Welcome to Ability First Ottawa

Comprehensive services and support for people with disabilities.

Board of Directors

Christina Ranieri Headshot

Christina Ranieri

Executive Director & President

BA.Soc., SSW, DSW & OAMHP-affiliate Cert

Christina has a long history of involvement within the persons with disabilities community. She is a graduate of Algonquin College in the General Arts and Science program, as well as the Crisis Management/Human psychology program. She has also obtained accreditation as a Social Service worker and Developmental Service Worker. She then continued her education at Carleton University, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. At Algonquin College, Christina was on the Dean’s Honors list for Developmental Service Workers, and at Carleton University she received awards including the John Teuscher award, Giovanni Caboto Scholarship, a finalist for Celebration of People award for advocacy award (2014), winner Faces Magazine: Faces Awards (2016 & 2019): Ottawa Favourite Social Service Worker and nominated by West Ottawa Board of Trade’s: West Ottawa Business Excellence Awards (BEA’s) for Community Support/Non-Profit Business of the Year Award (2016) . Christina served for 3 years as a  board member of Citizens with Disabilities Ontario (CWDO). Additionally, she volunteers her time within the community, and has been a tireless volunteer for initiatives such as  Make the Cut program, SliceWalk N Roll fundraiser, All hands on Braille camp for kids, and Jewish Family Services as a program assistant in the past. She proudly serves as the first Executive Director, and President of the Board of Ability First Ottawa.

Leonard Leeks Headshot

Leonard Leeks



Leonard has a long history working with charities over the years. Some of those charities are Rideauwood Addiction, Ottawa Humane Society and Family Services.  Len has been working  30 years in finance.  While volunteering has time to different boards across, Ottawa, and wanted to give back to Ability First Ottawa by becoming our treasurer.

Cathy Aldrich Headshot

Cathy Aldrich

Secretary & Executive Assistant

As an experienced Executive Assistant, with close to 30 years of experience, she has a diversified background in administration, communication, event/conference planning, document preparation and Board Governance in the Non-Profit Sector. After graduating from the Secretarial Studies program at Algonquin College, she was hired at Statistics Canada as the Secretary to the Assistant Director in the Informatics Division. That is when she moved on to a fulfilling 20 year career as the Executive Coordinator to the CEO at Skate Canada, the National Sport Governing Body for figure skating in Canada.  While there, she worked for two CEOs and about 10 volunteer Presidents (Board Chairs).  She has also participated in International and National Events, being responsible for VIP Hosting, including being Barbara Ann Scott’s (1948 Olympic Champion) host among others.  After a short contract at Health Canada, she moved on to the Executive Assistant position at Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services for just over 3 years.

Currently, she has her own Virtual Assistant business called Precision Executive Services, where she can help people who need administrative assistance to keep their company organized.  Now Cathy is on the Board of Directors for Ability First Ottawa.

Aaliyah Desir Headshot

Aaliyah Désir

Social Media and PR

Coming Soon.

Teresa Scrivens Headshot

Teresa Scrivens

Fundraising and Sponsorship

Teresa has been working as an entrepreneur for over a decade helping companies of all sizes both locally and internationally grow their businesses.  She is the owner of Dynaverse Group, a company dedicated to helping small businesses, entrepreneurs and corporations with client relations, corporate networking and strategic growth.  Teresa’s experience includes working in Canada and abroad, and in 2012, she was invited to teach a networking course to a University in Dubai, teaching students how to market, plan and implement their brilliant company idea in the real market.

Teresa is also the founder for Runway Networking, a business matchmaking and referral club that mentors professionals and entrepreneurs and helps propel their business forward through.

Headshot of Anna Robson

Anna Robson

Director at Large

A Millennial with a strong mind, Anna’s story started in Law and Ethics and then grew into the establishment of several businesses, one in the innovative and emerging field of transformative mediation and conflict resolution. Her specialty is working with businesses and organizations to create mutually-beneficial business relationships and creating strong internal business foundations that are truly inclusive. By growing her own business The Conversation Centre, and working with others to help them grow theirs, Anna learned one irrefutable truth: we cannot succeed with any relationship if we don’t work on it, and a business relationship (and that includes an employer-employee relationship) needs to be nurtured and crafted to yield the results and goals set for it. She can help you create those successful relationships with purpose.

Anna loves working with progressive leaders such as Ability First Ottawa’s leader Christina Ranieri, who recognize than when building an equitable and inclusive company culture, you need to work on it and put processes and strategies in place that exclude ableism and all forms of discrimination. It has always been her path, walking with visionaries from the start-up inception stage to expansion stages to be their consultant and trusted advisor. From the very first Code of Ethics, to merger & acquisitions negotiations, to aiding in creating a company culture than reflects the vision and mission and ethics of the company.

Anna’s personal Code of Ethics starts very simply: “Peace Comes From Within” and believes that a commitment to be ethically mindful can make the world happier and a business more profitable. It is her pleasure and privilege to serve Ability First Ottawa on the Board of Directors.

Dylan Black

Honourary Board Member

Originally from Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Dylan has been a long time friend and supporter of Ability First Ottawa.  In addition to his support of Ability First Ottawa, Dylan is a huge supporter of The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, The Children’s Wish Foundation and The Max Keeping Fund at C.H.E.O.

Dylan also believes in the gift of life and is an advocate for Canadian Blood Services, encouraging people to give blood.

For his outstanding commitment to the Ottawa community, Dylan has been nominated for “Ottawa Humanitarian of the Year” and “Best Community Builder”. In 2015, Dylan was awarded a United Way “Community Builder Award”.

In the past 5 years, Dylan has personally collected $15,000 through the Movember campaign and will also serve as the 2016 Honorary Chair for the “TELUS Walk for the Cure!”.

Dylan is an on air personality on BOOM 99.7 and a host of Rogers Daytime.  For 20 years, Dylan was mentored by Canadian Broadcasting Legend Max Keeping.

Teresa is also the founder for Runway Networking, a business matchmaking and referral club that mentors professionals and entrepreneurs and helps propel their business forward through.