The staff has the responsibility of running the day-to-day operations and ensuring that the directives and priorities identified by our members are undertaken in a meaningful way. Our team represents a mix of part-time and full-time staff with different backgrounds, ages, and interests.
Everyone is a gift – first of our 9 core principles of engagement – and possess a profound desire to work towards social change in meaningful ways. Many of us started as volunteers here at the Roulant!
The Roulant’s agriculture program aims to build a food system that is healthy, just, and sustainable. Our agriculture projects are designed to support local and organic agriculture while ensuring that the fruits of our labours remain accessible to all regardless of socio-economic status, level of mobility, or degree of autonomy.
Having always been happiest when frolicing in the outdoors, I knew from a young age I wanted to work outside. By chance, I got involved with a small-scale organic farm right after finishing high school and quickly found my passions for growing food in community, and promoting biodiversity and local food accessibility. At the beginning of 2020, I joined the farming community on the unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal after previously farming in the States. From my experience working on and managing various small-scale organic farms, in both non-profit and commercial sectors, I found I loved most the opportunities in connecting people to their food and am very excited to continue to do so with Santropol Roulant.
Urban Agriculture Program Manager
Originally from Mexico, I have lived in Tio’tia:ke (known as Montreal) since 2001. Growing up on a farm with two crafty parents, I had an attachment to land and art since I was a kid. Later, I got to get involved and fell in love with the food justice initiatives around the city, as well as work for various peri-urban farms. Joining the team at the Roulant is an awesome opportunity to put my heart in what I value and I can’t say how excited I am! After working on the Roulant farm in 2019, and then on the Meals on Wheels team, I’m stoked to now manage the Urban Agriculture program and pursue its mission of universal accessibility, education, and bringing people together around flowers and vegetables to feed bellies and hearts. See you soon!
Gardens and Accessible Agriculture Coordinator
Born and raised in Montréal, I love being involved in projects that work to make this city greener and better for all its residents. I have been interested in ecological agriculture and food security ever since starting my degree in Environmental Studies. Since then, I have been involved in a variety of agriculture projects, including a community garden in NDG and a rural food sovereignty project in Nicaragua. I am super passionate about community-based initiatives that improve city living for both our human and non-human neighbors (of which the Roulant’s urban ag projects are a perfect example!). I am also super passionate about exploring the island on my bike, reading in the park, and bird watching.
The fundraising team plans our main fundraising events and activities, brings alive our sponsorship and corporate partnership strategy, and more!
Fundraising & Communications Manager
Having lived and worked the last ten years on Vancouver Island, I feel privileged to be making a new home on the unceded traditional lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal. I am excited to leverage my experience in the non-profit arts sector and my passion for facilitating powerful community partnerships and events — from the main stage to the fringes, to my own backyard — to contribute to the incredible work and reputation of Santropol Roulant. And I am eager to share the stories and values at the heart of our work to build vibrant partnerships in this growing community. Let’s connect.
Fundraising and Communications Coordinator
Originally from Vancouver Island, I grew up spending ample time outdoors. Part of this was working in the garden with my parents and neighbours where I came to understand food as an important part of social connection. A few years in Montréal and one degree in environmental studies later, these values have rooted themselves more deeply into my day-to-day life. Since moving to Montréal, my passion for cooking has grown and my professional life has been largely focused on helping to ensure food security for seniors living in isolation. These passions for good food and social connection naturally led me to the Roulant, where I had previously volunteered doing meal deliveries and in the kitchen, but mostly with the bicycle collective, SantroVélo. I am grateful to be able to engage my love of being involved with the community in contributing to the important work of Santropol Roulant.
Ekaterina (Katya) Callies de Salies
Fundraising and Communications Officer
With 12 years of experience in communication, specializing in public relations and event organization, I recently felt a deep calling to contribute more to social causes. From volunteering for the elderly to leading charitable initiatives at the Spartak Moscow ice hockey club, my actions are fueled by a commitment to make a positive impact. Despite a different career focus, I’ve prioritized doing good, and have found immense satisfaction. In these challenging times, I’m eager to contribute to a brighter world. Joining Santropol Roulant as the Fundraising and Communications Officer is an exciting opportunity to align my values with impactful work. I am thrilled to lead efforts fostering inclusivity, education, food security, and the joy of uniting for a meaningful cause. Excited for the journey ahead!
The kitchen team prepares, develops, and packages healthy nutritious meals every day for our Meals-on-Wheels clients with the help of volunteers.
My journey to becoming Santropol Roulant’s Kitchen Manager is a winding one. I studied Communications at Concordia then began my professional career as a filmmaker, running a production studio for 8 years. In 2016, I co-founded a tech startup that powers mentorship for individual artists and businesses. Both were professional experiences that challenged and honed my creative and business skills, but didn’t quite align with my values; I wanted to be a part of a loving community, drive social impact and create value with my hands, all of which are foundational to the Roulant and its unique environment. Volunteering in the kitchen this past year has allowed me to reconnect with food in a more thoughtful way, grounded in food security and education. As Santropol Roulant’s Kitchen Manager, I am extremely proud to contribute to the organisation’s mission of providing daily nutritious meals to individuals living with a loss of autonomy. I am eager to grow its impact and reach further within the community.
John (JJ) Fridman
I began cooking professionally as a seasonal job in-between spending the majority of my year in the country working in and around a summer camp, both as an animator (canoeing’s my jam!) and a groundskeeper. While my academic background is focused in evolutionary biology, a discipline I will always find profoundly interesting, I keep finding myself back in the socially and creatively engaging environment of a kitchen, so-much-so that I’ve spent the last 15 years in all sorts of culinary settings from private catering to grocery production and everything in between! I’m grateful for the knowledge and experiences I’ve accumulated working in the for-profit sector, but I found myself lacking in a deeper, more meaningful underpinning to my work-life. Deciding to shift gears towards food security and education, I discovered Santropol Roulant, and its mission aligned fantastically with my goal of collaborating in an environment fostering community-building, social action, and autonomy and education around food. I’m excited to participate with everyone at the Roulant and discover all the wonderful things we can cook up!
Bio to come!
Bonjour Hi! I’m Maya, urban geography aficionado and lover of all things tasty. Ever since I was a young Vancouverite, I’ve had a burning desire to become a chef. When I started studying Urban Systems in university and cooking in restaurants across Montreal, I made a pact to unite my two professional passions: city life and food. That’s when I started my foray into the field of Urban Food Systems. Focusing on body-level politics and changing lives one meal at a time? Sign me up. Basking in the human instinct to connect over a meal? Absolutely. Using the inherent cultural power of food to leverage social change and justice? Yes please! And so I found the Roulant, started volunteering, and the rest is history.
Our Meals-on-Wheels program is at the heart of the organization and is the core around which Santropol Roulant was built back in 1995. It responds to the increasing need for greater food security among the elderly, but also to the shared desire, as manifested by our volunteers, to build a rich and healthy social fabric.
Having lived in the Mile End all my life, I had the chance to grow up near my family, our friends, and a community that was constantly growing thanks to encounters with neighbours and my work with children and seniors in my neighbourhood. After having dedicated several years to my studies, I wanted to reconnect with this part of my heritage and devote myself to what brings me joy each day: people, encounters and the space we share. This desire, joined with the hope that we each have a capacity for action nourished by contact with our living environment (the individuals, the ecosystem, the space, the history, etc.) led me to Santropol Roulant. Here, I have found a warm community of employees, clients, and volunteers; people committed to bringing to life a space for intergenerational encounters and to supporting the mission of the Roulant, one which I now have the joy and honour to participate in as Meals-on-Wheels outreach worker. Come visit us, enter into this space; it would be a pleasure to meet you!
Meals-on-Wheels Outreach Worker
Born and raised in the countryside, I have spent the last eleven years on the territory of Tiohtiá:ke unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá: ka community. Passionate by urban swarms and all kinds of community projects that emerge in this city, I’ve just finished a master degree in urban studies at INRS in which I worked with young Montrealers on their unique vision of the city and its daily life. My involvement at the Roulant started back in January 2016 as a volunteer for the meals on wheels program. During all these years, I’ve met dozens of incredible human beings overflowing with kindness, energy, sensibility and creativity. Today, participating actively in the organization management is a real honour and a dream challenge. Looking forward to exchanging and sharing wonderful moments with you!
Meals-on-Wheels Outreach Worker
My passion for humanities first started in college and further blossomed during my degree in social work. A meandering life path eventually led me to complete a Diploma of Vocational Studies, then going on to work for the CHUM and the Montréal School Service Centre with both beneficiaries and children with disabilities. These combined experiences have confirmed what inspires me professionally: human connection. Being there for people through challenges, helping them to develop the tools they need to nourish their well-being and fulfilment, and empowering them with strategies for a healthy life. Having lived experience of being marginalised, I understand the importance of safe, inclusive spaces like the Roulant. I hold a high importance to the Roulant’s first principle, which is to see people as gifts. Working at the heart of this organisation, I aim to help to ensure sustainable growth of a caring community. My wish is to reinforce the foundations that foster its longevity: offering a space conducive to respect, belonging, autonomy, and fulfilment.
Meals-on-Wheels Outreach Worker
I first came to Montréal in 2008 after studying music in Toronto and Ottawa, and quickly found a new love of mine: doing work to help others out. I started doing this at Concordia by becoming involved with student-run initiatives like the People’s Potato (a politically engaged soup kitchen) and TAPthirst (a working group of QPIRG Concordia against the privatization of water). My studies there focused on how to navigate and try to alter the capitalist system to create a better place for all to live. Now, I find myself at the Roulant doing just that by providing good meals to people who need them. Don’t be shy, come say hi!
The admin team supports the Roulant’s other duties and responsibilities through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication to ensure efficient operation of the office.
Being the tall shoot on the staff team, and with my European accent, I’m easy to pick out in a crowd. In pursuit of cross-pollination, I buzzed my way throughout a few cities before settling down in Montreal, a place that grabbed me by the heart strings some time ago. Whereas at the Roulant some cultivate recipes in the kitchen or vegetables in the garden, my role centers around the faces of the Roulant and the various cogs and gears that turn in the background. I’m happy as a worker bee in the community hive that is the Roulant, and if the Roulant were a vegetable, I’d eat it at every meal! I especially love community initiatives, urban chickens, seniors and hugs… and of course, above all else, I love the Roulant (have I mentioned that already? no? yes? yes!), a place that allows us to add new feathers to our hat each and every day.
Director of Human Resources and Operations
With an original career path in health-care, I’ve spent most of my life volunteering for community initiatives and nonprofits near and dear to my heart, whose missions support access to social, food, and housing security.
Obtaining such access is often a delicate first step for many individuals, and is what drove me to specialize in Human Resources, as a way to bridge the information and access gap that too often exists between available resources and those who need them.
My current professional interests center on the intersection of the continuous improvement of Human Resources administration, Information Technologies, and the community. Coupled with a background in psychology and international development, my background has spanned clinical operations, aviation, project coordination, as well as program leadership and development within the local and international non-profit and cultural arts sectors.
Within the Roulant, I’ve found my calling as a Human Gardener, helping to improve the working experience for individuals who choose to pour their heart and soul into our community projects and mission.
I first learned of the Roulant during a group volunteering session in 2012 and have loved it ever since. I’ve volunteered mostly on meal deliveries until joining the Fruits défendus collective in 2015, which I continue to be a part of. These two opportunities gave me a way to learn about the challenges of food security and at the same time help to make a difference. In coordinating the market, I am excited to take on the challenge of making local, organic food accessible to people across Montreal and supporting our local producers.