CCOC’s New Executive Director: Welcome Sarah Button!
January 17, 2022Super AdminComments 1
The CCOC Board of Directors is delighted to announce Sarah Button will be joining the CCOC team as the new Executive Director. Sarah would like to introduce herself and share some thoughts in her own words below.
I’m really excited to be rejoining CCOC, and I’d like to share a little bit about myself and some initial thoughts as I step into the role.
I grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, but I have called Ottawa home for more than 20 years. My extended family still lives on the East Coast, and I’m looking forward to visiting them again when it’s safe to do so. I hold a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Birmingham in the UK, as well as degrees in communications and architecture. I’m a full member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK), and I’ve spent my career at the intersection of cities and systems and the critical importance of affordable housing for individuals and communities.
I have worked overseas in different contexts, including in the Philippines with a cooperative housing organization and in the UK both as a private developer and a volunteer program manager with a youth work organisation. I’ve also worked as an urban planning consultant with clients across Canada. Most recently, I worked on affordable housing policy at the federal level with CMHC’s policy and innovation division, where my teams designed and delivered National Housing Strategy initiatives and created the Housing Supply Challenge program.
I have a long history with CCOC. I was COCC’s first Sustainability Facilitator, back when the role was called the “Go Green Climate Officer” and the Tenant and Community Engagement Department was called “Membership and Communications”. I also worked as Development Officer for three years on the 464 Metcalfe project. After leaving CCOC, I volunteered on the Facilities Management Committee and the Development Committee, was a member of the CCOC and Cahdco Boards, and served as VP on the CCOC Board. My husband Bryn was also a CCOC tenant for several years at Booth and Rochester; and we still live in Centretown with our adorable cat Earl Grey.
We’ve all been through a lot in the past couple of years of COVID – I understand (and feel) the fatigue and stress this new round of restrictions and uncertainty brings. Just as the end was in sight for the pandemic, we find ourselves in a new year with a new lockdown, amid a wave of cases. CCOC has a strong pandemic plan in place, as well as experience implementing it, and we will continue to adapt to build healthier communities for the long term.
My primary focus as I step into the role is to learn and understand how people have dealt with the past few years, and what we can do to better support staff, volunteers, and tenants into the future..
CCOC has been an inspiration to me for a long time, and an important reminder of the essential role community-driven organisations can play in solving the housing crisis. I’m looking forward to getting to know the staff, volunteers, tenants, and members at the heart of this amazing organization. I’m so honoured to be joining the team!