““Most people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.””

~Thomas A. Edison

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

~C.S. Lewis

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”

~H. Jackson Brown JR.

Current Members

Judy Shepalo
Founding Member
Leader: Steering Circle
Leader: Site Selection Circle
Member: Outreach & Communications Circle

Judy Shepalo, currently Leader of our Steering Circle, was born in Liverpool, England and emigrated to Canada as a small child, returning to live in England for a year when she was 19. She obtained a Canadian university degree in Sociology and Anthropology then spent a year travelling in Europe. After a 4-year stint in Calgary, Judy returned to Ontario and joined the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force for 10 years, leaving for California to be with her now husband Gary Wyber. Her endeavours in California included matchmaker in Beverly Hills and commercial real estate appraiser for the healthcare industry. Judy and Gary have now lived in Dundas ON for 23 years; it is very much home for them both. The work Judy & others initiated through Cohousing Hamilton is fun, rewarding, challenging and exciting as it moves this project slowly and inexorably toward the goal of establishing the first cohousing community in the Hamilton area.

Lee Ann Holloway Equity Member
Founding Member
Leader: Planning Circle
Member: Steering Circle
Member: Sociocracy Circle

Elle & Patrick Ryan
Founding Member
Leader: Membership & Social Circle
Member: Steering Circle

 The mastermind and live spark behind Cohousing Hamilton, Ellen Ryan is a semi-retired professor of gerontology, married to Patrick Ryan, retired professor of math and computer science. Their three children have given the Ryans three grandchildren, with one family living in Sweden.

In retirement, Ellen studied creative writing and enjoys kindling the desire among older adults to write life stories. She and Patrick walk long and often, usually with camera in hand with which Ellen specializes in shadow selfies – finding the light. Her images and writings can be enjoyed on her website: Writing Aging & Spirit.
Since 1975, the Ryans have participated in an intentional community, the Clavius Group, with annual stays in campus residences, sorting out group cooking, for a summer month. While the initial purpose of the community related to mathematics research, the ongoing purpose of the now-aging international group is camaraderie and support. Having personal retreat time & space allowed for the Ryans to appreciate the group interactions of 30-50 people. They look forward to the neighbourliness of intentional community in Cohousing Hamilton.

Carol Gottlob
Leader: Outreach & Communications Circle
Member: Steering Circle

Carol Gottlob has enjoyed many wonderful adventures and experiences in her mere six decades. A Toronto native, she has lived in many different places in the GTHA as well as in cities in Quebec, BC, PEI Manitoba and Yukon. Some of her incarnations have included student, hippie, wife, mom, teacher, grandmother, kayaker, would be City Councillor , bicycler, gardener, motor biker and hiker Bruce Trail X2 from Niagara to Tobermory and back! Trilingual (English, French and German), Carol is well qualified to teach ESL to newcomers to Canada, a very rewarding role for her. “Dynamic” only
begins to describe the spark that is Carol. Cohousing answers her desire to live
sustainably, within her means, amongst like minded and caring people.

Barbara Kephart

Barbara Kephart was born and raised in Sudbury and Manitoulin Island, then moved to sunny Northern California for work where she lived for 25 years. She happily moved back to Canada in 2016 and now resides in Guelph. She is an avid sailor, photographer, and world music lover. She loves to try out new things and have little adventures with her mountain bike, kayak or hiking boots. Barbara started her professional life in healthcare in nuclear medicine and ultrasound, and now works behind the scenes to project manage medical software systems and any other projects her clients ask her to manage. She is a lifelong community volunteer, having worked with a range of organizations from women’s shelters, schools, out of poverty groups, vulnerable youth, and co-operative organic farmers. Barbara is exploring cohousing because she wants to be around like minded individuals with similar interests and to share in community resources.

Kathleen Livingston
Leader: Sociocracy Circle
Secretary: Steering Circle
Secretary & Facilitator: Finance & Legal Circle
Member: Outreach & Communications Circle

Having lived and gardened for too many years in very cold cities, discovering the rich palette of plants, available in the Carolinian Zone (Zone 5b 6b) of Hamilton has been a joyful exploit for this Master Gardener. She is now retired from horticultural entrepreneurship, and a career in middle management with several NFP organizations in Ottawa, Toronto and Regina.

Kathleen is the proud mom of two grown men whom she raised alone after her marriage dissolved when the boys were very young. In search of financial independence for herself and her sons, she returned to university to secure the B.A. that set her up for her middle-management career.

She has been on a journey toward cohousing since moving to Hamilton in 2014. Connecting with Cohousing Hamilton in 2019, her commitment to supporting the project has been wholehearted. Kathleen recognizes Cohousing as the best of all lifestyle options for her!

Daphne Payne
Equity Member
Leader: Social Sub
Group, Membership & Social Circle
Member: Steering Circle
Member: Sociocracy Circle
Member: Site Search Circle

Born in Toronto before WWII, Daphne enjoyed an interesting childhood, despite the war’s challenges. While at camp, Daphne discovered her passion for sailing. After high school, she and her father purchased their own sailboat and raced it in Muskoka, where she fell into love and marriage and started her family. Four children and a busy volunteer schedule took her away from her studies at McGill and her sailing, but once her youngest was in school, she returned to sailing at several Toronto community clubs.

Daphne served as the Assistant Director of Volunteer Services at North York General Hospital. When her marriage ended in 1985, she returned to studies, this time at McMaster, where she graduated in Sociology. Remaining in Hamilton, she applied her skills to work at St. Peters Hospital, and travelled and sailed extensively after that time.

Daphne also enjoyed involvement with the Hamilton Naturalist Club, The Bruce Trail Conservancy and the Halton Outdoor Club meeting other like-minded naturalists and took up birding among other interests. She has travelled extensively, including China, South Africa, Ireland, The Netherlands and Antarctica.

She enjoys classical concerts at the Hamilton Philharmonic and has sung in several choirs in the GTHA. Post-pandemic, Daphne will return to the choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church, which has become foundational in her life.

Judy Shepalo introduced Daphne to cohousing in 2020. Daphne is actively involved in CH’s Social Circle, the Steering Circle and the Site Search Circle. Daphne is to thank for organizing the various socials the community enjoys! She looks forward to a more companionable lifestyle in our cohousing community.

Ken Tichgelaar Equity Member
Leader: Finance & Legal Circle
Member: Steering Circle
Member: Site Search Circle

Kenneth Tigchelaar is a father, grandfather, husband, brother, and friend who raised three kids safely to adulthood and built his own home. As a Dundas resident, he hikes, motorcycles, likes to travel and renovate. Ken spent the bulk of his career in “big oil”, rising from driving a truck to sitting on an advisory team for global system deployment. He now is interested in seeking ways to improve social outcomes in a capitalist environment. The potential for cohousing to provide affordable housing for seniors was the first reason for becoming involved in Cohousing Hamilton, seeing it as a means to address issues like social isolation and aging in place. Recognizing his relatively privileged position, Ken advocates for those who are left behind economically and otherwise through helping to build the Cohousing Hamilton community.

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