OPA-APO Board and Committee Members

Diana Dowthwaite – President

It’s hard to believe I am approaching my one year anniversary of being retired! I continue to enjoy my pickleball journey, of learning new skills and meeting new members. I have sat on the OPA-APO Board for the last two years as Vice President and President and have been fortunate  to work with an amazing group of volunteers who are continuously looking to improve members experience.  Most recently, the OPA-APO has increased its  leagues by 30 percent with daytime play at the Rideau Hub, improved its assessment process and hired a club pro.

Lynn Campbell – Vice-President

I have been on the OPA-APO Board serving as VP, Tournament liaison, Special events and Volunteer coordinator for the past two years.  My continued participation in the future, should I be elected at the AGM, would mean that someone who knows the history of events and has been part of the conversations and decisions which got us to where we are today would have a seat at the board table. 

I am someone known to generally, for the most part, get along with people and yet I am open to change and I like to make things happen.  Nothing I accomplished in the past was done alone though and I want to thank all of the volunteers who have worked with me on behalf of the OPA-APO.  So if you think that I can continue to make a contribution to the OPA-APO, I look for your support at the AGM. In future I hope to continue with events like Learn to Play and Tournaments.

Catherine Cote – Treasurer

I started playing pickleball on April 8, 2018. I remember the exact date because it was the day after I played my last volleyball match, the game I played for over 30 years. I fell in love with pickleball within the first minute and have been addicted ever since. I enjoy everything about this game, on and off the courts. I volunteer with Pickleball Canada as a translator and with the Ottawa Pickleball Association as the treasurer. I’m looking forward to improving my game, meeting enthusiastic pickleball lovers at events and becoming a referee. It’s a matter of finding the right balance between pickleball, a full-time job and my precious family.

Lynda Morgan-Elson – Secretary

I have been playing pickleball for less than 2 years and am loving the sport and the pickleball community. Sports have been a significant part of my life, participating in a variety of sports such as volleyball, badminton, tennis, softball, and football, both competitively and recreationally. The comraderie and lifelong friendships derived from my participation in sports is what I value most, so I am thrilled to find a sport and new friends I can enjoy for many more years. My 31-year career with IBM is ending soon, which will hopefully enable me to spend more time on the courts and to promote this fantastic sport. My volunteering experience includes being president (and other positions) of an Ottawa badminton club, running softball leagues, and many years of volunteering and fundraising for my daughters’ schools. I look forward to contributing to the success of the OPA and pickleball in Ottawa.

Kevin Ward – Tournament Director

Three years ago while walking our dog past a community park in Florida I heard a strange and unfamiliar sound. As we ventured closer I discovered that this “annoying “ sound was coming from a plastic ball full of holes rebounding off what looked like large table tennis paddles. After stopping to watch for a while I became intrigued. Coming from a lifetime of competitive tennis, I concluded that this would be a good sport to try. As soon as I attended my first recreational Pickleball session I was hooked. Making the transition from teaching to retirement has indeed been easier because of my involvement with the OPA , and Pickleball in general. 

During my teaching career I had the pleasure of coaching over 100 school teams and 20 Regional and Provincial Volleyball teams. In 1992 I was awarded Canada’s Coach of the Year and in 1996 our Ottawa team claimed the National Championship. Although I am proud of the results of former teams, I am most proud of giving youngsters the chance to participate in a wide array of activities. Over the past 40 years I have made fitness an integral part of my life competing in several marathons, half marathons, 10 and 5 km races, and triathlons. Last Winter I was fortunate enough to qualify for the Florida State games in cycling. When I am not playing Pickleball or training , I can usually be found spending time with our grandson, at the farm, or walking our yellow lab. I look forward another term as TD in the hopes of providing players with all the best experiences tournaments can offer. 

Carl Goldman – Financial Advisor

I was introduced to pickleball 18 months ago through a family acquaintance. Having successfully competed in several table tennis tournaments many years ago in Montreal where I grew up, I immediately became addicted and joined the OPA. Since then, I have participated in the skills and drills sessions and leagues offered each semester, which has allowed me to move up through the colour levels and be more comfortable and competitive playing in tournaments. Playing in the Ottawa/Gatineau pickleball community is extremely gratifying. It allows me to meet wonderful people and expand my circle of friends. I can’t say enough about pickleball. I regularly promote the sport to family and friends, and to new people I meet along the way. 

On the professional side, I am a Chartered Professional Accountant with 25 years of experience working for the Canada Revenue Agency, occupying auditor positions in the Income Tax, GST/HST, and International Tax sectors, before retiring 2 years ago as Manager of the Risk Assessment/Systems Development section of the International and Large Business Directorate.

Since my retirement, I have volunteered by preparing income tax returns for seniors, disabled, and low income individuals as part of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program offered jointly by CPA Ontario and the CRA. In my effort to contribute to the Ottawa pickleball community, I recently became involved  by volunteering as league coordinator for various colour leagues in the OPA

Garry Logue – Volunteer Chair

I was first introduced to Pickleball in the summer of 2018 at the Britannia Yacht Club where I have been a member for over 25 years. I approached the Pickleballers with initial trepidation for fear they might ask me to try it out, which they did, and which I did, and that was the end of my tennis “career”. 

My corporate career spanned 30 years with Bell Canada mostly in areas that were customer-facing including an 8-year stint in Montreal Headquarters and Quebec Operations, becoming fluently bilingual. This stage was followed by leading a national high tech staffing agency and then becoming “co-inventor” of a travel pillow with my artist wife.

I am currently President of the homeowners’ association where I live in Britannia Village, a position I have held on more than one occasion. I undertake roles where I believe I can get things done and make positive contributions; my wife is an idea person, where the rubber hits the sky, and I am a doer, where it hits the road. 

I want to be a board member to combine my passion for the game with my passion for working with positive organizations.

John Margeson

I hit my first pickleball in November 2018. Throughout the winter of 2019 I played at the Nepean Sportsplex on a drop-in basis. I joined the OPA-APO in Apr 2019. It provides the opportunity to play challenging pickleball for the portion of the year not covered by the outdoor season. Much effort has obviously gone into building the OPA into what it is today, and I’m happy to make a contribution toward keeping the momentum going.

 

Jim McLachlan

I think it was 4 years ago I walked into Dempsey to try a sport I knew little if anything about, on the recommendation of my sister who plays in the US. Having a long background in squash and badminton made the transition a little easier and I was quickly hooked. The people at Dempsey were very welcoming (Knud, Carol, Brian, Pat, the two Mikes) and I was impressed how supportive the community was. While I love the sport the freedom of time retirement brings allows me to pursue other my passions including wilderness canoe tripping, downhill skiing, all pitch, golf and travel.

Educationally I hold a Commerce degree from Queens. My career was about a 50/50 public sector-private sector split in financial and corporate management roles, finishing as an Executive in a small federal environmental agency. 

Ellen Melis

I started playing pickleball about three years ago when a good friend of mine introduced me to the sport when I visited her in Florida. I was hooked after that. Not only is the sport fun to play, but I have met an incredible group of people through OPA-APO and tournament play. 

When not playing pickleball I run my own leadership development and strategic planning company with a focus on helping leaders create healthy organizational cultures, combining research and practice. I also like to run, bike, play guitar, travel and hang out with my 12-pound dog Ryder.  My kids are both young adults now, giving me more time to commit to volunteer work. I look forward to helping the OPA-APO grow.

Paul Leck – Skills Development Coordinator

After 32 years in a high school science classroom and coaching various high school and club sports, I retired into the sport of Pickleball. I have been playing for just a year now and enjoy the challenge of learning new skills.  Combining my love of teaching with my Pickleball addiction, I have taken on the new role of skills coordinator to ensure members can develop both player and instructor skills at all levels.  If you want to share your Pickleball experience with others as a skills instructor, please email me at skills@ottawapickleballassociation.com

Michael David – New Member Placement Specialist

I have enjoyed being involved the Ottawa pickleball scene for a few years and have met some amazing people along the way. I have served in various capacities such as Ottawa ambassador, and am a former OPA board member. The sport has come a long way and continues along a positive trajectory guided by an excellent current leadership group. Please reach out to me if you’re new to pickleball – I can help you figure out how to get started. membership@ottawapickleballassociation.com

Evelyn Eldridge – Executive Director  My role as Executive Director is to assist in the growth of pickleball in the Ottawa area by providing support and access to organized leagues, player development, private coaching and local tournaments. 

I am always looking for new venues, initiatives and ways to promote Ottawa pickleball, so please feel free to contact me if you have ideas to share.

leagueplay@ottawapickleballassociation.com

 

 

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