General Manager: Merina Johnston
Merina grew up on a dairy farm near Martintown, Ontario, and is thrilled to be returning to her Holstein roots as the General Manager of the Ontario Holstein Branch. She holds a degree in Business Administration and a diploma in Accounting and spent her four years prior to joining the Branch working with Scotiabank in a variety of capacities, including Manager of Small Business for Kingston Community. Most recently, she worked as an Agricultural Specialist at Scotiabank, a pilot role that saw her provide comprehensive, in-the-field support to agricultural clients in Eastern Ontario. Working as an Agricultural Specialist allowed her to discover a passion for helping the ‘farmer to succeed’, a strength she is finding useful as she visits dairy farms and works with members across the province in her role as GM.
Secretary: Mary Poirier
Mary’s dedication to the Holstein industry is second to none as she started with the Branch at it’s inception in 1981. Her previous experience at Holstein Canada and her family’s dairy background gives her tremendous knowledge of the dairy business. As Office Secretary, Mary is involved in many activities but youth programs are dear to her heart. Mary and her husband Paul live in Branchton and have two sons.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator: Andrea Emond
A small-town girl at heart, Andrea has served the Branch since 2011, starting her career as Editor of The Link magazine. The Link has allowed her to showcase her writing and design skills, while meeting and highlighting some of the province’s most passionate dairy farmers. “The Link isn’t just a cow magazine!” she is often heard explaining to her non-farming friends. “It focuses on people and the animals they love.” Her role has since been expanded to include all aspects of the Branch’s marketing and communications, including social media, website design, and public relations.
Andrea holds a degree in Journalism and Contemporary Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, graduating with distinction in 2008. Prior to joining the Ontario Holstein Branch, she worked as a Writer and Copy Editor for Laurier Brantford’s student newspaper and spent time at a local design agency. Before that, she lived in The Netherlands for a number of years where she worked as a Treasury Analyst for Cisco Systems, met her husband and became fluent in Dutch. In her free time, Andrea enjoys baking, playing baseball and gardening. A perfect weekend for her is spent camping with her husband, their two young children and the family’s black lab, Tucker.