Fleming College, the Kawartha North Family Health Team, Women’s Resources of Victoria County, and The Migraine Foundation of Canada.

Andrea Coyne, Treasurer

Andrea is a Certified Management Accountant and has a BA in economics and political science from the University of Toronto.  Her professional experience includes accountant and controllership positions with small private companies in the digital and design industries.  Aside from a recent three year period in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, she has lived downtown Toronto for over two decades.  Andrea has an interest in environmental and sustainability issues, which was strengthened while living off-grid in Yellowknife.  Andrea has enjoyed volunteering in the past with the Yellowknife Food Bank and the Children’s Peace Theatre.

Imran Noorani, Board Member

Imran is an Energy, Renewables, Conservation and Sustainability professional having held various positions in the sector. He holds a Business Commerce degree from Ryerson University, a Sustainability Strategy MBA from the Schulich School of Business, a Global Leadership Diploma from the Leon Recanati School of Business, a Graduate Diploma in Business and the Environment from the Schulich School of Business, and is a Professional Chocolatier candidate at George Brown College. Imran’s areas of environmental focus include Renewables, Sustainable Food and Water Security/Marine Conservation. Imran has been a TGC Board member from 2008 to 2012 , rejoining the board in 2013.

Alina Racoviceanu, Board Member

Alina has worked as Sustainability Director at SNC-Lavalin Operations and Maintenance, spearheading the company’s sustainability programs; as well as WWF-Canada, leading the development of strategic partnerships and helping companies reduce their environmental impact. She also has over 10 years of electrical engineering experience in Canada and Europe. Alina holds a MASc in Environmental Engineering (University of Toronto). Alina’s volunteer work, as Canadian Green Building Council Toronto Chapter Program Committee member, Earth Day Canada’s Hometown Heroes judge, and Climate Leaders presenter, are a testimony of her passion for sustainability education and awareness.

Abe Dyck, Board Member

Abe is a graduate of Civil Engineering. He has over 15 years of construction and business development experience in the oil and gas industry. A more recent focus has been on renewable energy primarily wind, solar and district energy projects. Abe also co-founded a renewable energy company that offers a variety of products and services to bio-diesel fuel producers.

Paula Messina, Ex Officio

Hired as our Volunteer Manager in 2008, Paula transitioned into her role as Executive Director the following year and led TGC through to 2014. Through her 20+ years of volunteer and professional experience with non-profit organizations in various sectors, Paula has developed skills in program development, facilitation, fundraising, event coordination, communications, organisational management and strategic planning. Paula holds a BA in French and Sociology, and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian. Her passion for the environment, human rights, and social justice issues keeps her engaged in the community.

Honourary Patron:  David Suzuki

“Green Communities are a great example of getting things done at the community level. We can all be inspired by their dedication to protecting the environment and making the world a better place for future generations.” 

Honourary Chairs: Jacky Kennedy and Rita Banach

Founding members of the North Toronto Green Community