Our team is a group of highly skilled, well trained, environmentally committed builders.
Melinda zytaruk - general manager
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 and is a registered designer (BCIN #45685).
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 - CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Mick Paterson is Fourth Pig's Construction Manager. He began his career as a carpenter over 20 years ago in Australia where he became a licensed carpenter and licensed joiner and licensed builder. Mick also completed a three year Building Supervision program. He is a PHIUS Certified Builder as well as a Certified GreenSmart Professional, has a Carpentry and Joinery Trade certificate, and has completed part A of CanPhi West's Passive House Design and Construction course. 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 - carpenter and natural builder
Glen Byrom is a founding member of the Fourth Pig Worker Co-op with over 25 years of experience in construction in Canada, USA and Australia. He is a natural builder, renewable energy technician, jack of all trades, and professional DJ. He is a PHIUS Certified Builder and has training and certifications in photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind power and micro hydro installation. He was a licensed electrical apprentice and plumbing/heating apprentice for over 3 years. He also has years of experience installing flooring, including wood, carpet, natural sheet goods and tiles. Plus, he was a stage/sound/av technician part-time for years.
Glen has taught natural building workshops with the Fourth Pig, specializing in plastering of many types, and at Solar Energy International in Colorado since 1996.
KYLE LITTLE - CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Kyle Little is a Construction Project Manager. He is a graduate with honours of the George Brown College “Renovation Technician” Program, and has 15 years of varied work experience within the Canadian construction industry, ranging from custom high-end residential renovations and new construction to commercial and industrial projects. He is a PHIUS Certified Builder.
Kyle has spent the last 5 years working as a full time Construction Project Manager, overseeing the successful execution of dozens of residential and commercial projects; including private residences, cottages, timber framed homes and ski chalets ranging from $150k up to $3.5 million in project value. Kyle prides himself on his organizational skills and communication, and always strives to deliver added value to projects and their stakeholders. He has also attended numerous seminars and training courses, to study a variety of different natural and sustainable construction technologies including rammed earth, timber framing, and light straw-clay wall assemblies. “I consider myself very lucky to be an active participant within the construction industry, where a person has the opportunity to work at something which is simultaneously challenging, nurturing and rewarding. I am even more fortunate to have the privilege to be employed within the natural and sustainable construction sector, which I personally find to be very energizing”.
AIDIN KHOYLOU - CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGER
Aidin Khoylou is a designer by heart and a builder by profession.
He has years of experience working in the construction industry both in the residential and commercial sectors, including many high-end custom built homes ranging from $1M to $4M, showroom and office for international brands and one uniquely designed restaurant worth more than $1M.
He is a graduate from the Building Renovation Technology Program, with honors, at George Brown College. He also has a bachelor's degree in Industrial Design from OCAD University.
Aidin’s background in design has given him a great understanding of the design process and an eye for detail and quality craftsmanship.
His love of nature and travelling always pushes him to explore new places and get exposed to alternative ideas.
He has excellent time management and leadership skills learnt through founding and running a private business venture designing and creating accessories using repurposed materials.
Aidin is very excited to turn his passion for environmentaly friendly and sustainable design and building methods into reality with The Fourth Pig.
Ryan Kyle – Project Coordinator
Before joining the team at the Fourth Pig, Ryan worked in various project coordination positions across architecture/construction and multimedia production, holding positions with the government of Canada and international publishers, general contractors and multinational architecture and project management firms. Ryan has worked on a variety of projects including commercial and residential construction, as well as mass transit both in Canada and abroad. Ryan holds a diploma in architectural technology and an Honours Bachelor in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa where his studies in biomechanics and thermal ergonomics created a desire to apply this learning to the built environment. He has knowledge of PMI project management standards and is currently pursuing a PMP certification, as well as several certifications for the Ontario Building Code, LEED, and WELL. His primary interest is in working towards a more sustainable and healthy built environment.
Sarah Gartlan – Project Coordinator
Sarah Gartlan is a graduate of the “Environmental Technician” Program at Sir Sandford Fleming College, and has spent over 6 years working in the environmental industry with an environmental engineering firm, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the sustainable resources industry in western Canada. Sarah has experience coordinating a variety of projects ranging from civil infrastructure work, and more recently, commercial, institutional and multi-residential construction within Muskoka.
Sarah continually strives to expand her knowledge and abilities in the building design process. She is passionate about the environment, has a keen interest in architectural design and is interested in becoming a Certified Passive House Designer. Sarah is excited to be part of a team that brings healthy, sustainable and affordable building solutions to Muskoka.
MATTHEW ADAMS - OPERATIONS & EDUCATION Director
For over thirty 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. He is a PHIUS Certified Builder.
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 and an independent press. In 2007 Matt was a co-founder of the Fourth Pig.
Pauline Siu – Executive Assistant & Project Support
Pauline Siu is the Executive Assistant & Project Support at the Fourth Pig Worker’s Co-op. She has a Bachelor of Design from Ryerson University, and a graduate of BCIT’s Entrepreneurial Skills Training program. Her prior experience has been focused in product development, market research, and project management across multiple industries, including sustainable apparel, consumer electronics, and plumbing and building materials.
Pauline is passionate about the environment, and is committed to learning of new methods to mitigate the negative impact of climate change. She is on CSA’s technical committee to help develop a Guideline on Basement Flood Protection and risk reduction for new and existing homes, and the secretary of the OPIA (Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association), York Simcoe Chapter. She is actively involved in mentorship of women and young people pursuing a career in the plumbing and building industry.
Pauline’s volunteer work includes community support with the World Migraine Summit, and as a Freedom Driver to help with the transportation of rescue animals. As a life long student, Pauline continues to learn about sustainable building best practices with the Fourth Pig.
M-C Macphee - CARPENTER
Originally from Nova Scotia, M-C is a carpenter who has been living in Ontario for the last ten years. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, M-C completed the Advanced Housing: Construction Carpentry program at Algonquin College. She later completed her Carpentry Apprenticeship working primarily in sustainable construction and through George Brown College. In addition to working for several building companies in the GTA, M-C also spent some time working as a carpenter for IATSE, building sets for film and television. M-C is a qualified Technological Education teacher in Construction Technology; she received her Bachelor of Education from York University, and has taught in several secondary schools and pre-apprenticeship programs in the TDSB. While working for the Fourth Pig, she is also completing her Masters of Education degree at York where she is focusing on how to teach construction with an emphasis on sustainability and social justice. M-C is actively involved in the mentorship of young women interested in the trades through organizations like Skills Canada. She is excited to be working and living in Muskoka where she hopes to spend her free time hiking and paddling.
Eric Desrochers - carpenter
Eric is a Carpenter’s Apprentice graduating with honours from the “Construction Engineering Technology” program at George Brown College in 2017. It was during those studies that he took a keen interest in sustainable building and saw the future in the way we design and construct our buildings. Eric has hands-on experience in both residential and commercial construction, renovations, and retrofits. Continuing education has been a motivation for Eric as he is also a PHIUS Certified Builder and is on his way to becoming a Passive House consultant - completing the 120A: Passive House Design and Construction course. Outside of work, Eric enjoys family time, exploring Muskoka, and a good game of pick-up hockey
BERNIE VANDERMEER - SKILLED LABOURER
Bernie Vandermeer comes from a family of carpenters and has worked for many years with his family’s contracting company. Bernie is a licensed tool and die maker. When Bernie isn’t building you might find him on road trips across USA and Canada with is old VW Bus looking for waterfalls, ghost towns and good mountain biking.
SALLY MILLER - CO-FOUNDER AND TREASURER
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.