Staff and Board - Ten Oaks Project

our people

The Ten Oaks Project is a community-based, charitable organization led by a small staff team and volunteer board of directors.

Staff

Board of Directors

Staff


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Hannah McGechie

Executive Director

Hannah (she / her) has had the pleasure of working at the Ten Oaks Project since 2010. She oversees the planning and delivery of the camp programs and year-round community events; coordinates fundraising; supports the organization’s many wonderful staff and volunteers; and keeps the Ten Oaks Project (relatively) on track. Her background is a mix of working with queer families, criminalized women, restorative justice, and community-based research, with an undergraduate degree in criminology and psychology and a master’s degree in social work. When she’s not at camp, Hannah can be found cooking with her friends, making jam, listening to podcasts, and deconstructing stories with her book club.


OliviaOlivia Fogel

Programs Manager

Olivia (she / they) first discovered the power and magic of camp as a teenager on a canoe trip in Temagami, Ontario, and has never looked back. Coming from a queer, blended family, she has become a committed advocate for community building, leadership development, and skill sharing.  Olivia’s enthusiasm for outdoor instruction and social justice has taken her across Ontario, Eastern Canada, and internationally for work ranging from social enterprise, leadership training, therapeutic wilderness programming, and crisis intervention. Olivia considers herself a lifelong teacher and learner, and is so excited to be a part of the magic at Ten Oaks.  Olivia’s favourite things include snuggling her dogs, sing alongs, growing, canning, and pickling vegetables, and the magic of rivers.


Kaeden Seburn

Community Engagement Coordinator

Kaeden (they / he) is a nonbinary, transmasculine, white settler, a bachelor of social work student at Carleton University, and a trans community organizer, activist, and educator from unceded Algonquin territory. In addition to their role at the Ten Oaks Project, Kaeden is a co-founder and facilitator of Support and Education for Trans Youth (SAEFTY) Ottawa, and is the Trans Gender Diverse Student Support Coordinator for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Their work focuses primarily on depathologizing trans identities and ensuring that trans, nonbinary, and gender diverse youth have access to affirming health care, schools, and social services.  Kaeden is passionate about camp, longboarding, and being outside, and can often be found at the top of the nearest good climbing tree.

Board of Directors


Rosella Chibambo

Treasurer (2019-2021)

Rosella joined the board in 2019 – inspired by friends in the Ten Oaks family and the organization’s vital work to support and build connections among children, youth, families and communities from 2SLGBTQ+ identities. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, she moved to Ottawa more than a decade ago to study journalism and law at Carleton University. She stayed to build a career and a community. Her work as a communications specialist and volunteer in Ottawa’s non-profit sector has focused on digital communications strategy, advocacy on gender-based violence and international justice issues, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion in media and education. You’re most likely to find her drinking too much coffee and scrolling through photos of Sphynx cats on Instagram.


Board - KaeleighKaeleigh D’Ermo

Director (2017-2021)

Kaeleigh firmly cemented herself in the camp world at the age of seven. Since then, she’s gone from running around barefoot and trying to make friendship bracelets to being a staff member wearing shoes (most of the time) and working to bring her camp world experiences and lessons learned into her work environment, as much as possible. She was previously a Residence Life Coordinator at Algonquin College, and had the pleasure of not only working with some of her favourite people, but living with them too. Prior to this, she worked for Concordia University’s Residence Life Department in Montreal as a Community Facilitator and Resident Assistant. In addition to this, she was a Student Advocate for the Concordia Student Union’s Advocacy centre. She has experience in creating campus wide programming and campaigns, capacity building, supporting community creation and advocating on students’ behalf. She is currently completing her BA in First Peoples Studies from Concordia, and previously obtained her BA in Communication Studies and Sociology.

In her free time Kaeleigh enjoys collecting rocks, rediscovering Ottawa through local adventures, going into the woods, reading and attempting to befriend as many goats and dogs as possible. She still practices making bracelets.


EngelDaniel Engel

Past-President (2014-2020)

Daniel has been a camp person ever since he was eight.  In his adolescence, he attended overnight camp far longer that it was socially acceptable for him to do so.  Now, he is a lawyer by day, but in his free time, he tries to use his powers for good.  He spent four-and-a-half years on the Board of Directors at the LGBT Youth Line, a peer-to-peer support line for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.  He also play football in the Toronto Gay Flag Football League, and was the quarterback for Toronto’s team at the Gay Bowl (yep, it’s a thing).  He is extremely excited to join the board at Ten Oaks, and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to an organization that makes such a difference the lives of so many young people and in the community as a whole.


Chris Fry

Director (2019-2021)

Originally from Newfoundland & Labrador, Chris first became acquainted with the Ten Oaks Project as a participant in its annual Bowl-a-Thons. As a firm believer in the mission of the organization, and in the power and importance of community, Chris is honoured to expand his involvement with Ten Oaks as a member of the Board.

During the day, Chris works for the Government of Canada Pension Centre, and is recognized by many in the community as a familiar face from the 10 years he spent in various capacities at The Buzz Kitchen + Cocktails. Outside of work, he is a fan of musical theatre, photography, baking, and reciting quotes from Schitt’s Creek, as well as being a loving cat dad.


Michelle Hayman

Director (2020-2022)

Michelle (she/her) is an enthusiastic former camp kid. She believes strongly in the magic of youth and the outdoors. She first started volunteering with the Ten Oaks Project as part of the Ottawa Community Engagement Committee in 2019 and became a member of the Board in 2020. She works as a lawyer in the public service and holds a Master of Social Work degree. In her spare time, she loves hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing and swing dancing. She lives in Ottawa with her amazing wife and is a proud aunt of seven niblings.


HoylesLesley Hoyles

Vice-President (2014-2020)

Two summers spent at a performing arts camp in northern Pennsylvania were enough to convince Lesley of the transformative nature of summer camp, and she is thrilled to be able to support kids, families, and communities through her involvement on the Board of the Ten Oaks Project.

With a degree in Women’s Studies and an Event Management certification, Lesley has worked exclusively in the non-profit sector throughout her career, including stints at Planned Parenthood Toronto and most recently as Manager of Events and Operations with the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Currently, she is the Director of Operations at the pilot project, midwife-led, Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre, providing a new choice of birthplace for families in the Ottawa area.

Lesley loves playing piano and guitar, cycling, baking delicious vegan treats, and curling up with a good book. She lives in Ottawa with her amazing partner, Evan, and their cats Sparrow and Mylo. She is also completely wrapped around the fingers of her little niece and nephew, Lizzie and Ben.


Trisha Iyar

Director (2020-2022)

Trisha Iyar (She/Her) is a queer, second generation Canadian from a South-African Indian family. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University with a major in Political Science and a double minor in Communication Studies and World Cinema. Passionate about equity and representation, Trisha felt drawn to Ten Oaks because of the organization’s values of inclusion and intersectionality. Trisha has an extensive background in wilderness expeditions and outdoor programming through her work with the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, where she has served in a variety of different logistical and program roles, all with the goal of providing youth facing socio-economic barriers with leadership opportunities and outdoor engagement. By enforcing an intersectional feminist mandate and trauma-informed care responses in her work, Trisha seeks to create safe(r) spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth.


Sunita Kosaraju

Director (2019-2021)

Sunita Kosaraju never attended camp as a child growing up in Toronto’s suburbs but is excited by the opportunity to support Ten Oaks in creating and running a camp that is inclusive, fun and transformational for kids from the 2SLGBTQ+ community.  Sunita is passionate about the arts, creative expression and community.  She comes from a big family and is a dedicated aunt.  Sunita brings a finance and policy perspective to the board of Ten Oaks.  She serves in the finance division of the Ontario Ministry of Education and is trained as an MBA.


Marcus Logan

Director (2019-2021)

Marcus has held many roles within the Ten Oaks family including Assistant Director Operations, Camp Director, bus chaperone and and most importantly, Marshmallow Fairy. With over 25 years experience in youth engagement, fundraising and board participation within 2SLGBTQ+ communities, Marcus is excited to be elected to the TOP board of directors to ensure our growth is sustainable and that our programs remain accessible and inclusive. Marcus spent his child and young adult summers on Lake Temagami where he developed his love of the outdoors, canoeing and water skiing. These impressionable years help to install in Marcus the importance of our outdoor spaces , challenge by choice way of living and of the positive physical and mental health nature provides. When he is not volunteering with TOP, talking about or actioning TOP priorities, Marcus is the Manager, Community Information and Engagement for the Oakville Public Library and is passionate about children and youth mental health. Marcus is an active member in his community and is a sitting board member of the Halton Children’s AID Society, Halton Suicide Prevention Council, Halton Indigenous Educator Advisory Circle, The LightHouse for Giving Children, and the Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable. Marcus is skilled systems interrupter and will always be a active ally to his 2 Spirit, Queer and Trans friends, family and communities and looks forward to continuing to foster the Ten Oaks Project’s successes in the spirit that his mentor and friend, Julia Wagg, would be proud of.


Laura Padula

Director (2019-2021)

Laura was introduced to Camp Ten Oaks in 2015, while managing the Charity and Donor Relations Team at CanadaHelps.  The opportunity to visit the camp was life altering and revealed just how important it was for 2SLGBTQ+ children, youth and families to have a safe, inclusive and diverse space while also being among a phenomenal community.

Laura holds a bachelor’s degree, honors distinction, a diploma and two certificates in non-profit leadership and cross-cultural studies. She is currently working on her Masters in Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership at Carleton University. She is a social justice advocate who thrives in progressive and diverse settings. Her passion to see change has led her to employment at one of the largest international development organizations globally, and has compelled her to travel the world, living in both Africa and South- East Asia where she worked with women and children afflicted by social inequalities.

Laura loves to travel and explore, appreciates down time at the cottage (where she is often found at the lake with a good book) and appreciates in-depth conversation and connection.


Tara Paterson

Director (2020-2022)

Tara (she/her) fell in love with Ten Oaks at the first Bowl-a-Thon she attended. Growing up she went to summer camps in Manitoba with a lot of mosquitos and not a lot of 2SLGBTQ+ celebration. She is so glad that children, youth and families now have a space like Ten Oaks.

In her day job Tara works as the National Representative on Domestic Violence at Work for the Canadian Labour Congress. A long-time activist, Tara previously worked at progressive think tanks and NGOs in Canada and in the United Kingdom. Her writing on gender, social justice, and 2SLGBTQ+ politics has appeared in the National Post, the Globe and Mail, CBC News, the Fabian Review and rabble.ca. Tara holds a BA (Honours) in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, and a Masters of Public Policy and an MSc in Geography from the University of Oxford. She lives in Ottawa with her partner and their plants.


Jenny Stewart

Director (2020-2022)

Jenny Stewart is an Ottawa based nature-lover, mom, and camp-enthusiast. She works as a Realtor supporting many LGBTQ+ families to find the perfect home. Jenny spends her spare time hiking, canoeing, cycling, and skiing. She has three kids who all attended Camp Ten Oaks; she herself loved camp as a kid and spent much of her youth as a camp counsellor wrangling pepped up kids and forcing them to wear sunscreen and drink water. 

Jenny is passionate about social justice and environmentalism. She combined this passion as well as her love of food when she taught cooking workshops at her local food bank, the Parkdale Food Centre. Jenny is also on the board of local gallery Gallery 101; she brought her business savvy and a touch of whimsy to her work at G101. Jenny believes in consensus-based organization and non-violent communication. She is ardent about getting to the root cause of barriers and finding creative solutions.


Board - MikeMike Torunian

President (2017-2021)

Mike moved to Ottawa in 2008 from Montréal, completing his Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration and pursuing a career in the Federal public service. Working primarily in children’s health promotion, he actively contributes to the healthy development of vulnerable and marginalized children, as well as their families. This has included promoting children’s rights and youth engagement.

He has been an active member of the Ten Oaks community since 2013 and currently serves as the community co-chair of the Ottawa Community Engagement Committee. Mike is passionate about current affairs and promoting human rights. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, video games, table-top role-playing games, cooking, cycling, going to the gym and classical music.


Round cropped photo of a smiling person wearing glasses, board member Erica Webster.

Erica Webster

Director (2019-2021)

Erica is a Project Acorn alumni who first connected to the Ten Oaks Project in 2011. After several years as a program volunteer, she’s excited to continue promoting the magic of camp through her involvement on the Board. Erica holds a master’s degree in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership from Carleton University along with a BA in women’s & gender studies and a diploma in public relations… But swears she’s done with school (for now). She works as Manager of Communications and Fund Development for a supportive housing provider, and is also a freelance copywriter and communications consultant.

Erica lives in suburbia with her wife Heather and their son Morgan, along with an assortment of strange furry family members including a fox-dog named Ollie and two (loud) cats named Dora and Rosie. She’s a proud PKU mama, glitter aficionado, and incorrigible night owl. Erica spends her free time documenting family adventures, researching vacations that may or may not ever get taken, and shamelessly enjoying terrible reality TV shows.