Steve Woolrich – Co-founder and Principal
Galiano Island, BC
For almost 30 years Steve Woolrich has established a reputation for excellence in his professional pursuits. He studied Justice Administration, majoring in Police Science at Mount Royal University. Steve completed additional studies at Kean College, New Jersey and worked with the New York Police Department as part of his practicum during the summer of 1984. His passion for youth drew him to working in corrections where he could have a dramatic impact while teaching life skills at a bootcamp in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Steve’s education, training and experience then led him into various corporate security roles and specialized security services in oil and gas, retail and armoured transport for almost two decades. He was instrumental in developing creative strategies, policies and procedures focusing on life safety and asset protection before relocating to Victoria, BC in 2016.
Steve is considered a leading expert in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and is also trained in SafeGrowth®. He has been applying CPTED methodology in his work since 1999 and has a keen interest in social issues and community development throughout Canada and abroad. His focus during the last few years has been on creating healthy and safe built environments. Steve supports Restorative Approaches, Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP) and is a trained Peace Circle Facilitator.
Steve is a collaborator and is drawn to organizations and leaders that are actively engaged in their communities. He was a director with the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network for several years and believes that Placemaking helps create safer streets and neighbourhoods . He specializes in developing positive strategies for Gang Reduction and Graffiti Abatement and has made a personal commitment to creating engaging urban spaces by initiating Street Piano initiatives that continue to inspire other cities to ‘pick up the tune.’ Steve is an avid supporter of Arts and Culture and continues to draw on his passion for creativity to enhance a wide-range of projects he undertakes.
Lisa Arora – Partner Consultant
Lisa is an expert visual facilitator, certified mediator and engagement specialist. She works with business leaders and community groups using interactive visual methods to empower collaboration, improve relationships, resolve conflicts and inspire solutions.
With 1000+ visual meetings under her belt and footprints around the globe, Lisa has worked with Fortune 500s, government agencies at all levels, First Nations, and non-profits to tackle complex, deep-rooted challenges across a full spectrum of industries from healthcare to high-tech to land development.
Lisa believes positive change begins with a well-structured conversation and that to solve the large, complex, deeply entrenched challenges we face now, we need many points of view.
Lisa brings a bright, creative, straightforward nature, with an eye for possibility and an emphasis on results. Her meetings result in clarity, alignment and forward movement.
Brekke Beyer – Systems Change / Software Engineering
The Blue Mountains, Ontario
Brekke has been navigating systems change for 23 years. She brings a powerful humanities lens to software engineering, an industry often caught up in technology as its own end while neglecting its tremendous influence on societal imaginations and behaviours. In her work, Brekke aims to expand this narrow call to action by anticipating community response to arising conditions of uncertainty, ambiguity and change, and ultimately overcome the profound disconnection many of us feel between economies and our general livelihoods.
In broad terms, development represents the set of processes that interact to create wealth and income, improve livelihoods and reduce poverty. And in it’s best form, technology empowers us to move beyond tedious levels of labour and towards new heights of creative power. But when technological leaps contribute to power structures that leave people behind, we encounter important choices about the kind of world we want to live in.
Together with her partner Ian, Brekke shares principalship of NetEvolved, a small software company specializing in full-service web application development, Digital Asset Management and online learning systems. They recently started Colony 42, a new company aiming to empower communities in new economies of localized learning and development. Also, as one of RU’s original minds behind Full Spectrum CPTED, Brekke contributes to our blog when so motivated by processes of the built environment.
Dr. Teale N. Phelps Bondaroff
Teale is an experienced researcher and community organizer. He believes in the power of placemaking to transform public space, foster connections between people, and ultimately build community. As a volunteer member of the board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, Teale heads up the Pocket Places Project. This project helps build, stock, and support little free libraries (LFLs) around Victoria. This project has helped the number of LFLs in Victoria grow from 111 at its inception, to nearly 400, the highest density in the country.
Dedicated to improving well-being through good policy and by transforming space, he has been involved in community projects Saanich, BC, on a number of issues including road safety, noise pollution, affordable housing, and accessibility.
Passionate about health and equality, Teale is the co-founder and chair of the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception, a grassroots campaign that is dedicated to making all prescription contraception in BC universally available at no cost.
An expert on illegal fishing, Teale serves as the Director of Research for OceansAsia, a marine conservation organization based out of Hong Kong that he helped found. This work includes investigating crime in the fishing industry, and studying a wide range of other marine conservation issues. He also serves as the Research Coordinator for the British Columbia Humanist Association, where he conducts and coordinates research on a variety of issues relating to separation of religion and government.
Teale has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge, and continues to pursue his academic research, the focus of which is the strategic use of international law by non-state actors, Arctic politics, and the strategy and tactics of non-state actors. He enjoys playing hockey, building giant puppets, board games, and coaching high school debate. He lives in Saanich, BC, Canada.
You can learn more about Teale and his various projects at his website: www.teale.ca
Lorne Daniel – Founder
Lorne is a retired communications and community engagement professional. His work as a lead consultant on a variety of urban projects has won awards from the International Downtown Association and Canadian Institute of Planners.
He lives in Victoria, BC, Canada, where he has led urban innovation projects and founded the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network. In 2015, he received the City of Victoria Mayor’s Medal for Community Leadership.
Brian Einarson – Partner Consultant
Brian recently hit the reset button and left a great gig in the City of Red Deer Social Planning department to move out to beautiful Vancouver Island. A University of Manitoba graduate, Brian went on to a 20 year career with the RCMP. It was during that time he became one of the first certified CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) practitioners. Following his retirement from the RCMP, Brian went on to work in education, health and community development. Brian draws on his experiences from busy city policing to remote isolated communities to inspire his passion for positive social change. Whether it was having an important meeting in a back alley or building an aquaponics garden in his office, Brian strives to move the social needle using the collective wisdom of community, and the power of fun.
Tanya Gadsby – Graphic Recording Specialist
Tanya is a graphic recorder and visual specialist based in Victoria, BC. Graphic recording is the creation of hand illustrated “infographics” on large sheets of paper – this is done live during meetings, conferences, and events. Tanya synthesizes conversations into concise images and text that keeps the audience engaged and inspires new ideas. She has collaborated with governments, corporations, community groups, and small businesses. She also specializes in illustrated videos and small-scale infographics. Her Bachelor of Fine Arts and background in community engagement contribute greatly to her work.
Karen Gariepy – Partner Consultant
Grande Prairie, AB
For over 30 years Karen Gariepy was employed by four different municipalities in various capacities. She recently resigned as Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Beaverlodge. Prior to this role, Karen was the Crime Prevention Manager for the City of Grande Prairie for almost 14 years.
During her time at the City, Karen was recognized as a community mobilizer thus earning her a provincial crime prevention award in 2006. The program that Karen led was also recognized at all levels of government. Karen was asked to join the Alberta Crime Prevention Association board in 2006, and served as President for over 9 years.
Karen is a trained Community Engagement Facilitator and has a wide variety of Crime Prevention Through Social Development (CPTSD) courses in her portfolio. She is a certified Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) practitioner and is also trained in SafeGrowth®. During her time at the City, Karen also had the opportunity to complete Placemaking training in New York City.
Karen truly believes that municipalities need to capitalize on their local assets and engage all citizens in playing a role in community wellbeing.
Dr. Trevor Hancock – Partner Consultant
Dr. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician, health promotion consultant and retired in 2018 from his role as Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. His main areas of interest are population health promotion, healthy cities and communities, public health, healthy public policy, environment and health, healthy and ‘green’ hospitals, health policy and planning, and health futurism.
His recent focus has been the combination of his two main areas – the relationship between human health and the natural environment and the healthy community approach. Since retiring he has established a new NGO in Victoria – Conversations for a One Planet Region – that works to engage the people and governments of the Greater Victoria Region in conversations about what is involved in becoming a region with an ecological footprint of One Planet while maintaining a good quality of life and good health for all.
Trevor is one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement and co-authored the original background paper for the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization in 1986. Over the past 30 years he has worked as a consultant for local communities, municipal, provincial and national governments, health care organizations, NGOs and the World Health Organization. He is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences as well as small community group engagements and since the end of 2014 has written a regular weekly column on population and public health for Victoria’s Times Colonist.
He has a long-standing interest in the relationship between health and the natural and built environment. For four years Trevor led a Canadian Public Health Association workgroup that resulted in a comprehensive Discussion Paper on the ecological determinants health (May 2015). He has been a member of the Canadian Council on the Social Determinants of Health, a member of the Board of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada from 2010 to 2015, and was on the Advisory Council of the Arts and Health Network Canada. Trevor co-founded both the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment & the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, and in the 1980’s Trevor was the first leader of the Green Party in both Canada and Ontario.
In 2015 Trevor was awarded Honourary Fellowship in the UK’s Faculty of Public Health for his contributions to public health, and in 2017 he was awarded the Defries Medal, the Canadian Public Health Association’s highest award, presented for outstanding contributions in the broad field of public health, as well as a Lifetime Contribution Award from Health Promotion Canada.
Outside work life, he is an enthusiastic Morris dancer and enjoys creating new dances and parody songs, as well as performing as the Green Man in the annual Mummers Play and at the annual Jack in the Green Festival in Hastings, UK. He has also been a semi-professional outdoor photographer and his photography has been shown in a number of juried art shows in southern Ontario and BC.
Soren Henrich – Communication
Soren brings a 30-year career perspective and design thinking to the public engagement process at Rethink Urban. He offers strategic communication design for local government, non-profit agencies and business leaders interested in sustainable development and socio-environmental responsibility. His strategies for creative service procurement and fulfillment lead to deliverables that engage. He leads community organization for local initiatives, neighbourhood associations and non-profit organizations, public education and outreach for placemaking, smart growth, urban watershed renewal and environmental conservation. His approach is influenced by urban planning thinkers and writers, Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander and contemporaries who are putting ideas into practice. He is the City Organizer for Jane’s Walk Victoria – citizen-led walks to get to know your city.
Shannon Kernaghan – Researcher / Writer
Word wizard Shannon Kernaghan would probably want to edit that description of herself. But it’s true: she does wonders with information, ideas – and words. Shannon has been our principal researcher / writer since 2000, during which time she has created clear and creative content in the form of web content, news releases, annual reports, newsletters, advertising and more. Our clients in many industries, private and public sector, unanimously say that Shannon is a delight to work with.
Shannon Littke – Partner Consultant
Red Deer, AB
People, cultures and the arts; these are what inspire Shannon and contribute to her unique skills, strengths, creativity and passions. With over 10 years experience working with vulnerable individuals across Alberta, she is able to actively apply her education, volunteer and life experience to focus on solution finding and creative out-of-the-box processes to achieve results. With a foundation grounded in fine arts and psychology/counselling, she has found a natural calling to the creative therapies including arts therapy and expressive therapy. Her diverse experience in not-for-profits has given her a perspective of the conflicting and intertwining systems within community and our larger society that impact people’s lives in a variety of positive and negative ways. Shannon is excited to begin new projects in place making, urban planning and finding creative solutions to address cultural and societal challenges in urban and rural areas.
Pam Moore – Partner Consultant
Pam has over 34 years’ experience working within the public health sector. She was one of the first public health professionals in western Canada to collaborate and partner with local governments in the emerging field of healthy built environments (HBE).
HBE is the connection between the physical features of the built environment and community well-being. The physical features of neighbourhood design, transportation networks, natural environments, food systems, and housing impact how negatively or positively individuals experience life.
Pam is recognized as a pioneer in finding common ground among community members, local governments and other agencies to identify strategies, policies and an understanding of the elements of community well-being. She has designed and delivered multiple training and capacity building workshops and programs, including health and HBE related programs, workshops and multi-day workshops within BC and Alberta.
Pam developed the Healthy Communities course for the British Columbia Institute of Technology targeted at health professionals to develop an understanding and develop core competencies of HBE concepts and how to effectively support local governments in creating healthier communities.
Pam is a member of Kelowna’s Journey Home Task Force, a multi-faceted group that developed the Journey Home Strategy to End Homelessness within the Central Okanagan. This long-term strategy recognizes the importance of shifting from traditional methods of community engagement to a new approach of addressing the needs of those at risk of homelessness and representing a variety of voices and experiences.
Jacy Morissette – Partner Consultant
Jacy recently relocated to beautiful Victoria, BC, which provides an effortless daily dose of reasons to live in gratitude through its support of the arts, community leadership and natural environment. These are a few of my favourite things. She has an educational background in business marketing, humanities and facilitation and work experience in arts management and complex community facilitation. Jacy has developed a specialized lens and creative approach that allows her to capture collective wisdom, inspire social change and deepen community impact. A believer and facilitator of Circle Process, Jacy is driven by the desire to create the space for authentic engagement to connect, empower and enable the co-creation of safe and vibrant places to live, work and play.
Adrian Myszka – Project Consultant
‘An experienced placemaker and community engagement facilitator, Adrian’s passion is in co-designing and activating vibrant, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable urban open spaces – parks, plazas, playgrounds, piazzas and everything in-between. Adrian’s work is grounded in an understanding that as our communities become increasingly urban, cities are expected to cater to a myriad of individual needs that are not fulfilled by traditional parks and public spaces – resulting in a need for place-based innovation.
Perpetually awed and inspired by Vancouver Island’s abundant natural beauty, Adrian spends the majority of his free time exploring vast landscapes at the end of a rope.’
Shawna Regier – Partner Consultant
Shawna is a certified Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) practitioner and is also trained in SafeGrowth®. She coordinates all Alberta-based projects for Rethink Urban Inc. She is originally from Calgary and now lives in Lacombe, Alberta. Shawna has a background in collective impact and security management, and has a keen interest in arts and culture. Through the use of CPTED methodologies and working towards a unanimous and proactive approach, Shawna strives to create safe communities and neighbourhoods. She is a community builder at heart and understands the importance of collaboration and cooperation in every project she undertakes.
Mike Russell – Partner Consultant
Cowichan Valley, BC
Mike Russell is an award-winning communicator and strategist with over 13-years of experience in crisis communications, strategy building, restorative storytelling, and direct community empowerment. He brings significant experience in community mobilization and has garnered a reputation as a trusted leader and persuasive storyteller. As a reflective collaborator, Mike is a careful listener and works hard to establish rapport and build relationships across diverse contexts, backgrounds, and identities.
Mike is currently the Director of Communications for the Cowichan Valley School District where he uses research, collaboration, and restorative storytelling processes to bring his community together. Additionally, Mike is a co-lead of the district’s Crisis Incident Response Team (CIRT), and liaison to the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC). Mike previously spent 14-years as a police officer with the Edmonton Police Service and Victoria Police Department where he worked in community engagement, beat, patrol, public affairs, and as an acting-detective in the Criminal Investigation Section.
Mike is a husband and father of five, cyclist, aspiring guitar player, and amateur photographer.
Nic Simmons – Photographer/Videographer
Growing up on Vancouver island, I quickly fell in love with the picturesque landscape and happy coastal vibes that this island has to offer. I have been an admirer of photography for the majority of my life. After getting my first point and shoot camera when I was 14 I fell in love with the idea of expressing my creativity through imagery. To capture moments the way I see them I feel reflects my own personality. Recently, I decided to take my work to the professional level in both photography and videography. Still discovering my niche, I dabble in all disciplines of photography but mainly in capturing people and storytelling through narratives in raw live situations. A picture evokes emotion in us all and it’s my goal to make the viewer feel as if they themselves were in the moment it was captured. I want to continue educating myself in the world of digital media and eventually travel abroad as a photojournalist to capture the rest of the world and share the stories of people and places that need to be told.
While teaching at security seminars for small businesses, Greg found an overwhelming need for the expert knowledge and experience he had gained from working in corporate security in large organizations. Urban Security Innovation Inc. was formed in 2007 to provide security management consulting services.
Greg has enjoyed a successful career in security management spanning over 20 years. He has completed studies in Security Management from Grant MacEwan University and the University of Alberta. He has studied Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) at the Florida Atlantic University and is a regular presenter at the Edmonton Police Service CPTED and Crime Free Multi Housing seminars.
Greg was recognized by Security Magazine in 2004 for Best Practices in Security, and achieved a Safety Recognition Award for Best Practices in Parkade Security from the City of Edmonton.