Founder: Hilary Samuel

Hilary Samuel close-cropHilary offers leadership training and change management services for organizations through her business, Catalyst Mind. She is completing a graduate degree in eco-psychology, with a focus on reviving relationships between people and the natural world. Hilary has  managed the global delivery of leadership training for young adults internationally, co-designed and led community leadership training, facilitated outdoor adventure training and worked as a high school science teacher. With the Eco Leadership Project, Hilary is combining her experience with learning and youth and her passionate belief in the need to collectively create a world in which we can all live and thrive.

Program Advisory Team

Andrea Prazmowski

AndreaAndrea Prazmowski has worked on environmental and international development issues at the national level and has been involved in local environmental concerns for more than 20 years, helping people experience our connection to the earth, understand the issues, and collaborate in taking action. She is currently the coordinator of educational programs for all ages at Kitchissippi United Church.



Derek Heffernan

DerekDerek is an active cyclist, hiker and paddler, and loves sharing the outdoors with youth, particulalry his own children and his students.  He has been a high school teacher for 13 years, and has taught outdoor leadership for 5 years – a program that he, along with a few other staff at school, founded.  Currently Derek works as a guidance counselor and outdoor leadership teacher. Derek is interested in teaching resilience and coping strategies through mindfulness practices and outdoors experiences.  He has also been a head mechanic at Re-Cycles Community Bike Shop for 6 years.


Jane Lindsay

JaneJane is an active member of the West End Well, where, amongst other volunteer roles, she is the Co-Chair of its Programs Team. Prior to the West End Well initiative, Jane was a co-convenor of the grassroots network Sustainable Living Ottawa West (SLOWest). She is also active in the First Unitarian Church, having played numerous roles over time from being a board member to being a Youth Group Advisor. In her professional life, Jane was for many years an organization development consultant in the public and private sectors. These days, as a co-founder the ADIEWA Centre, Jane is passionate about facilitating and guiding transformative and embodied leadership, team, personal and spiritual development processes.

Lalith Gunaratne

Lalith GunaratnePrincipal of Sage Ontario for Mindful Leadership – LGSE Partners Inc., Lalith is an expert on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability for industry. He has worked extensively with the private sector in organizational development, leadership, CSR, and governance in the developing world. He was an international trainer for the British Council’s youth leadership programs, and worked in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Namibia, Kenya, and Malawi. Lalith is also an entrepreneur who established renewable energy industries in Asia and promoted renewable energy for rural development by working with agencies such as the UN, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. He has written in many publications about renewable energy, CSR, leadership, and values.

Susan McEwen

susanSusan currently serves as Director of Lifespan Learning at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, where she administers and supports learning programs and spiritual growth opportunities for all ages.  Susan has worked with the Canadian Unitarian Council and the Unitarian Service Committee, offering programs and developing curriculum resources.

For Susan, participating on the advisory team for the Eco-Leadership project is an exciting way to contribute to an initiative she hopes will enrich our community and ripple out generously beyond.

Valerie Waldo

ValerieBorn and raised in Montreal, and having called the Ottawa area her home for over 25 years, Valerie is a life-long educator and business woman. Her interests and passions have included coaching elite athletes, running private schools, serving on the boards of directors of charities and community organizations, and helping small businesses grow and flourish.  Valerie is excited to give her energy and experience to the Eco Leadership Project.


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