Osmel B. Guerra Maynes

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes

Executive Director

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Osmel Guerra Maynes is a social justice activist who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda. Osmel identifies as an Afro Latino cisgender queer man.

Osmel immigrated to Canada as an international student in 2003 to pursue a Political Science Degree at Carleton University and worked to ensure access to education for marginalized communities through various student roles. Osmel has called Canada home for 10+ years.

During his time working with LGBTQ/2S community-based organizations in Toronto, Osmel focused his work on developing policy and procedures, strategic planning and program design in the non-profit membership-driven sector.

Osmel is excited and honoured to advance the vision and mission of QMUNITY and strongly believes in the power of inclusion to affect lasting social change

Jeffrey Preiss

Jeffrey Preiss

Manager of Community Engagement

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Jeffrey Preiss is no stranger to QMUNITY. He first learned about QMUNITY at a breakfast meeting for fundraising professionals in 2009 and in 2010 became a Board member and long-term supporter.

Jeffrey can often be found in the back row of his favourite Thursday evening spin class. He also enjoys reading books on topics such as deconstruction, queer theory, and theology, playing darts on a Friday night, or listening to jazz while drinking a glass of red wine and cooking. He lives on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

With a passion for human wellbeing, social justice, and community, Jeffrey values a non-judgmental and inclusive workplace where a diversity of perspectives and ideas can flourish.

Jeffrey has worked in communications and engagement for 9+ years and holds a BA in history, a MA in theology, and a MA in cultural studies. He also holds a number of professional certificates in public relations, leadership and facilitation, fundraising, and public participation.

Heather Wong-Mitchell

Heather Wong-Mitchell

Operations and Human Resources Manager (temporary)

Pronouns: She/Her

Heather Wong-Mitchell could best be described as a word nerd, a wine geek, an outdoor enthusiast, and a dog lover, in no particular order. She joins Qmunity after an extensive career in hospitality and wine retail, with forays into academia and accounting, that took her to locations as disparate as Toronto (traditional Mississaugan, Wendat, and Iroquoian lands) and Tofino (the unceded territories of the Tla-O- Qui-Aht / Nuu-Chah- Nulth First Nations).

She holds a BA in English and Ethnic Studies from Mills College (Oakland, CA – the traditional territories of the Ohlone and Yokuts peoples) and an MA in English and Queer Studies from Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC – the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations) and is an accredited Sommelier. Her connection to QMUNITY goes back to the mid 1990s, when she met her first “real” girlfriend at a QMUNITY (then The Centre) youth group. She lives in East Van with her wife and two large, lazy dogs.

Justin Barath

Justin Barath

Development Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Justin is an enthusiastic and optimistic individual with a passion for wellness research, civic engagement, youth development and advocacy. He has a diverse background in community outreach and education with an emphasis on (dis)ability and queer issues. Prior to moving to Vancouver, Justin completed dual degrees in Life Sciences and Psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston.

He previously volunteered as a board member with Reelout Arts Project Inc., where he spent three years working on the Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival, Reelout In Schools, and various outreach projects with HIV/AIDS Regional Services Kingston and LGBT Youth Line in Toronto. He is passionate about LGBTQ/2S research and volunteered as a research assistant with the Sexual Health Research Lab at Queen’s University, in addition to completing certifications in Mental Health First Aid and safeTALK from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Justin is excited to join the amazing staff at QMUNITY and champion the QMUNITY values of diversity, community, advocacy, and respect, while assisting with programming to support all of B.C.’s queer, trans, and Two-Spirit communities. In addition to his extensive interests in technology and music, Justin is enjoying the opportunity to reactivate his interest in cycling and outdoor activities with his move to Vancouver.

Joel Harnest

Joel Harnest

Education and Training Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Joel is a cis, queer, white settler, living and working on the unceded and ancestral lands of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples.  Joel joined QMUNITY in Spring 2015 as the Education & Training Coordinator, and has since developed and delivered hundreds of workshops, speaking engagements and dialogues for service providers, health care professionals, educators and private/for-profit businesses.

Joel brings over 10 years of experience in group facilitation, adult education, curriculum design and public speaking to his role at QMUNITY.  Most recently, Joel completed a Certificate in Dialogue & Civic Engagement from Simon Fraser University. Course learnings provided him with the opportunity to enhance his skills and abilities to bring groups of people together to have difficult conversations and co-create new knowledge and innovative solutions to address complex issues.

When Joel isn’t waxing poetic about queer revolutions or addressing the toxicity of misogyny, you might find him on some sports fields (oh, the irony) tossing a plastic, flying disc or kicking around a soccer ball.  His main mode of transportation is cycling, and he frequently pines for the long Vancouver summer days so he can try to survive ill-planned and under-prepared day-long bike trips.

Cass Elliott

Cass Elliott

Seniors' Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Having studied relationships and community development extensively at the University of Ottawa and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Cass has partnered with a multitude of charitable, academic, and nonprofit institutions to: build capacity, learn collectively, improve practice-readiness, and forge connected relationships.

This practice has taken him across Ontario and British Columbia and at times has given way to severe caffeine induced bouts of existential woe and narcissistically questionable self-reflection.

Molly Billows

Molly Billows

Youth Worker

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Molly is a queer, two-spirit, trans non-binary, mixed, urban, Indigenous feminist, a spoken word poet and facilitator. Northern Coast Salish from the Homalco Nation, they grew up in Victoria and have been living as a visitor in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2011. Molly has since worked with many programs for youth and adults including at Urban Native Youth Association, Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness, CampOUT and IndigenEYEZ.

As an artist Molly hopes to weave together stories in ways that lift up their communities, and contribute to collective healing, rage, resurgence and love. In addition to writing and performing poetry, Molly is planning on writing children’s books with their partner about a genderqueer dinosaur, sometime in the near future. Outside of working and writing, Molly can be found hanging out in parks with their dog, trying to learn the ukulele and drinking too much coffee. 

Esther McPhee

Esther McPhee

Youth Worker

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Esther McPhee is a writer, magic-maker and community organizer. They grew up on Stó:lō land and now live on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land in Vancouver, where they studied Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. As a facilitator and writing teacher, Esther has worked with youth in high schools and university, and mentored writers of all ages through various online and in-person platforms.

When Esther was fifteen, they started their high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance; they’ve been involved in LGBTQ/2S activism and art ever since. They’re one half of the organizing team behind REVERB: A Queer Reading Series, which has been putting on shows featuring emerging and established queer writers since 2013. All of Esther’s organizing centres anti-oppression and accessibility, with the not-so-secret hope that spaces that affirm, celebrate and support marginalized identities can change the world for the better.

Esther likes a lot of things: poetry, pop music, dismantling the heteropatriarchy, making pancakes, and scavenging for berries, to name a few.

Listen Chen

Listen Chen

QCT Facilitator

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Listen Chen was born in the year of the rabbit under a Capricorn sun. They grew up in Hong Kong and have been living on the occupied, ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2009. They are particularly excited about exploring the relationship between education and change, and have a background in community organizing and poetry. When they aren’t thinking about pedagogy, they can be found crafting, walking their cats, or studying Buddhist ontologies from a materialist perspective.