THE FAMILY BEHIND THE WAY OUT
Many Montrealers are facing exclusion or are experiencing diverse social problems such as domestic violence, addiction or homelessness. In order to bring them comfort, several organizations and related initiatives work in these areas of expertise. The team at The Way Out is also there to help !
Although considerable effort is being made with individuals living said hardships, services for victims of sexual exploitation, who often are living with many of the issues listed above at once, are almost non-existent. In spite of all of this, many find themselves selling their bodies, believing that it will help them to meet their basic needs, emotional and/or material.
Nothing that The Way Out does would be possible without a highly committed team : « The Way Out » family !
Although the ambassadors' activities may be diversified to promote The Way Out, this year's ambassador activities focused on recruiting participants for the Gala.
We are more than happy to highlight their implication!
SUPPORT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A board support team is here to bring its voice to the board of directors.
Numerous are those who are involved in The Way Out operations on different levels: Logistic, Financing, Clinical consultation, the Gala coordination and many other sectors.
There are currently nine members sitting at the board of directors, two of which joined during the past year.
Philanthropist and pastor for 30 years in the West Island community, Gerry Plunkett and his wife Marcia had compassion for the many victims of sexual exploitation. Gerry took the initiative to recruit a team, who would join him in the spring of 2012 with the aim to form a committee dedicated to the foundation of a charity. Through this organization, he and the entire team want to provide victims a way out of the sex industry.
Ms Heidi ❤️Vice president
Heidi ❤️ has more than 30 years in hospital management and in Emergency department supervision: intensive care, cardiac, trauma and loss. She is also active in many philanthropic efforts that target the most vulnerable members of society. Her primary focus lays on the empowerment of the victims for the protection of their rights.
Sylvie LEMIEUXHead of Administration
As an administrator at an airport, Sylvie Lemieux has been involved in her community for more than 20 years and had the calling to help with the situation of victims. Ms. Lemieux is eager to provide a refuge for these young women who are too often faced with the lack of a welcoming and safe place. Lemieux’s efforts are focused towards the board of directors, at which she serves to ensure good democratic governance.
Mario Teti and his wife Nadine are entrepreneurs in the West Island. Together, they own a bakery / delicatessen. Having witnessed the problem at hand, they recognize the need for such a service and join their resources to those of the organization to see its emergence. Being involved in several philanthropic works, Mr. Teti brings his experience as a financial director to, among other things, ensure sound financial management.
‘’I am a survivor of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. No one should be forced to sell their body to meet their needs and it is a fundamental right to aspire to a better future. When I was 16 years old, I was left to fend for myself and I was naive. While I only wanted to be valued and to be recognized, others took advantage of my vulnerability in order to sell me off as a vulgar commodity. I hope that my testimony will give hope to young women and enrich the perspective at the board of directors.’’
Jason Comtois, B.COM, is a personal finance advisor. Now in his fifth year of service to his clients, Jason knows the importance of sharing and expanding his empathy in order to create strong business relationships with the people he serves. Jason has been recognized by Desjardins on a number of occasions with the annual Distinction Award for surpassing annual expectations and objectives, as well as for his exemplary client approach. Mr. Comtois brings his expertise to the organization’s financial structure.
Ms Marcela PEÑA-VEGAPublic affairs
Ms. Peña-Vega is an economic adviser and manager of cooperation and international development programs. She holds a degree in Economics with an MBA and a Master's degree in International Studies, Economics, Cooperation and Development from the University of Montreal. She has over 15 years experience in project management coupled with technical expertise in economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, employability, women's rights and youth in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Quebec. Experience lived in cooperation and development organizations such as: CECI, L'Œuvre Léger, SUCO, La Sortie, PLAN, OXFAM, IICA, IFAD and UNODC. She is currently Program Manager at DID (Développement International Desjardins). Ms. Peña-Vega is committed to community development, including advocating for the rights of women and girls in Canada and elsewhere.
Me. Patricia CHAMOUNLegal affairs
Me. Patricia Chamoun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Law and a Juris Doctorate in Common Law from the University of Ottawa. She has also completed studies in political science and economics, with a specialization in public affairs. She began her career as a lawyer in a firm in Ottawa / Gatineau, before relocating to France (Paris and Lyon) to work at a renowned international law firm. She returned to Montreal where she founded her own firm in 2010. Me Chamoun and her firm represent SMEs, particularly in the areas of business, real estate, construction and technology. In the last several years, due to her passion for the arts, music and cinematography, Me Chamoun developed an expertise in the field of Entertainment Law.
Me Chamoun is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Laval (CCIL) and the Canadian-Lebanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She is often called upon to be a speaker and to animate professional training workshops.
She also sits on various boards of directors, including the Jean-Marc Paquette Foundation and Charles-Perreault elementary school. She is a director and member of the Executive Committee of the Caisse Desjardins Centre de l’Est de Laval. She is one of the co-founding members of the Lebanese Film Festival in Canada.
Her ultimate goal is to make a real difference in people’s lives.
Ms Johanna CARDINAL B.Ed.Administrator
Johanna Cardinal, B.Ed., has been a cegep teacher for over 15 years. She brings to the board 7 years of international coordinator experience with a non-profit organization involving over 20 countries touching all 5 continents. As a result of these experiences, her strengths are: communication, relationship building through networking, teaching, and organizational skills. She fully supports the vision of La Sortie to give hope to those enslaved in sex trafficking, believing that all women must be respected and valued.
EMPLOYEES AND INTERNS
Ronald Lepage first studied in management. He furthered his education in the fields of philanthropic management and drug addiction treatment at Université de Montréal. For many years, he successfully and passionately led a community organization in the region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The Gérard-Brisson Center was charged with street work and is an internal treatment center for dependence, as well as a resource for social reintegration. Under his direction, the center has been certified by the MSSS. He is tasked with management of all the operations of the organization and with setting up assistance and support services for the victims.
Maylissa LUBYSocial worker
Maylissa is a full-time social integration worker and aids women with their reintegration, but she is also a survivor. Today, she is a mother, a spouse, and she accompanies women in the process of social reintegration. She gives conferences which aim at raising awareness with the public on the problematics of sexual exploitation.
Dustin is in charge of raising awareness among the public about sexual exploitation and showing the importance The Way Out's work from several angles. Visual content creation has been a passion for Dustin for a long time.
Esther CARPENTIERAdministrative assistant
Esther Carpentier is a part-time administrative assistant and helps to produce communication tools and manages the donor database.
Pascal TAILLONTechnical coordinator
Pascal is capable to do miracles with tech. Our entire team can count on him no matter the need. He is involved in the web development for The Way Out, among other things.
LyneIntervention at the residence
Lyne has completed certificates in Drug Addiction and in Mental Health. She is currently studying to obtain her "BACCAP fondement et pratiques en sciences sociales et santé". Living at the residence on week days, she accompanies women in their social reintegration process.