Getting to Know: Executive Director Maya Kambeitz
Maya joined NHA back in November 2009 as the Office Manager and HR Manager. She was looking for a change in her career and an opportunity to use her skills to advance a social good.
In the beginning, Maya recounts that she connected with this work in a way she could never have imagined – and now she can barely imagine work that is not in this field. As an immigrant who was supported and welcomed by this community, Maya is always thinking about different ways she can pay it forward. Working at NHA and using her skills to advance our mission and the mission of the sector is one way she gives back.
I have always been passionate about social justice and inclusive, diverse communities so the opportunity to use my formal education and for-profit experience to generate wealth and value for the community gives me immense satisfaction.
When she’s not busy being a mom and spending time with her very large and extended family, she’s with friends or volunteering with immigrant serving agencies as much as possible. In her spare time (what spare time, Maya!?) she is also working on maintaining her CPHR designation and has embarked on studies to obtain her Chartered Housing Professional designation. She loves being out in nature and gardening, and claims that if she could go camping every weekend, she would!
My favourite memories here at NHA are really about the people I’ve gotten to know and learn from…I have many fun and fond memories of individuals who were exemplary models of a good and caring neighbor. I see these small acts of kindness on such a frequent basis and it makes me so proud to be a part of the NHA community.
In March of 2012, as a direct result of her work on policy and asset renewal for all of the Norfolk properties, Maya was moved into the position of Executive Director, where she has remained for over five years. Maya sees a lot of value to what has been built at NHA over the years and she’s keen to show that to the world, which is evident within minutes of speaking with her. Though you would expect her role to keep her somewhat removed from the day-to-day of residents, Maya, in fact, knows nearly all of our 144 residents by face and name and can share a story or anecdote with many of them.
My motivation to stay in the sector is really rooted in my belief that this work is critical and that all Canadians, regardless of income, ability, or background should have a safe and affordable place to call home. A stable home is the foundation we all need to be able to live a decent life. Safe, stable, affordable housing is the solution to many of the challenges we face in society…it’s critical to building resiliency, eliminating poverty, and empowering people to live the best life possible.
All that said, there are of course challenges to the job, most especially the occasional loss of a community member and those times when we wish we could help more people who walk through our doors. There is still a lack of resources in the larger community to address a problem that can feel as though it’s growing, and it’s hard to see someone who is in need struggling to access a basic right like shelter. With a little luck and continued strategic progress, NHA hopes to be able to offer more assistance in the future.
Maya’s work and advocacy in this arena are a true inspiration to the rest of the team at NHA and encourage everyone to reach higher for accessibility, affordability, and equality.back to news & events