Champions Table

The Shepherds of Good Hope Champions Table is a diverse group of community and business leaders from across our city. A Champion is a person who represents a cause on behalf of someone else. SGH Champions share their influence, networks and expertise by being available and ready to assist the Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation from fundraising to awareness.

Irfan Ahmed

Irfan Ahmed

Hailing from PEI, Bethany developed a passion for community service from a young age, volunteering at youth outreach programs, food banks, soup kitchens, and other local organizations. Since moving to Ottawa, she has volunteered with groups like Recovery Matters in partnership with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, MADD, United Way, and has participated in many charitable events and fundraisers such as the 24h Ski Tremblant.

“Volunteering allows me the opportunity to give back while staying connected in my community.” Bethany now brings her skills and spirit of service to the Shepherds of Good Hope Champions Table to impact where it matters most.

An experienced Business Strategist specializing in marketing, Bethany is on a mission to help her clients demonstrate their value as companies who offer high-quality and high-impact products and services. Her expertise extends across various sectors, including Architecture, Engineering, Design, Construction, Dental, Legal, and Healthcare. Regardless of industry, her clients share a common goal of community impact.

When she’s not working or volunteering she can most likely be found riding a horse, running, at the gym, or trying out a new spin class.

Irfan Ahmed

Irfan Ahmed

Irfan Ahmed is the VP of IT & Government Strategy at Altis Recruitment & Technology Inc., where his teams specialize in supporting projects in professional services and technology for the federal government as well as tech staffing for the provincial government and the private sector, across Canada. He has a decade of experience in the staffing industry and has worked with numerous national clients to secure top professionals in their respective fields.

Irfan is passionate about the staffing sector and the people who work within it. As a leader, he has found success in growing businesses using his people-first approach, and the belief that empathy is the first step to successful management. He is committed to help bring forward positive change that will impact both the industry, and community at large. Irfan has put that into action through support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Ottawa, CHEO’s For the Kids Gala and other organizations within the community.

Ilan Yampolsky

Ilan Yampolsky

Founder and CEO of ITP Sport, Ilan Yampolsky graduated with an Honours B.A. in Commerce from the University of Ottawa. Ilan’s initial work in the field of risk management soon evolved into a passion for fostering safe, healthy, and positive sport environments — to protect young people, while ensuring that compliance issues within organizations are appropriately evaluated, investigated, and resolved.

During his tenure at Scouts Canada, Ilan created the “Safe Scouting for Parents” training program and established the very first Safe Sport department in the Canadian sport system while at Skate Canada. His dedication to the field of Safe Sport in Canada was recognized by The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, with the Certificate of Commendation, awarded in 2014 for work in the protection of Canadian youth.

Ilan founded ITP Sport in 2018 as an Independent third party to help uphold the standards of safety in recreational and professional sport; today, the company also offers compliance and safety training and support to a broad and growing range of organizations across Canada. Ilan’s vision is to see a future where all Canadians are happy, healthy, free to pursue their dreams, and thrive in a culture where maltreatment does not exist – in the sporting world, and beyond.

Katrina Barclay

Katrina Barclay

Katrina is best known in Ottawa as the founder and owner of Malenka Originals, a niche boutique and workshop in Hintonburg focused on transforming and upcycling furniture. Her contributions in business and the community led to her becoming a FortyUnder40 recipient in 2016. Katrina recently completed an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and has since started two new roles – one at management consultancy Gerald Pulvermacher and Associates, and the other at Telfer’s Family Enterprise Legacy Institute. Prior to pivoting to business, Katrina had a career in media, working at the CBC and BBC. Katrina also sits on the Board of Helping with Furniture (HWF), an award-winning not-for-profit that provides gently used furniture & household items, refurbished bicycles & laptops to families and individuals in distress.

Dave Donaldson

Dave Donaldson

Dave Donaldson is the retired Dean of the School of Business at Algonquin College and previously Dean, Hospitality, Business and Music at Vancouver Community College. He is the current chair of the Shepherds of Good Hope Board and on the board of the Ottawa Safety Council with previous volunteerism including Chair of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Canadian Business Schools.

Additional community activity has included being a member of the Marches d’Ottawa Markets, Tourism Development Council of Ottawa Tourism, past director with that organization, BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, Council of Tourism Associations and Director, Tourism Vancouver. He was a member of the Yes 2010 Steering Council which generated the vote endorsing the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and a founding principal in Stars4SUCCESS, a unique partnership with downtown Vancouver hotels which retrained street youth.

He has a lifetime membership with the Ottawa Board of Trade, received the Algonquin College President’s Star award and was the inaugural winner of the Community Booster award from the Best Ottawa Business (BOBs) awards. He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and the Order of the Tulip as a Chamber past chair.

Sofia Borsten

Sofia Borsten

Born and raised in Guatemala, Sofia majored in graphic design with a specialization in marketing, advertising, and communication. She has 20 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industries. Sofia moved to Ottawa in 2008 and has since worked in retail, fitness, and hospitality, discovering different sectors of the Ottawa market. Currently, Sofia is the Director of Marketing for a group of restaurants which include Zak’s Diner (ByWard Market, Elgin St, Kanata, Carleton Place), The Grand Pizzeria, Metropolitain Brasserie, Apothecary Lounge, YOW – York on William, and Zak’s Cantina. She is part of the Ottawa Tourism Board of Directors and a Board Member of the Kanata Central BIA. Sofia is an active member of the Ottawa Tourism Marketing Committee and ByWard Market BIA Marketing Committee. Sofia is also an interior designer and concept developer and is currently working on two new restaurants in the ByWard Market: Starling and Rooftop Ottawa. Sofia is the founder of the Pay it Forward initiative within in the group of restaurants, which feeds families in need in association with the Lowertown Community Resource Centre.

Brock Gibson

Brock Gibson

Brock Gibson is the Director, Consulting Services with i4C Consulting in Ottawa. Brock focuses on business modernization projects within the public and private sector. Prior to joining i4C, Brock spent 10 years in Strategic Sales and Leadership positions working with Senators Sports and Entertainment and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

Through his experience managing, developing, and growing sales teams, Brock understands the importance of creating the right environment to allow talented people to succeed. Brock has been an active member of the Ottawa community volunteering with Shepherds of Good Hope and various minor hockey associations.

Katie Griffin

Katie Griffin

Katie Griffin has spent nearly a decade covering the biggest stories in Ottawa and across Eastern Ontario.

Katie started her career at CTV Ottawa where she has been a reporter, producer and the co-anchor of CTV News at 6 on weekends. In January 2020 she took on the newly created role of multi-skilled journalist: shooting, writing, and editing her own stories for television, radio and online audiences.

Katie graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism honours degree and a minor in law. She also studied American Sign Language.

Prior to CTV Ottawa, Katie interned at Global News in Toronto and at CBC’s foreign bureau in London.

When she’s not in the newsroom, Katie loves to travel, spend time with family, volunteer at community events and whipping up sweet creations in the kitchen.

Divya Jhunjhunwala

Divya Jhunjhunwala

Divya Jhunjhunwala is a Sales Lead at Microsoft who has been in the IT industry for 15 years. She is originally from India and moved to Canada in 2018. She has always had a desire to give back to society, which led her to work for Microsoft in serving the Public Sector and Justice Accounts. However, her urge to give back did not stop there.

Divya Jhunjhunwala founded Aadyaa Foundations, a non-profit organization focused on helping youth and women with male allies. The foundation runs several programs aimed at empowering and supporting these groups. Through Aadyaa Foundations, she hopes to make a positive impact on society.

In addition to Aadyaa Foundations, Divya Jhunjhunwala also founded ResPanache Events Inc., an events company. She is passionate about organizing various events and has been doing so since she was 13 years old. Her events include Indian weddings, get-togethers, festivals, concerts, and networking events. Through ResPanache Events Inc., she hopes to continue her passion for organizing events while also making a difference in the community.

Overall, Divya Jhunjhunwala is a dedicated individual who is passionate about giving back to society. Her work in the IT industry, as well as her non-profit and events companies, demonstrate her commitment to making a positive impact in the world.

Benjamin Lidzbarski

Benjamin Lidzbarski

Ben was born and raised in London, Ontario, before moving to Ottawa to study Commerce at the University of Ottawa. Ben is a Wealth Associate with the Roundell Wealth Management team at RBC Dominion Securities and works closely with his clients to help them achieve their financial goals and reach the life they envisioned. Ben is also an active member in the community, sitting on the organizing committee for Ottawa’s Hockey Helps the Homeless tournament.

Outside of the office Ben enjoys spending time on the golf course, in a hockey arena or exploring the great outdoors with his girlfriend Lindsay and dog Winston.

Emma MacIsaac

Emma MacIsaac

Emma MacIsaac is a Business Marketing Graduate from Algonquin College, residing in Ottawa’s Downtown Core. She started her marketing career working in Commercial Real Estate with Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa. Emma is passionate about design, content creation, and digital marketing and enjoys working alongside some of the best real estate agents in the industry. She aspires to obtain her real estate license in the future.

Emma also works part-time at a fitness studio, creating a safe space for her and the local community to connect. While always looking to get involved, she is proud to have been working alongside the Buy Nothing Project in her neighborhood for the past year, creating a newfound love for community commitment. She aims to continue giving back with Shepherds of Good Hope.

When Emma is not taking a spin class, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, finding new coffee spots, and shopping locally.

Melissa Shabinksy

Melissa Shabinksy

Melissa is an entrepreneur and active community supporter. She is the co-founder of the first Fairy Godmother chapter in Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to making prom night magical for underprivileged teens by providing them with formal wear, shoes, and accessories. Since 2002, her organization has helped to send over 3,000 teens off to prom and was selected as a CTV national success story. For 10 years she was also a monthly volunteer with the Look Good Feel Better Program, helping cancer patients deal with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment plus was the co-chair for the Bust a Move fundraising initiative helping to raise over $1 million for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. She sat on the board of the Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation for 5 years and continues to support the organization through community engagement.

Kurt Stoodley

Kurt Stoodley

A former broadcaster who spent over 30 years in Radio and Television, Kurt is now carving out a career as a Realtor in Ottawa, working with ReMax Affiliates for the past 7 years. Married to Erin Lannan of Miramichi NB, Kurt has two Children, Shannon, and Keeghan, who both live in Halifax NS. He is also a proud Grandfather to Colin and Nora, who both call him “Bop”! Always happy to help out in the community, Kurt continues to give back, helping with various charities and initiatives in Ottawa, including Shepherds of Good Hope!

Joe Thottungal

Joe Thottungal

Joe Thottungal is the chef and owner of both the Coconut Lagoon restaurant and Thali Coconut Lagoon in Ottawa.

For five years, he worked in hotel kitchens in Toronto and Windsor, as well as the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ottawa, where he earned his Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) designation. In 2008, Joe was named Ottawa Chef of the Year by the Canadian Culinary Federation. In 2016, he won top prize at Ottawa’s Gold Medal Plates competition, followed by a silver medal at the 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships. In 2019, he published ‘Coconut Lagoon, Recipes from South Indian Kitchen,’ and went on to win Gold in Taste Canada 2020.

Joe received the Order of Ottawa in 2020, awarded Outstanding Individual Philanthropist 2020, and Community Builder 2020. Joe is also the Culinary director of Food for Thought Cafe.

Joe lives in Ottawa with his wife and three children.

Jim Watson

Jim Watson

Jim Watson was elected Mayor of the City of Ottawa for 12 years. Mayor Watson has dedicated most of his career to public service in Canada’s Capital.

First elected as a Councillor in 1991, he was re-elected in 1994. Three years later he was elected as the youngest Mayor in Ottawa’s history with 82% of the popular vote. Following the amalgamation of Ottawa and surrounding communities, Mayor Watson was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission, a federal crown corporation.

In 2003, he was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and immediately appointed to cabinet as Minister of Consumer and Business services. In 2005, he was appointed as Ontario’s first Minister of Health Promotion and he successfully implemented the Smoke Free Ontario Act.

Re-elected as MPP in 2007, he was promoted to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

An active member of his community, Watson has also served on the boards or as honourary chair of several community organizations, including the Riverside Hospital, the National Arts Centre, the Christmas Exchange of Ottawa and the Forum for Young Canadians. He served as chair of United Way’s 2002 campaign, which raised a record $21 million.

An avid volunteer with several groups, he has helped serve meals at the Shepherds of Good Hope and continues to volunteer regularly with the organization. His commitment to those less fortunate was evident when, in August of 2000, he contributed his entire municipal severance payment of $31,000 to Ottawa’s Union Mission for Men.

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

Michael Williams is Managing Partner of Odgers Berndtson’s Ottawa office.

A bilingual facilitator connecting people, ideas, and opportunities, Michael provides strategic guidance to clients and candidates throughout the executive search process. Drawn to innovation and a champion for diversity, he specializes in recruiting top candidates into leadership roles in technology, academia, not-for-profit, and the public sector.

When not working with clients, Michael’s leadership expertise and entrepreneurial passion have led to advisory roles across Canada, including as a start-up advisor to PayShepherd, a Calgary-based SaaS provider, and as a mentor with Invest Ottawa – Xtreme Talent Accelerator. Michael is also an active volunteer with the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Prior to joining Odgers Berndtson, Michael held senior business development and leadership positions at Canadian Onshore, HealthPartners, and two national executive search firms. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and received a Forty Under 40 award – one of Ottawa’s most prestigious business awards.

Michael is energized by meeting new people and discussing the future of work, emerging technology, and disruption in general.