Ausome Team

The Ausome Team

Jamie Logue
Executive Director

Jamie is a 20+-year nonprofit leader and advocate specializing in bringing people together from across generations and across the country to drive transformative change for equity, justice and inclusion.

The proud papa bear of two young Ausome Athletes since the beginning, he has witnessed his children acquire skills, build courage, and experience the joy of sport as a direct result of Ausome’s programs. Equally valuable are the friendships they’ve formed with other kids, families and the amazing staff and volunteers who make Ausome, well, awesome!

He now brings his professional experience and fierce personal passion for breaking down barriers that kids and families living with autism face to fuel his work at Ausome.

When not with Ausome, you’ll find Jamie lighting up his adult rec hockey league, experimenting in the kitchen, or digging through bins of used records.


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Anna Whyte
Co–founder and Director of Programs and Training

Anna is a caring, energetic, and skilled autism behaviour therapist with years of clinical intervention experience.

Since her youth, she has been involved with children, either babysitting, coaching, camp counselling, or volunteering around the world. Her passion to see children meet their full potential is the foundation for Anna’s involvement with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Recently, she saw a need to expand her role beyond the clinical environment, and is currently providing a service to support children in various community settings.


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Julia Albert
Director of Communications

Julia, a graphic designer and former teacher, joined Ausome in 2016 to develop and grow the Ausome brand.

Mom to 3 humans and 2 feline furbabies, Julia is passionate about all things design, and is committed to sharing stories of the Ausome athletes, families, and community members who make Ausome programs possible.


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Alix Alldridge
Director of Programs (maternity leave)

Alix has been apart of our Ausome Ottawa Team from the beginning. She started out as an Ausome Volunteer, supporting the children and the volunteers during every event.

Her understanding and encouragement of our Ausome kids helped her advance to one of our Program Directors over the last year. She brings with her 9 years of experience working with children with Autism in clinics, at home and in schools. Her dedication to our programs along with her energy and enthusiasm for each child is demonstrated at all of our events. Alix is looking forward to meeting each child and watching them grow and succeed within our programs!


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Cece Van Aert
Programs Manager and Volunteer Coordinator

Selena, commonly known as Cece, is a University of Ottawa graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

 Originally from British Columbia, Cece enjoys a large range of sports, including figure skating, skiing, yoga, rock climbing, and dancing! She also loves playing with her adorable dog, Maggie. Fun Fact: Before moving to Ottawa, Cece was a professional figure skater for Disney on Ice. Throughout her career, she hopes to make a difference in children’s lives and help them reach their full potential. 


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Rebecca Kaell
Volunteer Manager

Rebecca is a passionate and caring educator who has been lucky enough to work in the fields of education and volunteer management  over the past 10 years.

She first got involved with Ausome Ottawa as a volunteer in 2016 and transitioned into the volunteer manager role in 2018. She has enjoyed every moment of her experience with Ausome and loves encouraging each athlete to reach their full potential. Rebecca is a certified teacher and divides her time between teaching at OCDSB schools and working at Ausome. When she is not working, she loves to travel, read, play sports and stay active outdoors with her puppy. Rebecca is looking forward to welcoming each wonderful volunteer to our Ausome volunteer team!


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Kit Emily Smith
Programs and Volunteer Administrator

Kit is a University of Victoria graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies.

As someone who identifies neurodiverse and transgender, Kit is excited to bring their own lived experience and professional skills to support Ausome athletes, parents, volunteers and staff in reaching their full potential. They hope one day to pursue a Master’s in Social Work and become a counselor. In their free time, Kit loves watching cartoons, doing yoga, drinking too much coffee and hanging out with their friends and family.


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Catherine Friel
Program Supervisor

Catherine is an Instructor Therapist and has been working with children and youth with autism for the past nine years.

She loves to help children and youth build the skills and confidence they need to accomplish their goals. Being a sibling to someone with autism, Catherine is a huge believer in the benefits of an active lifestyle. That’s why when she learned about Ausome and its mission, she had to be a part of it. In her spare time Catherine can be found running, riding her bike to work, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her family.


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Kayla Garvey
Program Supervisor

Kayla is studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ottawa and is on a journey to becoming a pediatric surgeon.

She played and coached competitive basketball for many years and is a certified Level 1 basketball coach with the National Coaching Certification Program. Kayla is caring, full of energy and passionate about children. She believes that every child deserves the same opportunities; that is what has driven her commitment to Ausome Ottawa since we first opened our doors.


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Rachelle Jessome
Program Supervisor

Rachelle first got involved with Ausome as a volunteer in 2016 while completing the post-graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences at Algonquin College.

She has always worked with children in various settings and truly believes that every child can accomplish their full potential given the proper support and resources. Originally from Saskatchewan, Rachelle transferred to the University of Ottawa in 2011 to complete her B.A with specialization in psychology and linguistics. Rachelle currently works as an Instructor Therapist in a center that provides ABA/IBI services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and tutors students with various learning difficulties during her evenings. When she is not working Rachelle loves staying active by playing various sports and discovering new hiking trails in the surrounding areas or she’s planning her next travelling adventure.


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Jennifer Stewart
Program Supervisor

Jen Stewart has been working with individuals on the autism spectrum for fifteen years. After graduating from the University of Ottawa in 2008, she continued to work in ABA in a variety of capacities.

Her specialty is working with teens and young adults in a community setting. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa to become a high school teacher. She also loves film photography and spending time at her cottage! She recently joined the Ausome team as Program Supervisor in the spring of 2020.


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Alannah Webber
Program Supervisor

Alannah was first connected with Ausome Ottawa though her placement as an Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant student in March, 2018.

She loved the experience of pairing and working with children, and was thrilled to joined the Ausome team with their programs and summer camps. A Carleton grad and a current Algonquin College student, Alannah hopes to one day work with children as an Occupational Therapist. Alannah is passionate about helping children reach their goals and build their confidence, and having fun! When she’s not studying or working, Alannah likes hiking, singing in the car (badly & loudly), baking, and adventuring!


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Alyssa Gaerke
Senior Support Staff

Alyssa, a Biochemistry student at the University of Ottawa, started volunteering with Ausome in May 2017. She enjoys sports and plays ultimate frisbee and ringette.

She has also been known to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the clarinet. Alyssa loves Ausome because it is a place where the kids feel confident, comfortable and have a great time playing sports with others.  She loves seeing those qualities shine through every week.


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Vanessa Levy
Senior Support Staff

Vanessa is a Biology and Psychology student at the University of Ottawa.

 She wants to pursue a career in neuropsychology. She found out about Ausome through the university’s Community Service Learning and fell in love with the program through volunteering.Vanessa enjoys working and bonding with children on the autism spectrum. She also volunteers as a first responder with University of Ottawa Student Emergency Response Team. She loves to read and play musical instruments whenever she has time. 


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Ofosu Adjei-Afriyie
Program Support

Ofosu is a Translational and Molecular Medicine student at the University of Ottawa.

 He started volunteering for Ausome back in early 2020 for his genetics class and came to realize that he really loves working with the children at Ausome. Not only has he had plenty of fun volunteering with these children, but the sheer determination and drive that these children can display are truly inspiring.

In his free time away from work and school, he loves spending time with family and friends. He makes sure to watch the Toronto Raptors basketball games on TV, and also really likes playing basketball and ultimate frisbee for fun! During covid, he decided to rewatch all of the movies in the MCU, and eagerly looks forward to watching all the future MCU movies and shows. 


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Tamara Khudair
Program Support

Tamara is a Psychology student at the University of Ottawa. She first learned about Ausome by volunteering through uOttawa’s community service-learning program in 2021.

 She is passionate about sports, helping children succeed and having fun. As such, she quickly fell in love with Ausome and was inspired to see the children’s confidence and personalities radiate each week. When she’s not working or studying, Tamara teaches children piano, plays soccer and Muay Thai, and loves spending time with her friends and family.


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Trina Nguyen
Program Support

 Trina is currently a student at the University of Ottawa studying Translational and Molecular Medicine.

 She first heard about Ausome through uOttawa’s community service-learning program. With two younger cousins on the spectrum, she knew how essential Ausome programs are and that she would love to help young athletes be successful in the sport. She began as a volunteer with Ausome in September 2020 and she was thrilled to have the opportunity to have a larger role in the Ausome organization as a program support staff member. Trina also grew up playing volleyball and she still plays it to this day. As such, she understands how empowering and motivating sports can be.

In her free time, she also enjoys binge-watching the newest Netflix series, trying out new restaurants, and spending time with her friends and family.  


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James Shaheen
Program Support

James is currently at Carleton University, pursuing a Bachelors of music with a minor in Community Engagement with the goal of becoming a professional musician.

 James first discovered Ausome through the I Love to Ski program while working at the ski shop that provided equipment for the athletes. He was enamoured by the youths’ determination, and the staff’s ability to support participants in reaching their individual success goals. After helping out with the program whenever possible, he was hooked. 

James loves all things outdoors and tries to go camping as much as possible (yes, even in the winter). He also likes to ski, bike and play hockey. In 2021, James earned his 1st degree blackbelt in Wado Kai Karate.


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Arvin Vahidi
Program Support

Arvin, a health science major at the University of Ottawa, began as a volunteer with Ausome Ottawa in 2019 through the Fitness with Friends program.

Then, as a 12th-grade leadership student at Nepean High School, he partnered with an Ausome athlete that brought a smile to his day. After that, he was brought on board as a PD day staff and eventually as Program Support in more Ausome programming. He loves working with the athletes, seeing the smiles on their faces and watching them grow throughout the program.

Arvin loves all sports but especially has a passion for soccer and basketball!


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Sally Yan
Program Support

 Sally is currently studying Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology at the University of Ottawa and is working towards becoming a speech-language pathologist.

  She has an 8-year competitive swimming background and loves to bake and sew. Sally became enamoured with Ausome through her school’s Community Service Learning and wants to try and put a smile on the children’s faces. 


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Interested in joining our Ausome Board?

Ausome Ottawa is always looking for energetic, committed members who believe in sport and recreation for all.

To learn more, send us a message.

Get in touch

Our Ausome Board of Directors

Jennifer Wright
Chair

Jennifer believes strongly in the value of sport and physical activity (having grown up playing hockey, baseball and swimming) and has shared this passion as a kids’ hockey coach for the past 12 years.

When Jennifer is not at the rink coaching or cheering her own kids on, she is spending time on her other passions: cooking, traveling, being outside and spending time with friends and family.

Professionally, Jennifer is a non-profit leader and has worked more than 20 years in the field of human resource management, developing and executing HR strategies around attraction and retention, work integrated learning, labour market research, skills development, inclusion and diversity. She holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Royal Roads University, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Shannon Glenn
Secretary

Shannon is the mother of a beautiful, brave and fun-loving boy on the spectrum, as well as a long-time civil servant working on economic issues.


Currently working in government relations for a bank dedicated to serving entrepreneurs, earlier responsibilities in government have included science and technology and innovation policy, automotive industrial support, as well as climate change and clean air, serving in three economic departments and the Privy Council Office. Prior to joining government, Shannon was a Senior Manager at Deloitte, working on environmental risk management with clients in the resources and financial sectors. She has enjoyed contributing to Boards for organizations dedicated to water management, sustainable transportation and conservation.
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Nicole Dauz

Nicole is a mother of two beautiful children, entrepreneur and advocate for special needs families. Her daughter Summer has a rare disease SYNGAP1 and an Autism diagnosis.


Nicole has been a member of the Ausome Board since 2017 and is proud to be part of an organization that offers recreational programs to kids with autism – regardless of their abilities.

She has previously volunteered with the not-for-profit organizations Breast Cancer Action, the Kanata Youth Basketball Association and the Katimavik Co-operative Nursery School.

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Derek Firth

Derek, along with his wife Liisa Vexler, founded Ausome in 2015. As the father of two boys, Derek spends most of his leisure time coaching his sons in basketball, playing basketball, or spending time with his family.

He has been an internet entrepreneur since 2000 and specializes in working with large data sets to help clients find solutions to their problems.
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Tori Hammond

Tori is a professional actor and voice artist working in Canadian television, film, theatre and radio for over 25 years.

She is also a musician in Ottawa funk/r+b band “Nobody’s Fool.”

Being an actor, she’s also juggled a wide variety of jobs, including having worked at Bruce House in a fundraising/event planning position; on the Wakefield Steam Train tourist attraction as a banjo-playing entertainer; reception and administrative positions, and as a Standardized Patient for both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Medical Council of Canada.

Tori has a wonderful, curious teenage son on the spectrum. As a community advocate, she often meets with newly-diagnosed families to offer support, as well as guidance on how to navigate the system.

She is thrilled to be a part of the Ausome board and looks forward to a year of amazing new initiatives and opportunities for the Ottawa autism community.

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Tina Hill

When she’s not driving her kids to one sporting activity or another, Tina Hill works as a litigation lawyer at Greenspon Granger Hill.

She started practicing law in 2002, after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Psychology from Carleton University and an LLB from Queen’s University. Prior to her current position, she worked as a mediator/arbitrator from 2012 to 2016 and as a litigation associate at a national firm from 2002 to 2012. Tina believes in giving back to the community. She has volunteered for several organizations in Ottawa, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Distress Centre, the Mission and Pro Bono Law (as a volunteer mediator).
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Todd Luckasavitch

Todd is an executive level Human Resources leader with over 23 years of experience in all facets of HR in both the private, public and not-for-profit sector.


Todd has a B.A. in Economics from Carleton University and a B.Comm. from Ryerson University in Human Resource. His experience spans across recruitment system and process design, succession planning, career and leadership development, compensation, as well as organization design and change management. Todd has strong leadership experience having managed numerous large-scale HR programs, initiatives and system related projects at a country and global level. He is currently the General Manager of Business Sherpa Group, a business management solutions firm that brings together virtualized resources and teams to support Small and Mid-sized Enterprises.
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Julie McIsaac

Julie McIsaac is a child development specialist with an interest in joining children and parents to problem solve and connect through play.

She has a Masters degree from Tufts University and is completing her PhD in Infant and Child Development. Certified in the DIR/Floortime relationship-based framework, Julie has found that her most meaningful work is supporting parents to better connect with their children. Julie enjoys exploring Ottawa parks and playgrounds with her three active boys and values the power of sport and exercise for the whole family. Julie has watched her son’s confidence, skill and enjoyment of sport soar as he has been able to access sport, feel supported with social and to feel a sense that he belongs. Julie is very proud to support Ausome Ottawa.
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Katie Russell

With a background in research and fundraising in the non-profit sector, Katie Russell believes in inclusive communities that allow for the full development of all children.


As a parent with four children, Katie also knows that achieving that full development begins at home with a loving, supportive family environment for children on the autism spectrum. A vital link between support at home and support in the community are organizations that can work with families, educational and health professionals as well as policymakers to build programs and support initiatives that focus on the child and their future.
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Paul Sammut

Paul is a Senior Manager in KPMG’s Risk Consulting practice, based in Ottawa, working with a range of clients including the Tech sector, Crown Corporations and Non-Profit organizations.


Paul moved to Canada with his family in 2018 as part of a global transfer. Paul has previously volunteered for organizations such as the Brownlee Foundation in the UK, helping to enable school children to take part in mini-triathlons.
Paul’s passions include music, cycling, snowboarding and soccer, whilst also learning to like ice hockey.
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