Our Greenway Conservancy’s Board of Directors and Staff
The Our Greenway plan is deeply rooted in the strength of community. The team and supporters behind it have come together to ensure that northwest Toronto benefits from investments supporting the creation of a resilient and equitable city.
Accurate as of March 2022
Darnel Harris, MES (Board Member / Executive Director)
Darnel is a planner and community advocate with a decade of experience working at the crossroads of affordable housing, healthy food and practical local mobility. His diverse array of projects include establishing and running York University’s first Just Farmers’ Market, launching an electric cycle library with sixteen cycles and trailers during the pandemic, and playing a key strategic role in The Neighbourhood Land Trust’s recent successful transfer of nearly one hundred properties to permanent community ownership. A seasoned speaker and writer, Darnel has recently been featured by Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Toronto Life and TVO’s The Agenda. A Visiting Scholar at York University’s CITY Institute, Darnel holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Schulich, Master of Environmental Studies (Planning) and Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Education from York University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in History from Glendon College.
His ongoing research and advocacy efforts to advance sustainable mobility have been recognized by the German Government (2016 Green Talent), Canadian Urban Institute (2018 NextGen Urban Leadership), and Ford City: One Challenge (2019 Silver, Ecotrixi CDMX!). In his free time, Darnel volunteers as a soccer reporter for the Northern Tribune and Caribbean Camera.
Sam Starr, M.Eng. MEL (President / Sustainable Urban Freight Lead)
Andrew Miller, Ph.D. (Vice-President)
Jack Lawson, MPI (Secretary)
Jack Lawson is a graduate of X University’s Masters of Planning in Urban Development program. He specializes in housing affordability relative to green infrastructure and climate. As a contractor, Jack has worked with a variety of organizations including The Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust, Prince Edward County council, ARC Solutions, and Yellowstone to Yukon. Prior to this Jack worked as a freelance copywriter, videographer, and reporter following his graduation from Carleton University’s journalism program with Honours.
Francine Harris, FIIC, CRM, B. Com (Hon), B.Ed. (Treasurer)
During her fifty years of work experience, Francine held a variety of positions Auditor, Accounting Manager, Risk and Insurance Manager, Assistant Director, Educator. All positions that led to her expertise in strategic management and administrative thinking. After retiring from the business and government sectors, Francine graduated from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto; she then worked for 11 years for the Toronto District School Board before retiring again. Francine keeps very active, volunteering her time as the President of her alma mater, volunteering at a primary school and in her spare time she enjoys playing classical piano and producing stimulating arts and crafts. Francine is in the Sports Hall of Fame in her home country.
Armi De Francia, RPP MCIP (Board Member / Transport Equity TO Lead)
Armi is an active transportation professional who strives to help more communities receive the benefits of active transportation through community engagement, capacity building, and collaboration. In 2018, she created the initiative, Transportation Equity Toronto and in 2019, she organized one of the few events in Toronto discussing active transportation in the suburbs through a racial equity lens. At Our Greenway, Armi and her team develops and implements programs for raising awareness on mobility equity through an intersectional lens.
Manny Zanders, BA, Urban Studies (Board Member)
Manny is an Urban Planner offering a diverse set of tools through experience as a planning consultant, regional planner and city planner. He has managed the review of land development applications which included attention to resolving transportation issues. He has drafted land use policies and urban design guidelines that were incorporated into comprehensive land use plans and transportation plans to encourage sustainable development. Manny is also experienced in securing funding for various initiatives that have led to the improvement of communities throughout North America.
Jessica Medina, LLB / LLM (Board Member)
Jessica utilizes her legal experience in assisting diverse and sustainable businesses in corporate, commercial and real estate law to ensure that organizations can fulfill their charitable mission and vision. She works closely Board of Directors to manage the legal compliance of the Conservancy. Jessica is a city person with a green heart; she thoroughly believes that harmony between nature and city life through sustainable transportation should be the new normal to ensure resilient neighborhoods and a healthy planet.
Diana Guzmán (Operations and Research Manager)
Diana is a sociologist, experienced translator, and graduate of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Fluent in Spanish, English, Italian and German, her areas of research and interest include environmental and megacity challenges, including water management, sustainable mobility and the sociology of language.