We have a great team of workers and work with high quality sub-contractors as well. Meet our member owners below!
Melinda Zytaruk is the General Manager and a founding member of the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op. Melinda is a PHIUS Certified Builder and in 2010 was trained as a PHI consultant. She has completed the Net Zero Home Building Science Training. She enjoys managing eco construction projects almost as much as troweling on a smooth coat of fresh earth plaster. She has a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University with a focus on community renewable energy and sustainability and is a graduate of the Renewable Energy Education Program of Solar Energy International located in Colorado. Melinda’s career has merged her passions for green construction, community organizing and education. She has worked as a builder on straw bale houses, designed and installed solar electric and hot water systems, and has been the general contractor for eco-renovations since 2007.
As General Manager with the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, she developed Renewable Energy Co-operatives throughout Ontario and organized diverse stakeholders throughout the province to support co-operative owned power. Melinda campaigned successfully for renewable energy policies that lay the groundwork for the Green Energy Act in Ontario and helped build a community power sector. She is the founding president of the Lake of Bays Renewable Energy Co-operative, a not-for-profit organisation building renewable energy facilities in Lake of Bays, Ontario to benefit the local community and the greater environment. A frequent presenter on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Melinda is a former board member of Passive Buildings Canada and the Solar and Sustainable Energy Association of Canada and is a member of the Canadian Association of Women in Construction.
Mick Paterson began his career as a carpenter over 20 years ago in Australia. After completing his carpentry and joinery apprenticeship he continued his education by completing a three year Building Supervision program. He is a Certified GreenSmart Professional, has a Carpentry and Joinery Trade certificate, and has completed part A of of CanPhi West's Passive House Design and Construction course and the PHIUS Builder training. Mick has rounded out his experience across four countries gaining invaluable construction knowledge. He has held management positions in both commercial and residential projects. Now Mick can be found on the jobsite as a site manager and project manager.
Mick’s work experience has been a mixture of commercial and residential construction work. Mick has managed commercial projects from $200k to $10m with clients including churches, fast food outlets, grocery stores, Government agencies, health care centres, yoga studios and various office interior projects. Micks’ residential experience has included 10 various contemporary modern green homes, an eco-duplex, a straw bale addition and whole house renovation in The Beaches area of Toronto. Mick’s expertise in natural and green construction includes straw bale building, rammed earth, earth sheltered construction, Passive Haus detailing with air sealing, healthy home construction, energy efficiency, passive house design and using recycled materials. Residential work values have varied from small projects to $2.5m dollar homes. Mick’s experience, keen eye for detail and passion for natural and green building make him an integral part of the Fourth Pig team.
Glen Byrom is a founding member of the Fourth Pig Workers Co-op with over 20 years of experience in natural construction, renewable energy and related training programs. He has worked on over 30 straw bale houses, commercial buildings and as many Photovoltaic (PV) installations, in Canada and the US. He has taught natural building workshops with the Fourth Pig and at Solar Energy International in Colorado, specializing in hands on instruction in natural construction and finishing including straw bale, cob, rammed earth, earth bag, passive solar design and adobe. Glen is a skilled framing, trim and general carpenter and builder as well as having work experience as a plumber and electrical apprentice. Glen brings his expertise in natural and solar building techniques, renewable energy system design and installation and a passion and creativity for beautiful, healthy and functional spaces to the Fourth Pig. Glen has completed the PHIUS builders training.
Jennifer Vandrie is a senior carpentry apprentice and straw bale apprentice and a graduate of the Carpentry Techniques Program at Georgian College. She also has training in building science. She has diplomas in fish and wildlife and ecosystem management at fleming college, and originally worked as a wildlife technician for the Ontario MNR and private companies. Jennifer has been working with the Fourth Pig for over two years.
Matthew Adams is the Operations Director of the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op. For over twenty-five years Matt has worked in non-profits in a variety of capacities, including in education, communications and business administration. He has a Masters Degree in Sociology and Equity Studies (Adult Education) from OISE/University of Toronto. He is the co-author of two adult education text books.
Matt was a the program director for a national literacy program in the U.S., he co-founded a popular education co-op in Toronto where he designed curricula and delivered trainings and workshops to many non-profits. He was also part of a community based research team exploring the social determinants of health. For many years he was a senior staff member at rabble.ca, Canada's most read independent news source and worked as the publicist for a long-running art festival. In 2007 Matt was a co-founder of the Fourth Pig. When he isn't at the Fourth Pig he does promotion work for an independent publisher.
Sally Miller (PhD) is a researcher and writer who has worked in sustainable food and agriculture for almost twenty years both in Canada and in the U.S. She has extensive experience as a consultant and manager in a variety of organic and natural food and agriculture co-operatives and enterprises (including the Ontario Natural Food Co-op and Organic Meadow, as well as Greenstar Co-op and Finger Lakes Organic in the U.S.). After work at the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, she was a founder of the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op in 2007 and worked on tools as a construction worker for a year. In 2008-2012, she worked with Toronto’s West End communities to develop one of Canada’s first non-profit multi-stakeholder co-ops, the West End Food Co-op.
Sally worked with FarmStart to develop alternative financing for new farmers and with Toronto Public Health and the Parkdale Food Flow project on community food distribution. She was the Project Coordinator for the Regional Food Hub Project at the Local Organic Food Co-op Network, based at the Ontario Natural Food Co-op and is currently doing research for an international food project and assisting on the business side with the Fourth Pig.
Sally's publications include Edible Action: Food Activism and Alternative Economics and Belongings: The Fight for Land and Food.