About Us

Our Team

Meet the force behind the efforts of Grown Forward

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Committed to creating a more sustainable future.

Marv Vandermeer

Operations Manager

Andrew Young

Marketing Director

Jason Bissainthe-Tobin

Tech Support

Michelle Vandermeer

Treasurer

Christopher Crawford

Brand Ambassador

Our core team is dedicated to achieving Grown Forward’s goals.

Visionary

Marv Vandermeer

Marv Vandermeer has spent 35 years in various wood relating businesses, ranging from millwork to machinery to importing lumber from tropical countries. His resume includes supplying the White House with 100 year old Cuban Mahogany for a restoration project in 2005. Grown Forward is the result of his passion and dedication to developing high value species like rosewood and ebony in sustainable plantations.

Creative

Andrew Young

Andrew has spent the past 20 years helping NGO's like, World Wildlife Fund and the Sick Kids Foundation to develop and implement marketing programs. Andrew completed a BCOMM at Ryerson University, and navigated a successful career in the advertising industry, culminating with the ownership and operation of a digital marketing agency. Andrew joins the Grown Forward Project as a true believer in the cause.

Activist

Jason Bissainthe-Tobin

Jason Bissainthe-Tobin is a graduate of York University and has worked within the lumber industry for a few years handling exotic woods such as Cocobolo and Ipe. Jason joined Grown Forward to help spread awareness of endangered tree species through social media. Jason has been playing the guitar for over a decade and is working to help preserve the woods needed not only for tropical forests but for musical instruments as well.

End User

David Lay

David Lay is a cabinetmaker who has been working in the furniture and woodworking industry for 22 years. After completing his education at Conestoga College in their woodworking Tech program, he spent the next 2 decades building fine furniture and custom cabinetry. David is a father who enjoys his free time with his wife and two young children, and following furniture makers and artists on social media.

Accountability

Michelle Vandermeer

Michelle Vandermeer has spent 26 years at DSBN teaching elementary students specializing in mathematics as well as coaching various athletic teams.
She has a passion for nature, and when she is not training for a triathlon she can be found hiking somewhere in the Niagara Region.