Meet the Team
The Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) is a small, diverse team that provides consulting, training and education for service agencies, consumers and employers.
Chief Executive Officer
Jeannette is a passionate believer in the non profit sector, and its ability to move the needle on awareness, opportunities, and education about disabilities and promote the inclusion of all members of our communities. She has 20+ years of demonstrated success providing service, program design, evaluation, and partnership development with educational institutions, service agencies, all levels of government, and private sector stakeholders.
Jeannette’s work in program development and the ability to put them into action has resulted in successful programs that support clients to achieve goals, encourage and enhance wrap around services, and ultimately the success of individuals, organizations, and employers.
Jeannette has also designed projects specifically for youth and people with disabilities in academic settings such as SIFE/Enactus, Rotman Commerce – Student Life department, and the Community Partnership departments at University of Toronto and George Brown College, and has a long history of promoting and supporting programs and services to end users, government, and private sectors.
Most importantly, Jeannette is a firm believer that everyone possesses gifts and talents – and given the opportunity and support we will all shine.
Director of Special Projects & Innovation
Ingrid is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario with 20+ years of combined working experience in corporate, entrepreneurial, and not-for-profit settings.
Since 2017, Ingrid has worked with the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) first as a Diversity & Inclusion Specialist and now as Director of Special Projects & Innovation. As a D&I Specialist, Ingrid was instrumental in moving 250 people who have a disability to into employment and delivered the ODEN Disability Awareness and Confidence Training to over 500 business members. In latest role Ingrid contributes to ODEN’s mission by working alongside a team of professionals who identify and promote innovative and promising practices in both the business and employment service provider sector.
Ingrid is a confident leader with excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills; she’s an experienced trainer, who has effectively delivered content to multicultural and multigenerational audiences locally and internationally; lastly, Ingrid is a professional with strong project management, program, and procedure development skills.
Ingrid’s vision for her son who has Down syndrome is in-line with that of all parents. She has a vision her son will grow up in a society where people with disabilities will participate in formal higher education; that as citizens, they will be engaged in equal and meaningful employment; her vision is that they will access and contribute to decision-making processes, which directly impacts their lives, and they will be recognized as vibrant contributors to their communities.
Director of Corporate Engagement and Training
Amy is a committed connector who is passionate about inclusive employment and using collaboration, relationship development and capacity building as tools to increase employment opportunities for people who have disabilities. She is a strong support professional, skilled in Non-profit Organization Management, Inclusive Employment, Social Enterprise, Community Development and Disabilities. Amy brings a breadth of over 20 years of knowledge and experience to the team working in Management roles in both not for profit Developmental Service Organizations as well as private sector Professional Employment Services.
Amy’s vision for an inclusive Ontario is what guides her to break down barriers and discover people’s gifts and talent.
Director of Business & Financial Services
Sue Dafoe is the Director of Business & Financial Services for the Ontario Disability Employment Network. Sue brings her wealth of knowledge and technical skills to the team.
Sue has worked in the not-for-profit world for over 20 years in various capacities. She has held positions with large and small not-for-profits growing her skills as a communications and event professional.
Sue can also be found lending her expertise to organizations through SD Consulting, providing board training, event management, marketing and consulting services. Sue has worked with organizations such as Kawartha Participation Projects, Industry Canada, Osteoporosis Society of Canada, among others.
In her spare time, Sue can be found in the outdoors with her family and two northern rescue pups. She can also be found coaching volleyball and cheering for her children at their various sporting activities.
Director of Development & Capacity Building
J.C. Doyle is a University of Guelph Commerce Grad and a Niagara College trained Red Seal Chef with over 20 years’ experience operating in the service sector as Manager, purchaser, Chef, Trainer, Entrepreneur , Hospitality Consultant, and Restaurant Owner.
His private sector background and experience bring a unique perspective to the (not for profit) disability employment landscape. In his most recent role as Manager of Employment Supports at Community Living North Bay, he worked with his team to modernize and transform their Employment Service to be more responsive and address the needs of businesses. A locally targeted marketing, re-branding and engagement strategy led to the Launch of Employment First Services.
JC was a founding member of the North Eastern Employment Network and has led regional projects aligning the goals of stakeholders by delivering awareness campaigns and training to support a consistent school to work approach for people with disabilities across the region.
JC has developed a keen interest and passion around the business case for inclusion and believes in helping business’s access the Disability Employment Market to gain competitive advantages. His pragmatic approach to systems and service speaks (answers) to the necessity of businesses to increase profits.
Outside of work, J.C. spends time with his wife and two children enjoying all manner of outdoor opportunities afforded by a Northern Ontario Lifestyle.
Dr. Jennifer Crowson
Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Jennifer holds a Bachelor and Master of Social Work from McMaster University and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. She is a registered Social Worker with over twenty-five years of work professional work experience in child welfare, policy, and research. She has had several key management positions with both non-government and government agencies in Canada and Scotland. Her work has mainly focused on children and young people. She is a part time faculty member with the School of Social Work at McMaster University, where she teaches as a sessional instructor. Jennifer is a strong analytical and critical thinker with a passion for policy development, robust research, program development and excellent teaching.
Jennifer is passionate about the ensuring the rights and recognizing the abilities of people with disabilities. She was the Chair of the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton from 2012-2021 and guided its exponential growth and key strategic development. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and she is the Chair of the Self Advocate Advisory Committee. She also sits on the Advisory Committee for CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability at McMaster University.
Jennifer is guided by a deep personal desire to positively impact the lives of young people who have faced barriers to accessing equitable health care, education, and employment opportunities. She is inspired by the many young people she has worked with, but in particular, by her son who was born with Down syndrome.
Jennifer is committed ODEN’s vision and is excited to join the team in making a positive impact on and with the Disability community.
Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Jenny brings a complimentary blend of private and non-profit, senior level management and service provider experience to ODEN. Her proven work is reflected in the areas of policy and compliance, HR, program design and facilitation, individual and group training and low ratio-hard/soft skills job coaching; specifically for people who have developmental disabilities.
She is an alum of the renowned Stratford Chef School and is a Red Seal Certified, Executive Chef (CEC) and former owner/operator of a cooking school, dining room and small inn. Her experience in this field has afforded her the opportunity to work directly with employment service providers who help youth find employment.
Jenny’s unique combination of private and service provider understandings mean that she has lived this from both the employer and, service provider perspectives. “I arrive to the table with an analytical approach on the inclusion of people with disabilities in employment. Since I believe that everyone has something to contribute, it is my desire it to see that all persons with disabilities who want to work, can do so in diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces where they are recognized by their employer as a vital contributor to the success of their business.”
Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Hogan is a registered social worker with extensive experience in program development, advocacy, and research. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sexuality Diversity Studies and Equity Studies as well as a master’s degree in Social Work. Hogan is an enthusiastic equity-seeking professional with strong research, analytic, and critical thinking skills. He has worked with communities and organizations to develop various community-based programs to enhance Asian newcomers and immigrants psychosocial well being. Through community-based initiatives and research, Hogan brings the voices of the under-represented populations to the general public and policymakers.
Hogan is passionate about advocating for people who have a disability with the intersectional and anti-oppressive approach he has developed over years in the non-profit and community setting. Previously, he has piloted and facilitated an employment training program for Chinese young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, through which he has developed a keen interest of serving the disability community. Hogan is committed to ODEN’s core values and visions of creating positive changes in employment for people who have a disability.
Outside of work, Hogan also serves as a board member of Asian Community Aids Services and commits to enhance the wellbeing of queer and trans Asian living with AIDS/HIV.
Diversity & Inclusion Specialist
Sarah is an experienced HR professional with an extensive background in disability and LGBT+ recruitment, equity, and inclusion. Driven by a deep belief in the power of equity and inclusivity, Sarah approaches her role with a focus on making a positive impact on both employment practices and broader societal perceptions. Her career is marked by a proven track record of collaborating with organizations to implement inclusive hiring strategies and create environments where every voice is heard and valued.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Sarah is a dedicated advocate for change. She spends her free time volunteering and has a special affinity for retired racing greyhounds, having adopted two herself – Frank and Vent. She is also an adventure enthusiast and doting aunt.
Disability Awareness Trainer
Liz Gosse is a Disability Awareness Trainer for the Ontario Disability Employment Network. Liz has worked with adult learners for over 10 years providing an inclusive, respectful learning environment and fostering a love of learning with others. She has experience working with and teaching people who have a disability and providing accommodations to ensure learners have the tools and knowledge to be successful in their learning journeys.
Liz is motivated to positively impact the lives of people who face barriers to education and employment. She is inspired to help make changes for her family members including her son who have a disability.
Disability Awareness Trainer
Agnes, a seasoned professional with nearly two decades of combined experience in Employment Ontario programs and Business/Project Management is fervently passionate about enhancing employment and educational opportunities for people who have a disability. Holding a Master of Education from Yorkville University and certifications as a Career Development Practitioner and Job Development Specialist, she crafts impactful strategies attuned to evolving labour market needs.
With her collaborative spirit, Agnes ardently promotes Inclusive Workplaces and Disability Awareness, which is evident in her efforts to build connections among businesses, community partners, and Employment Service providers. Her wide-ranging experiences in diverse settings, encompassing private and non-profit/unionized environments, along with her life journey as an immigrant to Canada, provide her with unique insights, enabling her to champion inclusive employment with a holistic perspective.
Agnes also serves as a board member of Literacy Ontario Central South (LOCS) and Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee-Haliburton Highlands.
In her spare time, Agnes can be found visiting her daughter, chatting with her family around the world or gardening and playing with her dog.
Disability Awareness Trainer
Tiana Eghdam is a passionate educator and design thinker with a blended background in learning experience design, employment services, facilitation, and technology. She is a MDes candidate in OCAD-U’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation program with a focus on psychological safety and foresight in youth sport culture.
Tiana possesses a wealth of experience in learning and development, spanning across corporate, non-profit, and higher education sectors. She has spearheaded the creation of numerous courses, programs, events, and workshops, consistently prioritizing a user-experience-centric approach to training. During her time in higher education, her efforts contributed to thousands of diverse student groups successfully securing their first career roles, achieved through innovative systems, holistic employment coaching, learner-centered instruction, and strategic industry collaborations. Prior to this, Tiana spent several years in the tech sector specializing in organizational efficiency, digital strategy, and business development.
Tiana revels in delving into the underlying “why” behind challenges and forging creative opportunities to bring groups together to scale measurable impact. In her spare time, she enjoys working with charities, schools, and sport organizations to advance access to equal employment and safe spaces for youth.
Marketing and Communications
Pawrnaa Perinpanayagam is the Communications & Marketing Coordinator for the Ontario Corporate Training Centre team at the Ontario Disability Employment Network. Driven by her passion for people and an inclusive community, Pawrnaa is eager to establish OCTC’s presence within the community.
Pawrnaa possesses a wealth of experience in marketing, spanning across healthcare, non-profit, and small businesses. She has spearheaded the creation and implementation of numerous campaigns that have consistently grown a brand’s presence online. Pawrnaa is looking forward to finding the balance between traditional and digital marketing efforts within her role.
In her spare time, Pawrnaa enjoys sipping on a hot cup of tea while diving deep into a true-crime series and trying out new fitness classes such as Brazilian Ji-Jitsu and dance. She also is Master of Ceremonies for weddings, receptions and birthday parties and enjoys making others laugh.
Lila Jorgenson is the Administrative Coordinator for the Ontario Corporate Training Centre team at the Ontario Disability Employment Network. She brings a wealth of experience and a strong educational background in social services to the role. A graduate of Algonquin College’s Social Service Worker program and with a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Ottawa, majoring in Women and Gender Studies and minoring in Indigenous Studies, Lila combines her academic knowledge with practical skills to provide administrative support.
Lila possesses work experience in retail management, administrative, and employment counsellor roles. In her previous work, Lila has provided employment service programs in the non-profit sector to youth who identify as having a disability to help them find sustainable employment opportunities. Lila also brings administrative experience and knowledge to her role.
In her free time, Lila is an avid reader and enjoys spending time outside with her two rescue dogs.
Dean is an award-winning content writer, photographer and communication specialist with three decades of experience. He has a specialized background in B2B and non-profit communications. Dean’s diverse experience includes communication roles in the financial services, customs brokerage/international trade and logistics, and education non-profit sectors. Dean has also been a field editor and writer for national trade magazines in the flooring and secondary wood manufacturing industries. As well, he has written for national trade magazines in the automotive aftermarket sector. He also taught journalism to York Region high-school co-operative education students. Dean began his career in daily radio current affairs and radio documentary production for CBC Radio.
His passion for words developed in the seventh grade. That’s when his first short-story was published in the Oak Park Junior High yearbook. Dean is an alumnus of Ryerson University’s journalism program. That was where he learned to hone the craft of telling engaging stories with words under the guidance of Canada’s master story-teller, the late, great Stuart McLean.
Dean’s an ENFP personality type. That means he’s passionate about words, building great relationships and helping others. In the spring, summer and fall Dean can be spotted cycling around downtown Toronto with his camera hanging from his shoulder. He’s also trying to get back to working on his model railroad. Dean hails from the East York District of Toronto where he was born, raised and still lives.
Administrative & Membership Coordinator
Lesley is an enthusiastic and innovative administrative professional with over 10 years experience. She has worked for both Corporate and Non-Profit organizations and brings with her extensive knowledge in office administration, event planning, social media and website communications.
Lesley is passionate about helping people and making a difference in the community.
When she is not busy working, Lesley can be found watching her children play sports, or enjoying a good book at the cottage.
Accounting & HR Assistant
Raisa is the Accounting & Human Resource Assistant for the Ontario Disability Employment Network. She is a recent Business Management graduate from the Toronto Metropolitan University. With her diverse knowledge of business administration, Raisa is able to apply her knowledge and skills to the organization and the community.
Raisa has experience in non-profit organizations as she is passionate about making contributions to the community. As a Southeast Asian immigrant herself, Raisa hopes to see more representation of people of color, diversity and inclusion in the workforce.
Outside of work Raisa can be found staying active at the gym and trying out new classes such as yoga and meditation. She also enjoys making desserts for her friends and family to try.