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. Meet CCOC’s 2023-2024 Board of Directors below! To find out more about joining the Board, click here.

Chris Yordy – President
Chris is a CCOC tenant, grassroots entrepreneur, working and volunteering in the areas of affordable housing, mental health and 2SLGBTQ+ events over the past 10+ years. After serving as Chair of Rental Committee for six years, he also took on the role of Vice President of the CCOC Board in 2021 during the pandemic, and currently serves on many diverse committees. In his spare time, he enjoys making music, connecting with neighbours, and participating in benefit concerts. Valuing the people-centred culture of CCOC is the driving force for why Chris is committed to CCOC. As CCOC Board President, he wants to continue to be there for staff and tenants over the coming term, most of all, to maintain, improve and continue building our housing stock in Centretown and beyond.


Cynara Desbarats
Cynara is an Early Childhood Educator at Carlington Community Health Centre and has a BA in Communication from the University of Ottawa. She loves photography, foreign films, yoga, and meditation. As a single parent, CCOC provided Cynara a safe, affordable, and wonderful home in a downtown neighbourhood. As a CCOC tenant, she became close friends with neighbours thanks to a real sense of community at her building. Cynara believes affordable housing is a huge contributor to healthy communities. As a tenant for over 20 years and a Rental Committee volunteer for 15 years, she will use her experience to support CCOC’s growth and innovation.


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.


Mitchell Cogan
Mitchell Cogan is an Ottawa native and a retired Senior Project Leader with academic training as a professional city planner and significant experience in corporate real estate, investment analysis, acquisition, disposal, and leasing. His training and expertise have led to a successful 35+ year career, with long-standing positions at the City of Ottawa and Public Services and Procurement Canada, where he analyzed and advised senior management on real property portfolios.


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.


Iman Hussein – Secretary
Iman holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Arts in Conflict Studies from Saint Paul University. She has 14 years of combined local and international experience in the community development field with relevant work experience in the areas of conflict resolution, community development, and project management. Over the past two years, Iman has been working with the homeless population and those that are newly housed. She is honoured to be a CCOC board member to expand her skills and utilize her experience in assisting those who are experiencing homelessness and are being pushed away from affordable housing. As a minority woman, Iman has similar lived experiences and working in the front lines, she has gained valuable experience in what obstacles this vulnerable population faces.


Courtney Lockhart
Courtney is a CCOC tenant in her second term on the Board. She was Secretary on the Board for the past 2 years. Courtney works at the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, as the Associate Director of Public Affairs and Policy, and works to see more co-op and non-profit housing built across the country. She holds a Masters of Political Science from Carleton University and has called Ottawa home for the past 10 years. In her spare time, Courtney can be found running in Gatineau Park or hanging out with her cat, Nicks.


Adam Moscoe
Adam is a policy advisor at Finance Canada where he focuses on modernizing international institutions like the World Bank to better address global challenges facing developing countries. Prior to joining the public service in 2016, Adam was a policy advisor to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Born and raised in Ottawa, he is past President of the Tamir Foundation, which provides housing and social supports for people with developmental disabilities. He is active in the Global Shapers and the Banff Forum. He regularly participates in interfaith initiatives as a leader in the Jewish community.


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.


Jonathan Robart
Jonathan is a lawyer, mediator, and advocate for accessible, community-based affordable housing. He believes his professional and personal skill sets align closely with CCOC’s commitment to community based decision-making and working with equity seeking groups. Having worked as a lawyer in Ontario’s Community Legal Aid Clinic system, the focus was resolving disputes between tenants and landlords. Jonathan has also held leadership positions in two non-profit organizations that advocate for and provide access to safe, affordable, and accessible housing options for equity seeking communities. These roles allowed him to develop a range of experience in organizational governance, stakeholder outreach, and the development and maintenance of strategic partnerships. He is happy to join CCOC’s Board, and contribute his skills and experience to further CCOC’s mandate.

Zak Spelay – Exec At-Large
Zak has been a volunteer member of the Personnel Committee for the last 5 years. Over this time, he has had the opportunity to learn about the non-profit housing sector while at the same time contributing to CCOC’s success by advising on personnel related policies, procedures and other HR matters. Zak would like to continue to contribute by taking on a greater challenge and becoming a Board member. He works as a Senior HR Specialist at one of Canada’s Federal Crowns and his background is in economics. Zak lives in Ottawa’s east end with his partner Angela and dog Rey.


Jesse Steinberg – Vice President
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.