OELC is very fortunate to have a committed and knowledgeable volunteer board of directors. The membership of the board for our not-for-profit centre represents various stakeholders from across the province including educators, francophones, parents, alumni, former OELC facilitators and persons with business expertise.
The board meets regularly throughout the year providing direction and support to the leadership programs at OELC, refining and reviewing the mission and shared vision of the Centre, formulating and evaluating policy, overseeing fiscal affairs, and liaising with government and educational partners.
The following is a list of our Board members. The thousands of students who have benefited from their OELC experience thank them for their caring and committed work.
Questions about OELC
- Who owns the OELC property on Rama Road?
OELC has always rented their property. In fact, for the last 70 years OELC had an arrangement where between 1948 and 2015, we rented the property, while receiving various levels of financial support from the Ontario Government
- Does the Ontario Government still support OELC-CASO?
In 2015 OELC struck an agreement with the Ministry of Education for the provision of various programs and also received a transfer payment to off set our rental and site costs. In 2018, this funding was terminated by the government and OELC had to rely on its own funding model to continue operations.
- Is it true the provincial government is selling the OELC property on Rama Road?
In 2018, the provincial government decided to initiate the process to sell the OELC site. First, they had to go through various Ministries to see if they wanted it. A purchaser has been identified, however the process of “selling” the property will take many years.
- What will happen to OELC?
OELC has been negotiating with the provincial government, and told them that since this process will take so many years, it makes sense to keep a good tenant, and a tenant who has taken care of the land for the last 70 years. For 2022, OELC will be operating on the Rama Road site with a full schedule of summer programs
- How will this affect OELC?
After Covid-19 virtually shut down our operations for 2020, the board of directors underwent a thorough review of our programs and how they could continue to be delivered to the thousands of young people across Ontario. In 2021, we launched some specific virtual programs, and in spring of 2021 we launched OELC on Location, where we transplanted the OELC Leadership experience to school sites.
This was extremely successful, and in 2022 we will be expanding this program to different parts of the province including Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario.
Thunder Bay in NW Ontario and other locations.
- What are the long-term plans for OELC?
OELC understands that we have to ensure our programs continue, and for this reason our board is committed to creating new ways to deliver youth leadership to as many people across this province. Additionally, we have started to develop new programs on anti-racism, and Interfaith Leadership, while also making sure that our current programs are relevant./p>
We have also started to redesign our social media platforms, podcasts, and other marketing activities to communicate what OELC is doing so that everyone who subscribes to our Alumni and website will be up to date.
Combine this with OELC on Location, and we believe we can bring OELC to even more youth in the future.
- What can I do as a an individual to support OELC?
In 2020, we asked donors to suspend their contributions to OELC until we had a chance to define how OELC could look for the future. Now that we are confident of our direction, we are asking people to consider OELC for their donor investment. Later this year we will be announcing a number of programs where supporters can donate to. For past donors, we thank you for your support, and for new donors, we look forward to working with you.
Karen has enjoyed an exciting career in education, working with culturally and socio-economic diverse populations as a teacher in southern Ontario, as well as an administrator in Toronto and the Beausoleil First Nation. She hails from Northern Ontario and is an advocate for equity and social justice issues. She has supported and developed innovative, cooperative and experiential educational practices, enabling students to develop their self-awareness, confidence and critical thinking skills to help them face social, emotional and educational issues.
Since 2010, she has been actively involved with OELC in various capacities. These include Centre Manager, Teacher Facilitator for Ministry of Education initiatives and the Grade 6 Leadership for Innovation and Creativity Course. More recently, she was Co-Director of the Indigenous Leadership Gathering.
Karen brings her passion for youth leadership development to the board, and is excited to be part of a team to set new direction and further develop the growth and outreach of OELC.
Philippa is a proud alumnus of OELC and a passionate advocate of leadership, coaching and mentoring. Originally, she participated in the Secondary Athletics session and loved it so much that she returned to work at the Centre as a Junior Counsellor for the Elementary course andthen as an office administrator for the following 3 years.
Philippa has held a number of positions within sales and marketing across a number of enterprise organizations and is currently the Director of Business Integration with Rogers. She continues to participate actively in sports and is enjoying watching and supporting her twin girls as they grow into their own leadership potential.
Philippa joined the OELC Board of Directors in 2015 and is committed to helping the organization through its ongoing evolution to continued success.
Marty (Martha) Deacon,
Marty has been an educator for 33 years with the Waterloo DSB. She was an elementary and secondary school teacher administrator, consultant and recently finished her career as Superintendent with the WRDSB. Marty has been passionate about youth and creating healthy, active environments where all can be successful, healthy and emotionally strong.
Marty has extended her leadership nationally and internationally in a number of forums. She has coached and led teams at several Olympic, Commonwealth and Pan American Games. She sits on the Executive Board of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Canada and other international organizations focused on excellence and deep values. Marty has chaired several committees that focus on education, youth and community outreach. Marty believes sport and physical activity can build strong communities throughout the world.
Marty has very fond memories of her role as a Teacher Facilitator at the Secondary Athletics Leadership Course at OELC. Marty believes this experience was pivotal in the development of her leadership skills and professional desires. She has continued to promote and advocate for all schools in her region to participate in programs offered at OELC.
Jeff is a Principal with the Grand Erie District School Board. Jeff has been chair of Grand Erie's Global Dignity Day Efforts and is currently Co-Chair of Grand Erie's Safe, Equitable and Inclusive Schools Committee. Jeff's experience with OELC/CASO is vast and impactful. Jeff was Executive Director at OELC/CASO from (2012 - 2014). Jeff attended OELC/CASO as a student with Secondary Student Council and Secondary Music. Jeff was a Leader Counsellor (Youth facilitator) in Intermediate Arts. He is the original Course Director and Developer of the Intermediate School Leadership and Secondary Growing Leadership courses. Jeff has acted as Coordinator for many Minister Student Advisory Councils as well as the implementation of the Student as Researchers Project for the Ministry of Education.
Jeff hails from small-town southern Ontario (Haldimand County). He resides now in Burlington Ontario. Jeff is a firm believer in the power of the Student Voice to make positive changes in their own personal lives, in their communities, school, and the world. Jeff truly believes that leadership is for everyone and in the power of building strong relationships with others and the environment. He is thrilled to continue on as a member of the Board of Directors.
Sonya Rozycki comes from a financial background, having a career with BlackRock Asset Management within their ETF business, iShares Canada. Sonya supports the development and growth of the digital wealth platform and tools to enhance engagements with BlackRock's clients. Sonya provides the business with insightful analysis to help drive an efficient distribution strategy, enabling the success of the sales business.
Sonya has had an on-going passion for youth leadership. She was actively involved in multiple leadership and development programs growing up. She continues to pay it forward through various avenues such as coaching competitive youth girls basketball with the OBA.
Sonya joined the Board of OELC in 2020 and is excited to be a part of such an impressionable organization to our future leaders.
Sabrina is an educator, she currently works in Equity and Women’s Services with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. Prior to leaving Grand Erie, Sabrina was an elementary classroom teacher (2006-2016) and the Indigenous Education Lead for the Grand Erie District School Board (2016-2020). She was involved in many student leadership initiatives as well as committees, including an Executive member of the ETFO Provincial Executive and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation’s Advisory Committee for Indigenous Education.
Sabrina is new to the Board of Directors in 2021, and is looking forward to being a part of the journey for so many up and coming leaders for tomorrow.
Erin is one of the founders of Rhenti – a Toronto-based proptech start-up serving property owners and renters. Before Rhenti, she built her career specializing in product management, most recently at Telus and Shopify. Erin graduated from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management in 2012, focussing on business design and strategy. Her passion and strength lies in developing people-centric solutions and experiences by emphasizing first principles thinking.
She was an athlete for 18 years in the sport of artistic swimming (formerly synchronized swimming) and competed for Canada in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. She holds an Olympic bronze medal from Sydney.
Erin has a long history of coaching aspiring leaders in both sport and in tech. Her passion lies in helping people to grow into the best versions of themselves. She is excited to join the OELC board as one of its newest members in 2021.
Imtiaz has served in several leadership roles focused on sales, partnerships and marketing. He has successfully scaled emerging businesses, developed and maintained lucrative partnerships, consistently exceeded sales goals, and has managed teams that have continuously delivered results.
Since November 2020, Imtiaz has served as a Director for Google Cloud global strategic initiatives.
Imtiaz has a strong sense of passion toward youth leadership initiatives and enabling our future generations to succeed.
Imtiaz is an active investor and advisor in a broad set of Canadian startups, holds an MBA from Laurier University and is an active runner, cyclist and sports enthusiast.