Meet The Team
Our team is made up of passionate and engaged guys into guys or allies, working as directors, staff or volunteers, contributing to our communities’ health and wellness.
Board of Directors
Brent Bauer, Chair
Brent Bauer has a twenty-five-year history of volunteerism and governance experience in the HIV/AIDS and gay men’s health and wellness sectors. Since 2016, he has served as Board Chair for MAX and currently sits on the Executive of the Ontario HIV/AIDS Treatment Network. In his downtime, he swims with the Rideau Speedeaus, Ottawa’s inclusive swim club.
Nicholas Valela, Vice-Chair
Nick served as a founding director of the Ottawa Gay Men’s Wellness Initiative in 2014, later rebranding as MAX where he serves as vice-chair. He is involved in GayZone, Ottawa’s GBT2Q male friendly clinic and wellness centre and has played a leading role in improving data collection for queer populations by health-care providers.
Steele Campbell, Treasurer
Born and raised in Ottawa, Steele is a graduate from Queen's University in Economics and has been working with TD Canada Trust in Commercial Banking for the last 8 years. Besides being MAX's Treasurer, Steele plays in the Ottawa Queer Softball League.
Kyle Kirkup is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. He has published on topics including the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, the legal regulation of sex work, and transgender human rights law. Before joining the University of Ottawa, Kyle completed graduate studies at Yale Law School and the University of Toronto and clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Aly is an Infrastructure Engineering Designer and is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa. He is the Ottawa-based poet Infinite Mind and uses the art of wordsmithing to advocate for mental health awareness and the queer community. Since 2015, he’s been a member of Ottawa’s Urban Legends team and uses poetry/spoken word to fill a gap in Queer Arab discourse.
Leonard is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. His research focuses on the extent to which rights regimes function to fit queerness within Canada as a historical and political project. Leonard has worked on Parliament Hill in the Senate and the House of Commons. He brings a background in stakeholder relations and policy development to his role.
Stéphane works in the field of international development and environment. He's been involved for many years in the LGBTQ+ community in Montréal, Québec and Gatineau/Ottawa and is particularly interested in the mental health aspects of our community. He plays in the Rainbow Rockers Curling League.
Allen is a passionate volunteer for social issues, especially for community building for guys into guys. Previously, he has worked with campus queer student groups at UBC and McGill. Currently, he works as a civil servant with the government during the day, and in his downtime he is a consummate video and board gaming enthusiast.
Matthew Harding is the Community Programs Manager & the Acting Executive Director at MAX. Born and raised in New Brunswick, he moved to Ottawa to pursue post-secondary education. He enjoys pizza and dogs.
Robert is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator. He brings 10 years of nursing experience, volunteering with LGBTQ+ organizations, a strong passion for health equity, and lived experience as a Black, queer male to his role.
Mohamad is the Community Engagement Support Coordinator. Born in Syria, he has been actively involved with LBGTIQ2+ communities in Lebanon, Turkey and Canada since 2016. He has worked with new Canadians at the YMCA-YWCA and uses his translation skills to support queer refugee sponsorship groups. He’s passionate about friendships, running, reading and watching cinema.
Mat is the Harm Reduction Programs Coordinator at MAX. He is the former Summer Community Outreach Worker from the 2019 Pride season. In his spare time, he likes to write, make art and clothing, and play video games.
Spencer Pecore is the Mental Health Program Coordinator. He cultivated extensive experience in front-line crisis support living in Alberta for several years and is passionate about building personal and community capacity within 2sGBTQ+ guys.