Ontario Straw Bale
Building Coalition

Meet the Board of Directors

Tina Therrien



Principal, Camel’s Back Construction




A former elementary school teacher, Tina began building with straw bales 14 years ago when she became a partner in Camel’s Back Construction, Ontario’s first straw bale construction company. Based in Peterborough, Tina is currently sole proprietor of the company, and continues to build, plaster, teach workshops and presentations across the province. She has travelled to France to teach and work, and more recently, spent 3 months in Haiti in 2011 as part of the rebuild efforts. She is returning to Haiti this winter to lead a unique building and teaching program with participants from the Endeavour Centre.

Co-author of More Straw Bale Building, and founding member of the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition, Tina continues her commitment to educate and promote natural building teaching in the world around her.

Ingrid Cryns
Vice President

Principal, soma earth ARCHITECT


Principal of soma earth ARCHITECT, Ingrid is also the Founding Director of soma earth (2000).  soma earth is a holistic company which includes a broad scope of services and products that supports the building of relationships between body, mind, soul and the built environment.
Ingrid brings versatility and a wide range of experience to her work as an Architect.  She has over 17 years of experience running and managing a variety of complex projects from small houses, renovations, additions and multi-residential housing, to community centres, museums, performing arts centres and commercial projects.  Her work as an Architect and designer has been published in various magazines in Canada and the USA.  Ingrid has been a guest critic in the OCAD (Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto) Design Studio, guest lecturer at the Sheridan College Interior Design Program (Oakville) and the Fleming College Sustainable Design Program (Haliburton).
Ingrid has a unique specialty in the design of straw bale and straw clay, natural building systems, healthy non-toxic material selection expertise, as well as energetic space balancing skills and electrical/EMF design awareness.  She is Vice President of the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition and Co-Founder of the Uxbridge Dowsing & Geomancy Connections.
Also a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist (CBT) and highly sensitive, intuitive empath, Ingrid can read and sense body, space & earth energies.  She currently lives in Udora, Ontario, north east of the Greater Toronto Area, learning how to homestead self-sufficiently with her sustainable partner, on a half-acre lot surrounded by loving trees, meadows and rivers.

Melanie Scott
Secretary, Membership Coordinator

Senior Designer and Project Coordinator, Evolve Builders Group


Melanie Scott is the Senior Designer and Project Coordinator for Evolve Builders Group based in Guelph.  She is responsible for the design and project coordination of sustainable residences and small businesses. An ARIDO Registered Interior Designer, Ontario Qualified and Registered Designer, and LEED AP, Melanie holds a degree in Interior Design from Ryerson University and is a graduate of the Sustainable Building Design and Construction Program at Ontario’s Fleming College. Melanie spent ten years as a commercial retail and residential designer, including design and construction for several straw bale buildings before joining Evolve in 2010. At Evolve Builders Group, Melanie offers design and building solutions that are elegant, efficient and ecological.

Jen Feigin

Director, Endeavour Centre
Jen Feigin is a designer, natural builder and DIY maniac based in Peterborough, Ontario.

Jen has been on the natural building scene since 2005. In that time she has developed a deep knowledge for all aspects of sustainable building and design. She has worked on and designed projects ranging from composting outhouses to residential & commercial buildings. As a teacher, designer and builder she combines practicality and artfulness in equal measures, with a healthy dose of humour and spirit too!

She is one of the founding directors of the Endeavour Centre and will be part of the education team for the 5-month sustainable building intensive at Endeavour where she will help pass on her skills to new and experienced builders.

An artist at heart, she works hard to build healthy, efficient, beautiful buildings that will inspire people through thoughtful design and artfulness.

Jen loves dirt, good building details, spontaneous building projects, chocolate and fine Quebec beers!

Frank Tettemer
Professional Members Liaison

Principal, Living Sol ~ Building and Design
Frank was apparently born with a hammer and a saw in his hand. He had built many tree-forts, a chicken coup, and a cedar strip canoe by 1964, at the age of sixteen, indicating a clear path to study Architecture in the mid-sixties, at the University of Delaware. But after working for a year on the layout of the "new" Toronto Star building, at Number One Young Street in 1969, he exchanged his drafting table for a carpenter's tool belt, and has been working hands-on ever since. He then studied at Sheridan College, School of Design and University of Victoria to gain more diverse skills.
With a wide range of artistic experiences, including shoe making, leatherworking, log building, stone fireplace construction, book binding, cabinet making, custom hardwood furniture, and nearly every type of construction experience, Frank is now active in custom residential design-and-build. His greatest delight is working with owner/builders, assisting them in realizing their dreams. He designs half dozen homes each Winter for homebuilders all over Ontario. The firm's B.C.I.N. qualifies him to design and draft plans for application for building permits.
His construction crew, Living Sol ~ Building & Design, is a unique grouping of building artists, who work in Renfrew County, near Algonquin Park. The crew excels in enthusiasm and personal commitment, and bring joyful energy to every off-grid home that they create.    Sustainable construction is his obsession. With over 26 years experience at living off-grid, he and his love and partner, Cheryl Keetch, have the know-how to live lightly and live well.

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