Evaluation Team

Cari Patterson, Director of Research and Evaluation

Cari helps us reflect on our work and think about what we are learning, so we can intentionally adapt our approach and offer our best to communities. Her educational background is in community psychology, which focuses on working with communities for social change. Her passion for community development began with her love of community and her deep respect for the journeys communities share in their efforts to make their worlds healthy and strong. The heart of her formal training began in Nova Scotia, and has continued through a few decades of community development work in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

Cari has a strong respect for the diverse perspectives people bring to the table, and an ability to validate and work with differing interests and needs. Cari is a Credentialed Evaluator with the Canadian Evaluation Society, and former Secretary General of the International Association for Community Development. In 2015 she was awarded Acadia University Department of Community Development’s inaugural Community Leadership Award.

Gregory Woolner

Gregory is a lifelong learner dedicated to tackling social and environmental challenges one step at a time through collaboration and research. With an academic background in Sociology and Adult Education, and as a partner of COLAB, he brings many years of experience in program design, facilitation, evaluation, and project management. Lately his work has been split between initiatives that seek to increase civic participation (currently leading a year long public engagement process to develop the new Master Plan for the Halifax Common) and working as developmental evaluator on regional and national efforts, including work with NouLab – NB’s Social and Public Innovation Lab, Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission, the Pan Canadian Joint Consortium on School Health, and The Donner Canadian Foundation.

In his mid-twenties, while facilitating hundreds of interactive music workshops across Ontario, he realized that supporting people to create new and exciting things together was his calling in life.

Matthew Cooper

Matthew has had a passion for equality, equity and social justice from an early age and is proud to contribute to the Inspiring Communities team as an Evaluator. With a bachelor degree in English and History and a masters degree in Public History Matthew spent most of his working life teaching away from home. More recently Matthew finished an MBA in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship from Memorial University of Newfoundland, which included an internship with Choices For Youth where he contributed to a report on how Covid-19 is and will affect youth of Newfoundland and Labrador. His current passion is poverty reduction. Matthew volunteers with local groups including the St. John’s Tool Library board of directors as vice-chair, the Beard and Moustache Club as a Merby and volunteer, and as a member of the NewfoundLUG.