VertCité is a non-profit organization that was created on March 25, 2004, by a group of citizens and the borough of Saint-Laurent. Originally known as the Centre de recherche et d’action pour le bien-être environnemental (C.R.A.B.E), the organization changed its name in 2012.
VertCité manages projects and offers sustainable development services while acting as a resource for the population on this subject. The organization runs the Éco-quartier program in the boroughs of Saint-Laurent and Pierrefonds-Roxboro.
VertCité develops and manages a variety of educational projects about environment, greening waste management, urban agriculture, food security, urban biodiversity and active transportation.
The organization also manages and develops other projects such as the Érablière Urbaine spring event, Cultivons Saint-Laurent, the biodiversity Day and the Saint-Laurent Harvest Fest.
Graduated from the University of Montreal in organic chemistry. After 35 years in the private sector, specializing in management and optimization of operations, I have been working in the community sector for 10 years. More specifically at the helm of VertCité since June 2011, I have been transferring knowledge and expertise within a direction focused on transparency, the search for efficiency and teamwork.
UDAVI CRUZ MARQUEZ
Project coordinator – Pierrefonds-Roxboro
Since 2015, I have been involved in different projects to protect natural resources (our Mother Nature). I strongly believe in joint collaboration for collective well-being including all plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms on the planet. I am a biologist and master in tropical ecology, passionate about physical practices for health (yoga) and indigenous ceremonies of North America. Since the end of 2021, I have taken over the projects of the Pierrefond-Roxboro eco-quartier, happy to collaborate with my colleagues from VertCité.
Project coordinator – Saint-Laurent
Interested for many years in the socio-cultural and ecological issues facing contemporary societies, I attach great importance to the impact of environmental issues on the quality of life in urban areas.
I am therefore pleased to be involved in the realization of projects that promote eco-responsible practices and the collective well-being of all residents of the Saint-Laurent borough, where I grew up and to which I remain deeply attached.
Project coordinator – Urban agriculture and food security
As a great lover of plants and nature, joining the wonderful world of urban agriculture seemed obvious to me after a 10-year career in marketing.
My main focus: accessibility to fresh and local products, make the cities greener and create social ties.
Food security project manager
My interest in working in food systems started during the pandemic while helping run a food bank in the plateau. Meanwhile, while studying Environmental Science and Arts in University, I focused my papers and projects on systems thinking, especially related to food security and social justice surrounding food issues. I hope to further establish a solid food security network in Ville Saint-Laurent while prioritising community engagement support and initiatives. Throughout all of my work, I seek to uphold values of support and encourage active listening to best understand the realities of the people we engage with every day.
Environmental education project manager
While I’ve always had a strong interest in the outdoors and the environment, I became passionate about urban environmental issues – active transportation, environmental justice and public health – during my studies in Environment and Development. I am excited to learn more about these issues at VertCité. In my work, I hope to help people create stronger and more resilient communities that improve the quality of their lives and that of the environment.
Urban agriculture project manager
Since my childhood, I have had a spontaneous curiosity towards nature and I feel connected to it. In order to be more in harmony with my values of preserving the environment, I had to make different changes in my life. I started out as a medical laboratory technologist and then changed my career path to become an environmentalist. In 2022, I joined the VertCité team where I feel I can work on what I care about. I am convinced that taking better care of ourselves is intimately linked to taking care of our environment.
Environmental information agent
With a degree in communication, I started a personal shift towards a more ecoresponsible life. Thus, raising awareness about the importance of protecting the environment was an obvious choice. The more we develop our knowledge about our beautiful planet, the more our interest grows and the more likely we are to protect it. My mission: to share the knowledge and tools necessary for citizens to save the environment at their level.
Environmental information agent
With a strong interest in the field of urban agriculture, I’ve been building a successful microgreens business since 2020. In my personal life, I have a deep love for the outdoors, herbalism, environmental preservation and nature. Joining VertCité gives me the chance to align my passions with my work, and to engage with the community in realizing our shared mission.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mathieu has served as a director at VertCité since 2019. He graduated from HEC Montreal in business intelligence, and from the University of Montreal in mathematics. He worked for four years in marketing before transitioning to data science in order to follow his interest in artificial intelligence.
Mathieu believes that the change towards healthier living practices must happen at the local level: urban agriculture, clean-up chores, solidarity market, etc. This is what drives him to want to contribute to the success of VertCité.
An accountant by training, Tony wanted to combine his professional skills with his personal interest in sustainability when he joined the VertCité Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2016. Tony has had a passion for sustainable development since his university education where he was successively project manager, secretary general and board member of HumaniTERRE, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness of sustainable development issues at HEC Montreal.
Tony is currently working as an audit engagement manager at KPMG. He holds a BAA and a DESS in Professional Accounting from HEC Montreal. He is in the process of obtaining his CPA Auditor designation.
After several years of experience in financial audit assignments and various specialized roles in investment and credit portfolio management, Jean-Pierre Mekhael became a senior advisor in the Montreal office’s Forensic Accounting team when he joined KPMG in 2022. He became a CPA in July 2023. Jean-Pierre holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a graduate diploma in accounting and auditing. His areas of expertise include litigation, quantification of damages and forensic accounting investigations. Jean-Pierre has always nurtured a desire for the collective improvement of society and quality of life on a global scale, and is deeply convinced that this begins with sustainable development and environmental protection. It was with this in mind that Jean-Pierre joined VertCité.
Director and Secretary
Sophie has served as a director and secretary of the VertCité Board of Directors since 2021. She strongly believes in VertCité’s mission to facilitate environmental projects in community settings.
Sophie is a lawyer practicing in litigation and dispute resolution with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in Montreal. She is very interested in the issue of climate change. As part of her studies, she wrote a master’s thesis on environmental litigation in Canada aimed at forcing the government to respect its commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.
Sophie completed a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Sherbrooke, a graduate program in common law at Queen’s University and a Master of Laws degree at Queen Mary of London University.
Isabelle has served as a director on the VertCité Board of Directors since 2022. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology (Université de Montréal) and a master’s degree in organizational development/human resources (HEC Montréal), she wanted to put her professional skills and knowledge to work for an organization like VertCité, and to participate in the realization of its mission and the communities it serves.
She believes strongly in VertCité’s mission, which includes teaching and raising awareness. Although environmental issues are not only played out at the individual and community level, she believes that these are important levers for mobilization.
An architect by training, Christopher was looking to get more involved in the community on projects focused on sustainable development. While studying architecture at the University of Montreal, Christopher became interested in urban and ecological issues, and the role that citizens have to play in the fight against climate change. He believes that the quality of the built environment can only be guaranteed by decentralized citizen involvement.
OUR FINANCING PARTNERS
Thank you to all of our partners! You make our projects possible and help us guide Montrealers through their ecological transition.