Stéphan is the founding executive director of the Centre and vice-president of the Habitat International Coalition. Previously, he was president of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) and executive director of the Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation (Québec Non-Profit Housing Network). He was also a member of CHRA’s Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous working group. Over the last 30 years, Stéphan has gained valuable insights in Canada, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East as a leader, manager, organizer, developer, researcher, analyst, academic and as an advisor for local, regional and national non-profit organizations. He’s been involved in the policy-making process at all levels of government. Stéphan has actively contributed to the development of thousands of new housing units and played key roles in strategies to restructure NPOs, big and small, facing significant challenges. He has postgraduate degrees in both law and political science.
Director of programs
Marie, who is the Centre’s director of operations, obtained a university degree in economics and has substantial management experience in the para-public, community and private sectors. She also worked for several years in economic development projects in the Eastern Townships region of Québec.
Marie’s expertise in human-resources management and the allocation of funds blossomed while she contributed to the establishment and development of community and social-innovation projects related to early childhood and young adults. She also contributed to a regional public transport development project for several years. Recognized as a democratic leader, she knows how to rally the members of a team, bring out new concepts and ideas, and structure them to achieve the expected results.
Deputy executive director
Lisa, the executive director of Ottawa Salus from 2010 to 2020, was also a member of the city of Ottawa’s Housing System Working Group and a former vice-chair of the Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness. A former board member of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, she has also worked in the government and community-based sectors for over 30 years, including in the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and Toronto Community Housing Corporation. In addition to her Master’s in Public Administration from Queen’s University, Lisa is a certified Change Management Practitioner.
Among her many volunteer contributions, Lisa worked with the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and Anishnawbe Health’s Street Patrol. More recently, she provided palliative care support at La maison Mathieu-Froment-Savoie.
Director of operations
Gisela Guillen brings over 15 years of operational experience in both private and non-profit organizations. With a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Psychology, she possesses a unique blend of skills. Gisela is renowned for her hands-on leadership style, fostering reliable teams, nurturing individual talents, and promoting open communication to cultivate an inclusive and collaborative work environment. Fluent in English, Spanish, and German, she is deeply passionate about improving housing conditions for all Canadians. Over the past four years, Gisela has been dedicated to assisting refugees in settling in Canada and ensuring their access to safe living arrangements. Joining the team at the Centre fills her with excitement and enthusiasm.
Director of development
With almost 14 years of senior management experience with government, Stephan has showcased exceptional expertise in advancing housing policies and cultivating strategic partnerships. He is a highly experienced relationships builder and accomplished communications professional with a proven ability to drive positive social outcomes. Prior to joining the Community Housing Transformation Centre, Stephan served as the Executive Director of housing solutions and development with the Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing where he made significant contributions to the growth of provincial support to housing co-operatives and non-profit housing societies.
He holds a post-secondary degree in arts and media technology in Quebec, and has consistently pursued professional growth and development, augmenting his expertise through various certifications, including the Executive Leadership Development program offered in collaboration with Dalhousie University.
François is a communications expert with 20 years’ experience in various areas of the discipline. His professional background encompasses academic research, communications strategy consulting and content production. For the past 4 years, François has dedicated himself to the non-profit housing sector. Before joining both the Centre’s team, he worked for the Fédération de l’habitation coopérative du Québec handling communications and associative life.
He holds a master’s degree in organizational communications from the Université de Montréal.
Andrea Baird brings a wealth of experience to her role as an executive assistant, having spent the past five years in administration. Her background extends beyond administrative duties, encompassing valuable experience in both communications and business development. Andrea’s academic journey led her to the University of Ottawa, where she studied political science and psychology. She is passionate about providing comprehensive administrative support within a team setting, drawing from her diverse skill set and educational background.
Sana Youssef is a media expert with over 15 years’ experience in production, coordination of media development projects and communications. This includes working for international non-profit organizations with a focus on human rights and freedom of expression. She previously worked for Thomson Foundation and for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Sana joined the Centre as a Communications Manager.
Jean-François is a seasoned marketing veteran with over 15 years’ experience in the arts & culture, as well as the inclusion & equity spaces. His focus has always been on digital marketing strategy, project ideation, analysis and communications. After a long career in Québec’s arts and entertainment community, he worked internationally for a time before settling back in Canada and worked in Toronto as a consultant for various Canadian non-profits and cultural institutions. A firm believer in equity and housing, he aims to leverage his skillset to benefit the Centre and by extension the Canadian housing landscape.
Roxanne is an expert in creating, optimizing, and managing visual and written content. She holds a diploma in Creative Arts & Literature with a certificate in Environmental Studies (2013), as well as a second diploma in Graphic & Web Design (2019) from John Abbott College in Montreal. Committed to deepening her expertise in her field, Roxanne earned a certificate in Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing in 2022.
As a Content Creator at the Centre, Roxanne is responsible for developing social media content and managing the Centre’s various social channels. She is a stickler for adhering to brand guidelines, a long-time supporter of the Oxford comma, and has an exceptionally cute dog.
Webmaster and graphic designer
Sabine studied journalism and communications at Concordia University and graduated from the School of Community and Public Affairs in Montréal. Co-founder of Katasoho Design & Printing, Sabine has over 20 years of experience working in communications, design and the community media sector. Sabine is passionate about social justice issues and has an unwavering resolve to participate in movements that create positive change. She is so excited and feels very privileged to be practicing her profession at the Centre.
Business intelligence specialist
Tomasz spent over 20 years in IT in various roles from programmer to project manager. He was making websites, applications, games or multimedia presentations. And now after all these years of solving IT problems of every shape and size, Tomasz found out how amazing the end of the day is when you are putting all your efforts in the service of a non-profit organization like the Centre.
After graduating from the University of Geneva with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Susanne worked for swisspeace, an institute dedicated to advancing effective peacebuilding. In particular, she participated in the implementation of training courses aimed at transferring theoretical knowledge to practitioners working in the field. Susanne recently completed her Master’s degree in History at McGill University. Her research focused on the recollection of slavery in Québec. She would now like to put her insights on social justice to good use through her commitment to facilitating access to affordable housing.
After first becoming interested in public policy and community ownership as an economics student, Lou worked as an organizer for a U.S. non-profit that helped small farmers advocate for national policy change. Lou’s graduate research in Urban Planning at McGill University focused on housing affordability, and her work at McGill’s Urban Politics and Governance research group allowed her to specialize in big data and spatial analysis. As database manager at the Centre, Lou is thrilled to use her experience in housing research to support the community-housing sector and promote access to affordable housing for all.
Alison has worked for the past 15 years in the not-for profit sector in a variety of capacities. Her most recent experience was in the housing and homelessness field where, for the past 5 years, she worked both as a front-line service provider and in leadership positions. Alison is active in her community where she helped found and currently leads a local charity aimed at increasing services for vulnerable members of the population, especially those experiencing homelessness. Through her work she observed the increasing need for a variety of affordable community housing options, which spurred her interest in improving and growing the community housing sector. She brings her passion for community development with her to the Centre and is excited to work with community housing groups across Nova Scotia.
Resource inventory manager
Jaimie is the project manager developing the resource inventory with the team at the Centre. With more than 10 years working with nonprofits and academic institutions, Jaimie is passionate about working across sectors to support community-led design, practices, and learning.
Jaimie holds a master degree in architecture (urban design and housing). Excited to build connections by sharing stories, Jaimie is also a board member of the Suspicious Fish Creative Literacy and Arts nonprofit, and was a co-host of a literacy podcast for Literacy Quebec.
Jonathan has been working in community and territorial development for several years. Politically engaged, he has carried out projects in food security, sustainable transportation, citizen consultation and youth mobilization. Curious by nature and an enthusiastic student, he holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a graduate diploma in territorial planning and local development. Issues of Housing and Reconciliation with Indigenous communities are top of mind for him, as he is currently completing a part-time Master’s degree in territorial development.
Jonathan believes that the growth of living environments on a human scale requires a dynamic community and social housing sector. As the Quebec program manager, he looks forward to collaborating with partners in this field.
Dallas has served in several leadership roles in the community services and non-profit sectors for 15 years. He has extensive experience in innovative practices and approaches to resolving complex systemic problems and challenges historically oppressed and marginalized populations face. He has developed deep relationships with diverse community members, professionals and stakeholders from various sectors, disciplines, and communities at the local and national levels.
Dallas contributes to national housing research, local affordable housing development projects, social policy alternatives, community advocacy, food security initiatives, inclusive arts programming, human services innovation, and creative placemaking. He is also active as a volunteer with numerous organizations that focus on the arts, accessible housing design, community inclusion, and person-centered support services.
Luc is Development manager for the Centre’s Sectoral Transformation Fund. A Public Administration graduate, he has devoted himself since the Centre’s founding to improving the support offered to the community-housing sector. He’s well known for his ability to meet challenges and to connect with people. Luc’s involvement in the sector began with the Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation, where he developed partnerships and helped ensure the continuity of community-housing activities in Quebec regions that were struggling.
He is also involved as a volunteer in organizations that work with homeless seniors in Montreal and funding affordable student housing.
Joe Daniels has been involved in housing, community development, and urban governance policy and research across Canada, in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and the United States for nearly a decade. Previously he was the Acquisition Strategy Coordinator for the Housing Assessment Resource Tools (HART) project housed within the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, where he produced policy research supporting Canadian governments at all levels to develop large scale multifamily housing acquisition programs. A geographer with a passion for connecting people and places, he is happiest building partnerships between diverse institutions and communities and is thrilled by the opportunity to do so in support of the community housing sector with the Centre. Since moving from the U.S. during a housing crisis to Singapore where the ‘housing question’ has been effectively solved, Joe has always been in pursuit of innovative solutions to our affordable housing challenges knowing that it is possible.
He completed his (joint) Ph.D. in Human Geography with the University of British Columbia and The University of Nottingham, a MA in Geography from the University of British Columbia, and bachelor’s degrees in Geography and Social and Economic Justice from the National University of Singapore and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Renée is a program manager for the Maritimes. She started her career with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Moncton, initially hired in service delivery and eventually took on the executive director position. In 2006, Renée was hired by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada as the regional executive director for the Atlantic and Québec. Renée eventually took on the role of national director, quality assurance & effectiveness, responsible for the implementation and development of the National Accreditation Program and Standards.
Renée has volunteered for Imagine Canada for many years, first as a peer reviewer and currently as a member of the Imagine Canada Standards Council. Renée holds a degree in child study from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and lives in Moncton. She is fluently bilingual.
Severn has led a dedicated and passionate career in the nonprofit housing sector and brings 15 years of experience working in homelessness, supportive housing, and community housing. Community focused, Severn has led projects in food security, accessibility, women’s equity, youth homelessness, mental health, and harm reduction while continually in the pursuit of housing for all. She has extensive experience in community building and working within partnership initiatives to achieve common goals working toward equity and inclusion.
A conscientious learner, Severn’s educational background is in Nonprofit Management and Public Administration as well as having a diploma in Community Service. Living and working in the Interior of British Columbia, she holds a deep appreciation for the unique housing challenges that rural/remote, northern, and Indigenous communities face. She is excited to bring her years of experience to The Housing Transformation Centre and to be at the forefront of working with community leaders to achieve collaborative and innovative systemic solutions as the Program Manager for British Columbia and the Territories.
Scott Stager Piatkowski
Scott brings over 30 years of experience in managing non-profit housing co-operatives. As a volunteer, he has served as the vice-president of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and as a facilitator with the Co-operative Young Leaders program. In 2018, Scott was honoured to have been chosen by voters as a Trustee to represent them on the Waterloo Region District School Board. In 2020, he became vice-chair of the board, and in 2021 he was named chair. He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts (History) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a certificate in Co-op Management from the Schulich School of Business. Scott is excited to be working for the Centre, which allows him to exercise his passion for affordable housing and social justice.
Program manager Nova Scotia
Shekara Grant is a Program manager in Nova Scotia with ancestral ties to Cherry Brook and Weymouth Falls, two of the 52 historic African Nova Scotian communities in the province. An avid traveller, Shekara has visited over 20 countries, which includes short term moves to both Australia and France. She speaks both English and French, graduating from Dalhousie University with a Combined Honours in Sociology and French, and a Certificate in Intercultural Communications. Shekara is very active in her community and is passionate about understanding and addressing the intersection between race, community land development and climate action.
Indigenous internship coach
Stefanie is a Métis woman living with her family in Winnipeg, located on Treaty One lands, the original territories of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis.
Stefanie started out her working career in managing and operating a family-owned business. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration she decided to make a shift in her career path and started work at Manitoba’s largest housing co-operative where she gained much experience surrounding the housing sector. Stefanie quickly became passionate about affordable community housing and an advocate for housing for all.
She also brings experience from work in the Sustainable Affordable Housing program at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as well as from her role as manager of a community centre. Stefanie is excited to put her leadership and housing experiences towards working as the Indigenous Internship Coach for the Centre.
Regional Energy Coach
He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies with a focus on Sustainable Buildings from the University of Manitoba, has a LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C) from the Canada Green Building Council and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Harvard University. He brings his passion for sustainable design into the community housing sector as a Regional Energy Coach.
Regional Energy Coach
Kathrine has followed a career path that could be described as atypical. With a master’s degree in public and international affairs, she first worked to improve citizen participation as well as the emancipation of people in marginal situations. Through her community involvement, she has worked with organizations such as the Institut du Nouveau Monde and Exeko.
A few years ago, she made a career move and fulfilled an old childhood dream by training as a carpenter. For six years, she developed technical skills in home construction and was particularly interested in the design of sustainable and energy efficient buildings. Despite her diverse background, Kathrine has always kept values of inclusion, equity, justice and accessibility at the core of her actions.