LiveWorkPlay named Ottawa’s Best Non-Profit at Best Ottawa Business Awards 2019

Ottawa, November 22, 2019: The Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal presented the BEST NOT-FOR-PROFIT award to LiveWorkPlay at the prestigious 2019 Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBs) gala amidst a gathering of hundreds of VIPs and leaders from business, public sector, and non-profit organizations (hosted at the Westin Ottawa).

With a limit of three representatives on the stage, Co-Leaders Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar were joined by Michelle O’Doherty of the Board of Directors to accept the award, with another 27 members of the LiveWorkPlay community cheering them on from nearby tables within the room, and hundreds more celebrating online.

“We’re here 30 strong and with a huge online audience because LiveWorkPlay supporters understand the extraordinary journey of our charitable organization” says Keenan. “We started in 1995 as an idea on a notepad, and grew to be an influencer of social change that supports some 200 individuals with intellectual disabilities and autistic persons each year, and works with more than 150 local businesses to deliver incredible outcomes related to employment, housing, and social inclusion.”

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An impromptu reaction to the crowd!

Although the award category is “not-for-profit” the nomination process included the same questions and information requests (such as financial data and impact analysis) that must be provided by for-profit businesses.

“LiveWorkPlay has received other awards honouring our achievements in promoting inclusion, but this is a unique and special night because we appreciate being recognized also for our financial planning, human resources, and governance practices, and all of the work we do with communications and public relations too” said Julie.

Within the room also were countless representatives of businesses that are already partners with LiveWorkPlay, and every effort will be made to build new relationships with those who were introduced to the organization for the first time.

“The business leaders in the room who have already worked with us are the perfect ambassadors to help us build our community network” says Michelle. “I am confident that starting next week, introductions made here tonight will help us identify opportunities for jobs and other connections that will help improve the quality of life for those we support and their families. I want to thank all of the staff team, my board colleagues past and present, our volunteers, and partners in all sectors for helping us get to where we are today, and for being a part of an exciting future in 2020 and beyond.”

The BOBs are co-presented by the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal.

“We are honoured to recognize LiveWorkPlay as the recipient for Best Non-for-Profit” says Sueling Ching, Interim President and CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade. “They demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative thinking, and play a vital role in making Ottawa the best place to live, work, study, play and invest. We are privileged to have them in the National Capital.”

“The BOBs celebrates untold success stories across our city” says Michael Curran, OBJ publisher. “Anyone attending the gala leaves much better informed about what’s happening across our local economy.”

On May 7, LiveWorkPlay will celebrate 25 years of helping the community welcome people with intellectual disabilities, autistic persons, and individuals with a dual diagnosis to live, work, and play as valued citizens. This special anniversary edition of the annual Make A Buzz Ottawa event is expected to sell out even earlier than usual, so those interested in attending should aim to purchase tickets before the end of December.


About Keenan Wellar

Starting in 1997, Keenan Wellar has served as Co-Leader and Director of Communications for LiveWorkPlay, a charitable organization based in Ottawa that helps the community welcome and include people with intellectual disabilities, autistic persons, and individuals with a dual diagnosis to live, work, and play as valued citizens. LiveWorkPlay was honoured as the Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal’s Best Ottawa Business Awards as the best Ottawa Non-Profit of 2019 and was the recipient of the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) 2020 Wiltshire Award of Excellence in Supported Employment as the top service provider of 2020. As both a professional spokesperson and volunteer advocate, Keenan supports change locally in the Ottawa area community, as well as provincially as a founding member of the From Presence To Citizenship initiative, nationally in partnership with housing, employment, and other advocacy organizations, and worldwide via Inclusion International and other allies. Keenan makes frequent media appearances, mainly as a spokersperson for LiveWorkPlay, but is also called upon for commentary about local sports as an avid fan who closely follows the Ottawa RedBlacks and Atletico Ottawa, as well as general news commentary. After many years as regular panelist on the 1310 News Talk Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe (Mark is now the Mayor of Ottawa) in fall 2022 Keenan became a monthly regular on the the 580 CFRA Morning Live (Saturdays) Weekly Rundown Panel with Andrew Pinsent. Keenan has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Carleton University as well as undergraduate degrees in History and Education (Ontario Teacher Certification) from the University of Ottawa and many professional certifications such as Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing (Sprott School of Business) and Certified Governance Trainer (BoardSource). Keenan is a founding member of the Carleton University Alumni Mentor program and has supported more than a dozen students making their way from academics to the world of work. Previous volunteer efforts include more than 10,000 meals delivered with Meals on Wheels Ottawa, three years as Focus Area Champion of United Way East Ontario, and two years as Provincial Advisor to People First of Ontario. He is currently serving as a member of the Public Services and Procurement Canada Accessibility Advisory Panel and as Co-Chair of the Freedom From Harm sub-committee at the Council for Community Living Ontario. When not working and advocating, Keenan enjoys back country camping, kayaking, and nature photography with his wife Julie.
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1 Response to LiveWorkPlay named Ottawa’s Best Non-Profit at Best Ottawa Business Awards 2019

  1. Pingback: LiveWorkPlay named Ottawa’s Best Non-Profit at Best Ottawa Business Awards 2019 — Keenan Wellar – Wellstone Leadership Services

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