Mentorship Circle

The Epp Peace Incubator Program supports peace-related start-up initiatives through mentorship, training opportunities, and seed funding in order to validate their concepts and secure sustainable funding to effect systemic change. We know that making connections with the right mentors is a crucial ingredient in the success of a start-up.

This Mentorship Circle is intended to deepen and expand the ability of the CPA to support members of the Peace Incubator program. The Mentorship Circle does not encompass all of the many individuals throughout the CPA’s networks that provide mentorship to incubator members on an ad hoc basis. Members of the Mentorship Circle gather each semester to:

The mentors

Scott Beech

scott beech's portraitScott is a “late blooming” entrepreneur, having recently started a new firm focused on systems integration, process improvement and data analytics. Scott has a B. Math from the University of Waterloo, with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. After six years in the Seattle area doing software development, Scott returned to Ontario and earned a B.A. in Economics and Finance from the University of Toronto. Scott was VP Technology and Senior Consultant with a marketing communications firm that specialized in serving social sector clients.

Scott has served on the boards of Conrad Grebel University College and Project Ploughshares. Scott currently serves on the board of Silver Lake Mennonite Camp and the investment advisory for Conrad Grebel University College. Scott’s interests include: the potential of social enterprise to create sustainable impact; strategy discernment and how to embed strategic thinking into organizational culture; and the potential of technology and behavior change to work in concert to address the challenge of climate change (and how policy can influence both of these).

Morgan Grainger

morgan granger's portraitMorgan is a software developer with deep roots in Waterloo Region. Morgan studied Computer Science at the University of Waterloo and completed a Peace and Conflict Studies minor through Conrad Grebel University College. After finishing his studies, he spent six years living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area in California before returning to Waterloo in 2015.

Morgan is very interested in how technology continues to disrupt and change society as it develops, both the challenges that this disruption creates and the problems that technology can help address.

Ben Janzen

ben janzen's portraitBen is passionate about the impact cooperation can have on creating vibrant communities and a better world. His work focuses on the development of products and services that inspire a peaceful, just, and prosperous world.

His leadership at Kindred Credit Union has contributed to it becoming a living wage employer and a solar power generator, providing new accounts for refugees, and being the first financial institution in Canada to offer all their guaranteed investment certificates as socially responsible investments.

Ben is a past recipient of Canada’s National Credit Union Young Leaders Award and a World Credit Union Council’s Young Credit Union People Scholarship.

Jessica Reesor Rempel

jessica rempel's portraitJessica is passionate about nurturing community, extending radical hospitality and seeking out sacred moments in the midst of the mundane. Through her work with Pastors in Exile, she is energized by experiencing God at work in new and unexpected ways in the Kitchener-Waterloo community.

Jessica’s call to this ministry has been shaped by studies at Conrad Grebel and the Toronto School of Theology as well as time spent serving with Mennonite Central Committee in Ontario and in Laos.

Crista Renner

crista renner's portraitCrista is a builder who loves the excitement of getting a new challenge off the ground and is interested in ventures that create blended value. Crista is an active contributor in the not-for-profit sector and sits on the Board of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and she is an advisor and mentor in University of Waterloo's Velocity program.

Previously, Crista was an adjunct professor at Conestoga College in the areas of social and ecopreneurship, social media, and marketing. Her interest in understanding how innovation flourishes or dies around not-for-profit board tables, and in start-ups, based on their ability to navigate conflict, led her to pursue a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel.

Samantha Estoesta Williams

samantha's portraitSamantha (she/her) is a professional communicator, a multiple-published poet, and a long time #WomenInSTEM advocate. With a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies (Conrad Grebel), a MA in Intercultural Communications (Royal Roads) and over ten years in advocacy, communications, community development, community engagement, and social media strategy, she centers her efforts on growing communities through reciprocal relationships.

Working across sectors, Samantha has focused on ensuring that the most marginalized populations are represented in her work, be it through her work in post secondary institutions, technology firms, or innovation spaces. Through her work in TD Lab, TD Bank Group’s innovation lab, she fiercely works towards creating environments where all can feel like they belong in technology, especially those from underrepresented populations. When she's not talking about being a brown female in tech, she can be found around town sharing her words, organizing others' lives (semi-professionally!) or watching terrible Netflix shows.