MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

SUSAN INGRAM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Susan has been with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa agency for over seven years. Susan’s career spans over 15 years from private sector in manufacturing operations to project management in telecommunications.

Susan was first handed the reins as Manager, Service Delivery then Director of Programs and Community Partnerships, before moving into the Executive Director role in September 2015.


JESSICA RIPLEY, CO-PRESIDENT

Jessica Ripley is the Strategic Youth Specialist with the Ottawa Police Service and the Chair of the Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network. She grew up in Montreal where she studied at McGill University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Work. She then moved and attended the University of Ottawa and received a Master’s in Criminology. Prior to her current position, she was the Program Supervisor of Youth Net/Réseau Ado, a youth mental health promotion and early intervention program at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern
Ontario.

Jessica has been collaborating with both youth and community partners using a strengths-based approach for over 20 years through her work in the fields of mental health, child welfare, community development, and youth justice. She is a big believer that relationships are at the heart of all community-based work. Jessica worked for BBBSO almost 20 years ago, has remained a strong advocate for the impact of mentoring, and greatly appreciates the opportunity to return to BBBSO as a Board member. It must also be noted that she is a big Montreal Canadians hockey fan – please do not hold that against her!


EMILY VILLENEUVE, CO-PRESIDENT

Emily is legal counsel with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, however, is currently enjoying time away from the office on maternity leave.  Throughout her undergraduate and law school degree, Ms. Villeneuve was actively involved in the community by participating in numerous pro bono projects and volunteering with various community-based organizations, including as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa.  Emily has greatly enjoyed her time as Chair of the Board of Directors over the past two years and looks forward to now co-
chairing with Jessica Ripley.

PAUL WILLETS, VICE-PRESIDENT

Paul is an employment and labour lawyer. He co-founded Vey Willetts LLP in 2014 – an employment law boutique that helps individuals and employers navigate and resolve workplace problems. Prior to founding Vey Willetts LLP, Paul worked at one of Canada's leading labour and employment law firms and at a large energy corporation. In addition to completing his law degree at the University of Ottawa, Paul holds degrees in political science from the University of Winnipeg (B.A. Hons.) and the University of Calgary (M.A.). Paul has published and presented research on a number of employment law topics, including employee privacy, workplace accommodation and severance packages. He has been involved with BBBBSO on its Human Resources Committee since 2014.


MICHEL COLLETTE, TREASURER

Michel Collette is the Chief Audit Executive at the National Capital Commission (NCC).  In this position, he plays a crucial role in executing the organization’s mandate by providing independent advice and direction to senior management and the audit committee on the organization’s governance, risk management, and control processes. In addition to being a Chartered Professional Accountant, Michel has a Bachelor in Business Administration with honors in Accounting and holds the CIA, CGAP and CFE designations. Michel has been serving as a member of the Big Brother Big Sister Ottawa Finance and Audit Committee since 2015 and became its Treasurer in 2019.  Michel generously donates his time and expertise to a number of other organizations including at Nepean Housing Corporation where he serves as Secretary-Treasurer and also serves on the Audit Committee of the Ottawa
Catholic School Board.

In Michel’s personal life, his greatest joy is spending as much time as possible with his lovely wife Anju are their two wonderful children Roman and Angelica.


CINDY MCGANN, CO-SECRETARY

Cindy is a skilled technology lawyer with more than 25 years of private practice and in-house experience.  Cindy started her legal career as a litigation lawyer with Blake, Cassels & Graydon (Ottawa).  In 1996, she transitioned in-house and since then, has held a series of General Counsel positions with both private and public companies including Corel Corporation, Watchfire Corporation/IBM and Halogen Software.  Currently, Cindy is serving as General Counsel to three local technology companies (ProntoForms, Fusebill and Decisive Technologies) where she
provides day-to-day legal and strategic business advice on various matters, including software licensing, vendor agreements, partner agreements, employment matters and intellectual property ownership and protection.

Cindy holds three degrees from Ottawa University (Bachelors of Administration, Bachelors of Law (LL.B.) and MBA) and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.  This is Cindy’s fourth year on the BBBSO Board. Her prior non-profit board experience includes the Western-Ottawa Community Resource Centre (6 years) and the Roberts/Smart Centre (4 years).  Cindy is an avid kayaker.  When she is not on the water, she can be found talking to her garden plants and planning her next travel adventure.


DR. RANA PISHVA, CO-SECRETARY

Rana Pishva is a clinical psychologist working with children, adolescents, and adults. She has a particular interest in the assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders, as well as youth involved in the child welfare system and the criminal justice system. She also enjoys teaching, and has been a lecturer at Queen’s University, Royal Military College in Kingston, and Lakehead University. Rana completed a BA at Concordia University in Montreal, and her Master and Doctoral Degrees at Queen’s University in Kingston. She subsequently worked in Thunder Bay.

Rana joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and is a member of the Governance subcommittee. She hopes to give back to the Ottawa community and follow her interest in policy. She’s been heard saying that work is her hobby, but Rana is also an avid yogi and has recently taken up knitting, with moderate success.


COLIN ANDERSON, MEMBER AT LARGE

Colin is an experienced educator who has worked in Ottawa schools for the last 30 years. Beginning as a secondary school teacher in 1990, Colin taught Math and Computer Science in several high schools across the city before moving into school administration in 2002. Currently, Colin serves as the System Principal for Safe Schools with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board where he works with educators, police, public health and other community professionals to support youth and their families dealing with challenges related to safety and well-being.

Colin holds degrees from the University of Waterloo (Bachelor of Mathematics, Honours) and the University of Western Ontario (Bachelor of Education), and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and of the Ontario Principals Council, where he spent 8 years representing Ottawa as a Provincial Councillor. This is Colin’s first year on the BBBSO Board. Colin spent over 20 years coaching basketball at the high school, club, and provincial level and still loves to spend time with players and coaches in the gym whenever possible. Colin enjoys spending lots of time outdoors, including occasionally spoiling a good walk by combining it with playing golf.


MITCHELL CARKNER, MEMBER AT LARGE

Mitchell Carkner is a Senior Executive Advisor at Amazon Web Services. Mitchell has over 15 years of management consulting experience in the technology and organization transformation space. Currently, Mitchell leads Amazon Web Services cloud advisory practice. Mitchell is a trusted advisor to his clients and helps them leverage cloud technology to digitize operations and improve customer insights. He holds a degree in political science from Queen’s University (B.A. Hons.) and finance & management from Carleton University (M.B.A.) Prior to his career in
consulting; Mitchell served as an officer in the Canadian Forces.

Mitchell is a proud father and member of the Ottawa community. He has been involved in charities in Ottawa for over a decade and is passionate about supporting a respected and impactful organization like BBBSO.


MATT HADDAD, MEMBER AT LARGE

Matt was born and raised in Windsor ON, attended St. Clair College then went on exchange to Australia for 3 years to complete my Master of Business Sport Management. He returned to Windsor and began working for the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club where he was in Corporate Sales for 5 years and hosted and won a Memorial Cup with the Spitfires in 2017. Matt was also involved in coaching minor hockey and volunteering with organizing committees for
international sporting events in Windsor. Matt took an opportunity with Spitfires ownership group and transitioned to a Commercial Insurance Broker position with HUB International. He began volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters Windsor Essex in 2017 as part of the In-School Mentorship program. His Little Brother was in grade 6 and Matt really enjoyed visiting him at his school every week to play board games and help him through a difficult time. Matt joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters Windsor Essex Foundation board in 2018 and assisted in the strategic planning initiative while restructuring the agency and foundation boards to operate more efficiently and with a greater impact on the community.

Matt recently accepted a Corporate Sales position with the Ottawa Senators in October 2019 and moved to Stittsville to begin his new career. He is really loving living in the Ottawa area despite the much colder temperatures and
looking forward to working alongside a board that has been enhancing the lives of youth in Ottawa for 50 years.


MITCHELL E. KUTNEY, MEMBER AT LARGE

Mitchell E. Kutney is passionate about systems change, progressive politics and community development. He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa, a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa, a trustee for the Harry P. Ward Foundation and the co-founder of JustChange— a micro-granting nonprofit. Throughout his career, Mitchell has raised millions from governments and foundations for local and national institutions, including a $100+ million capital campaign for a provincially-funded hospital wing. His work on charitable issues and social innovation have been featured by top-tier print and broadcast media, contributing to over a hundred thousand followers on Twitter. Mitchell holds a Masters degree in public policy and currently serves as the Director of
Innovation and Development for Bruyère.


JAMIE KWONG, MEMBER AT LARGE

Jamie is a community organizer, connector, and communications adviser. She has over 10 years of experience leading non-profit organizations, as the former Executive Director of both the Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area and the Orleans Chamber of commerce. She has a strong track-record for results, working collaboratively, providing advocacy, and organizing community events in support of raising awareness on the issue of gender-based violence, as well as supporting the importance of small businesses in the local economy.

She holds a Master’s degree in criminology from the University of Ottawa and believes in the importance of prevention by creating the conditions that build healthy communities. She is excited to join the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa. She recently joined the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC) as their Executive Director. She and her dog Char-Li Bucket Kwong McDonald are often exploring the city’s parks and neighbourhoods, together.


LINDSAY OSTROM, MEMBER AT LARGE

Lindsay works in the Finance Department at the Ottawa Hospital, although spent most of her career in Alberta, where she obtained her CPA designation. While in Alberta, Lindsay volunteered often at the Calgary Drop-In Center and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. In her free time, Lindsay is an avid hiker and traveler, and loves to combine the two. Lindsay looks forward to joining the board as the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.


MICHAEL QAQISH, MEMBER AT LARGE

Michael Qaqish is currently Manager of Government Relations and Special Advisor to the President at Algonquin College. Prior to joining Algonquin, Michael served as City Councillor for Ward 22 – Gloucester-South Nepean in the 2014-2018 term.  He was Vice-Chair of the Transit Commission and a member of the Community and Protective Services Committee, Environment and Climate Protection Committee, Transportation Committee and the Ottawa Board of Health. He was appointed in January 2016 by Mayor Jim Watson as the City’s Special Liaison for Refugee Resettlement and helped lead city efforts to integrate close to 3,000 Syrian newcomers to Ottawa. Michael also
served as Council Co-Chair for the City’s United Way Campaign. During his term office, Michael secured land and funding for a new police station in Barrhaven and a community centre, library and pool for Riverside South. He was also instrumental in advancing infrastructure upgrades for his community including the LRT extension to the heart of Riverside South.

A skilled communicator and trusted policy and political advisor, Michael has extensive media background, including past contributor to CTV National, 580 CFRA News Talk Radio, 1310AM and a former columnist with The Hill Times. He currently hosts a morning show at CHIN Radio Ottawa. Born in Toronto, Michael graduated with a degree in Psychology from Carleton University. Michael enjoys running and is a former certified Ontario Tennis Association instructor.