ALLAN Reesor-McDowell // executive director
Allan grew up in the Toronto area but studies and work have taken him to the U.S, Haiti, England, as well as many shorter stints across the Middle East, Central America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to starting at Matthew House Ottawa, he worked as a manager for Mennonite Central Committee in various fundraising, communications, and program roles. He holds an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London. Allan currently serves on several boards of directors including Abundance Canada and Bulpit Lake Family Camp. He and his wife Winnie have two children, and they attend The Meeting House church in Ottawa.
david botha // program director, furniture bank
David has been involved as both a volunteer and Program Director with Matthew House Ottawa: Furniture Bank since 2011. Prior to this, he volunteered at Matthew House Fort Erie. As part of a faith-based organization, he is motivated to serve members of the community regardless of their history. David has a background in English Literature and Marketing, and has the special skill of being able to spot a potential volunteer at 100 metres!
Stephen Porter // Program Manager, Refugee Services
Stephen has spent the last couple of years working and studying across the country. His own passion for working with refugees stems from some time spent conducting research in the Middle East into migratory patterns of Christian communities. Even since then, Stephen seems to find himself time and again locating avenues in which to be of service to displaced people. After serving as a MHO volunteer several years ago, Stephen is grateful to have the opportunity to work once again with the MHO community and provide a welcoming home to newcomers in Ottawa. As for his passions outside work, Stephen is fond of singing, and has developed quite the capacity for performing numerous absurd accents. Often unintentionally!
Steve Kuhn // CHair
Steve is an executive in the Government of Canada, where he has held various positions at the Privy Council Office, Department of Finance and Infrastructure Canada focused on international finance, foreign policy and infrastructure investment. Before moving to Ottawa, Steve worked on infrastructure investment and public-private partnerships transactions for the Government of Ontario.
He is a co-founder of Matthew House Ottawa and also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Ottawa Mission Foundation and Action Canada. Steve holds a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, York University, and is married with two young children.
Laura Kuhn // Treasurer
Laura grew up in Hamilton and moved to Toronto with her husband, Steve, where she earned a Masters in biomedical engineering. After working for a stint at a start-up company, Laura worked as a teacher for a missionary organization in Mozambique, Africa, for one year. On her return to Canada, she began working with internationals, volunteering for Matthew House in Toronto and for Canadian Baptist Ministries to coordinate an affiliation of refugee houses around southern Ontario. Laura and Steve were part of the founding group for Matthew House Ottawa. Laura has volunteered in a variety of roles with MHO, most recently as Treasurer on the Board of Directors.
Meredith Ward // Director
Meredith has lived in Kanata for 34 years and has a heart for the care of refugees arriving in Canada. Being semi-retired from teaching, she was approached to be on the Board of Matthew House Ottawa four years ago and has not looked back. Married to pastor Doug Ward, where they have been serving Kanata Baptist Church for 34 years, she is the mother of three married daughters and proud Grammy to seven grandchildren. Meredith is passionate about her family and friends, teaching, choral music, fitness, nature, and loves to extend hospitality to those around her.
Helen Reimer // Director
Helen grew up in the UK and moved to Hamilton, ON in 2013 to start up Christians Against Poverty in Canada. She then met her Canadian husband, Mark, and moved to Ottawa where she works for justice within the supply chains of the products we all buy. Her passion is to bring Jesus' light into dark places and to inspire others to do the same so she found a natural fit with Matthew House Ottawa. Helen is also a graduate of the Arrow Christian Leadership Program and brings a wealth of experience both in fundraising and leadership of nonprofits.
Ian Smiley // Director
Ian is a devout Christian. He found a passion for helping refugees while serving as a volunteer supporting refugees in Canada at his home church. Ian is also a consultant to craft distillery operators having been involved in distilling, both professionally and as a hobby, for over 40 years. Prior to retiring, Ian worked as an IT professional for the Canadian Federal Government – Defense Department – for 30 years. At the time of his retirement in January 2011 he had been the director of a large IT Division in the Defense Department for four years.
Twilah St Cyr // Director
Twilah was born in Richmond, British Columbia, and grew up in a military family. She has lived in numerous cities throughout Canada and spent five years living in Lahr, (West) Germany. Twilah graduated with a BNSc and joined the Canadian military as a Nursing Officer. She went on to graduate with a Master’s of Nursing and is slowly working on her Master of Divinity with the view to becoming involved with pastoral care/parish nursing. She grew up attending the Salvation Army and this has led to a passion for helping those who are in need. Twilah also has a passion for governance and has been involved with numerous boards, student governments/organisations, and with church governance.
Hannah Marazzi // Director
A graduate of Trinity Western University and the Laurentian Leadership Centre, Hannah comes to Matthew House Ottawa with a strong background in communications, event planning, and program development. Currently serving at Cardus as Marketing Coordinator and Project Lead for the Faith in Canada 150 Millennial Summit, Hannah brings a belief in the power of story and community collaboration to each team of which she is a part. She is an active part of her community and looks forward to helping Matthew House Ottawa as a member of the Board of Directors.
Matthew House Ottawa is a volunteer-based organisation. Without the hundreds of hours our committed volunteers give, we could not serve the community. There are many opportunities to volunteer at Matthew House Ottawa ranging from serving at the executive level to cooking meals for our residents at Refugee Services to moving furniture at the Furniture Bank.
Matthew House Ottawa thanks the following corporate partners and funding agencies for contributing to the work we do with Ottawa’s marginalized population. If you would like to consider corporate sponsorship, we would love to hear from you.