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 organisation, 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!
We're always looking for talent & shared vision.
Meredith Ward // Chair
Meredith Ward 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.
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.
Martine Cétoute // Secretary
Martine was raised in Ottawa and holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Law degree from the University of Ottawa. Throughout her legal studies, Martine was actively involved with the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic which sparked her interest for social justice and poverty law. She was also a member of the clinic’s steering committee. Martine currently practices as a lawyer with a Francophone legal clinic in the areas of immigration law, housing law, income security and public legal education. Outside of work, she regularly volunteers with a non-profit organisation that supports survivors of sexual assault.
Ian Smiley // Director
Ian Smiley 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 Marazzi 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 joining 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.