Our Team

Carol Reist

Executive Director

Carol has been at The Dam since 1999. As a grad of University of Toronto, Erindale College (now known as UTM), Carol began her career working for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship before coming to The Dam. In 2005, she took on the role of Drop-in Director. As executive director since December 2007, Carol has a passion for the community and the way the community can be involved in the lives of youth and young moms.

You can reach Carol by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x204

Ken Dryfhout

Youth Programming Director/Youth Culture Specialist

Ken has been with The Dam since the fall of 2003 when he started as an outreach worker. Ken now oversees and provides direction to all of The Dam's youth programs. Ken has a Masters of Social Work from Wilfred Laurier University and a Masters of Divinity from Tyndale Seminary but, by far, his greatest learning has come through connection with youth over his years serving at The Dam. Ken has spoken to thousands and thousands of youth, one on one, in small groups, and to auditoriums full of young people. Through these interactions he has discovered the rebellious and revolutionary power of love, friendship, and connection.

You can reach Ken by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x205

Jill deJager

Meadowvale Program Coordinator

Jill is the Program Coordinator at our Meadowvale location. She has been been part of the Dam community since October 2008, and has considered it such a privilege to know and love all the staff, youth, young moms and children. She is a tea drinker, movie and game lover, baby snuggler, and she dearly loves to laugh.

You can reach Jill by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x212

Katie Cleland

Meadowvale Youth and Young Moms Mentor

Katie began working for The Dam in September of 2014. Qualified as a high school English and Drama teacher, Katie has several years teaching experience in both high school and elementary school. Katie loves having the privilege and opportunity to share life with youth and young moms in The Dam community and really enjoys the planning aspects of her position (you will often see her with a calendar nearby!). If you'd like to get to know Katie better you will probably end up going for a hike, spending time with animals, hanging out in a theatre.

You can reach Katie by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x213

Chris Williams

Cooksville Program Coordinator

Chris started working at The Dam in June 2010.  A graduate from the Sheridan College Community Worker - Outreach & Development program, you will find him in drop-in and on outreach in the Cooksville community throughout the year. During the summer, Chris uses the basketball court for connecting with the community and coordinating the annual 3on3 Basketball Tournament & Communtiy BBQ.

You can reach Chris by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x221

Melodie Telfer

Cooksville Youth Mentor and Volunteer Coordinator

Melodie started working at The Dam in the summer of 2015 as a Cooksville Youth Mentor. Soon after, Melodie took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator for both locations.

You can reach Melodie by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x223

Nancy Labib

Cooksville Youth Mentor

You can reach Nancy by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x224

Jospehine Ang Go

Cooksville Youth Mentor

You can reach Josephine by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x225

Stewart Vander Velden

Operations Manager

Stewart started at The Dam full-time in April 2017 after a year of occasional contract work. Stewart brings experience of working with youth in community development, corrections, restorative justice, foster care and the faith community.

You can reach Stewart by email or by phone: 905-826-6558 x201

Board Members

Cathy Joseph
Board position: President & Chair
Serving since: 2011
Employer: Peel District School Board, Student Success Lead Teacher

​Cathy Joseph is an educator whose passion for helping all students success drives her professional and volunteer work. She currently works as a Student Success Lead Teacher at a Brampton high school where she works with students and staff to ensure that all supports are in place to help students achieve the best possible result.  Cathy holds a Masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused her studies in designing and implementing programs for students at-risk of school failure.  Cathy brings a vast knowledge of the education system and youth programs to her role on the Board of the DAM.  Cathy is also a founding member of the Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organization that works with youth to help them achieve success in school, work and life.

Brian Sequiera
Board position: Vice-President
Serving since: 2018
Employer: Numeris, IT Manager

Brian is a management consultant dedicated to bringing positive change and building trusting organisations.  He is currently leading a team of project managers to deliver projects on-time, under budget and within a change-managed framework, always focusing on doing the right thing, the right way, the first time!  Brian started his volunteering career in 2004 and has been involved with Camp Oochigeas, Spectra Helpline, the Oakville & Milton Humane Society and, most recently, The Dam. Brian has been volunteering at the Dam’s Cooksville location since 2014 and has had the privilege of seeing the team grow and develop lasting, meaningful and supportive relationships with youth.  Brian enjoys donating blood, kayaking, travelling and spending as much time as possible with his family.

John Sully
Board position: Treasurer
Serving since: June 2017
Employer: Self Employed CPA,CA

John is an experienced accountant dealing primarily with entrepreneurial companies and individuals. Over 30 years experience in financial areas for not for profit and charitable organizations.

Alison Bing
Board position: Secretary
Serving since: June 2017
Employer: Innomar Strategies, Communications Manager

Alison Bing is an award winning, communicator with corporate, consumer and public affairs experience. She currently leads communications for Innomar Strategies and has held communications and public affairs positions at Canada Dry Mott's, Bayer and AstraZeneca. She has a degree in English and Political Science from the University of Waterloo, a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College and her Accredited Business Communicator designation from the International Association of Business Communicators.

Alison Hardman
Board position: Director
Serving since: 2018
Employer: The Meeting House

Alison began her career in marketing at Kraft Foods after completing a Business degree at Queen’s University. She went on to join the family business and served as Vice President Sales before taking a 10 year hiatus to raise her 3 children. Since re-entering the workforce in 2008, Alison has found her true calling in charitable development work. With her solid business background and ample fundraising experience, Alison is thrilled to serve as Stewardship Manager at The Meeting House, a multi-site church based in Oakville. Alison also serves on the board of StreetLevel Network, the Advisory Council for Youth Unlimited Compassion Series and The Power of Her, World Vision. Alison is married to Ian, and lives in Oakville.

Jelena Kopac
Board position: Director
Serving since: 2018
Employer: Peel District School Board

Jelena has been an educator since 2005, where she has supported students in achieving success and confidence in their learning and themselves. She currently works at a Mississauga secondary school, where she tries to ensure that the diverse population of students are being provided with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to be successful as learners and as people. Jelena is a big supporter of youth programs that provide youth with the encouragement, comfort, strength and hope that they need to be happy and confident young people.

Jim Raakman
Board position: Director
Serving since: 2018
Employer: Bereskin & Parr LLP

Jim Raakman is a lawyer and registered patent agent, helping clients obtain patents for their own inventions and navigate through complexities arising from patents owned by others. Prior to completing his law degree, Jim worked as an engineer at General Motors.