Brian Kells

Member since: 2017

Brian is a lawyer who practices corporate and securities law with a prominent Ottawa firm. After finishing his undergraduate studies in international development, Brian spent a year in Tanzania and Malawi working for health care organisations. Brian served as a reservist with the Canadian Army for over 14 years, including a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009. Brian is passionate about serving the Ottawa community through volunteer work. He served on the board of directors of the Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association from 2013 to 2018, including 3 years as Board Chair and President.

Ashley Bennett

Board member since: 2018

Ashley Bennett is an Ottawa native. She grew up in the west end with four siblings, most of whom still reside in the Ottawa area. She has a Bachelor of Arts with a degree in Criminology and a minor in history from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. She also holds a Law Clerk diploma from Algonquin College. In 2015, Ashley graduated from the University of Ottawa Common Law program with a Juris Doctorate. She joined Soloway Wright LLP as an Associate in 2016 after articling with the firm. She is a litigation lawyer practicing in the insurance law, medical malpractice and personal injury practice groups.

Ashley has a long history of working with children as a babysitter and as a personal support worker to children with special needs. She is passionate about making sure that all children have a happy and safe space to grow up and that they have equal opportunities to become the best person they can be.

Outside the office, Ashley spends most of her time with her family and friends playing all sorts of sports. Her favourites are softball and ice hockey but she has recently caught the mini-triathlon bug! Of course, she is also a Sens fan!

Paulo Batista

Board member since: 2016

Paulo is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and a busy father of two young children.

Paulo has been a tax practitioner for the past 20 years, starting his career in 1997 with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Since then he has held multiple positions with other local companies and crown corporations. Today, Paulo is the tax manager for an Ottawa-based engineering company.

As a parent, and also wanting to give back to the community through volunteering, Paulo hopes to apply his experience and technical abilities to allow the PRC to reach its goals and fulfill its mission.

In 1996, Paulo graduated from the University of Ottawa with a B.Com, specializing in Accounting, and from there he went on to receive his designation as a Certified Management Accountant. Paulo also completed the in-depth tax courses I and II through the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Wendy Appelbaum

Board member since: 2018

In 1995, Wendy graduated from Concordia University with a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology, specializing in educational media. She moved to Ottawa and gained employment with a government funded program and eventually worked in the hi tech sector for many years before moving into the public sector. She currently works for the Government of Canada in the area of performance measurement and lives in Ottawa with her husband and daughter.

Wendy has participated in PRC-led activities and has also gained an appreciation for the support it provides to the community. She hopes to be able to apply her knowledge and skills both in her professional life and her board experience to fully support the PRC in achieving its objectives.

Sandra Bulchak

Board Member
Board member since: 2020

Sandy is an integrated artist, an arts educator and most recently has trained as a postpartum doula. In her youth, Sandy was a student at the National Ballet School and graduated from the school’s three-year teacher training program. Sandy continued her studies in creative dance at York University. She moved from Toronto to Ottawa in 1994 to raise her family and has been a part of Ottawa’s community arts scene ever since.

She is the founder of ‘Wonderstruck’, a program she developed in partnership with The School of Dance to provide arts education to children at the Headstart program at the YMCA. She has designed and delivered integrated arts workshops to ECEs and primary teachers at both the OCDSB as well as the OCSB. Sandy taught at Good Morning Preschool and Creative Arts from 2006 until her retirement in 2017.

Sandy is a strong believer is volunteerism and has served on the Boards of both the Ottawa Children’s Choir as well as Centre 7’s ‘Out of the Cold’ suppers.
She has spent the better part of 30 years enhancing the lives of children – those in her care, in her classes and in her community.

Mirindi Chivaza-Ruhana

Board Member
Board member since: 2019

Mirindi is an Economist and has been employed with the Federal Government as an analyst, senior analyst and Team lead, since January 2002.

Mirindi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance (1999) from Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems (2010), and a Master’s Degree in Economics (2013) from the University of Ottawa.

Mirindi joined the Board of Directors of the Parent Resource Center in May 2019, and has previously held a Board position at CCMF (Canadian Centre for Men and Families).

Mirindi is a proud and busy father of three children of which two teenagers.

Faisa Hussein

Board member
Board member since: 2019

Faisa arrived in Canada in 1998. In her quest to serve others, she worked at many organizations, as an employee or volunteer.

In 2011, Faisa graduated from York University with a Bachelor Degree with honours in Humanities. In 2015, she moved to Ottawa with her young daughter. Faisa is now in the process of learning French and hopes that within the next couple of years she will be able to speak it fluently.

Faisa’s dream is to become a counsellor/ psychotherapist as she feels that is an ideal place she can serve her community and work in a field that fits her well.

Faisa is passionate about providing children with a place like PRC within their communities. Faisa is proud of PRC’s legacy and excited for its future promises. She is happy to be part of the PRC team.

Kate Spivakov

Board Member
Board member since: 2020

Kate graduated with a Law and Society degree from York University in Toronto. In 2008, she started her career in the investment industry and is currently employed with TD Wealth, as an Associate Investment Advisor.  At her workplace, she chairs the entertainment committee, which lends its efforts in raising funds for organizations such as CHEO, Ronald McDonald House and others. She is fluent in English, Russian, Hebrew and currently studying French and had volunteered as a translator throughout her school years. Outside of work, Kate enjoys traveling, ballet and photography.

Kate enjoyed visiting the PRC baby play groups with her 1-year-old and 3-year-old girls and was really moved by the services and care that this organization provides to the community. She is excited to be part of the PRC and hopes to support it with its mission. 

Umar Tahir

Board Member
Board member since: 2020

Umar is a seasoned finance professional currently working at Export Development Canada as a Portfolio Risk Manager helping Canadian companies grow in international markets. Umar has 9 years of experience working with Canadian businesses in diversified industries which includes Not for Profit organizations like PRC. In addition to EDC, Umar’s experience includes 2 of the top 5 Banks in Canada while holding various positions including Senior Credit Analyst and Manager Commercial Banking. Umar is also an independent Mortgage Agent through which he helps families secure their homes.

From an education perspective, Umar has a Degree in Finance and a CFA designation.

Umar joined PRC in order to use his skills and experience to help PRC reach its objectives which creates an avenue for him to give back to the community.

Deborah Lehmann

Executive Director
Board member since: 2013

Deborah Lehmann is an authentic and resourceful community leader and grief support coach, with a proven record of accomplishment for driving social change in the non-profit, charitable sector. Deborah joined the Parent Resource Centre (PRC) in 2015 with a passion for the organization’s vital mission, and a strong understanding of the community’s need for the services it provides. With a focus on child development, mental health and parenting support, the PRC helps build confident, resilient families in Ottawa.  Deborah’s vision for the organization is to create communities where all children discover and develop skills to live the best life possible. In her role as Executive Director, she encourages a culture of creativity and innovation while ensuring PRC continues to provide best practices to support each child’s unique processes and circumstances.

Prior to her arrival at PRC, Deborah spent 10 years focused on end-of-life services in British Columbia. This extremely fulfilling work brought her to collaborate with the local Palliative Care Team, eventually joining the Hospice Advisory Group that provided system-planning advice about palliative care to the province. She was also one of the founding members of an integrated health-care development that offered palliative care and comprehensive grief support; a single location with a range of services for children, youth, adults and families. The Campus of Care in Abbotsford, BC, was the first of its kind in North America, and resulted in Debbie receiving a Paul Harris award from the Abbotsford Rotary Club for her inspirational work in founding this Campus of Care.

In British Columbia, Deborah was an energetic Rotarian, and amongst many community contributions were memberships on the Abbotsford Police Board and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Of particular interest to Deborah was her involvement with the Social Development Advisory Committee that provided advice to City Council on social issues, helping guide the City’s social planning, especially for it’s most vulnerable and marginalized citizens.

In Ottawa, her many volunteer roles have included service as a member of the Adoption Council of Canada’s Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity’s Family Partnering Committee, the Ottawa Association of Fundraising Professionals Board of Directors and Bruyère Continuing Care Board of Directors. More recently, she has joined an advisory committee of Hospice Care Ottawa and the Laurentian Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE), a fundraising grass roots organization that supports charities who work with women and children.

The value she brings to clients, staff, donors and community partners flows from the experience, insight and life lessons she has gained throughout her career spanning over 15 years in the social service sector.