Team

Jody Nelson, NSR

Jody Nelson

Project Lead 

For the past several years, Jody has been coordinating collaborative systems change across Cape Breton-Unama’ki. In her role as a Community Food Coordinator for Ecology Action Centre, Jody brought momentum to the food movement, using food as a lens for broader goals around community well-being and resiliency. She now brings her passion and meaningful relationships to Northside Rising, and works with the backbone team to amplify all that is great on the Northside. “I have worked with many wonderful people, on the ground, as a network, and influencing policy, but I get really excited about creating pathways between these layers and various sectors within our communities. Working together in new ways really can unlock change.”

When Jody is not working with community, she is feeding community. “I have run a small-scale vegetable farm for 10 years. My farm has always been at the heart of how I give to and connect with community, friends, and family.” 

Contact Jody: jnelson@northsiderising.ca 

Megan MacLeod

Community Lead, Engagement and Collaboration

Megan MacLeod grew up on Boularderie Island and now lives in Cape Breton after 12 years living elsewhere in Nova Scotia and abroad. When she’s not tending to her garden or enjoying the natural beauty of the Maritimes, she’s fermenting something new in the kitchen and cooking with local products from the food hub and farmers market. She has a Masters Degree in Food, Culture & Communication: Human Ecology & Sustainability from the University of Gastronomic Sciences and studied Human Nutrition at St. Francis Xavier University.

Her past work for a variety of businesses, social enterprises, and non-profits has included education, community-building, and food systems. She is passionate about further understanding the relationships between people, food, environment, and health. Megan is excited to be a part of the momentum that is already building behind Northside Rising and to get to know more people on the Northside. Stop into the office and say hello!

 

Eric Leviten-Reid

Community Lead, Research and Evaluation

Eric Leviten-Reid is a Facilitator of Community Engagement and Collaboration for New Dawn Enterprises, and the Research & Evaluation Lead for Northside Rising. He has worked as a community development researcher and practitioner for 30 years with a particular focus on collaborative approaches to complex issues. Born and raised in Cape Breton, Eric has worked both in local communities and elsewhere in Canada. Prior to coming home, he served as Learning and Evaluation Coordinator for Vibrant Communities, a national initiative exploring community-based strategies for poverty reduction.

“It’s exciting to be working on initiatives like this back in Cape Breton. It feels like a time of change. Lots of people looking for new ways of working together to build the future we want. Lots to do and lots to learn!”

Eric lives in Sydney with his wife, two children and two cats. Enjoys local food, circus arts and hockey!!

Contact Eric: elevitenreid@northsiderising.ca

 

Suzi Oram-Aylward

Program Coordinator

Suzi Oram-Aylward is the Program Coordinator for the Northside Changemakers Program – an inclusive program designed to build leadership capacity and civic engagement on the Northside. As part of the Northside Rising team, Suzi plays a key role in designing, delivering and evolving the program. 

Suzi is a recent graduate in Community Studies as well as a visual artist living in Unama’ki-Cape Breton. She explores art as a mechanism for engaging youth and the community-level in social change.

“Art can be a powerful channel, allowing people to take action and have voice in issues that affect them.” 

In addition to her studies, Suzi has also worked as an outreach worker in various organizations across the Maritimes including Welcome Housing and ACAP Cape Breton. When she is not working, she can be found in the studio, or combing the beach looking for inspiration for her next project. 

Contact Suzi: saylward@northsiderising.ca 

 

Jonathan Walters

IT Intern

Jonathan is a recent graduate from the IT Web Programming at NSCC, but has worked with computers or in the IT field in some capacity for the last 10 years or so. He has a passion for all things technology and specifically a strong background in IT support, programming and web design.

He loves designing websites and working on other graphic design projects. Having the creativity to make things beautiful or exciting can be so rewarding, compared to just any old boring design. “I’m not overly great at making things with my hands; however, programming and design allows me to make things I enjoy using my mind and my own creativity.” Jonathan is also absolutely obsessed with animals, especially his own pets: his two dogs Kinsley & Chase, 20+ tropical fish and his two cats Abby & Smartie.

Jonathan firmly believes that having basic computer knowledge is an invaluable skill and can help someone in their everyday life.

“It’s so worth it seeing that moment when someone begins to understand and feel comfortable using a computer for the first time. It’s no overreaction to say that keeping up with and learning new technologies can greatly improve someone’s situation and give them more confidence.”

Contact Jonathan: support@inspiringcommunities.ca