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  The Tamarack Team
 

To promote a modern work environment and allow our staff to work where they live, Tamarack has invested in software that enables us to work virtually "in the cloud." Our team is located primarily in home based offices. We have also rented a shared space with other non-profit organizations. Below you will find the contact information for our staff by clicking on their picture or scrolling down the page. As always, for any general inquiries email: tamarack@tamarackcommunity.ca.

 
Paul Born

Paul Born
President
Liz Weaver

Liz Weaver
Vice-President
  Lisa Attygalle

Lisa Attygalle
Director of Engagement
Sylvia Cheuy

Sylvia Cheuy
Director,
Seeking Community

Donna Jean Forster

Donna Jean Forster
Community Animator,
Vibrant Communities

Rachel Brnjas

Rachel Brnjas
Community Animator for Seeking Community

Caroline Mills

Caroline Mills
Community Animator, Tamarack Team

Kirsti Piirtoniemi

Kirsti Piirtoniemi
Community Animator, Tamarack CCI
Amy Zoethout

Amy Zoethout
Learning Community Curator
Derek Alton

Derek Alton
Campaign Animator 1000 Conversations
Mark Cabaj

Mark Cabaj
Tamarack Associate
Michael Jones

Michael Jones
Tamarack Associate
 

Please direct inquiries of a financial nature to finance@tamarackcommunity.ca

Meet the Tamarack Team

Paul Born, President - Paul Born grew up in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia as the son of Mennonite refugees. This in part is what made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good, work that he describes as collective altruism. He holds a Masters degree in Leadership is considered a global leader in helping organizations and communities to develop innovative ideas that motivate people to collaborative action.

Paul is the President and cofounder of the Tamarack Institute which since 2001 has provided leadership in Canada on issues of citizen engagement, collaborative leadership and community innovation. More than 12,000 subscribers engage in Tamarack’s learning communities. Tamarack also sponsors Vibrant Communities Canada, active in cities across the country and that has so far reduced the impact of poverty for more than 200,000 people.

Prior to Tamarack, Paul was the Executive Director and co-founder of the Community Opportunities Development Association one of Canada’s leading community economic development organizations that was recognized by the United Nations as one of the top 40 projects in the world. Paul was elected into the world’s largest network of social innovators, as a Senior Ashoka Fellow in 2013.

An Author of four books, Paul is a motivational speaker who loves the power of stories.

Learn more about Tamarack at www.tamarackcommunity.ca or about Paul at www.paulborn.ca.

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Paul Born, author of Community Conversations

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Liz Weaver, Vice-President - Liz Weaver is the lead for Vibrant Communities Canada-Cities Reducing Poverty and Tamarack's Vice-President. Liz helps initiatives develop their frameworks of change, supports and guides their projects and helps connect them to Vibrant Communities and other comprehensive community collaborations.

Prior to this position, she was the Lead Coach for Vibrant Communities Canada with Tamarack. She has also been Director for the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, which was recognized with the Canadian Urban Institute's David Crombie Leadership Award in 2009. In her career, Liz has held leadership positions with YWCA Hamilton, Volunteer Hamilton and Volunteer Canada. In 2002, Liz completed a Masters of Management for National Voluntary Sector Leaders through McGill University and her thesis 'Storytelling and the Voluntary Sector' was published. Liz was awarded a Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2002 for her leadership in the voluntary sector, was an Athena Award finalist and in 2004 was awarded the Women in the Workplace award from the City of Hamilton.

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Liz Weaver

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Lisa Attygalle, Director of Engagement - Lisa is responsible for improving the online learner experience to help increase participation and collaboration in learning events and learning communities. As part of her role, Lisa offers insights and best practices to leaders as they are looking to improve their own communications and marketing strategies. She also leads the team in establishing a communications strategy for Tamarack to continue to build awareness and grow the networks of connected learners.

Prior to joining the Tamarack team, Lisa was a Senior Marketing Automation Strategist at Quarry Integrated Communications, where she worked with clients to personalize their online marketing and integrate digital communications channels to design the best possible experience for users. She has experience in creating communications strategy, database management, public relations, email marketing, content management, copywriting, design, and social media marketing. Lisa also worked as a Communications Officer as the liaison between local government, developers and community stakeholders.

In her spare time Lisa runs Hope Studio - an art drop-in program based out of the Working Centre in downtown Kitchener. The program allows for guests to create, design and enjoy art while being in community with others, with the goal of offering hope, healing and the discovery of their own intrinsic value through art. She is also a Trustee of the KW Awesome Foundation - a group that provides no-strings attached grants for "awesome" community-based projects.

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Lisa Attygalle

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Sylvia Cheuy, Director, Seeking Community - Sylvia helps to design and deliver learning opportunities that profile, disseminate and share the resources, tools and experiences to Tamarack's vast network of learners primarily via the Tamarack Seeking Community Learning Community site. She is also the Editor for Tamarack's e-magazine Engage!

Between 2005-2013, Sylvia was Executive Director to Headwaters Communities in Action (HCIA), a grassroots citizen initiative that fosters collaborative leadership and action in support of a long-term vision of well-being for Ontario's Headwaters region. Tamarack played a key role in launching HCIA and it has given Sylvia first-hand experience implementing a collective impact initiative. Sylvia recently completed her Masters Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo where she explored opportunities to create change within regional food systems.

Sylvia is also an active volunteer with the breakfast program at her children's school and also served on the Board of Community Living Dufferin for nine years. She was instrumental in securing $2.8 million in funding for CLD's shared home with Theatre Orangeville, the community's professional theatre company. Sylvia lives in Caledon, Ontario with her husband John Graham and their three children: Gabriella, Garrett and Sean.

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Donna Jean Forster-Gill - Project Manager, Vibrant Communities Canada - Cities Reducing Poverty - Donna Jean has been active in the field of poverty reduction for over 15 years having worked in communities in Canada and the US. She is leading the Vibrant Communities Canada - Cities Reducing Poverty network of 100 Canadian cities, counties, regions, provinces and territories working together to reduce poverty for 1 million Canadians. She is driven by the idea that we are stronger together and we don't need any more studies to provide any more reasons for why we need to get on with the work of reducing poverty in Canada.

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Donna Jean Forster-Gill

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Rachel Brnjas, Community Animator, Seeking Community - Rachel is the lead for Tamarack's Seeking Community website. She helps facilitate tele-learning, blogging and various community initiatives and campaigns. She also supports several learning events and is the executive assistant to Paul Born, the campaign lead for Seeking Community.

Rachel is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo where she earned her Honours Arts Degree in English Literature and Fine Arts. An entrepreneur, Rachel began her own day camp as a small business and ran it for four summers. She is an artist who is currently working to develop her photography skills, which she hopes to use to enhance the Seeking Community website. Rachel enjoys cooking, yoga and spending time with her family.

For more information on Seeking Community: seekingcommunity.ca

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Rachel Brnjas

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Caroline Mills, Community Animator, Tamarack Team - As the Community Animator of the Tamarack Team, Caroline is the team’s champion and culture keeper. She has managed teams both large and small and she knows that the true value and energy of an organization lies in the people. She has a well-honed skill for ensuring that everyone has a part and that individual strengths are elicited. Creating strong and engaged teams is one of Caroline’s true passions. Caroline will also focus on establishing partnerships to expand Tamarack`s capacity to offer one-day Learning Events in various regions.

Caroline comes to Tamarack with a background in marketing and communications where her work focused on financial services, strategic planning and Foundations. In 1999, her worlds collided when she joined the GH Wood Foundation as a Director and learned the true value of social justice and the importance of giving back to her community. For over 14 years, she has been an active volunteer and consultant to not for profit agencies in the GTA providing communications briefs, funding proposals, managing partnerships and designing digital strategy campaigns. She believes that we are not fully realized until we can be of service to those less fortunate.

When not sitting at a computer, Caroline tends to her family: her husband Sandy, her two boys, Sam and Nico and a wheaten terrier named Lola. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and yoga teacher/student.

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Kirsti Piirtoniemi, Community Animator, Tamarack CCI - Kirsti is the Community Animator of the Tamarack CCI Learning Community and coordinates Tamarack’s multi-day, custom learning events. Previous to this, she worked as a Program Officer and Conference Coordinator for The Natural Step Canada.

Kirsti has a Masters in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden; a certificate in International Project Management from Humber College and a Bachelor’s degree in International Development from the University of Guelph.

Kirsti is passionate about community service and engagement and has served in a variety of volunteer roles over the years. Some of her memorable service experiences include building homes and interviewing post-Hurricane Katrina survivors in Mississippi, working on community selected development projects in rural Costa Rica, and assisting the organizing team at the 2011 UN and World Bank International Strategy for Disaster Relief Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, Switzerland. Currently, she is a volunteer for Our Street London, an initiative that promotes sustainable and accessible urban form.

In her personal time, Kirsti enjoys hiking, yoga, travelling and spending time with friends and family. She currently resides in London, ON with her partner Rob.

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Kirsti Piirtoniemi

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Amy Zoethout, Learning Community Curator - Amy joined the Tamarack team in 2012 and spends her time working on database management, social media, website changes, and graphic design. Amy began her career in journalism, working at small, weekly newspapers, which gave her the opportunity to get involved in a variety of different aspects of the communities in which she worked. These experiences led to a desire to get more involved in working more directly with people and she has since worked with a number of not-for-profits and community-based organizations in marketing, website management, and social media.

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Derek Alton, Campaign Animator, 1000 Conversations about Community - Derek started with Tamarack in the Fall of 2012 and is animating their Seeking Community campaign: A Thousand Conversations to Shape our Future. This has been an amazing opportunity for him to learn from the many stories and experiences of others.

Derek has a passion for changing the world and is active within his community with multiple organizations and groups. He has a degree in Political Science and a certificate in leadership from the University of Guelph.

Derek is always happy to meet for coffee and talk about community, politics, sports and anything else, so please contact him anytime.

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Mark Cabaj - Mark is an Associate of Tamarack, CCI Faculty Member and the President of the company From Here to There.

Mark's current focus is on developing practical ways to assist groups understand, plan and evaluate policies, programs and initiatives that address complex issues. This includes challenges such as neighborhood renewal, poverty and homelessness, community safety, educational achievement and health. He is particularly focused on expanding the ideas and practice of developmental evaluation, a new approach to evaluation which emphasizes learning and design thinking in emerging and sometimes fast-moving environments.

Mark brings experience from a variety of sectors. In the 1990s, he served as the Foreign Assistance Coordinator for Grants in Poland's Ministry of Privatization, was the Mission Coordinator for the United Nations Development Program's first regional economic development initiative in Eastern Europe, and worked with International Privatization Group-Price Waterhouse. In Canada, he was the Coordinator of the Waterloo Region's Opportunities 2000 project - an initiative that won provincial, national and international awards for its multi-sector approach to poverty reduction - and served briefly as the Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet). From 2002-2010, he was the Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Canada and a Director at Tamarack.

Mark lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Leann and their children Isaiah and Zoë.

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Michael Jones - Michael Jones serves on the faculty for the 2012 Communities Collaborating Institute. Michael Jones is a Juno Award Nominee pianist and composer (12 albums) and leadership educator who will inspire our mind with his words and our souls with his music. He is the author of two books; the award winning Creating an Imaginative Life and Artful Leadership; Awakening the Commons of the Imagination. He is well known for his innovative work in bringing together authentic leadership with creative artistry to inspire personal transformation and collective learning. Michael has been a Senior Fellow with the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, the MIT Dialogue Project, and Associate Faculty with the Executive MBA programs at The University of Texas, San Antonio.

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Click here to learn about Tamarack's Board of Directors

 

Michael Jones

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Paul Born Mark Cabaj Liz Weaver Laura Zikovic Learn more about Paul Born Email Paul Born Learn more about Mark Cabaj Email Mark Cabaj Learn more about Mark Cabaj Email Dal Brodhead Email Sylvia Cheuy Email Garry Loewen Email Rachel Brnjas Email Liz Weaver Email Laura Zikovic Michael Toye Email Paul Email Michael