Garth Steele | President

As a chartered professional accountant, Garth has been a partner with the Ottawa-based public accounting firm Welch LLP since 1993. He provides audit and tax services to a wide variety of businesses and not-for-profit organizations throughout Canada. He has previously served as president and treasurer of the First Place Maternal Health Options board and as treasurer for the Ottawa Chamber Music Society.

Garth values his role as a husband, a parent, a community volunteer, and a friend, and hopes to continue improving in these areas while trying to humbly discern and follow God’s calling for his life.

Matt Triemstra | Vice-President & Secretary

Matt is a Director with public affairs firm Ensight and has over a decade of experience in government relations and advocacy. He helps clients navigate the Parliament Hill landscape to advance their interests with the federal government and was named by Maclean’s as the busiest lobbyist in 2014. Born and raised in Ottawa, Matt and his wife Shayla have three young children. He plays an active role in his community, having served on the boards of his Community Association, Church Board of Elders and local Electoral District Associations. Matt is committed to living out his faith by partnering with The Ottawa Mission to meet the physical needs of people who are homeless and also work to restore their dignity and hope.

Margaret Alexander | Treasurer

Margaret is a Chartered Professional Accountant at McKechnie & Co in Ottawa.  She provides audit, accounting and tax services to a variety of clients, including many not-for-profit organizations in the Ottawa area. Margaret has served as Treasurer for a number of Associations, Camps and Church organizations.Margaret was born and raised in Ottawa where she currently resides with her husband and two children. Having volunteered at The Ottawa Mission as a teenager and worked in the accounting department in past years, Margaret considers it a privilege to serve as the Board Treasurer.

Scott Hannant | Past-President

Scott is a professor at Carleton University who teaches classes in television journalism and is also president of Hannant Media Solutions Inc. Scott first became involved with The Ottawa Mission when he worked as a CTV Ottawa News Director. Since he began volunteering at The Mission, Scott has also joined the boards of the Youth Services Bureau Foundation and Peace Camp Ottawa. He has previously served on the board of United Way Ottawa and is an honorary lifetime member of the Vanier Institute of the Family. Scott currently lives in Ottawa with his wife Louise. They have two grown children

John Pallascio | Chair, Governance and HR Committee

John joined The Ottawa Mission board of directors in 2014. He possesses over three decades of experience advising senior government officials, senior executives, and corporate boards on governance, risk and complex domestic and international transactions, in diverse industry sectors.

His current position is as Senior Legal Counsel at Bombardier Business Aircraft. In his former role as General Counsel and Senior Assistant Secretary at Export Development Canada (EDC), John was responsible for leading three corporate advisory groups, Legal Services, Access to Information and Privacy, and Recorded Information Management, with a staff complement of over fifty employees.

He obtained a degree in Political Science from McGill University, a law degree and a Diploma Special Legal Studies (Dipl. S.L.S.) from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and is a member of le Barreau du Quebec. He also recently completed the Institute of Corporate Directors, Directors Education (ICD) Program, and received the ICD.D designation.

Members of the Board

      • Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey
        Anthony Bailey is the Lead Minister at Parkdale United Church, a position he has held since September of 1999. The congregation he serves is known for its spiritual vitality and its community outreach, advocacy and justice work. Originally from Barbados, Anthony has lived in various parts of Canada and the world. With a background in social work, international community development, ministry and teaching at a university level, Anthony brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to coming alongside and advocating for vulnerable people. He also serves on the Board of the Parkdale Food Centre, is the Spiritual Advisor for Urban Christian Outreach and works with schools, churches and various agencies around the issues of racial reconciliation, diversity and intercultural competence. Anthony is a husband and a father of four children. He loves supporting the work and ministry of the Ottawa Mission and prays that God would inspire more and more of the people of Ottawa to support the wonderful work of the Ottawa Mission.
      • Dr. Robert Cushman
        Dr. Cushman joined The Ottawa Mission Board of Directors in November of 2016. He was the Senior Medical Advisor at Health Canada and the Director General of the Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate from 2012-2015. He served as the inaugural CEO of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network from 2005 to 2011, and prior to that as Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health. Dr. Cushman has worked as a primary care physician in a variety of health-care settings, including the emergency room of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Somerset West Community Health Centre in Ottawa, and along the James and Hudson Bay coasts of northern Quebec. Early in his career, he worked at a large African mission hospital for three years. He received his undergraduate degree in economics at Harvard University and his medical degree at McMaster University. He also earned an MBA from the University of Ottawa.
      • Gord Lorimer
        Since his graduation from Carleton University’s School of Architecture in 1977, Gord Lorimer has participated in a variety of residential, commercial and institutional projects with a number of architectural firms. He is currently partner at Hobin Architecture Inc. and continues to be involved in a variety of mixed-use and residential projects His achievements as project architect include the Bethany Hope Centre (adaptive reuse), Woodvale Pentecostal Church Addition,Beaver Barracks Redevelopment and The Glebe Community Centre Redevelopment. Professionally, Gord is a Fellow with the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, a Member of the Ontario Association of Architects and an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects.Since 2002, he has been involved with the Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region, and joined The Ottawa Mission board of directors in 2015. Gord clearly understands the strengths and challenges that all boards experience and ways the challenges can actually be used to enhance the outcome.
      • Paul McKechniePaul is a partner at McKechnie Moore Chartered Accountants and an active volunteer in the Ottawa community, where he holds a number of board positions. Paul attended Carleton University, where he received his Bachelor of Commerce, CA.
        He and his family live in Ottawa and are members of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.
      • Jack Murta
        Since 2003, Jack Murta has coordinated the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast – non-partisan gatherings of Members of Parliament, Senators, Ambassadors, business and community leaders. In addition to being a Director of The Ottawa Mission Foundation, Jack also serves on the board of The Ottawa Mission. He is past President of the Mission and has served as its Executive Director and Chaplin.
        Jack leads and teaches meditation and contemplation. He presently leads two groups in Ottawa (Saint Patrick’s Basilica and The Ottawa Mission).  He is also the National Coordinator for Christian Meditation in Canada. In 2016, Jack was appointed to the role of President of the Korean War Veterans of Canada Foundation.
        Jack spent 18 years in Federal Politics, including 4 years in the first cabinet of the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. He and his wife Lyn have three grown children.
      • Michael Pallett | President of Ottawa Mission Foundation Board of Directors
        Michael Pallett is a lifelong resident of Ottawa and a volunteer with the Ottawa Mission Foundation since 2012. A Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc., Michael is also a CFA charter holder and a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. He has served as president of the Ottawa Society of Financial Analysts and the Canadian Council of Financial Analysts. Michael is married with two children and lives in the city’s west-end.
      • Jennifer Parr
        Jennifer Parr is an executive leadership coach with over 25 years of leadership and management experience. In 2000, Jennifer made the decision to trade her role as the Vice President of Human Resources for a major Canadian corporation for a career that provided her with greater margin to pursue activities of eternal significance. Jennifer co-founded Leadership That Matters™ and has provided executive coaching and strategic facilitation to hundreds of leaders in the private and not-for-profit sectors, and the church. Jennifer is also a certified Master Coach and facilitator with the Halftime Institute ™ supporting executive leaders in mid-life who yearn for a life of greater significance.
        She holds an M.B.A. (University of Western Ontario) and a B.S.W. and B.A. in Political Science (McMaster University). Jennifer currently serves on the Boards of both The Ottawa Mission and The Ottawa Mission Foundation. She is also passionate about developing young leaders in Lesotho, having been a Director of the Board of Help Lesotho for 10 years and making five trips to southern Africa. Jennifer shares her life with her husband Paul and her son Scott. She is an active member of St. Alban’s Anglican Church.
      • Lynn Plunkett
        Lynn has almost 30 years of progressive cross-functional management experience in marketing, strategic planning, finance and sales. For the last 16 years, she has been providing marketing consulting services, through Lynn Plunkett and Associates Inc., to a wide range of clients in health and food industries.
        Prior to developing her own consulting business, Lynn held senior marketing and sales positions with Mead Johnson (the Nutritional division of Bristol-Myers Squibb) for over 15 years. During that time, she was responsible for strategic planning, marketing and the sales. Lynn holds an M.B.A (University of Ottawa) and a B.Comm. (Carleton University).
        Lynn is active in the Ottawa community. She is a Director with The Ottawa Mission, The Ottawa Mission Foundation and with the Columbus Club 485 Charitable Foundation. She has taught Marketing, International Business and Leadership at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.