Board of Directors

Deanna De Forest


Deanna developed an interest in the environment at a young age, influenced by her time on a small hobby farm exploring the outdoors, digging worms, chasing butterflies and climbing trees. This interest stuck with her through her life, leading to summer jobs in conservation and a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario. Deanna has spent the past 20 years as an Environmental Consultant with a focus on environmental assessment. Choosing Barrie as her home, she hopes to contribute to a healthy, resilient and sustainable city that is connected to the ecology and natural features of our area.

Deb Woods

Deb has joined the board with a background in community development for the not-for-profit sector. She has past experience in fundraising and event planning.

Since retiring Deb has deepened her interest in painting and drawing, spent as much time as possible with her five grandchildren, volunteered with Seasons Centre for Grieving Children and with Third Age Barrie, enjoyed her garden, incorporated a regular yoga practice in her life, and kept up with her two dogs on the rail trails in and around Barrie.

Gita Cartwright

Gita has spent the last 25 years on the sales side of the mortgage industry focusing on marketing, national training and territory management.  She went to Laurentian University in Sudbury, where she earned a Commerce Degree, minoring in Marketing and Labor Relations.  She has always had a passion for the environment and finding ways to bring awareness both personally and professionally.  Living Green’s mandate and mission of fostering sustainability and resilience in the community truly resonated with her and she knew she wanted to be a part of it and help make a difference. When not at work,  Gita enjoys golf, swimming, reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Jackie Ramler

Interim Treasurer

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Jackie runs three successful Financial Planning Branches in Barrie, Elmvale, and Midland working as a Portfolio Manager. She specializes in cross-border investments, estate planning, and responsible investing (ESG- Environment, Social, and Governance). Her academic education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree Env. & Political Science, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Responsible Investment Advisor (RIA) and more.

Jackie is extremely active in community engagement and has extensive board experience with Sustainable Orillia, Tay Township Library Board, Rainbows for All Children and the Ontario Association for Family Mediation, as well as Living Green Barrie. Jackie is a supportive wife and mother to her teenage son.

Meg Whitton

Meg is the Morning Show host for Bounce Radio.  She wants to bring environmental stories, especially local, into mainstream media more often.  The more we hear positive stories from our own communities, the more we are inspired to alter our habits! Meg went to the University of Guelph and moved North of Barrie 15 years ago. She has a particular interest in minimalism and encouraging folks to buy less stuff and shop secondhand.  She can be found mountain biking, skiing, camping, kayaking and lugging glass jars to the Bulk Barn.  

Peter Bursztyn

Peter B. is one of Living Green Barrie’s founding members! His academic career has taken him around the world from medical school at the University of East Africa in Nairobi to the University of Southampton in England. Peter has worked as an Industrial Chemist and academic professor and now enjoys a busy retirement. He spends his free time volunteering at RVH, is on the Board of the Barrie Rowing Club and loves spending time with his grandkids. Peter is Living Green Barrie’s energy expert with expertise in everything from wind turbines to nuclear power . . . including: energy efficiency, emissions from combustion, emission abatement, carbon pricing and more.

Peter Tretter

Vice Chair

Peter T. has been on the board of Living Green Barrie on and off since 2010 serving as Chair from 2013 – 2016 and 2021-2022. He has worked in the financial and IT sectors and currently works in the non-profit sector. Peter’s enthusiasm for living a green lifestyle is infectious and he is a valuable, longstanding member of the board of directors.

Steve Schwarz


After spending 28 years in manufacturing, as a mechanical engineer specializing in consumer product design, Steve is looking for ways to give back to the community and is excited to be part of an organization that works to protect the environment.  He likes to understand how things work, how they can be repaired (to keep them out of the landfill) and how they could be made better, which ultimately led him to study engineering.  Steve received a Bachelor of Applied Science (engineering) —BASc from Queen’s University in 1994. Born and raised in Barrie, Steve, his wife, three kids and their dog enjoy everything outdoors that our wonderful city and surrounding areas have to offer, including: hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, canoeing and windsurfing.  He believes that there is so much here to enjoy and in order to keep enjoying it, we need to come up with creative ways to protect it.  

Living Green Barrie Staff

Andee Pelan

Executive Director

Andee Pelan is an ISA Certified Arborist with degrees in Cultural Anthropology & Environmental Studies and diplomas in Forestry & Ecosystem Restoration. With over 28 years of experience in the environmental sector, she has worked in the fields of forestry, stewardship, and ecotourism. Before joining Living Green in 2019, she managed community stewardship programs for Conservation Authorities.

Sarah Herr

Project Director

Sarah Herr is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide with ANFT who embodies what it means to “live green”. She has a degree in Geography and has spent ten years working in a local nursery. She is an Ontario Master Naturalist and freelance social media expert. Her training in horticultural and nature therapy has taught her the benefits of reconnecting people with nature. She loves spending time outdoors with trees, family and her dogs and getting her hands dirty in the garden.