Board of Directors

laurie gallant

Laurie Gallant

Founder, Executive Director and Grant Writer

Laurie started up MASH to realize dreams she had for her new community. Relocating from Smithers in 2010, she has been off-grid homesteading and farming with her partner Bill. With more than a decade experience raising farm animals (sheep, llamas, goats, chickens, geese, cows, dogs and cats) and developing a Forest Garden that produces an abundance of fruit and herbs each year, Laurie understands the importance of learning skills and having access to equipment to grow and preserve food.

Certified as a Permaculture Designer in 2010, Laurie brings a holistic approach to her projects that emphasizes social, environmental and economic harmony. She is also trained in Community-Based Social Marketing that begins with identifying barriers and incentives to fostering sustainable behaviour. Other credentials include certificates in PreserveSafe, FoodSafe and Food Skills for Families facilitation.

With over three decades experience as an Environmental Planner and running a consulting business to offer these services, Laurie understands the complexities of community work and project management. She was a contractor to the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine for more than a decade where she designed and spear-headed Zero Waste projects including composting, awarding grants to grassroots initiatives,  administering contracts for collection services and re-writing bylaws to align with sustainability goals.

Fun fact about Laurie is that she switched from snowboarding to skiing five years ago and is a season’s passholder at Hudson’s Bay Mountain.


Project Manager and Grant Writer

Nika is passionate about supporting healthy communities. She has participated in many different realms that promote food security in the Hazeltons and beyond. From experiencing MASH fermenting and canning workshops to facilitating wild food, cooking and herbal medicine workshops, Nika has developed a diverse skill set.  She has years of experience raising chickens, turkeys, pigs and sheep for market as well as self identifying as a garlic queen in her Permaculture garden. Certified as a Permaculture Designer, she is constantly learning and ready to share knowledge. Past involvement with MASH activities include teaching a needle felting workshop and assisting with the Great Apple Pressing Project. Nika is also a visual artist largely focused on felting wool with past exhibits at art galleries in the region. As project manager and facilitator for Groundbreakers, a charity focused on education about food sustainability, being part of both organizations leads to rich cross-pollination. A fun fact about Nika is that she has recently become a raft guide with SWCC and has become deeply immersed in learning about our watershed.

Chris Zazula

Project development

Chris has deep roots in the Hazeltons and has lived here on and off for the past two decades. He is currently owner/operator of Aurora Sporealis, an edible mushroom farm that sells fresh mushrooms, fruiting blocks and several dried mushroom products. With this venture, he has learned much about product development and marketing in the food industry. As a regular vendor and Director for the Hazelton Farmer’s Market, Chris brings valuable insights and connections to MASH.

Chris has been hands-on with our Apple Pressing program this year and has helped us to refine our work flows and the mechanics of our equipment.

For several years now, Chris has also been a shuttle driver for Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition’s Youth on Water and Women on Water rafting programs which means he is an expert at backing up with a trailer and heavy loads. He was also a contractor for the Hazeltons Recycling Pilot Project developed by Laurie when she worked for RDKS.

Fun fact about Chris is that he built a cob pizza oven for his child’s fifth birthday party.

Support sustainability and food security in your community

We are a registered non-profit society operating mainly in the Hazeltons since 2017, with service on demand for surrounding communities. Our passion is food security and supporting local farmers to succeed in a changing market and a changing climate. Capacity-building, networking and delivering fun, safe events are what we do best.

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