Mike Toffan knew early in life that he wanted a job that allowed him to work in nature. As the Founder and Executive Director of Project Forest, Mike secures land, creates planting plans and raises funds for Project Forest’s rewilding projects.
Connecting with people and communities is among the most impactful parts of his work through Project Forest. Mike values his opportunity to contribute to making a positive impact in people’s lives through building forests; this is a rare and extremely fulfilling part of his job. One of Mike’s biggest passions is to share the human impact stories of his work and inspire people to find their own way of making a positive impact in the world.
Jennifer Klutsch is a forest entomologist who works on bark beetles. Prior to her work at the Canadian Forest Service, she identified factors that impact mountain pine beetle populations in lodgepole pine and jack pine ecosystems while working on her PhD and post-doc at University of Alberta. She has also done research on the impact of mountain pine beetle on fuels and fire hazard.
Her current research focuses on early detection of mountain pine beetle and understanding whether the community of insects and fungi in jack pine may allow mountain pine beetles to expand its current range.
Jess is passionate about creating connections between people and forests. A graduate from University of Toronto’s Master of Forest Conservation program, Jessica (Jess) Kaknevicius has spent over 15 years in the non-profit sector including nearly nine years with Forests Ontario in a range of management and director roles between 2009 and 2018, focusing on growing education and awareness programming, fundraising, and supporting strategic development for the organization.
She also acted as the Vice-President of Education for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), where she played a critical senior leadership role overseeing philanthropic efforts and government agreements, governance, and supporting strategic planning and communications. She is a well-known advocate for the forest sector and co-founded Women in Wood, a networking group for women in the forest and wood-related sectors to share advice, information, and encouragement.
Alix is focused on supporting the development of the new SFI Urban and Community Forestry Sustainability Standard. As part of SFI’s urban and community forestry team, Alix works to increase the resiliency and sustainability of communities, both large and small. She is passionate about urban forestry and creating sustainable standards for the forest sector.
Before joining SFI, she worked as a tree specialist at a nursery, a landscape technician for the City of Edmonton, and was part of the environmental team at the District of North Vancouver. Alix holds a Bachelor of Urban Forestry from the University of British Columbia and is pursuing an Environmental Management Certificate from the University of Calgary.
Philip Hoffman (he/him) is an arthropod biodiversity technician at the Northern Forestry Centre in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, AB), Treaty 6 Territory. He specializes in spider and beetle identification. He is passionate about sharing knowledge and being involved in research with the goal of preserving and protecting Mother Earth. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, biking, fishing and skateboarding.