Meet The Mainstreeter’s Board

Mainstreeter Staff

We proudly introduce the dedicated volunteers serving on the Board of Directors of The Mainstreeter – who they are,
why they joined, what they do – and why WE NEED YOU to join us!

Ron Rose; Community advocate presided over The Mainstreeter
during critical period of growth and engagement

RON ROSE
Outgoing Chairperson

The Mainstreeter: What brought you to Old Ottawa East?

Rose: My wife and I had previously lived in The Riverview Park area of Alta Vista, and in the Glebe. When I initially retired, and being a Bluenoser, we took up residence in Halifax. However, my three children considered Ottawa their home, and I soon found that long drives from Halifax to visit children and grandchildren in Ottawa, especially in winter, were becoming more and more difficult. So, we decided to move back to Ottawa to be closer to family, and we were fortunate to settle into, and fall in love with, Old Ottawa East.

The Mainstreeter: How has your background informed your active commitment to our community?

Rose: My background was in the trade side of Canada’s Foreign Service, so I had worked a lot with businesses, both big and small. When I moved to Old Ottawa East in 2008, I saw what a great newspaper The Mainstreeter was, and that it had occasional “Business Beat” articles. I decided to volunteer to write articles about businesses in the community, focusing on new enterprises. I’ve been involved with the paper ever since. I wrote the Business Beat for a couple of years and then assumed the role of Advertising Manager. I was also impressed with the activities of the Old Ottawa East Community Association and became involved in their activities as well.

The Mainstreeter: How long have you been on the Board of The Mainstreeter and what prompted you to get involved at this level?

Rose: The Mainstreeter in the early 2000’s was run by an editor and a team of volunteers. When the paper incorporated in 2014, we realized we were required to have a Board. I was one of the original members of The Mainstreeter Board. I was off the Board for a couple of years but came back a few years ago. I was elected Chair in 2020. The Mainstreeter: Describe your role as Board Chair.

Rose: The role of Board Chair is to ensure the smooth functioning of the paper’s operations, and to provide some strategic guidance. The Mainstreeter is blessed with an excellent editor and a dedicated staff of volunteers, reporters and distributors, so the operations generally run very smoothly.

The Mainstreeter: What has chairing The Mainstreeter Board meant to you? What have been some highlights of your time as Board Chair and what is your vision for the future of The Mainstreeter?

Rose: The three major achievements that have occurred during my tenure have been the acquiring and decorating of six newspaper boxes, the annual A Walk of Art community art tour, and the production of a calendar featuring wonderful sketches of Old Ottawa East. I have to say that these accomplishments have been conceived and executed by Board members and our dedicated volunteers, and I was simply fortunate to be chairing the Board as the projects developed. The newspaper boxes have allowed us to reach people who may not be residents but who are passing through or frequenting our shops and restaurants. A Walk of Art, in addition to providing a gallery for artists to display and sell their creations, has contributed greatly to our sense of community, while the OOE community calendar has proven to be a very popular holiday gift. Two important issues currently facing TheMainstreeter are how to develop an on-line presence and how to increase our outreach to the francophone community. There are some members of the community who we can’t reach with a physical paper or have indicated a preference for an on-line digital version. The Deschâtelets Building will soon become the site of the enlarged Au Coeur d’Ottawa French language school. French is spoken more and more in our community and The Mainstreeter must find ways of connecting to and serving that community.




Your neighbours on The Mainstreeter’s Board

“It’s great to meet everyone who is involved and to have a chance to contribute
to this vibrant community.” – Whitney Bond, Board member

LORNE ABUGOV
I have served as volunteer Editor-in-Chief of The Mainstreeter for the past five years – or as I prefer to calculate things, for 29 issues of the newspaper. I signed aboard in February 2019 in response to an urgent appeal for an Editor from Board Members. I don’t think I had any idea then what a challenge and what a total joy the role would turn out to be. There are so many amazing residents in Old Ottawa East with so many terrific stories to tell. And we have such a great Board and so many talented writers, reporters, photographers and editors helping me out on every issue of The Mainstreeter, that it makes my job easy.

I began my career as a newspaper reporter in the 1970’s with both the Montreal Star and the Ottawa Citizen, following my graduation from Carleton University’s School of Journalism. But I put journalism on the shelf after a few years to pursue a career in Communications Law in Ottawa. For me, taking on the role of Editor of our community newspaper after practicing law for almost 40 years has brought my career full circle back to journalism And I just love being a part of this team of volunteers that works so hard on every issue of The Mainstreeter to keep our community informed and entertained.

WHITNEY BOND
After moving into Old Ottawa East in 2004 I became a big fan of The Mainstreeter and always appreciated updates and information about our neighbourhood and the city as a whole. It helped me feel connected to and informed about this new (to me) community. So when the opportunity came up to join the Board in the middle of the pandemic, I did not hesitate and joined as Secretary in the fall of 2020. Since then I have learned so much about the passion and commitment of so many people that results in a wonderful issue every other month! It is great to meet everyone who is involved and to have a chance to contribute to this vibrant community. As Secretary I document our meetings and handle some administrative tasks for the Board. This past summer I was excited to lend a hand with the Walk of Art – such a fantastic community event that allowed me to meet more of our talented community members!

Since moving to Old Ottawa East, my husband and I have welcomed three children and one excitable pug into our family. When we were bursting at the seams in our original home, we were compelled to stay in the area we had grown to love and opted to tear down and rebuild on the same lot. When I am not helping with The Mainstreeter or working at my job as a social worker at The Ottawa Hospital, I enjoy running, walking, kayaking and biking through our beautiful corner of Ottawa or visiting neighbours.

CYNTHIA DWYER
Coming from a military family, I moved around quite a bit, ultimately moving to Ottawa in 1985.
During a lengthy career in Ottawa’s high tech sector I was able to volunteer my time to various non-profit organizations around the city, including Harmony House Women’s Shelter. In 2004, I moved to Old Ottawa East and searched out for volunteering opportunities in my new community. I joined both the Community Activities Group (CAG) and Sustainable Living Ottawa East (SLOE). I moved on to The Mainstreeter and the Main Farmers’ Market and in 2008 became actively involved in the Children’s Garden. After retiring in 2016 I was able to devote more time to these fantastic community groups and continue to do so. I believe that volunteering strengthens a community and gives back much more than you give. I’ll be retiring from my various roles with The Mainstreeter in 2024.

LORI GANDY
As an Old Ottawa East resident since 1991, I have enjoyed The Mainstreeter since it first hit my doorstep. Early on I decided to become a distributor and my son, and I spent many a happy time trolling along Mutchmor Road delivering this gem to our neighbours. I still deliver the paper, even though my trusty partner has flown the coop.

Some years ago, I joined the editorial team as copyeditor, a role I am proud to play to ensure The Mainstreeter puts its best foot forward. I also write articles and I have enjoyed the experience immensely, as I have met many wonderful people in our community through this work.

Writing is one of my deep passions. My education has circled around my love of words: I have three Bachelor of Arts degrees (Lettres Françaises, Translation and English Literature). My 30-year career with a federal Crown Corporation involved writing speeches, articles and assorted communications materials, as well as project management and implementation. Now retired, I devote my time to writing fiction and poetry, along with articles for this paper and for the Ottawa Horticultural Society newsletter; all a far cry from the corporate-speak of my workdays, and a great pleasure for me. I also teach English as a second language to a woman from Ethiopia. When I was invited to join The Mainstreeter’s Board last winter, I jumped at the chance to get even more involved in this remarkable newspaper. I am proud of my longtime association with this excellent community resource, and I am keen to help it continue to thrive and grow.

PHIL LEGAULT
Old Ottawa East has been home to my family since October 1998. We have all seen so much in these past 25 years – some bad, some good and some very good. The Mainstreeter has always been a nice constant for me for much of this time. I have relied on it to be a very good source of information and entertainment. A job interruption in the spring of 2011 provided me with the opportunity for my first direct contribution to The Mainstreeter. Over the course of several years, I wrote a few stories and helped with the website as best I could. Contributing again to The Mainstreeter caught my interest this past year when approached by a board member to join the team. With my return as a volunteer I hope to engage more fully with my community.

In more than 37 years of media relations – 27 in sports and the last 10 with a crown corporation, I’ve seen and been a part of the fifth estate’s evolution, including sad losses in newspapers and broadcast media. In the 1980’s, I drove around the city delivering new releases for the Rough Riders, a practice that has evolved over time to today’s email and newswire services.

Having The Mainstreeter read by you right now keeps interest in the news alive and maybe a few jobs for reporters and media relations as well.

Thank you for reading The Mainstreeter.

DIANNE WING
All my career decisions have stemmed from a love of reading and writing with a touch of entrepreneurship. I started with a degree in English Literature, added a Bachelor of Education and became a teacher. A joint program between the Ontario Ministry of Education and Energy, Mines and Resources brought me to Ottawa- to teach about energy conservation and renewable energy. But an opportunity to work for Macleans Magazine In Montreal tempted me away from education, for what I thought would be an interesting sojourn into the publishing world. My future husband drew me back to Ottawa and while not a hub of publishing, I soon found a way to stay with magazines in this city. 35 years of magazines – including launching Ottawa Magazine and publishing for the National Arts Centre and Ottawa Tourism.

I have lived in this beautiful community since 1983. And I learned a lot about Old Ottawa East by reading The Mainstreeter. Over the years I became intrigued. Who were the people behind this professional community newspaper? I know how much work it takes to make a good publication; good writing, design and layout, photography and illustration as well as diligent distribution. Ink was still in my veins, so I was delighted to join the Board of The Mainstreeter. While I hope that my publishing experience is helpful, I also enjoy writing the Our Neighbours column. That is what I loved most about being a publisher – the combination of words, art, business and community. It doesn’t get better than that.

I am a field geophysicist/project manager involved in airborne remote sensing related to geological mapping. My duties involve processing data, doing logistics, client relations and physical labour, depending on the situation.

I have spent a lot of time in locations far removed from Old Ottawa East, mainly Botswana, South Africa, Colombia and Nunavut plus another 15 or so countries. My time away from Ottawa living in faraway places taught me the value of area/city/neighbourhood media, which led me to get involved with the Board of The Mainstreeter.

The Mainstreeter provides insight into how bigger picture issues impact our day-to-day lives. Moreover, it delivers human interest stories about people in our community whom we would not otherwise get a glimpse of.

My spouse, Sue, and I have brought up two children in the neighbourhood. And even as our kids have moved away they still feel a strong connection to Old Ottawa East and they are looking forward to receiving their OOE Community Calendar as a Christmas gift

B.J. SIEKERSKI
At press time, a profile was unavailable for one of our long-serving Board members B.J. Siekserski.


Filed in: Community Links, Front Page

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