The People Behind Sustainable Cobourg

Great things don’t just happen on their own. It takes a team of dedicated volunteers to help make Sustainable Cobourg awesome. These passionate individuals give up their time every day to help the community and us. The next time you see one of these people, make sure you stop and tell them just how much you appreciate what they’re doing and ask what you can do to help.

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Gudrun “Gigi” Ludorf-Weaver – President / Chair Town Hall Committee

Gudrun came to Cobourg in 2005 from Toronto. Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, she arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1950/51 with her family, when she was four. Educated at Blythwood Elementary School, North Toronto Collegiate, and Toronto Teachers’ College, Gudrun continued her education by achieving a Master’s degree from O.I.S.E., and was accepted into a Doctorate program at the University of Toronto. She declined an opportunity to attend The Julliard School of Music in New York as a teenager.

After a forty-three year career in education, having worn many hats, from classroom teacher, to specialty teacher in music, art, drama, special education, French, English second language, swimming, physical education, to workshop leader, editor/writer, and finally as administrator, she decided it was time for a change.

Having been involved in establishing a community organization in Toronto called “Urban Harvest”, Gudrun witnessed first-hand the power of community. With that experience, she felt she could contribute to the newly formed Citizens for a Sustainable Cobourg. This was a wonderful group of enthusiastic Cobourgians who wanted to play an active role in helping to shape Cobourg as a sustainable community. After her return from teaching in China in 2009, Gudrun made a commitment to work with both Sustainable Cobourg and its sister organization, Go Green Together under Judy Smith-Torrie.

Gudrun’s three children are all in Toronto and enjoy visiting this lovely place by the lake with their own children.

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photo of Warren McCarthy - Chair of sustainable cobourg ECO Action Committee
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Warren McCarthy – ECO Action Advisory Group Lead

2020 will be our 9th year in Cobourg, having previously lived in Clarington near the Ganaraska Forest for 16 years. My last major business adventure was successfully completing the full 15-year cycle of starting, growing and selling a five-person company, Effectivation Inc. We provided business skills training and consulting to improve the quality of selling, servicing, prioritizing and managing.

We trained small businesses via our own ‘public schools’, as well as programs for U of T Continuing Education and the Canadian Association of Management Consultants. We also provided in-house business skills training for larger clients, including IBM, Dell, Royal Bank, Oracle, Pricewaterhouse, Coopers, Bell, KPMG.

Prior to being an entrepreneur, I enjoyed successful career intervals managing sales, service, marketing and operations in large, medium and small firms. Until 2019, I was a volunteer Coach with the ‘Business Advisory Centre Northumberland’ and served on Cobourg Advisory Committees for ‘Planning and Sustainability’ and ‘Downtown Coalition.

I enjoy travel, golf, pickle-ball, reading, thinking and wife & family time.

Advice for business owners: – Success is much more likely by doing good work on the right things than by doing excellent work on the wrong things.

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Jonathan Brown – Digital Innovation Community Outreach Lead

Jonathan was a former adult and alternative education teacher and Distributed Learning Consultant with the Kawartha Pine Ridges DSB. In 2000 he joined the Ontario Ministry of Education and from 2006-16 was an Education Officer with the Adult Education Policy Unit in the Student Success Policy Branch. In retirement, Jonathan is engaged in activities that explore the challenges of sustainable development as our community transitions to a post-Covid digital economy.

David plugging in his Mustang electric vehicle to charge
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David Kuhnke – Active Transportation and Electrification Lead

Originally from Vancouver, received BASc Mechanical Engineering from UBC, moved to Ontario 1970. Got MBA (MIS) from UofT. Always interested in environmental/sustainable issues, working in nuclear power, nuclear waste and hydroelectric generation at Ontario Hydro/OPG for many years. Did IT (SAP) consulting for 10 years.

Joined SC December 2019, based on Town of Cobourg’s Declaration of Climate Emergency. Together with Judy Smith, Steve Lapp and Doug Vowles co-founded the EV Society Northumberland Chapter, currently EV Chapter Lead. Joined Town of Cobourg Transportation Advisory Committee as EV Resource. Interested in EVs for several years, took delivery of Mustang Mach e in February 2021.

Since 2020, we’ve been informing over 100 EV enthusiasts about webinars, meetings & other online events supporting the adoption of electric vehicles. To learn more about EVs and to be added to our EV Society-Northumberland mailing list, send a request to David.kuhnke@evsociety.ca.

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Judy Smith – Liaison

Judy Smith was the first Environmental Officer for the County of Northumberland. She was tasked with developing and then helping to implement the climate action plans for the County of Northumberland and several of the municipalities within Northumberland County including the Town of Cobourg.

Previously, Ms. Smith was an environmental consultant for over thirty years with Torrie Smith Associates specializing in energy, climate change and environmental assessment. She was a Member of the Joint Environmental Advisory Committee for Environment Canada and Statistics Canada that produced the first State of the Environment Report for Canada.

Judy is a graduate of the University of Waterloo in Environmental Studies and graduate studies in Natural Resource Management.

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