Kingston Peer Support Network

Micro-Moments of Support

We are a peer-to-peer network exchanging physical distance connection, support and expertise throughout the Kingston community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Join The YGKares Community

Mobilizing A Community Of Care!

Who We Are

YGKares was formed by a team from the Kingston business community offering to lend a hand to those who need it most. At our core we are a group of heart-based Kingstonians joining together for the betterment of the extraordinary people in this extraordinary city. 

What We Do

We're all facing tremendous challenges during these times and we're here to support each other personally and professionally as we adapt to the new world around us. We offer free peer-to-peer connection to a diverse group of local leaders who specialize in various critical categories of support during these uncertain times.

How We Do It

By creating a community-wide resource network offering peer connection, advice and guidance to those in need through virtual coffees, zoom meetups and physical distancing community support.

You can connect to an individual YGKares champion for a virtual coffee and join our weekly Zoom meetups where we will be hosting a local leader to discuss important topics to support the Kingston community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Join The YGKares Community

Weekly Community Meetups!

Every Friday at 9am we join together on Zoom to discuss various topics to help our community deal with the challenges we're facing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Each week a special guest will join us to guide our meetup with the purpose of engaging our community in deeper discussion, connection, support and collaboration.

Next Call: Friday June 26th

Cory Firth

YGKares

TOPIC: A YGKares Reflection – What 3 months of lockdown has taught us, challenged us with and unearthed for the future.
TIME: 9:00AM, Friday June 26th
LOCATION: Zoom

Book A Virtual Coffee Call With A YGKares Champion

Our diverse group of local leaders provide specializations in various critical categories of support from personal insurance and employee benefits to personal finance and remote working. Browse our YGKares Champions below and select a time to book a free 1:1 virtual coffee to discuss your more specific needs and how we can support you.

*Disclaimer: Your privacy is important. All virtual coffees are between you and your YGKares Champion, no information will be shared outside of your call.

Remote Business & Digital Marketing

Cory Firth

Former Social Media Ad Agency CEO, Business Design Strategist and Executive Coach. 3+ years running a six-figure online service-based business; I can help with online tech integration, managing remote teams, maintaining high-quality customer service during the COVID-19 crisis.

Laura Kittner

Faculty member in School of Business at St. Lawrence College and software development and marketing agency business owner. I can help with career coaching, business planning, getting your business idea and products online, marketing your business/product/service ideas, and helping you find the right customers. I look forward to connecting and helping you think through your professional opportunities, challenges, and goals.

Amanda Relyea-Voss

Business Owner / CEO / Social Media Strategist. 7+ years of experience in social media, remote work, and running an online B2B business. I can help with digital marketing, managing a remote team, motivation, running effective meetings, and how to focus on looking forward during uncertainty.

Jake Irwin

REALTOR® at Century 21 Limestone Realty with a background in Marketing. I can help individuals and businesses with questions and concerns about the current and future real estate market in the time of COVID-19, in addition to assisting business owners with digital marketing. I’m a friendly guy who enjoys connecting with people, so feel free to book a virtual coffee meeting with me to discuss any of the above.

Chrissie Bettencourt

Digital Business and Marketing Strategist: 10+ years working with online service-based businesses. I can help with building and managing remote teams, digital marketing, finding ways to increase efficiency and revenue stream through digital strategies.

Marina Darling

Founder of a Content Strategy & Consulting Business / Program Manager @ the Centre for Social Impact, Smith School of Business. Passionate about driving innovation and communicating value through branding. Happy to help individuals with remote work strategies, digital marketing, and getting creative with business models and planning. Happy to chat and share ideas on turning challenges into opportunities!

Communications & Career Support

Brad Way

A wannabe Patch Adams + husband, dad and Employee Benefit HR Consultant. Skills in tech, marketing and sales. I love connecting with people and seeing them achieve their personal best by helping them lean into their truth, passions and superpower. I can help navigate the challenges ahead and find your path forward during the COVID-19 crisis.

Simon Reyers

Advisor for small/medium size businesses, specializing in employee benefits. I can help employees navigate what resources are available through their benefits plan (ie. mental health) and can also help employers make informed decisions on benefit plan options available during the COVID-19 crisis.

Kathy Patterson

Faculty member in the School of Business, St. Lawrence College and High Performance Teams Coach at Queen’s Smith School. Able to assist individuals with virtual job searches. Able to assist businesses with communications, marketing planning and PR. Connecting industry to grads.

Michael Richards

I believe that all our struggles are a result of lost connections. That’s why I help the lost and overwhelmed in my community get back on track with their lives. As a Resource Specialist, St. Lawrence College and Employment Ontario have trained me to provide support to people who need them quickly. Need help with employment? I’ll take today’s complicated process and simplify it into an attainable goal.

Frank Armstrong

Frank teaches communications, career strategies, and other cool stuff at St. Lawrence College in Kingston. He may be able to help you with career-related needs such as networking, resume- and cover-letter writing and job interview skills. He has some grant-writing experience and expertise in compelling storytelling for business needs. He can also likely connect folks to new talent in marketing, advertising, human resources, accounting, and office administration. 

Wendy Whitehead

Faculty member in School of Business at St. Lawrence College and Certified Human Resources Leader through the Human Resources Professional Association. I am available to connect regarding career transition, business planning, employment prospects and ensuring a good fit between your skill set and what employers might be looking for. I am pleased to help you think through your professional opportunities, challenges, and goals.

Critical Business Strategy

Donna Nelham

CSO at Fractal Workspace and known to some as an Inspiration Strategist. I help individuals and businesses reframe their ‘why’ and thrive on new ways of working. When it’s time to shape a new story, rethink strategy and reach out collaboratively - 25 years of management consulting and coaching becomes a shared resource to illuminate the way.

Matt Hawksley

Human-Centered Leadership Coach with experience in operational management, strategic leadership and executive-level mindset training. I can assist in webinar planning, customer support services and public relations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dave Robinson

Extensive experience in investment finance, operations and project management established my career foundation. My passion for helping people through hospitality, technology and different work patterns inspired a whole new trajectory. I’m CEO of Fractal Workspace, working collaboratively with like-minded business people, building a vibrant flexible workspace community.

Jacquie Costron

As a Business & Life Strategist I help entrepreneurs and small business owners build the business and life they desire. Through the Kairos Journey which encompasses; workshops, one-on-one coaching and mastermind groups I help entrepreneurs fan the flames so they can connect their purpose with their cash flow. Integrating my 25+ years in finance, entrepreneurial coaching and mindset/personal development training I can provide you with support from the ‘numbers’ to holding space to discussing the realities of managing career and life during these unprecedented times.

Jada McCullough

I am Jada, former business owner, and currently, a District Manager for CFIB (The Canadian Federation of Independent Business). CFIB is a collective of over 110,000 small business owners across Canada, who direct us to lobby all levels of government on their behalf. We are all about strength in numbers. I am here to provide support to business owners who may need assistance navigating the relief measures available during this challenging time, or simply to lend an ear to anyone who would like to talk to someone who understands the challenges of operating a business.

Rebecca Darling

Where I can help is a fresh perspective about strategies for change, business and personal goals. Leading with impact  communications. Career Coach, at Smith School of Business and part-time faculty at St. Lawrence College. I bring diverse international business experience and a practical approach to coaching focused on careers, leadership and executive coaching.

Personal & Professional Financial Support

Will Britton

Will is an independent Financial Planner, and sits on the national Chapter Leadership Council of Advocis (The Financial Advisors Association of Canada), providing support to the chapters and members of Central Ontario. As an industry speaker, mentor and leader, Will is happy to chat with fellow advisors about how we are all managing our practices (and our psyches!) through this challenging time.

Kelly Pope-Wiley

Using my experience as a marketer, finance professional, and communicator for several decades in the Kingston community to support you, would be my privilege. I am passionate about the great people I get to work with and their success. Give me your biggest dreams, your most ambitious goals, and your challenges, and together we’ll develop strategies to overcome and achieve them.

Mental & Physical Wellness Support

Sean Adamson

Sean is the owner and head trainer at Kwik Fit Kingston. He is passionate about health and fitness and motivates his clients to achieve their goals of being stronger and lead a more active lifestyle. Goal setting, listening, adapting and motivation leads to a strong foundation for the relationship. Sean can help keep you motivated during this challenging time.

E.L. Adams

Educational and Clinical Psychologist that can help with consultation aimed at assisting individuals by recognizing immediate stressors and nature of circumstance to help minimize the potential of long-term impact on mental health and well-being. I am look forward to working with individuals in the community by offering socioemotional support, problem solving, and developing strategies.

Morgan Oddie

My practices are very body focused. As a yoga teacher, I try to instil grounding and compassion. Through breath and conscious movement, practitioners become better attuned to their experience of being-in-the-world in their bodies. Outside of yoga, I practice Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and fitness and conditioning. In general, I am an analytical and cerebral person (sometimes to my own detriment) and body-based practices help me connect to physicality in a way that can clear and unify my mind.

Christina Lord

Through holistic care treatments, mentoring , spiritual care counselling, facilitation, advocacy, mental health awareness, education and peer to peer support. I feel strongly we can all learn to help ourselves. To advocate for ourselves. To speak for those who need a voice. To learn to understand the governance behind the current system in order for us to successfully navigate through its complexity. To talk the talk in order to get answers. I am passionate about seeing others succeed and in helping the world, one individual and one community at a time.

Mackenzie Costron

Today your story could be filled with themes of uncertainty, fear, stress, anxiety, sadness, grief, loss and I want you to know that I am here. As a Certified Music Therapist and Registered Counselling Therapist with Find Your Voice Music Therapy I am passionate about supporting the people I work with on their authentic journey. In finding balance between the unsettling feelings with the joy, blessings, and love in our lives. I am also grateful to be with Costron Coaching blending practical business strategies and heart centred, mindfulness guidance with therapists, musicians and health wellness entrepreneurs.

Caitlyn Chisamore

Yoga teacher and artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from OCAD University. Caitlyn’s personal journey of healing inspired her to pursue teaching yoga to assist others on their path to wholeness, vitality and joy. Learning is her lifelong passion and practice, especially in the realms of psychology and spirituality. She is currently studying somatic movement, herbalism and plant ceremony, and healing trauma through movement and artistic expression. Caitlyn believes that this is a gift of time to reconnect to ourselves, each other and nature. To reflect on our choices and conditioning, and reimagine how we live and how treat the planet.  

Amanda Hammond

You have found yourself thrust into a place where you are trying to manage everything and everyone else, because that’s what you do. When you look around it seems like everyone else is managing better than you, at least on social media. Add to this the relationship factor. You are either feeling stuck with your partner or so very alone. Neither of those are comfortable. Let’s work on authentic and real ways to help ease these feelings and regain your power. Amanda is a Registered Psychotherapist and Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor with over 16 years experience. She works with a focus on couples counselling, women and substance use.

Darrell Hammond

Let’s focus on real-life applications to support you and your youth or family to manage this difficult time. This pandemic has created a feeling of loss; loss of autonomy, power and security. Not only are you trying to keep your own stuff together, as you are working from home, or not working at all, but also schooling your child, while managing everyone’s mental health. Phew. That’s too much. Let’s discuss real ways in which you can get relief. Darrell has over 28 years of experience working with youth, mental health and trauma as a Registered Psychotherapist.

Safety is not the absence of threat, it is the presence of connection.

- Dr. Gabor Maté

Join The Community And Restore Connection!

Sign up below to join our peer support network and our weekly mailing list to be notified about our Friday Zoom meetups where we will host local leaders to discuss various topics designed to help the Kingston community support each other as things continue to unfold.

Our Next Friday Community Meetup starts in:

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One of the greatest gifts a person can give another is support

- Brian Tracy