The board of the Ottawa South Community Association is made up of 17 volunteer directors. The board meets every third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm at the Firehall (260 Sunnyside Avenue) from September to June. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a place on the agenda. Non-board members are welcome to sit on committees.
Chair of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Committee
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.
Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee
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.
Gina is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. When she and her family moved to Old Ottawa South in 2019, her kids quickly became regulars at the Firehall. Gina loves community organizing and fundraising, and she brings an activist’s spirit to the Board. Drawing on her experience in US politics, she hopes to help OSCA modernize its infrastructure and expand its fundraising efforts. This past year, Gina has been involved in the "Save the Firehall" fundraising project. Prior to moving to Canada, Gina taught at MIT. She also previously worked for the US Department of State. Gina enjoys knitting, biking, skiing, gardening, playing with her kids, and speaking Spanish.
Co-Chair of HR Committee, Member of Communications Committee
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.
Stewart is a Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Ottawa, and Director of its Institute of the Environment. He is also the Founder and Chair of Smart Prosperity, Canada's main green economy think tank. Elgie started as a Bay Street lawyer, then moved to Alaska to work as an environmental lawyer for the Sierra Club, including litigating over the Exxon Valdez spill. He returned to Canada and founded Ecojustice, now Canada's largest environmental law organization. He has been actively involved in the development of many of Canada's environmental laws. Stewart and his family are familiar faces around the Firehall. His considerable experience in fund-raising and growing non-profit organizations are valuable assets for the Board.
Co-Chair of SWOOS (Senior Watch Old Ottawa South)
Terry is a former director and CEO of the International Centre for Prevention of Crime, the Biotechnology Human Resources Council, and the Canadian Council on Social Development. He taught part-time at Queen's School of Policy Studies, and also worked for several years as a management consultant. He was appointed to the Council of Science and Technology Advisors to the federal government, and also spent three years on secondment to the Privy Council Office. In retirement, he is a Senior Fellow of the Pearson Centre, and edits SocialCanada.org. He has been a member of SWOOS for two years, active in the areas of seniors' health and housing.
Past President, Acting Chair of Operations Committee, Member of HR Committee, Windsor Park Working Group
Michael and his wife Phyllis have been residents of Old Ottawa South for over 40 years and raised two sons here. Michael has been on the OSCA Board since 1998, having served as OSWATCH Chair, Vice-President and recently as chair of the HR working group. He served as President from 2002 to 2013. A retired senior public servant, Michael worked in a number of federal departments dealing with science and technology, industrial development and consumer protection issues. For over 8 years he was also the Chair of the Committee on Consumer Policy at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Michael has a BA (Hons.) in history, politics and economics from Trent University and an MA (Econ.) and Ph.D. in government from the University of Manchester in the UK 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.
Paul is currently the Associate Dean of Graduate Student Affairs and a professor of English at Carleton University. He brings significant administrative experience to the OSCA Board from his years at Carleton. Paul has also served as a volunteer on the Board of the Ottawa Suzuki Strings Music School and is currently its President.
Member of Communications Committee
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.
Secretary; Chair of Governance Committee, Member of Nominations & Elections Committee
Joy chose to live in Old Ottawa South in 1985, and has been a home owner and resident since then. During her 30+ years living in the neighbourhood, she has become acquainted with many neighbours, learning their views about the local issues which concern them. Joy’s neighbourhood is very important to her, and her values include a strong sense of community. As a long-time resident, Joy is familiar with the infrastructure, facilities and services in this neighbourhood, and their accessibility. She has observed how these have developed over the 30+ years she has lived here. It is important to her that this community continues to build on the foundations established by past volunteers in OSCA. Joy’s education and ~35 year career as a scientist (BSc, MSc) and private-sector intellectual property lawyer (LLB) facilitate her ability to listen and to understand relevant technical and legal / governance issues. For more than 10 years, Joy served in a volunteer capacity on the Board of Directors and ultimately as President of a corporation which owns and operates a family camp on a not-for-profit basis. Her responsibilities included policy making, legal and regulatory compliance, and oversight of management and finances and programming.
Chair of Nominations & Elections Committee, Chair of Traffic & Safety Committee, Member of Governance Committee
Sue is currently the Chair of the OSCA Traffic and Safety Committee and the Nominations and Elections Committee. She has lived in Old Ottawa South since 2004. Her interest is in the well-being of the whole community and in particular making the community’s streets and sidewalks safer for all. Sue retired from the federal government (Department of Canadian Heritage - most recently as Director of International Sport) and before that taught in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Toronto, Master’s degree from the University of Alberta and Doctorate from Ottawa University. Sue believes that her experience working on the policy side of government and serving on many Boards and Executives at all levels is useful in meeting some of the challenges currently facing the OSCA Board and the community. Sue is a lifelong volunteer. Her specific sport interest is the sport of field hockey where she held executive positions at the community, provincial and international levels for many years. She is also a keen hiker, cyclist, kayaker, reader and opera lover.
Chair of Environment & Climate Action Committee
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.
Vice President, Chair of Communications Committee
Winnie Pietrykowski is Vice President of OSCA and Chair of the Communications Committee. She has lived in Old Ottawa South for over 30 years and has served as Chair of OSCA’s Traffic & Safety Committee, and co-Chair of OOS’s Green Dreamers. Winnie loves to write and is a frequent contributor to OSCAR, OOS’s monthly community newspaper. Since retiring from the federal public service in 2010, Winnie has become a devoted grandmother, volunteer and community advocate. Her volunteer and work experience includes not‑for‑profit organizations, independent community enterprises, and 20 years with the federal government. Because of her training and education in communications and telecommunications policy, Winnie had the good fortune in the 1990s to work with the federal rollout of public Internet access across Canada. This initiative was made possible by creating partnerships at the local, municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. It was in many respects her “dream” job because it gave her the opportunity to meet Canadians from all walks of life and helped solidify her belief that innovative societal changes often begin at the grassroots level.
Scott has extensive background working internationally for the federal government and is planning to use his diplomatic experience to contribute to his community. He has most recently served as the Canadian Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan and has previous postings in the Palestinian Territories, London, Vienna, Nairobi and Delhi. He has also represented Canada on a variety of international working groups including the South Sudan Children in Armed Conflict Working Group.
Nicolas is a data-driven Manager with 20 years of practical experience. He is a Data and Information Architect at uOttawa where he has assessed systems, implemented data management processes and coached teams about data and information principles. He is looking forward to assisting OSCA with a review and possible re-design of existing systems at the Firehall with a view to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our systems.
Member of Operations Committee; Member of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Committee; Windsor Park Working Group
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.
President, Member of HR Committee, Member of Nominations & Elections Committee
Richard is a long-time resident of Old Ottawa South. He has recently retired from full-time work and runs his own company which offers services focused on increasing effectiveness at the personal and organizational levels. Richard has a broad base of experience flowing from work with the federal government, with the Public Policy Forum, with Saint Jerome’s University, as a consultant, and as a volunteer with organizations such as the Community Foundation of Ottawa. He also holds licenses with global training companies to deliver award-winning leadership development programs.
Co-chair of Planning & Zoning Committee
Laura has lived in Old Ottawa South for a quarter-century and her love for its unique qualities has only grown over time and as her life has become more and more entwined with fellow OOSers. Laura is an Ontario and Florida registered architect and a volunteer member of the Federation of Citizen Association’s Planning and Zoning Committee. By actively participating and sharing her time, skill set and passion, she hopes to contribute to keeping our neighbourhood great as it grows, changes and evolves. As our city grows, Old Ottawa South will also grow in order to continue to thrive. Our community association can help us to grow in the right direction by working to ensure that growth reflects the character of our community, respects its zoning by-laws and enhances our neighbourhood.