Executive Director – Ian Lai
Ian Lai from the Richmond Schoolyard Society has joined forces with the Richmond Food Security Society. Ian brings with him 14 years of environmental education and programming experience. Ian will work with Richmond’s children, youth, and wonderfully diverse community, collaborating to bring joy and meaning to food.
Ian is a chef educator, beekeeper, yogi and rock climber. He lives in Richmond with his wife and daughter.
Urban Agriculture Program Manager – Sarina Clay-Smith
Sarina is a born and raised Vancouverite, growing up in Vancouver and Richmond. She has volunteered in gardens throughout the city and at the Iona Bird Sanctuary. She is a recent Masters of Conservation and Biodiversity graduate from the University of Exeter, UK working on a project with the IUCN. She has tended her personal vegetable and flower garden for many years and is passionate about helping others cultivate their own. She is a qualified Master Gardener, and can be regularly found outside.
When she’s not in the office, Sarina can be found walking her dog, doing some yoga, or by the ocean.
Education Program Coordinator – Queenie Hewitt
Queenie is the lead facilitator in our Kids in the Garden Program in Richmond’s Elementary Schools. Teaching students food literacy is one of Queenie’s passions. She wants to help students develop an appreciation of the natural world and equip them to be comfortable in the garden.
Queenie learned how to grow food working as an intern on a local organic farm. Previously, Queenie worked with A Rocha Canada as a Community Garden Mobilizer to help community groups grow food with their neighbors. She has an MA in Environmental Studies, and is always finding ways to reduce her carbon footprint. Based in Richmond, you may catch her walking her dog on the dyke path.
Education Programmer – Ann Metcalfe
Ann’s love of gardening and teaching has found a perfect match teaching students to find the joy of growing healthy food. She learned so much during her ten years with the Richmond Schoolyard Society and looks forward to continuing her love of gardening and connecting with those gifts of the Earth in the veggie patch with the Richmond Food Security Society.
Ann also teaches in the Surrey School District as a Kindergarten-Grade 7 substitute teacher.
Office Coordinator – Geethu Kurian
Geethu was born in Kochi, a small and very beautiful seaside city of Kerala which is the southernmost state of India. She is a Graduate in Commerce and Tourism and holds a Master’s in International Business from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. She has a passion for numbers, which is why she chose accounting as her career.
She has worked with Ernst & Young in the UK. She was also a TV host for a popular Indian Channel, Kairali and a Weddings and Events Planner. Geethu’s professional background is a mix of accounting, guest relations, and hospitality and thus she has developed a diverse skill set. Her other interests include cooking, driving, and painting. She is now a proud member of RFSS.