MEET OUR TEAM

Executive Director

Rev. Ken MacLaren 

B.A., M.Div., Th.M.

In May 2003, Rev. Ken MacLaren became the Executive Director of Ottawa Innercity Ministries. Ken has a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario (1979), a M.Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon (1983), and a Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois (1984). Following his formal education, Ken was the Senior Pastor of three churches in three provinces with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (1986-91).He was a member of the National Social Concerns Committee of the P.A.O.C. and initiated and developed a National Capital Men’s Ministry Network in Ottawa in 2001. Ken has been married for 40 years, and has three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Ken has been a member of the National Advisory for Street Level Canada, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Roundtable on Poverty and Homelessness.

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Managing Director

Margo Dewer

Margo joined OIM on January 4, 2021.  She is a retired executive of a national not-for-profit trade association with extensive experience working with members, staff, government officials and departments, and other stakeholders in the furtherance of the organization's goals.  She also served as an officer in the capacity of Secretary-Treasurer to the Board of Directors and as director of operations, with emphasis on human resources and finance.  She came out of retirement in 2017 to serve as Office Administrator at Trinity Bible Church of Ottawa, a part-time position, until her departure in December 2020 to join OIM.  Her relationship with the church continues as a volunteer in the role of  Chair, Finance Committee.  

Senior Research & Promotions Coordinator

Jeliza Zdero

B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

After volunteering with OIM in 2007/2008, Jelica responded to God’s call to join the team in October 2008. She is honoured to be working alongside the caring staff and volunteers of OIM who joyfully give of themselves to work alongside our street community. Jelica brings with her a skill-set that includes university teaching, research, and writing as well as a variety of volunteer experiences in her church and community.

Administrator

Elizabeth Sutherland-Beaven 

After 15 years of administrative work at various government and private industries, Beth took 10 years off to concentrate on her family before returning to the work force as an Adult Crossing Guard at a local school, then back into administration at a local church before trying the retail industry.  Beth has felt it is now time to use her administrative gifting’s again that God has blessed her with and has joined OIM.  She obtained her Ministerial Diploma in 2014 at Ottawa School of the Bible.   Beth has been married for 28 years and has two grown sons.   

Youth Internship Coordinator

Kevin Schafer

B.A.Sc.

This is Kevin's fourth career after a diverse background in high-tech, the music industry and career/leadership coaching. He has been a long-time volunteer at OIM dating back to 2003 where he helped during drop-in lunches, and has spent the last 9+ years volunteering weekly with the Innercity Arts Program as the "music guy". He is thrilled to come on-staff as the facilitator of the Innercity Arts Program, working with these amazing young adults on a full-time basis - his dream job! Kevin is active in his local church, has been married over 27 years, and has three wonderful young-adult children.

"He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." - Psa 147:3

Volunteer Coordinator

Brian Griffin

Brian has a BA from Memorial University in Political Science, History and Economics. He has spent over 25 years as a Commercial Banker with 3 organizations across Canada. From 2013 to 2020 he worked as an independent consultant in the Ottawa area, helping clients meet their organizational, governance and financial goals.

Volunteering has always been a part of Brian's life and he considers giving back to the community to be of the utmost importance professionally as well as spiritually. He has volunteered with Junior Achievement, Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Rotary Club as well as numerous church organizations.

Joining OIM is providing Brian a way to serve the most deserving of our community. He is reminded constantly that no matter how good or bad things are, he always remembers to be grateful and thankful to God for what he has provided and trust that what he has provided is enough.

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Promotions &

Events Coordinator

Warren Fishwick

Warren first heard about OIM while attending Trinity Bible Church in Osgoode and was able to get to know Ken MacLaren through another ministry called Souly Business. Warren retired from the Federal Government in January 2020 after having worked in the IT field for 35 years. He then decided to volunteer as the Events Coordinator for OIM and has since added the title of Promotions. Both he and his wife Karen help out on the Street Outreach Teams. Warren has 5 children including two sets of twins. 

Donor Care Administrator

Sue O'Neal

After volunteering behind the scene with OIM since 2011, Sue came out of retirement to accept a part-time position as Office Assistant.  She currently splits her time between babysitting four of her eight grandchildren and helping out at OIM.  Sue’s 30 year experience in the workforce includes full-time ministry, banking and as an industry analyst in the Federal Government.  She’s honoured to be a part of this amazing team and ministry.

IVOS Support

Richard MacCallum

Born into a Christian family, Richard received his education in Toronto and spent his summer vacations at his grandparents’ fishing lodge in northern Ontario. Later, he joined Navy reserves for three years and served in the Royal Canadian Navy for 18 years. Richard has one son and two grandsons and faithfully attends St. Luke's Anglican Church where he has taken a spiritual gifts seminar and continues to grow in his faith. Richard has a heart for service, especially among veterans in our community. He has taken a suicide first aid course as a veteran and has a strong desire to help his fellow veterans and is looking forward to making a difference in the lives of our street community.

Operations Support

Gwynneth Spence

Gwynneth joined OIM at the end of January as Operations Support Worker.  She spent 18 years working in health care.  She then moved on to pursue her own business, assisting clients with housekeeping, with particular focus on organizing their personal spaces.  Because of her spiritual gift of serving, this was a particularly joyful and rewarding time.  Over the past many years, she has and continues to serve in her church, taking on significant roles, some of which have included volunteer recruiter, scheduler and overseer of children’s ministries as well as VBS Director.  Gwynneth has always had a heart for those less fortunate and those experiencing homelessness and is honoured to be a part of Ottawa Innercity Ministries, using her skills and her gifts to serve those in need. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board Chair

Doug Cooper

Retired Naval Office

Kari Yli-Renko

Area Manager, Leader Impact Ministries

Bethany Yli-Renko

Accountant, Welch LLP

Legal Counsel, City of Ottawa

Doug Assaly

Founder/CEO, Honey Construction Ltd. 

Dr. Robert Yelle

Family Medicine, Private Practice

Taffy Nahas