Board of Directors

What does the Board do?

The Board of Directors is responsible for managing the organization honestly, in good faith, and in the best interest of the organization. This work includes financial management, program and policy planning, implementation and evaluation, communication, and strategic direction. All committees report to the Board of Directors. The committees provide background information and make recommendations to the Board. The Board works closely with the Executive Director. To find out more about joining the Board, click here.

AnaLori Smith President
AnaLori is a strong disability justice advocate working towards the integration of people with disabilities into the community and leadership roles. She re-joins the Board of Directors with a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector, and with the federal government where she works on the recruitment, retainment and promotion of people with disabilities across the public sector. AnaLori holds a Masters in Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Critical Disability Studies from Carleton University. She is seeking to use her experiences to help lead the Board’s anti-oppression and anti-racism work. Having moved into her first apartment with CCOC in 2015, AnaLori also brings her experiences as a tenant to the Board.

Chris Yordy – Vice President
Chris Yordy brings many years of experience volunteering on the rentals committee, to his role on the Board. Chris believes that vibrant communities and affordable housing are key factors in poverty reduction and sustainable living. Valuing the people-centred, non-profit culture of CCOC continues to motivate his engagement with the organization. Chris holds a Masters of International Development and works as a policy analyst with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, supporting Canadian farmers with crisis recovery. In his spare time, Chris can be found spending time outdoors, or volunteering his time with the Ottawa Frontrunners and Rideau Speedeaus. Chris is excited to work on finding ways for the community to reconnect with each other, coming out of the pandemic. As people regroup in September, he is looking forward to potlucks, bbqs, and vegan feasts to bring people back together, into the space of sharing.

Courtney Millar – Treasurer
Court is a former CCOC tenant and long time Centretown resident. He is a CPA who works as a financial advisor with the federal government. He also has previous non-profit experience working with Fair Trade Ottawa. Court has been a volunteer since 2016 with CCOC, serving on the Finance Committee and more recently, the Development Committee. He enjoys the sense of community fostered by CCOC’s mixed income model. As part of the Board, he is looking forward to working on housing affordability for people of mixed incomes, giving them the opportunity to flourish in other areas of their lives, as well as gaining more insight into non-profit management. In his spare time, Court can be found reading or hanging out with his cat, Leroy.

Courtney Lockhart – Secretary
Courtney is first and foremost, a CCOC tenant, giving her an understanding of CCOC’s strong community, sense of identity and roots in the community. She values CCOC’s non-profit model, building affordable, accessible housing for the community and she is dedicated to being a part of the solution to the current housing crisis. Courtney is a Program Manager for Policy and Government Relations, with the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada. She holds a Masters of Political Science from Carleton University. Courtney was formerly a board member at Taiga, which allowed her to learn about the non-profit housing model and put her in a position to help facilitate the merger between Taiga and CCOC. In her spare time, Courtney can be found running or listening to podcasts.

Erica Braunovan
Erica holds a Masters of Social Work from Carleton University and is currently the Manager of the Ottawa Community Food Partnership. Her lifelong passion for community building first developed when she was exposed to poverty issues in the 1990s. She quickly determined that Band-Aid solutions couldn’t bring about the transformational societal changes our communities needed to thrive. Erica learned about CCOC during her 25 years of work with people experiencing homelessness and poverty and sees CCOC’s non-profit model as a way to approach housing and homelessness from a different perspective. She first sat on the Board from 2008-2015 before leaving to serve as the Ottawa Carleton District School Board Trustee for Somerset/Kitchissippi. Erica was re-elected to the Board in 2021 and currently sits on the Finance and Executive Committees.

Dougald Brown
Dougald is a retired lawyer who spent his career focusing on civil litigation. Through his legal work, he became acutely aware of the inequalities in society. Since retirement, Dougald has worked on refugee resettlement and sponsorship through Ottawa Centre Refugee Action. It was through this work that he came to know about CCOC. Dougald sees non-profit housing as one key way of addressing the inequalities that exist within society and tackling the housing crisis. Dougald has been on the CCOC Board since 2020 and is a member of the Personnel, Rental and Executive Committees.

Cynara Desbarats
Cynara is an educator, mother, and lifelong learner. She holds a Bachelors of Communication from the University of Ottawa and an Early Childhood Education Diploma from Algonquin College. Cynara has worked in community health centres across Ottawa and currently holds a position as an Early Childhood Development Worker at the Carlington Education Centre. As a former tenant herself, who raised her son in CCOC housing, she has a strong understanding of the issues facing tenants. She has also volunteered with CCOC on the Rental Committee since 2006. On the Board, she will continue to advocate for inclusive, forward thinking, and equitable housing. In her spare time, Cynara can be found walking her dog, Peggy, expressing her creativity through photography and film, and learning new skills like pottery. Nooreen Haider
Nooreen is a local intern architect who has lived and worked in Centretown for the past 10 years. She holds a Bachelors of Architectural Science and a Master’s Degree in Architecture. She also has a wealth of volunteer experience, having worked with Architecture for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity. Nooreen is excited to be joining the Board and having a positive impact on the Centretown community. She believes that providing safe and stable housing is beneficial, not only for individuals, but for the community, and that affordable housing represents a fundamental human right. In her spare time, Nooreen loves to sketch and build things with her hands.

Soraya Ibrahim
Soraya is a community oriented strategic thinker with extensive experience in human resources, and technology. Fluent in many languages and learning a new one (English, Italian, Somali, Arabic, and beginner French) she is a lifelong learner with a keen interest in connecting with people from different cultures. Soraya has called Centretown home since 1988 and has been a CCOC tenant for over 25 years. Passionate about improving access to affordable housing and removing barriers to access the social determinants of health, Soraya is an advocate for creating more community oriented affordable rental options and cultivating diverse and thriving communities. Soraya works as a Project Officer at Shared Services Canada and holds a diploma in Computer Programming from Algonquin College. In her spare time Soraya enjoys long walks along the river, going to the gym and spending time with family.

Micah Melnyk
Micah is a long-time Centretown resident with a background in environmental engineering, economics and urbanism. He holds a B.Sc. in Civil Environmental Engineering and a B.A. in Economics from Queen’s University, and a Masters Degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge (UK). He currently holds a position with the federal government working on energy policy to address climate change. Micah is also the Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for a crown corporation. He joined the CCOC Board of Directors, as he has an interest in building community and supporting affordable housing in Centretown. In his spare time, Micah can be found cross country skiing or playing tennis.

Aditya Rao
Aditya Rao is a lawyer, researcher, community organizer and a CCOC tenant. Specializing in human rights law, Aditya is passionate about migrant rights, workers’ rights, and the right to housing. He currently serves as a Senior Research Officer for the Canadian Union of Public Employees where his public policy experience has included national housing policy, social services, temporary foreign worker protections, and anti-privatization. His non-profit governance experience includes having served on the boards of the World University Service of Canada, the Atlantic Human Rights Centre, and the New Brunswick Media Co-op. He is a founding board member of the Madhu Verma Migrant Justice Centre in New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights. Aditya sees community housing as the clearest way to tackle the housing crisis and looks forward to being involved in his community through his work on the Board. Aditya can often be found enjoying a local live music show or having coffee at a neighbourhood cafe.

Adrian Senn
Adrian has been a CCOC tenant since 2017 and believes the organization serves an integral role in our community. He brings a Masters of Arts in Public Administration, over 15 years of experience within the federal government, and his previous volunteer work as the co-chair of Policy Ignite, which has helped build the community of public servants, to the board. He has a focus on design thinking and integrating user feedback – understanding needs, identifying underlying problems and brainstorming creative solutions. He believes that tenants are an untapped resource for CCOC – as the first ones to notice an issue, offer insight into the problem, and to observe first-hand whether implemented solutions are working as intended. Hoping we can do more to use their expertise, the Board has already approved his May 2022 resolution to have CCOC incorporate tenant feedback on its contractors.

Jesse Steinberg
Jesse has been volunteering with CCOC for the past ten years, first with the Rental Committee and later with the Development Committee and Policy Research Action working group. Jesse is in his third term on the CCOC Board and is also serving his second term on the Cahdco Board. He holds a PhD in Public Policy from Carleton University and is currently a Policy Researcher for the Conference Board of Canada where he focuses on urban sustainability and energy transitions. Jesse is passionate about affordable housing, as he believes it is an important part of building sustainable cities and it provides a foundation for achieving equity and inclusion goals. In his spare time, Jesse can be found making furniture or hanging out with his kids.

Reaz Zaman
Reaz is a social worker, eco and social media activist and former CCOC tenant. He has 18 years of experience working with non-profit and international organizations and doing volunteering and social work for marginalized people, inmates and new immigrants. Reaz currently works for the Ministry of the Solicitor General in the Probation and Parole Service, doing finance and human resources. He also volunteers for the CRA’s CVITP program, processing tax returns for low-income families, seniors, new immigrants and students. Reaz holds a Master’s of Commerce and a Master’s of Business Administration. Reaz believes CCOC is an important organization in providing diverse, multicultural affordable housing for low- and middle-income people in Ottawa, and working with other organizations for livable housing projects. He spends his free time gardening and listening to music, but would describe helping his community as the best part of his life.