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Nicola Jane Thomas

Director of Ecological Development





51 Overlea Cresent
Kitchener, ON

N2M 5A8

  A Bit About Me

  • 15 years’ experience initiating, leading and coordinating more than 30 food forests throughout the waterloo Region, working in inter-sectoral linkages community capacity building through needs assessment, engagement, workshop planning, resource development, facilitation, advocacy, and project management.

  • Delivered Talks and workshops locally, nationally, and internationally addressing the inequities and system barriers in agriculture, for Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

  • Proven community development understanding, skill in people-centered community development with diverse backgrounds. “The value of one, the power of many”.

  • Implemented relationship building through successful ability to manage challenging conversations with stakeholders through negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and conflict resolution

  • Demonstrated understanding of historical and contemporary issues faced by Indigenous communities in Canada through radio interviews CBC Windsor, the Pandemy Show

  • Successfully organizing and built a livable van to travel across Southwestern Ontario completing the Sankofa 100 Miles to Freedom 2022 Tour.

  • Earned the 2016 CIBWE Canadian Black Women award, earned environmental awards including The City of Kitchener Environmentalist award 2019

& Past Clients

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 Work Experience

2004 - Present

2004 - 2006

2002 - 2004

 1994 - 2002

Founder, Permaculturalist Teacher, Community Agitator

Grand River Food Forestry, Kitchener, ON    

  • Designed and implemented a sustainable process to provide access to free organic food by identifying, disrupting, and eliminating systemic barriers to inequities, anti-oppression, anti-hate, anti-racism and regenerating soil in reconciliation working alongside the Indigenous

  • Member of Food Sovereignty Collective Waterloo Region  

  • Created and delivered community engagement incubators, building trust whilst  ensuring a process where all voices and experiences are heard.

  • Successfully involved and engaged The City of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, Schools, community centers, churches, universities, and corporate stakeholders in the process.

  • Promoted, facilitated, and supported best practices in the implementation of regional food forests partnering with other grassroots organizations

Employment Counselor

The Working Centre, Kitchener, ON  

  • Identify barriers to employment providing appropriate referrals

  • Assess job search strategies, resume writing, and interview preparation

  • Created and administered a workshop series specific for workers over 40 years of age

  • Designed and implemented a Time Management workshop series for youth with employment barriers

Housing Retention and Reintegration Manager

ROOF, Kitchener, ON                         

  • Initiated, designed, and implemented the First Kitchener/WaterlooTransitional Supported Housing Program for youth 16-25

  • Developed data providing statistical results to the Region of Waterloo

  • Created a Housing Best Practices Manual for staff and volunteers to assist in successfully supporting homeless youth

  • Successfully supervised teams of 10 volunteers supporting homeless at-risk youth

  • Provided consulting services to other local community agencies

IT Project Manager

IM Interactive Multimedia, Toronto, ON

  • Accountable for project details and client deadline deliverables

  • Performed proposal analysis, design and debugging of projects

  • Documented and implemented technical solutions

  • Managed graphic designers and programmers through full production to go live

  • Created one of the first interactive CD-ROM’s, Diversity In The Work Place

  • Illustrated and produced The Underground Railroad CD-ROM for used an educational

  • tool by the school boards education high school students Nationally

Stewardship & Placemaking


2009 - 2011

2002 - 2003

 2001 - 2002

1998 - 2000

Permaculture Consultant/Teacher                                 

Permaculture Education Center

E-Commerce Solutions Developer                                                                     

Trios College, Kitchener, ON

Project Management                                                                                         

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Multimedia Specialist Graduate with Honors                                                                  

Toronto School of Video, Toronto, ON




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