Denise Soueidan- O’leary (for nquiring minds: Soueidan = “swee–Dan“, but really, Just Denise is FINE!)
Denise is coming to us from the disability community. She has been involved as an advocate, support person, program developer, board member and social entrepreneur for the last 10 years.
After working directly with a group of youth with developmental barriers in supportive treatment homes, Denise recognized a need for supportive employment opportunities, and over a beer one night, bought an Ice Cream parlour! Denise is the owner, and employment program developer for The Lansdowne Cone, which over 2 seasons has provided over 40 employment training positions (paid and unpaid) for youth with multiple barriers to employment. Denise has forged partnerships with the Yonge Street Mission, the Geneva Centre for autism, and Montage Support Services to maximize the community and social impact of The Lansdowne Cone.
Denise holds a social work degree, and a degree in sexuality from the university of Waterloo. She has chaired the board of directors for the Rose Centre for love sex and disability, and currently sits on the citizen advisory committee with corrections Canada, and advocates for integration of former offenders into community.
If you’re curious, ask Denise about how to fit 1000lbs of tomatoes into a condo, baking 10,000 cookies for Ukrainian orphans, pickling 100lbs of cucumbers, or other crazy kitchen adventures.