Old Ottawa South Community Association

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Election of Directors - Bios

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Virginia Asante

Virginia Asante is a senior policy advisor with Innovation, Science and Economic Development.  Previously, she was a management consultant on international infrastructure development projects with an Ottawa-based consulting firm.  She graduated from University of Toronto with an honours BA in philosophy and holds a graduate degree in ethics from the University of Ottawa.  Virginia joined the OSCA board in 2019 as the Secretary and recently became chair of OSCA's new Diversity and Inclusion Working Group.  She also volunteers on the yard committee with the Hopewell Avenue Public School council, and is the mother of three boys.

Benjamin Baril

Ben moved to Old Ottawa South from New York City in October of 2017 and started to look for ways to help out around the community right away.  A Computer Science graduate of Dawson College, Ben has spent his entire career in the IT industry, with the majority at Pegasystems Inc, a Boston based software company.  He has held several roles in the organization, mainly focusing on technical sales and product marketing.  Ben also serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Genvironment Inc, an Ontario-based, youth-led sustainability consulting not-for-profit organization and is passionate about doing everything we can to ensure a bright, clean and safe natural environment for future generations to enjoy.  When he is not working, Ben spends his time with his wife and two children - you can catch him playing in the sand at Brewer Park, swimming at Windsor or simply walking around the neighbourhood with kids in tow, looking at what's going on.

Eli Duern

Although new to Old Ottawa South, Eli Duern is finding ways to take an active role in supporting the community.  He currently sits as Co-Chair of the newly formed HR Committee, and contributes as a member of the Communications Committee.  Following a career in hospitality, Eli went back to school to study Public Relations at Algonquin College.  His studies led him to work at BioTalent Canada, a growing not‑for‑profit focused on skills development for Canada’s health and bioscience sectors.  His current role is Marketing and Communications Project Manager.  When he’s not out walking his four‑legged community ambassador, Eli can be found photographing the world around him.

Michael Jenkin

Michael and his wife Phyllis have been residents of Old Ottawa South for over 40 years and has raised two sons here.  Michael has been on the OSCA Board since 1998, having served as OSWATCH Chair, Vice-President and now as Chair of the Windsor Park Fieldhouse Working Group and the Operations Committee.  He served as President from 2002 to 2013.  A retired public servant, Michael worked in several federal departments managing policy development and research dealing with industry and technology development, and consumer protection issues.  Michael has a BA (Hons.) in history and politics from Trent University, an MA (Econ.) and Ph.D. in government from the University of Manchester and has written books and articles on public policy issues.  In 2002 he was awarded the City of Ottawa’s Whitton Award for community service, in 2012 the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for public and community service, and in 2014 the Public Service Award of Excellence for Outstanding Career which was presented by the Governor General.

Shehryar Sarwar

Shehryar and his family have lived in Old Ottawa South since 2003.  He has worked internationally for many years, and is currently at Global Affairs Canada.  Shehryar joined the OSCA board in 2019, and sits on the Operations Committee and the Windsor Park Fieldhouse working group.  He writes occasionally for The OSCAR. 


Susan Brousseau

Susan has lived in Old Ottawa South since 1984.  She is a graduate of McGill University.  She taught in the public school system in Montreal and worked as a senior business and systems analyst and consultant in the IT industry, both in Montreal and in Ottawa.  She has a long history of volunteerism and has been active hosting annual neighbourhood block parties.  She has actively opposed development projects in OOS which do not uphold the established zoning rules and bylaws.

Anna Cuylits

Anna has lived in Old Ottawa South for 40 years and raised her children here.  She is co-founder and member of OSCA’s Senior Watch Old Ottawa South (SWOOS), our local watchdog for seniors.  SWOOS concerns itself with “Age Friendly” walkability, social connections, housing and health issues.  A retired social worker with a wide variety of front line experiences, e.g. Indigenous communities and with homeless people.  Anna worked for 25 years in local hospitals in the fields of mental health, crisis intervention, rehabilitation and palliative care.  Anna emigrated from her native Netherlands in 1970 and is co-chair of the local chapter of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies (CAANS).

Mark Gencher

Mark has been a partner and VP Sales at Brymark Promotions Inc for over 25 years.  He is an accomplished professional who has provided a leadership role of progressive sales management, market leadership and profitable revenue growth through solid business strategy, disciplined planning, and communication.  Mark is a supportive team-builder and coach with energy and motivation to help actualize personal and team goals.  Mark believes in charitable work as a calling for all business persons.

Michael McKay

Michael enjoyed a successful career in engineering and management.  However, he believes he failed at Retirement.  After 6 years of not wearing a watch, Michael started a new job at the same time as the pandemic lock-down.  That and family are occupying Michael’s time these days.  He’s happy to be on the Board for one more year.

Ingrid Nielsen

Ingrid is a federal public servant, with almost 20 years of experience in strategic communications, policy development and intergovernmental and Indigenous affairs.  She has university degrees in political science, journalism, and environmental education and communication.  Her federal government career began in Yellowknife, NWT, where she lived for four years.  This experience gave her a great love of the Arctic and interest in northern issues.  Prior to being a public servant, Ingrid was a journalist for almost 10 years, including as an editor at The Globe and Mail.  These days, Ingrid is also a proud mom of a young son who has been very active in Firehall programs, and he hopes to one day be a Firehall counsellor.  Ingrid has lived with her family in Old Ottawa South for most of the past 10 years, and currently lives on Sunnyside Avenue.  Another of her passions is community environmental action, and she is one of the founders, in 2020, of the Enviro Crew of Old Ottawa South, an active group of OOS residents who are tackling environmental issues by leading local projects.  Her goal is to revitalize OSCA's environment committee and foster connections with like-minded local groups and residents to spur effective local environmental action.  She is also on the Board of Directors of Able2 (formerly known as Citizens Advocacy of Ottawa), which supports individuals with disabilities who are living independently.  Ingrid loves animals, however, her son will not let her get a pet, so she must be content to enjoy her lovable neighbour cat, Gary.

Andrew King

An OSCA Board Member for the last year, Andrew and his family have enjoyed living in Old Ottawa South since 2018 when they moved to Ottawa from Brussels, Belgium.  Being a part of this community has reinforced in Andrew the importance of building strong relationships supporting what is local.  As the communications director with the Canadian Teachers' Federation, he wants to continue offering his expertise and experience to help OSCA best connect with the people who call this neighbourhood home.

Janet E Silver

Janet moved to Old Ottawa South 7 years ago after spending 20 years living in Washington, D.C.  Janet has worked in the media and communications industry for many years including: CTV, Global, CBC, Fox News Service, Reuters, ABC Australia and the International Red Cross based in Russia.  Janet's love of politics and covering political issues has led her to her latest assignment, Managing Editor at iPolitics.  When Janet saw the request for help with OSCA, she reached out, it was time to help her local community association.  When not covering politics or spending time with her family or at the rink, Janet can be found strolling through Windsor Park with her dog Boomer.

Last modified on Monday, 19 October 2020 15:08

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