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.
James Demers (He/Him) has worked for 10 years at the Executive Director level in the charitable sector, as well as a diversity, equity and inclusion educator across a variety of sectors including healthcare, social services, tech and government policy development. Active for many years in arts and cultural work, James is also a drag performer, show producer, public speaker, trans advocate and athlete in his spare time.
He has committed his life and career to uplifting LGBTQ voices to build bridges of understanding, eliminate stigma and develop actionable empathy in the communities around him.
Matt is the Community Programs Manager at MAX. Born in Illinois, USA, he became actively involved with 2SLBGTQ+ community in Washington, DC, as a peer support volunteer, when he came out in 1994. Experiencing the coming out process during the height of the AIDS pandemic has informed Matt’s commitment to serving his queer community. In addition to his experiences in the USA, Matt has been fortunate to have lived and worked in Belgium, Hungary and the UK, prior to immigrating to Canada. Matt uses his skills to meet queer folx wherever they find themselves. He’s passionate about friendships, coffee, reading and queer arts.
Ahmed (he/him) is the Manager of Partnerships and Strategic Development. He will be supporting the building of community partnerships and fundraising strategies. Ahmed began his career in community work nearly 12 years ago after arriving in Canada as a refugee claimant. His work has largely focused on newcomers and queer communities, anti-oppression, and sexual health education.
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.
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.
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.
Khaled (He/Him) is the Communications Coordinator. Former Communications Coordinator at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, he holds a master's degree in criminology and a bachelor's degree in advanced psychology. Khaled volunteers with FrancoQueer and is passionate about French/Francophone poetry.
Josh (He/Him) is the Strategy Support Coordinator for male sex workers. With lived experience in the sex industry, 9 years as a pro Drag Queen and with the title of Miss Capital Pride 2015 under his belt, he brings a unique and intimate peer perspective to the sex work program. He is working to build an intervention to support male sex workers by incorporating the concerns collected through a community needs assessment he built in fall 2019.
George (he/him) is the Sexual Health Program Coordinator. He is a Human Rights activist, a philanthropist with several awards under Lions Clubs International, and currently works at MAX to develop, implement and evaluate interventions that will aim to increase access and uptake of sexual health services within LGBTQ communities. He also helps ensure that our work is rooted in equity and social justice by making proactive efforts to reach out to guys into guys at the intersection of multiple inequities, including newcomers and refugees, Indigenous, racialized, trans, and those living with disabilities.
Jasmine (She/Her) is the Social Media Support Coordinator. She has experience volunteering for various health organizations since she was ten years old. Her volunteer work stems from a passion to build her community and inspire younger generations to give back.
Torin (he/him) is the Harm Reduction Distribution Worker. He has worked in prevention as an educator, talking about such topics as sexual health, identity and substance use. He is dedicated to providing tools, knowledge, and support to all community members. To him, It doesn’t matter what walk of life, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. He believes it is extremely important to meet people where they are and try to understand their diverse perspectives.
Tim (he/him) is the Community Outreach Worker. With an Advanced Diploma from George Brown College in Interaction Design, Tim first started out with MAX Ottawa as a Graphic Design Volunteer. He has spent part of his life growing up in Russia and is fluent in both English and Russian.
Ollie (He/Him “It’s I-dent-it-y not “You-dent-a-me”) is the Office Support Coordinator for MAX Ottawa. He looks forward to serving our community by using the 10+ years of administrative experience he gained through working and volunteering, in both For and Not-For-Profit Organizations. His internal cup is filled when he is helping others meet their goals. He has been involved with INSIGHT Theatre, a youth-empowering-youth program, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, where he learned the impact that administrative support had on the well-being of the community, and, most recently, with MAX Ottawa’s Peer Support Program. He is a music nerd, an ugly-sweater enthusiast, and Human Rights and Social Justice student.
Board of Directors
Rémi Samson, Chair
Rémi Samson (he/him) worked for 22 years as a lawyer with the Supreme Court of Canada. He studied law, queer theory, and language, and taught at the University of Ottawa. Over the last six years of his career at the Court, he took on leadership and executive roles in the chambers of the Chief Justice of Canada. With roots in Northern Ontario, Rémi grew up in Québec City, and has called Ottawa home since 1999. He is fluent in French and English, and passionate about the ways law, language and power intersect.
KEVIN LUNIANGA, VICE CHAIR
Kevin Lunianga is a Senior Analyst at Global Affairs Canada. Prior to joining the public service, Kevin worked as a flight attendant for two years with WestJet Airlines.
Kevin is a graduate of the MA program at the Centre for Criminology and Socio-legal Studies at the University of Toronto where he taught and led discussions on policing in Canada, and the sociology of law.
In his spare time, Kevin likes to travel, meet new people and learn about their experiences, and dance to afrobeats, soca and hip-hop.
Allen Chen, Treasurer
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.
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.
Daniel Daliri (He/Him/His) is a research analyst in the Canadian public service and an M.A. student at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. He firmly believes in the importance of centering social justice in discussions of public policy, and advocates for intersectional approaches to public problems. Daniel dedicates his time outside of work to volunteering and giving back to the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Chris Mariano (he, him) is an educator with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. He's been involved for many years with refugee services and the non-profit sector abroad, and in Canada. Chris is currently pursuing a PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa and is passionate about language learning and social justice education. He's an active member of Ottawa's inclusive swim team, The Rideau Speedeaus.
Dr. Roger Scott is a senior Canadian Armed Forces officer and long-time volunteer with many community groups. He received the Canada Pride Citation in 2020 in recognition of the harms associated with the Government of Canada LGBT purge. He is a primary care nurse practitioner and teaches in the Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University. His research interests are health disparities in sexual minority people. When the weather is nice you will find him roaming the provincial parks hiking and relaxing by a campfire.
Jason McCallum (he/him) is a manager of Telecom design for a major telecommunications provider. He brings corporate leadership, project management, and private sector community engagement experience to his volunteering at MAX. Jason has been recognized for his efforts to push for larger-scale private sector involvement in building better communities for everyone as well as for his work to build inclusiveness into technology. He enjoys glamping, e-scooting around the downtown & Gatineau parks, and finding ways to enjoy life to its fullest every day.