Our Team – Community Housing Transformation Centre – Centre de transformation du logement communautaire
Lisa Ker

Lisa Ker

Interim 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.

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Gisela Guillen

Gisela Guillen

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.

Alison Lair

Alison Lair

Director of programs

Alison has worked for the past 17 years in the not-for profit sector in a variety of capacities. She has worked in the housing and homelessness field for 7 years both as a front-line service provider and in leadership positions. Most recently, Alison has been working as a Program Manager for the Nova Scotia Community Housing Growth Fund. 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.

Stephan Richard

Stephan Richard

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 Fayad

François Fayad

Communications director

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

Andrea Baird

Executive Assistant

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.

Charlotte Corwin

Charlotte Corwin

Executive Assistant

Charlotte is an administrative specialist with extensive experience in a wide variety of industries. Her specialties include problem-solving, organization and systems improvement. She is passionate about brainstorming imaginative new ways to approach situations, especially with other enthusiastic and creative people from a variety of professional backgrounds.

Holding a master’s degree in music, her interests also extend to the areas of arts, technology, and language. The main goal in all areas of Charlotte’s life is to participate in putting something good into the world.

Sana Youssef

Sana Youssef

Communications manager

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.

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Hélène Diao

Hélène Diao

Editor

Hélène is a well-travelled, world and languages enthusiast, having lived and worked on three different continents.

She has studied American and English literature and civilization, and her focus and interest lie in non-profit, where she has been working – as well as volunteering, for more than 10 years, in different communication and translation roles. A fervent writer and storyteller with a background in the humanitarian and cultural sector, she particularly enjoys working for a cause. She is now eager to apply her experience to the Centre and facilitate the access to and growth of community housing.

Jean-François Pagé

Jean-François Pagé

Content Creator

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 Lyristis

Roxanne Lyristis

Content Creator

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.

Sabine Friesinger

Sabine Friesinger

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. 

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Tomasz Wiśniewski

Tomasz Wiśniewski

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. 

Dwayne Main

Dwayne Main

Project Manager- Finance

Since embarking on his career in accounting and finance in 1995, Dwayne has gained valuable skills and knowledge in both the public and private sectors.  He got his start with the Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation – and has worked for several organizations, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, since then.  He has spent the last few years in Saskatoon, as a Finance Manager in the not-for-profit housing sector.  He is excited to be in his new role at the Centre – and hopes to continue contributing to the transformation of community housing in Canada.

Maxime Dion

Maxime Dion

Database technician

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Max embarked on a transformative 2.5-year journey exploring diverse professional roles while nourishing a passion for travel. Beyond the professional realm, Max is bursting with curiosity and an outgoing spirit, Max is not only an avid fitness enthusiast and certified personal trainer but also a sports aficionado, relishing activities like golf, scuba diving, skydiving, and hiking. Max is also a movie buff, always eager for an entertaining cinematic experience. Max is delighted to contribute to an organization dedicated to making a positive impact in the community.

Lou Seltz

Lou Seltz

Data manager

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.

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Jaimie Cudmore

Jaimie Cudmore

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 Fleury

Jonathan Fleury

Program manager Québec

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.

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Luc Labelle

Luc Labelle

Development manager

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.

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Chloe Ha

Chloe Ha

Finance manager

Chloe Ha brings over five years of accounting practice in both the public and private sectors. Her expertise extends to performing full-cycle accounting, excelling in budget planning and analysis, and adeptly improving efficiency with the lens of a long-term thinker. Chloe holds a post-baccalaureate diploma in accounting from Douglas College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. As a dedicated CPA candidate, Chloe is passionate about fortifying the financial operations of her organization and is committed to providing comprehensive support for the team, drawing from her diverse skill set and educational background.

Joseph Daniels

Joseph Daniels

Development manager

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 Hébert

Renée Hébert

Program manager Canada

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.

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Kerri Flemming

Kerri Flemming

Program manager Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick

Kerri, a proud Maritimer, began her journey in community work over two decades ago in Vancouver’s downtown east end before returning to her roots in Moncton, New Brunswick. Over the years, she dedicated herself to supporting vulnerable youth as a foster parent and in various community roles. Transitioning into teaching, Kerri shared her passion by educating future human services workers. However, her desire to make a direct impact led her back to community work, where she advocated for vulnerable populations and facilitated resource navigation and funding opportunities for several provincial committees and organizations. Her commitment to fostering harm reduction approaches across various sectors, including housing, mental health, and crime prevention, has contributed to the development of region-wide policies and practices. More recently, leading a supportive housing program, Kerri’s dedication, coupled with her team’s passion, continues to positively impact her community through quality programming and support.

Linda Lieu

Linda Lieu

Program manager Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta

A dedicated professional with a passion for community housing, Linda has successfully overseen community housing initiatives fostering high-functioning teams and implementing impactful housing projects. With 10 years experience working in non-profit community housing, she has grown to become a goal – oriented thinker, creative problem solver, and emerging leader within the Prairie region.

She is passionate about cultivating social change to implement initiatives that enhance the overall community housing sector. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and applied mathematics from the University of Calgary, Linda brings a unique blend of analytical thinking and interpersonal finesse to every challenge.

Severn Nelson

Severn Nelson

Program manager

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.

Alex Wolf

Alex Wolf

Program Manager BC, Nunavut, NWT, Yukon

Alex Wolf is the Program Manager for British Columbia and the Territories at the Centre and works closely with the Sector Transformation Fund and Nunalingni Piruqpaalirut Fund.

His educational background is in Development Economics and Natural Resource Management, and he enjoys bringing strategic insights and exploring innovative solutions. With experiences working for BC Housing and community development initiatives in Latin America and Asia, Alex brings a wealth of knowledge in business administration, project management, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and evaluation practices.

Passionate about housing and sustainable economic development, he is dedicated to driving initiatives that promote equitable and inclusive growth and environmental stewardship in the community housing sector.

Scott Stager Piatkowski

Scott Stager Piatkowski

Program manager Ontario

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.

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Shekara Grant

Shekara Grant

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.

Stefanie Einfeld

Stefanie Einfeld

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.

 

Michelle Matkowski

Michelle Matkowski

Indigenous intern

Michelle is a proud Red River Métis woman living in Winnipeg. Michelle began her career providing triage in rural emergency rooms. With a background in Medical Transcription, Business Administration, Health Sciences and workshop facilitation, Michelle has sought philanthropic roles throughout her life. After working with Main Street Project, Manitoba Métis Federation and Louis Riel Institute, it became clear to her that housing options were dismal for unsheltered community members. She is very eager and honored to be a part of a team of individuals seeking to make a difference for others. She aims to make an impact in a way that allows for her community not only to survive, but to thrive.

Chantel Caza

Chantel Caza

Indigenous intern

Chantel, an Inuk woman from Iqaluit, Nunavut has recently joined the team as an Indigenous Intern. She brings with her an educational background in Business as a recent graduate from George Brown College. Chantel has experience in housing gained from her work at Nunavut Housing Corporation, where she collaborated closely with the communications team, human resources team and project managers on the Nunavut 3000 project. Chantel is committed to contributing to positive transformation in northern and indigenous communities. Eager for the new learning opportunities she is thrilled to contribute to positive initiatives within the housing sector through her work with the Centre.

Connor Reid

Connor Reid

Indigenous intern

Connor Reid joins the Centre as an Indigenous Housing intern, equipped with a compelling blend of academic knowledge and hands-on experience. His studies in Public Health Gerontology and Applied Behaviour Analysis at McMaster University have endowed him with a deep understanding of the multifaceted challenges in indigenous housing and community support.

Through his role at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre, Connor has honed his skills in case management and community collaboration, aligning seamlessly with the Centre’s objectives. Connor is enthusiastic about integrating his skills and passion into this transformative role, fostering expertise in the community-housing sector, and nurturing future Indigenous leaders.

Alexis Olsen

Alexis Olsen

Indigenous intern

Alexis Olsen, a proud member of the Neskonlith Indian Band, finding her home in the town of Okotoks, Alberta shares her life with her husband and two sweet dogs. She ventured into the aesthetics industry, excelling as a strong Indigenous Female Entrepreneur for four years. However, seeking a career aligned with her true passion, Alexis transitioned to pursuits that both challenged her intellect and ignited her passion for Indigenous community and societal progress.

She served as a Youth and Leadership Coordinator at her own band office, focusing on orchestrating empowering activities for the Neskonlith youth. She then took a Family Support Worker position for the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, where she facilitated transportation services for youth in foster care ensuring those familial bonds are reinforced throughout their time in foster care.

Alexis Olsen’s unwavering dedication and fervor for creating a brighter, more inclusive future drive her forward. Her vision extends beyond personal success, echoing a strong commitment to meaningfully contribute to the betterment of Indigenous societies.

Majed Hargaaya

Majed Hargaaya

Regional Energy Coach

Majed has spent 15 years working in Sustainability, not only on all project phases but with the perspectives of architecture, engineering, and construction professions. He is experienced in guiding the establishment of sustainability objectives for new and existing buildings, promoting those same principles among all project stakeholders, as well as integrating them into every aspect of project design.

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.

Kathrine Lapalme

Kathrine Lapalme

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.

Teresa Guillem

Teresa Guillem

Manager RentSmart

Teresa Guillem is a seasoned professional skilled in project management, learning and development, and employee engagement, with industry experience across private, public and not-for-profit sectors. With a strong track record of supporting organizational success through strategic initiatives, Teresa excels in developing and delivering cross-functional learning programs, particularly in career development and management leadership training.

She holds a business degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University and post-graduate certificate from Humber College. She is driven by a desire to help others and brings a creative and adventurous spirit to her work, mirrored in her hobbies of dragon boating, Lego building, painting, and travelling.

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

Program Manager for the Housing School

Chris has a decade of experience managing projects and programs in Canada and Asia. He enjoys working closely with collaborators to co-create, implement, evaluate and scale successful projects. Most recently, Chris led creation and expansion of the ASCEND online soft skills employment program for newcomers at IECBC from a Metro Vancouver-based pilot into a national offering available at 50 partners across Canada. Chris has developed asset management plans for the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, managed a portfolio of international projects for the Canadian International Development Agency, and researched in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Chris graduated from Simon Fraser University, completed graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He cycles, hikes and drinks lots of tea in his spare time.

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