A Growing Team at Growing Chefs! – Introducing Jaydeen Williams
Hi. I’m Jaydeen Williams and I’m thrilled to join the Growing Chefs! team in the role of Acting Executive Director. As current Executive Director Helen Stortini’s due date approaches, I’ll be working alongside her to learn all about the team of staff, volunteers and supporters and the incredible programming we offer in BC schools.
Some of us are lucky enough to carve out a career path that travels alongside our life path. I am one of those lucky few. For example, after completing a degree in Psychology and Biology at UBC, I was seeking travel and adventure. I then spent seven years working for cruiseline Royal Caribbean International, both onboard cruise ships overseeing children and family programming, and in Miami Florida managing all youth and family programs for multiple ships. When I desired a more permanent [non-floating] home and to ground myself more in the great outdoors, I spent five years working for the Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation in the roles of Program Director and Executive Director. There, I led an organization through significant growth and change whilst enabling at-risk youth to reach their full potential through a connection to nature.
Now, while in my own life I explore a personal connection to the food I eat, and the community I am a part of, I join Growing Chefs! whose mission is to teach kids and families about healthy food and healthy food systems. Prior to joining Growing Chefs!, I held a variety of titles including executive director, program director, manager, teacher, special needs assistant, camp counsellor, volunteer, researcher, coach, tutor and mentor. I’ve always worked directly or indirectly with children, teens and families. I feel this is a perfect fit.
In my personal life, I spend much of my time exploring my East Van neighbourhood and the surrounding parks with my two dogs, growing my own garden, trying new recipes, tending to my backyard chickens and taking/sharing photos on Instagram. I am passionate about my community and love to barter my skills and foodstuffs with others. I volunteer with Klipper’s Organic Acres at the Vancouver Farmers Market and rollerskate with the Terminal City Rollergirls. My team is called the Riot Girls; you should come watch us play!
Names of my Chickens: Noodle, Potpie, Kentucky and Dr Bokchoy.
Favourite Vegetable: Broccoli, especially Romanesco Broccoli… it’s beautiful!
Favourite Fruits: Mangoes and fresh pineapple.
How I drink my coffee: With lots of milk and honey.
I am so looking forward to meeting the rest of the Growing Chefs! community, and becoming a contributing member. Don’t be a stranger!