Michael Johnson is the Chair of ICA. He has been involved with ICA as a volunteer for over 10 years and was honoured to assume the Chair in 2017. He was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario, where he currently resides along with his wife, Kelly, his two sons and 4 grandchildren. Both Kelly and Michael have been to Cameroon several times and have witnessed first hand the wonderful work that is being done with ICA Canada and CIC (Centre for International Cooperation), the partner organization in Cameroon. Working directly with CIC has afforded ICA the luxury to be able to build schools in a very efficient and cost sensitive manner. He looks forward to working with ICA for many years to come and welcomes everyone to reach out to fellow ICA volunteers for more information or for ways that you can help us continue the great work that is being done in Cameroon.
Ed Smith is the founder and previous president of ICA from 1994-2016. A career military officer, he retired in 2011 with 25 years of service and a diversity of training including working with the United Nations in South Sudan where he continued to lead development initiatives until 2014. He is a recipient of the Order of Military Merit, a Paul Harris Fellowship, an Honorary PhD. from Nipissing University and other awards for his work in the development field. A graduate of the Humber College International Development Management Studies, he is dedicated to the issues of social justice, international development and environmental stewardship. He has led ICA projects in Cameroon for more than 20 years. He now devotes much of his time immersing himself in development issues and continuing to support ICA with their successful operations.
Check him out on Twitter @EdSmithICA
Mason Brookwell has been involved with ICA for many years now and what continues to bring him back is the sustainable approach in which they solve problems. ICA is very much about empowering local leaders to bring out the best in their own communities through sustainable models. He believes this is the cornerstone to ICA’s success and is what sets ICA apart. Mason’s background and experience with ICA started with a discussion about micro funding and how a small loan could help a villager become successful and provide for his family. His passion grew from there to create a micro funding program to help villagers reduce their reliance on unsustainable fuel based kerosene lanterns by utilizing solar systems. There have been many lessons learned along the way but Mason’s passion for helping others help themselves has grown and he looks forward to continuing this work with ICA Canada.
Conrad Bereznicki joined the ICA Board in 2018 and is excited to be a part of an organization focusing on improving the quality of education and welfare of Cameroon citizens. Conrad is focusing his efforts on the marketing strategy in order to increase awareness and to promote the various projects ICA currently has underway. He believes everyone should have access to education. He has a BSc. in Oil & Gas Engineering with a Minor in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development from the University of Calgary. He lives in Calgary, Alberta and he is currently working at Peters & Co. in Equity Research. Conrad is also pursuing his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Gerald Laronde presently teaches in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University, educating teachers how to better instruct in the science and technology field. He has a B.Sc. (Agriculture) from the University of Guelph, a B.Ed. and M.Ed. from Nipissing University, and a PhD. in Education from the University of Toronto. Gerald has taught at the elementary and secondary school level, as well as at Canadore College. He is a member of Nipissing First Nation, where he currently resides. Gerald was a Faculty advisor on two trips to Cameroon, where he supervised Nipissing University B.Ed. students on a teaching practicum. He also has climbed and survived Mt. Cameroon, with the help of Ed Smith.
Deanna is a native of the Niagara Peninsula with a lifelong love of the outdoors and innate awareness of social justice issues. Deanna holds an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from York University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College where she currently teaches part time. Deanna chose a career in the environmental field based on her experience working in Haiti in the 1990’s. The realization that the land could not support the people due to the degradation of natural resources made a deep and lasting impact. In her 20 plus year career, Deanna has held positions with local and provincial governments managing hundreds of stewardship projects and leading environmental education and outreach initiatives. Deanna joined ICA in 2015 and has travelled to Cameroon twice to assist with monitoring and evaluation of ICA projects. She is continually renewed by the deep dedication of ICA volunteers.
Dr. Lorraine Frost has been a teacher for 44 years. Currently, she is a professor in the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, having also taught at other universities in Canada. She started her teaching career in Norway House, Manitoba, which was an indigenous community accessible only by air. She taught in rural Manitoba and inner city Toronto before commencing her PhD studies in Special Education at the University of Toronto. She started her university career in 1988 and has taught and supervised at the undergraduate and graduate levels since that time. She and her husband are the proud parents of two daughters and one grandson.
Meghan Lowery took up the post of Executive Director of ICA in May 2022. Meghan grew up in a small town in Manitoba and as an adult has lived in cities across Canada and spent almost seven years living and working in Thailand and Vietnam. After returning to live in Canada, Meghan traveled to Cameroon with ICA and witnessed the massive impact that this relatively small organization was able to achieve at a grassroots level. Through her professional background in international finance and insight gathered from global travel experiences, Meghan intends to help ICA continue its vital work in international development and bring in a new era of growth and empowerment for the organization and its beneficiaries.