Compassionate, creative, insightful, and able to cut through the chaos to achieve clarity, Michelle is energized by death, dying and grief as pathways to healing.
Prior to co-founding WILLOW, Michelle was a key player in the launch of the Green Burial Society of Canada, which took place during her tenure with LEES+Associates, North America’s crackerjack cemetery design and planning firm. She advocates for responsive, environmentally-sensitive funeral service and bereavement-care practices in all aspects of deathcare delivery. Michelle volunteered with a children’s bereavement program at a local hospice and is a licensed Funeral Director in the province of British Columbia. She apprenticed with a corporately-owned funeral home and with KORU Cremation | Burial | Ceremony, a pioneering locally-owned and operated funeral provider. Michelle helps families from diverse cultural, faith and income backgrounds to say their goodbyes, honour the circle of life and have courageous conversations. She has bachelor of art in sociology from the University of British Columbia, a bachelor of social work from McGill University and a master of business administration from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Earlier in her career, Michelle coordinated research and learning opportunities with the Arts and Health Project, Urban Development Institute, and Irish Museum of Modern Art.
A creative thinker, compassionate listener and a facilitator of peace on every level, Reena is fuelled by her passion for personal growth + transformation.
Committed to lifelong personal development, Reena has an eclectic background and education. She is a graduate of the BEyond Yonder Virtual School of Community Deathcaring in Canada, a twelve-week course given by ten different experts on such topics as grief, disposition, rituals, body care, advance planning, being with the dying, and funeral alternatives. Reena is committed to facilitating green and holistic approaches to death-care in our families, communities and in our culture at large. Prior to co-founding WILLOW, she created and led Peace it Together, which brought Palestinian, Israeli and Canadian youth together for dialogue, filmmaking and community engagement. For 11 years Reena created and led emotionally-charged processes about the world’s most intractable conflict. also taught conflict resolution for four years at Langara College as part of their peace and conflict studies concentration. Reena has a bachelor of architecture from McGill University and a masters in international affairs from Columbia University. She has completed many communication training courses throughout North America, including with the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and with the Compassionate Listening Project.
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