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Community Builders of the Year 2016

We are proud to recognize the following recipients in the upcoming Wall of Inspiration Ceremony March 2, 2017.

Gala Recipients

Ottawa’s Syrian Refugee Response Leaders Coalition

Community Builder of the Year

Like all Canadians, Ottawa residents were heartbroken at the situation facing millions of Syrian refugees during one of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. In October of 2015, Mayor Jim Watson asked community leaders what Ottawa could do to help. At the epicenter of the overwhelming outpouring of compassion and support from thousands of Ottawa citizens, a group of local leaders, which included Refugee 613, the Catholic Centre for Immigrants, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and the Community Foundation of Ottawa, with help from United Way Ottawa, quickly learned to work collectively, aligning their expertise and resources in order to put in place the processes and supports needed to help Syrian refugees find peace and hope in a new place. This group became known as the Ottawa Syrian Refugee Response Leaders’ Coalition. Together, they helped change the lives of more than 2,000 people who now call Ottawa home.

Ten Oaks

Ten Oaks Project

All That Kids Can Be Award

Founded in 2004 and based in Ottawa, the Ten Oaks Project offers a variety of essential programs annually, including Camp Ten Oaks, a one-week sleep-away camp for children and youth ages 8-17 from LGBTQ+ identities, families, and communities. A first of its kind in Canada, the camp offers children a space where they are not only accepted, but celebrated.

TELUS Ottawa Community Board

TELUS Ottawa Community Board

Healthy People, Strong Communities Award

Since 2005, the TELUS Ottawa Community Board has served our city through its contribution of more than $4 million to various local grassroots organizations. Ottawa was one of the first cities to have a community board like TELUS, who have supported 332 community projects focusing on health, education, and the environment.

Minwaashin Lodge

Minwaashin Lodge – Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre

Poverty to Possibility Award

For 21 years, Minwaashin Lodge has provided programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children who have survived domestic or other forms of violence, and who may suffer from the effects of the residential school system. It also holds on-site ceremonies for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children, including naming and walking out ceremonies, changing of the flags, medicine walks, hoop dancing and drum awakenings. All programs and services are provided in the context of cultural beliefs and values to ensure a holistic approach is used as part of the healing.

Mark Sutcliffe

Ambassador Award

An Ottawa native, Mark Sutcliffe is a writer, broadcaster, entrepreneur and volunteer who has had a tremendous impact on our city. In fact, nearly every major Ottawa community cause has benefited from his passionate volunteerism and engagement. A known running-enthusiast, Mark has completed more than 20 marathons and has personally raised more than $180,000 with charity fundraising runs over the last decade. He has volunteered with a number of Boards of Directors, including the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, United Way Ottawa, Invest Ottawa, Run Ottawa and Algonquin College.

Surgenor Automotive Group

Surgenor Automotive Group

Community Impact Award

We honoured Ottawa’s Surgenor Automotive Group with the Community Impact Award – paying tribute to the company’s dedication to giving back and changing lives in Ottawa. Over the years, Surgenor has raised over $1 million, impacting more than 3,500 lives – an incredible accomplishment. The team also instills the importance of supporting community by influencing several generations of donors and employees to follow their lead. Surgenor not only supports United Way, but countless other organizations.

Turnbull School

Community Impact Award

Founded in 1992 by long time United Way volunteer Mary Ann Turnbull, Turnbull School is a private elementary school in Ottawa that provides enriching and well-rounded academic programs to their students. From kindergarten to grade 8, Turnbull aims to develop a culture that emphasizes the importance of charitable fundraising and giving back. In 2015, Turnbull School staff and students celebrated a remarkable milestone achievement surpassing the one million dollar mark in total charitable fundraising.

Kathleen Kemp


Kathleen Kemp is known in Ottawa for her work building social enterprises, educating and inspiring others. Passionate about entrepreneurship from a very young age, Kathleen started her first business at the age of 13. She has helped start and lead a number of different organizations, including CigBins – a cigarette butt collection and recycling social enterprise that employs Causeway Work Centre clients with disabilities. In 2015, she traveled to Johannesburg to compete in an international world cup for social enterprise, bringing the CigBins project international attention.

Program Recipients

Tommy Glatzmayer

Tommy has been spreading the message of courage, strength, love, and acceptance all over the city. His sister, Melanie has a rare syndrome called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, of which there are only 100 known cases in Canada. When Tommy was only 6 years old, he wrote a book called “Melanie and Tommy have two pet rats and one Syndrome” to educate his friends and classmates on his sister’s condition to promote acceptance. Since then, Tommy and Melanie have done over 80 presentations in Canada and the US, distributed over 10,000 books, spoke at several events, held book signings and received numerous recognitions.

David Remo

David has been an active member of this community for many years and continues to help whenever he’s needed. David is a regular volunteer at Operation Come Home’s Drop In program assisting homeless and at risk youth. In addition to his work with Operation Come Home, David volunteers with organizations all over the city including the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, and The Good Companions, to name a few. His colleagues describe him as someone who is extremely hard working, generous, kind and caring and we’re honoured to have recognized him as an everyday hero.

Derick Fage

You may know Derick for his outstanding work on Daytime Ottawa, but you may not know that Derick is also a proud volunteer in the Ottawa community. Not only is he a volunteer presenter with United Way, but he also gives his time and energy to many organizations and causes such as Canadian Parents of Murdered Children, Victims of Violence, LiveWorkPlay, Quickstart, Dreams Take Flight, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Tim Horton’s Camp Day, and more. Derick is an advocate for The Canadian Continence Foundation and has openly shared his personal story, encouraging others to share theirs. Derick is a true community builder and a uniquely inspiring and selfless individual.

Bertillia Christian

Bertillia exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism. She works tirelessly to build a stronger community, encourages many others to join in and contribute, and uses her exceptional public speaking skills to promote community involvement. For more than ten years, she has been involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the CHEO telethon, and the Zellers moonwalk program that raises funds for Cystic Fibrosis. She continues to be an active canvasser for the Kidney Foundation and United Way campaigns.

Moses Abayomi Pratt

Moses has been an educator for over 25 years, and started the Global Community Alliance,  an organization dedicated to fostering diversity and promoting unity. Moses is also a founding member of both the Nigerian Canadian Association in Ottawa and Isokan Yoruba. Moses and his wife Kelly have supported and participated in many community initiatives and they continue to give of their time and resources to make a difference in the community.

Tracey Dixon

Tracey served on Board of Directors of the Irish Society as the president for several years, and continues to contribute her time to the organization. In addition to her work with the Irish Society, she spends her time helping immigrants settle in Canada by helping them with financial, cultural, and social challenges. Tracey is also a big supporter of the Ottawa Food Bank and various other local charities where she gives her time.

George Wilkes

George was presented with a Community Builder Award on March 31, at an event with his friends from the Ottawa Senior Pride Network and the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. George, 87, has dedicated his life to making a difference, from promoting peace and nuclear disarmament to founding a volunteer-led community association in Sandy Hill. George also played a key role in the creation of the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa and supports numerous LGBTQ+ initiatives, including creating SAGE (Seniors in Action in a Gay Environment). George currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights and continues to serve his community with a big smile and helping hand.

Toni Francis

Toni has been an instrumental voice in Ottawa’s Caribbean Cultural Community where she has volunteered her time for over 10 years. Toni has a way of connecting not only with audiences but with the students to encourage them to seize the moment and celebrate success. Because of her excellent communication skills, Toni has been called upon by many organizations who request her guidance and assistance. She volunteers as host of the St Lucia Ottawa Gala, the Global Community Alliance Gala, and other community events.

Joan Highet

Giving back to the community is something Joan has done all her life. As a young child, Joan would help her father deliver boxes of food to families in need and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. She has volunteered with various charitable organizations and causes, including the Interval House of Ottawa’s Fundraising Committee, the Ottawa Humane Society, and the Candlelighters, to name a few.

Emilie-Andrée Roumer Jabouin

Emilie-Andrée Roumer Jabouin has volunteered as a peer support worker for women at the Sexual Assault Support Centre Ottawa of Ottawa for the past seven years and advocates for marginalized, immigrant and refugee women at government services. She bridged her community support skills and experience in activism to start Yoga Unity – a yoga series for women of colour to create an environment of solidarity and healing space for women of colour, immigrant and refugee women. It addresses mental health challenges tied to social oppressions like racism, sexism and migration. Emilie is known for running community events celebrating multiculturalism and was a black youth empowerment leader in 2014.

Zach Graves

On a volunteer mission trip to Mozambique, Zach noticed an extreme lack of school supplies and educational tools for local youth. He came back to Canada inspired to do something about it. He started Tools with Impact, an organization that collects and donates tools for the community in Mossuril, Mozambique. It started out as a small club for students at Merivale High School and has expanded to support and equip underprivileged students with school supplies in Mozambique and education tools in Ecuador. Now, Tools with Impact has 12 new branches and hundreds of members. Zach is also a proud volunteer with the special needs community. He’s worked at a camp for people with developmental disabilities and as a swimming coach for Special Olympics Ontario.

Lindsay Rowlands

Lindsay has been a community volunteer for many years, always giving her time to help others. She is a volunteer with Parkwood Hills Residents Group, hosting community events such as bingo nights, newcomer welcome events and Movie in the Park. Lindsay is also a part of a Women’s Crafting Group which supports newcomer women in Parkwood Hills. The group shares skills and expertise, as well as creating culturally appropriate outfits for Syrian refugees.

Noémie Pound

Noémie is 9 years old- almost 10. She has always been inspired to help others and give back to her community. When she was 7, she created a big fundraising event for CHEO and the CHEO Research Institute to “help sick kids”, and raised over $14,000. This year, she did a similar event and raised $18,000.  Noémie received the Youth Inspiration Award from Proud to be Me and graciously donated a significant amount of the financial award to the United for Refugees campaign.

Humberto Zea

As a newcomer to Canada himself, Humberto’s goal is to connect with his community and meeting new people. Through the events he DJs, he wants to give newcomers opportunities to meet people and feel welcomed in their new home. Humberto has volunteered with Community Cup for more than seven years as the DJ and as part of the event coordination team. He also gets people up and dancing at the Salsa at City Hall events and Salsa on Spark Street festivities as the volunteer DJ. He brings the amazing sounds and audio that make events come to life.

Keith Charles

Keith knows how to spot opportunities and use the power of persuasion to fundraise for causes he’s passionate about. In the last 20 years, Keith has helped raise about $20,000 for the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund, which provides academic opportunities for qualified black students entering Canadian universities. Keith is also known as a leader. He was the volunteer president of the Black Business and Professional Association where he led initiatives to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.

Junior Smith

A founder of Canada’s longest-running reggae program, CKCU’s Reggae in the Fields, Junior Smith has spent over four decades enlightening Ottawa audiences on the merits of Jamaican culture. We surprised Junior on live radio with a Community Builder Award this fall for “forty years in our ears” and his many hours volunteering at community events.

George Brown

George’s career and volunteer work have always focused on being an advocate for those in need. A lawyer by trade, he has been a politician, president of a non-profit, professor and a volunteer for many organizations, including Causeway Work Centre, project Acorn, and over 10 years with United Way Ottawa.

Aubrey London Sr.

For almost twenty years he has helped coordinate a youth choir and drop-in support group. It provides a safe space for youth who want to sing and those who are going through difficult times at home, school, in relationships and with the stresses that come with life. Aubrey uses music as a therapy, specifically gospel music, as a way to inspire and empower youth and give them a sense of hope.

Gina Desjardins

Gina has been involved in United Way Campaigns as a Program Representative and then Campaign Leader. Her positive energy has raised participation levels and motivated teams to collect significant donations. Gina’s infectious enthusiasm and good humour led The Royal to execute many successful projects with all levels of the organization, from Kick-off breakfasts with VIP Volunteers, to Dessert Challenges and Pie throwing contests.

Carol Campbell

Carol Campbell has been lauded for her volunteer work, both in Ottawa as well as in her native Jamaica. A member of the Community and Police Action Committee (COMPAC), she has been a voice of support for initiatives aimed at improving relations between the community and the Ottawa Police. Carol is a Girls Club Counsellor and a natural mentor with a passion to see children and youth in the community succeed.

Anthony Waterman

Anthony has been a dedicated volunteer with the University of Ottawa’s CHUO Community Radio Programming for 16 years and has rarely missed a show. He is passionate about spreading Caribbean and Barbadian music throughout Ottawa and has been a DJ at many events. Anthony is always willing to lend a hand to people in the community and keen to get involved.

Joyce Clement

Joyce has been a leader and dedicated volunteer in the Barbadian Canadian community for more than 40 years. She and her husband started the Barbados Ottawa Association in 1966 and Joyce was named the first female president of the association in 1975. The association began with the need to mobilize and assist new Barbadians adapting to life in Canada and provide an open space to share Barbadian heritage with the wider Ottawa community. They say if you look at any picture from an association event, you’ll see Joyce. From leading event meetings and health workshops out of her own home to always having an open door policy, Joyce has been a pillar of stability and respect in  Ottawa’s Barbadian community.

Lena Dikranian

Lena has been an anchor for the largest GCWCC workplace campaign for seven years at the department of National Defence. She has led events, recruited and trained hundreds of sub-treasurers for the campaign over the years. Her attention to detail and excellent organizational skills enabled her to restructure the accounting model to better reflect and report on their fundraising efforts. Lena is always willing to get involved and her enthusiasm is contagious. She has a commitment to customer service and motivating others.