Meet Our Office Staff
Katie Blunt, Executive Director
Katie Blunt is the Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie and Area. At work, she leads a highly motivated team in the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan with the overall goal of creating affordable housing for families that face barriers to traditional homeownership.
Katie graduated from McMaster University in 2015 with a Master’s Degree in Political Science. Before her work with Habitat, Katie worked in various community-oriented roles including fundraising for the British Red Cross, coordinating the Community Adjustment Committee with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, and facilitating social enterprise development across northern Ontario with NORDIK Institute.
One of her most significant personal achievements is volunteering in Ghana, Africa at a children’s home where, in collaboration with volunteers from across the globe, farming land was purchased to provide the home with a sustainable source of food.
Katie has contributed to Sault Ste. Marie by helping to organize the Jane’s Walk Festival, assisting in the start-up of the Algoma Community Foundation, and participating on various committees such as the Cultural Vitality Committee.
Derek Paquin, Director of Operations
Derek Paquin is a sales and operations management professional with over 30 years experience in management, customer service, relationship building, human resource, health and safety, and special event organization with an education background in Business Administration.
Derek possesses strong interpersonal, training, and coaching skills to work well within a team environment and is a self-motivated individual who enjoys the challenges of working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment where change is constant.
Derek joins Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie and Area’s team following 22 years in the building materials supply chain for the construction industry, specifically focused on residential and commercial development sales and operations management.
Outside of work, Derek can frequently be found traveling with his wife Anna, enjoying the sports and academic activities of their two daughters, Kayla and Alyssa.
Joe Mackenzie, Finance & Risk Manager
Joe Mackenzie is the Finance & Risk Manager at Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area. He has been with the organization for 10 years. He graduated in 2010 from Algoma University with a degree in accounting.
Outside of work, Joe loves playing hockey, watching the Soo Greyhounds, and going out for lunch. Most of all, however, he loves his family. Joe lives with his wife, Desiree, and his two sons, Max and Miles. As a Sault Ste. Marie resident all of his life, Joe is proud of the work that Habitat for Humanity does for the community.
Carlee Lewis, Community Engagement Intern
As the Community Engagement Intern, Carlee is responsible for coordinating community outreach for Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program.
Carlee possesses emotional intelligence and is attuned to individual needs. She has a strong desire to support and collaborate with clients in helping them transition into homeownership. Carlee has strong organizational skills allowing her to stay on top of tasks while finding the best possible solutions for clients.
Carlee graduated from Algoma University with a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) degree. Carlee is a Clinical Program Coordinator with Lifeworks. She is proud to be part of a breakthrough team where she is combining Indigenous knowledge with cognitive behavioural therapy to assist Indigenous clients in overcoming mental health barriers. Carlee has been part of the “Bedauban” program since the start of its development and is working on other programs to aid clients in managing symptoms of grief and loss, anxiety, depression and trauma. She looks forward to transferring her skills of critical thinking, organization, and communication to ensure the highest standards of family and client satisfaction are met.
Carlee was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and carries the northern vibe within her. She is an avid outdoors person and loves being active. Carlee grew up playing hockey on the outdoor rinks which, in turn, provided her with the opportunity to play on various teams throughout Ontario. It also gave her the chance to coach hockey at various levels in the Soo Peewee and Soo Female Hockey Association. Since 2015, Carlee has taken on the roles of Coach, Assistant Coach, or trainer with teams ranging from Timbits to Midget A.
Meet Our ReStore Staff
Sean Bishop, Assistant ReStore Manager
Sean Bishop is a manufacturing and operations professional, with over 20 years’ experience in a variety of industries. Sean brings a strong focus in human resources, lean manufacturing, health and safety, and industry-leading employee relations techniques. With an education in Environmental Studies, Sean aims to enrich Habitat’s proper handling practices and policies.
Sean joins Habitat for Humanity after leading manufacturing projects from creation to a fully functioning production line. Sean exhibits a variety of interpersonal skills and strives to enhance the team dynamics within the ReStore’s Donation Centre with his coaching methods.
Outside of work, Sean can usually be spotted on a bike – either on the road or down a trail. Other down-time is spent at his trailer on St. Joseph Island, enjoying the beach and fresh water.
Victor Barreto de Oliveira, Digital Lead
Victor graduated from Sault College in 2019 with a Diploma in Digital Film Production. Victor was born in Brazil and moved to Canada with ambitions of pursuing higher education and established his life here in Sault Ste. Marie.
Victor joined Habitat as an Office Assistant in June of 2022 before transitioning into the position of Digital Lead, where he will help the ReStore implement a new POS system and revitalize its e-commerce platform. Victor came to Habitat after assisting other local businesses with automation and business analysis.
Outside of work, Victor can be found at home, playing video games, watching movies, or pursuing certificates and knowledge that will help him on his professional journey.
Karen Lapointe, Sales Associate
Karen is a lifelong resident of Sault Ste Marie and a 2010 graduate of Sault College’s Personal Support Worker Program (achieving a 4.0 GPA with distinction!). Karen has done many renovations herself, giving her knowledge of materials and tools needed to assist ReStore customers who are shopping for their DIY projects. Karen loves to see customers’ excitement when they find "their treasure" of the day and seeing people smile.
Outside of work, Karen is an avid outdoors person with a love of sports and a passion for fishing. She was on the Soo Y Dolphins swim team and has competed in various swim meets. Karen really enjoys weekend downhill skiing. She also has a love for many four-legged animals, having the fortune of owning a few Golden Retrievers over the years (one of her favourite breeds!).
Kassidee Odber, Sales Associate
Kassidee is a 25-year-old Sales Associate at the Habitat ReStore. She was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Kassidee believes in Habitat for Humanity’s mission and values, and that, by working at the Habitat ReStore, she is helping make her community a better place. In her free time, Kassidee enjoys being outside and hanging out with her friends, family, and dog.
Michael Flemstrom, Donation Centre Assistant
Born of Ojibwa/Cree descent on a fly-in reserve Northeast of Thunderbay, Mike moved to the Sault in 1976 where he entered the working world at six years old, delivering newspapers for The Sault Star. Mike has worked many other labour-intensive jobs over the years and attended postsecondary school. Despite all of the skills he’s picked up, he notes that he still manages to learn something new every day.
Mike started volunteering and working at the ReStore part-time in 2015, noting that he felt it was a good way to participate in his community.
Outside of work, Mike has helped his family by offering unpaid health care since his early thirties. Mike enjoys the outdoors, walking, and spending time with family.
Kevin Possamai, Donation Centre Assistant
Kevin Possamai lives with his parents, who own a Construction Company that Kevin loves to help out with. Kevin is a member of Community Living Algoma. He loves and does many Special Olympics seasonal sports.
He was a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity ReStore before being asked to join the team as a staff member. Kevin loves to come to work and interact with the staff. He is so happy to meet new people and always ready to help the customers. Kevin “came alive” with the opportunity that Habitat for Humanity has given him. To learn more about Kevin, you can watch his short film by clicking here.
Braedan Turco, Truck Driver
Braedan is the Habitat ReStore’s Truck Driver. He picks up community donations, drops off purchases, and helps in the Donation Centre.
While he was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Braedan moved to Niagara Falls for some time to play for the Niagara Whalers Jr. A Hockey Team.
Braedan says he enjoys working for Habitat for Humanity because he likes to help people in his community.
Outside of work, Braedan enjoys playing hockey or golf with his friends and watching sports.