Cortree’s Mission and Purpose
Cortree is a social venture owned by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, a registered charity with a proud 75-year history. We’re committed to making life more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities and their families by increasing personal knowledge and providing important services like expert training, disability awareness and protocols, and mediation services.
Cortree is a direct line to reliable information that boosts users’ confidence, competence and sense of community. Our work is grounded in the spirit of Peer Support and Independent Living – we’re committed to making life more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities.
We developed Cortree with the help of our vibrant community members, people who get it – who know life with a disability inside out and are excited to share what they know.
We’ve partnered with industry experts, health care pros, researchers, counsellors, disability specialists – professionals whose experience and expertise are built into every product and service we create.
All Cortree proceeds are reinvested to support new programs and services, education and advocacy campaigns by and for people with disabilities.
The Cortree Team
Oda Al-anizi (He/him)
Oda is an Information and Resource Specialist at SCIO and a content developer for CortreeTV. His proudest professional accomplishment is seeing CortreeTV go from idea to a thriving community. Oda values working with the community and exchanging ideas. Outside of work he enjoys listening to the blues and practicing his harmonica, reading biographies, watching true crime documentaries, pickling things, working out/adding to his legit bicep gains, taking pictures of his cat, satisfying his need for speed and exploring Toronto.
Languages: English, Arabic
Tory Bowman (She/her)
Tory helped build Cortree from an idea into the thriving social venture it is today. She is the Managing Director of Cortree and the Director of Knowledge Exchange at SCIO. Tory has worked in the field of disability services for almost 20 years. She enjoys creating useful things and tackling complex problems. Her goal is to build an inclusive and accessible world where everyone can thrive. She lives in Collingwood with her family and two rascally cats, and she loves to garden, paddle and ski.
Chris Bourne (He/him)
Chris is a facilitator for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants program. With a background in adapted sport development, since 2012 Chris has worked as a Regional Services Coordinator with SCIO’s Ottawa office. Having used a wheelchair since a car crash in 1990, Chris brings a wealth of experience that he is eager to share with clients and stakeholders. Beyond work, Chris is a dad of two teenage boys with who he and his wife love to have fun with. As an ex-internationally competitive athlete in the sports of triathlon and water skiing, Chris remains active in these and other sports.
Kristen Cameron (She/her)
Kristen is a facilitator for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants program and a Mediator with Cortree. Kristen is passionate about serving as a resource for people recovering from SCI and uses her wheelchair rugby experiences to help shed light on what is possible when living with a disability. Kristen is part of the Canadian National Wheelchair Rugby program and has competed internationally in various countries. She lives independently in the GTA.
Chris Channon (He/him)
Chris is one of the founding facilitators for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants program. He is a strong advocate for using his lived experience to help others better understand the needs of those living with a spinal cord injury. As a humanitarian worker, Chris enjoys nothing more than giving back to the people and communities who have helped him along his journey. He loves to travel and often can be heard sharing stories from his many adventures around the world.
Sharol Cordner (She/her)
Sharol is the Manager of Mediation and Training Services with Cortree and has been with SCIO since 2009. She developed both our Mediation Services and the Understanding SCI: Training for Attendants program. Sharol is passionate about supporting people living with a physical disability in living the life they choose. Her vision is that one day everyone will be accepted and seen as the individual they are. Based in Barrie, Sharol loves being outdoors, reading, doing stained glass and spending time with family.
Marty Doupe (He/him)
Marty is the Learning Architect at Cortree. This means he designs digital learning, manages the Learning Management System (LMS), and sometimes even does voiceover work. Marty spent the last two decades honing his training, elearning development and program management skills. One of the professional accomplishments he’s most proud of is packing about three years of on-the-job learning into his first year with Cortree. When he’s not working, Marty strums a little guitar and dreams one day of having a new doggo as his Kilworth home office buddy.
Helena Griner (She/her)
Helena is a facilitator for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants. Helena has been volunteering as a peer mentor with SCIO since 2016 and has been involved in the development of some Cortree elearning courses. She is passionate about helping others adapt to the changes they experience after a catastrophic injury or illness. Helena has always been active in sport and fell in love with handcycling and skiing after her injury. She wants to encourage others to get involved in new activities and find their own passion. Her motto is “you can live, not just exist after a spinal cord injury.” Helena also has a great love for animals and enjoys spending time in nature with a camera waiting for that perfect shot.
Kristy Hamilton (She/her)
Kristy is a facilitator for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants program. With a background in management of attendant services, Kristy has worked as a Regional Services Coordinator at SCIO since 2019, helping people with disabilities navigate the system and achieve their goals. Kristy is a busy mom of three with a passion for boxing and enjoying time boating along the Trent-Severn waterway.
Nouma Hammash (She/her)
Nouma has a broad range of experience with services for people with disabilities and is proud to be one of our founding Mediators. As a Social Worker and a person with disability herself, Nouma values social justice, equity, inclusiveness and positive relationships. She is passionate about helping others live the life they want with dignity and freedom. Outside of work Nouma loves meditation, reading, crocheting, meeting friends and enjoying nature in Toronto.
Languages: English, Arabic
Marianne Kozinets (She/her)
Marianne is a Mediator with Cortree. Marianne previously worked in Chicago in a Community Mental Health Centre as a Case Worker and Team Leader. She returned home from Chicago a Cubs fan, but happy to be back in Canada. She is proud to be a small part of promoting inclusivity in the workforce. Marianne is based in Toronto and loves running, long walks, podcasts and chocolate.
Benjamin Kwarteng (He/him)
Benjamin is one of the founding facilitators for Cortree’s program Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants. He is the Founder of the caregiver app platform All Access Ability and he is creating an inclusive fashion line for people with disability. Benjamin enjoys the outdoors on most sunny days either going to the park or exploring Toronto. A sports guy, he enjoys watching basketball, soccer, American football and occasionally hockey playoffs. He loves attending live sports games.
Languages: English, Twi
Virgil Nacuta (He/him)
Virgil is a facilitator for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants program. He is living with a spinal cord injury and believes it is important to share the challenges and successes encountered in the day-to-day life of a person with disability. Virgil is a retired professional engineer that enjoys doing volunteer work at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Lab, taking online courses to keep his mind active, painting and sailing.
Languages: English, French, Romanian
Sheri Upper: (She/her)
Sheri is a Mediator with Cortree. She has many years’ experience assisting people with disability navigate the health care system and supporting family members. As a Masters prepared Social Worker, Sheri’s work is informed by her professional code of ethics which includes respecting the unique worth and inherent dignity of all people and upholding each person’s right to self-determination. Outside of work Sheri enjoys spending time with friends and family. On the weekends she and her husband can often be found skiing, hiking, or paddle boarding around her hometown of Barrie.
Julie Watson (She/her)
Julie is a facilitator for the Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Training for Attendants Program with Cortree. She is also a Peer Program Coordinator and has been with SCIO since 2016. Julie enjoys talking with others and sharing her experiences living with a disability in hopes to make a difference for someone who is newly injured. Based in London, Julie likes to spend time with family and friends, listen to podcasts and play with her furry pup, Douglas.
Nancy Xia (She/her)
Nancy joined SCIO in 2011 as an Information and Resource Specialist. Living with a spinal cord injury herself, Nancy’s goal is to help people adapt to their new life after an injury. She produces and develops content for CortreeTV which connects her with newly injured people and other members of the spinal cord injury community. Outside of work, Nancy enjoys painting, singing karaoke, cooking and playing Mah-jong. She lives in Toronto and is looking forward to the day when she can become a proud dog owner again.
Languages: English, Mandarin