Our Team

We would not be where we are today without the hard work of our staff, board of directors, committee members, and hundreds of volunteers.

We want to thank each and every one of our team members for allowing us to get to where we are today. Here are just a few of the faces below who are making an impact.

Executive Team

Ampai Thammachack – Founder & CEO
Chair of the Community Committee
Photo of Ampai Thammachack

Ampai Thammachack is the Founder and CEO of Step Above Stigma.

As a result of her efforts, she has been honoured as a recipient of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award, one of the Top 22 Under 22 Most Inspiring College Women in the World; CSPN’s Entrepreneur of the Year, a L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth 2022, one of Canada’s Top 100 Black Women to Watch, one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 Innovators, as Ascend Canada and RBC’s Social Impact Award winner, and most recently as the recipient of the highest honour a young person can receive for global social action, the Princess Diana Award. Contact Ampai by emailing her: ceo@stepabovestigma.com.

Hailey Rodgers – President & Chair, Marketing Committee
Photo of Hailey Rogers

After graduating from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, Hailey Rodgers knew she wanted to pursue a career with a strong emphasis on social impact. Her own lived experiences with mental health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder had given her a unique perspective on how important it is for people to have access to support and resources. Today, she is the President of Step Above Stigma, with over 5 years being a part of the SAS family. She is also the Founder of SAS’s Empowerment Labs program.

In her full-time career, she works at Redstone Agency with a specialization in marketing for nonprofits. She loves working with organizations that are making a difference in the world and believes that digital marketing is an important part of telling their stories. She’s also an author, retired podcast host, and The Journal That Talks Back Coach. She has been recognized for her work in the areas of mental health, leadership, and non-profit marketing. Contact Hailey by emailing her: president@stepabovestigma.com.

Board of Directors

Photo of Ghazal Khademi
Ghazal Khademi

Ghazal Khademi works as a professional in the finance industry. Currently, she works at Scotiabank, where she is a banking advisor, in Toronto, ON.

She has been a part of SAS for 4+ years and is excited to continue doing so in her role as Treasurer, where she has the opportunity to link her career with one of her passions – mental health. Contact Ghazal by emailing her: finance@stepabovestigma.com.

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Amanda Black
Co-Chair, Events

Amanda Black works as a professional in the events industry. She currently works at Vegandale, executing the popular food and drink festival in both Canada and America.

Amanda is enthusiastic and eager about the process of creating and executing events and is passionate about integrating this with youth mental health. Contact Amanda by emailing her: amanda.black@stepabovestigma.com.

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Tessa Gizzarelli
Co-Chair, Events

Tessa Gizzarelli is a fourth-year health sciences student at Queen’s University. She joined the Step Above Stigma Queen’s chapter in her first year to share her passion for mental health advocacy and has been involved ever since.

To take care of herself, she enjoys strength training, going on hikes, skiing and taking dance classes. She is thrilled to be a part of the Board of Directors to meet more like-minded individuals passionate about helping others and dismantling the stigma surrounding mental health. Contact Tessa by emailing her: tessa.gizzarelli@stepabovestigma.com.

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Jessica Gregoire

Jessica Gregoire has been involved with SAS since 2019, where she was a Sales Executive for one year, followed by a term as Co-President while completing her Bachelor of Science degree at Queen’s University. She is also a new Addictions and Mental Health professional entering the field, as she recently completed a post-graduate certificate in Addictions and Mental Health from St. Lawrence College.

Her experiences working in not-for-profits focused on youth mental health is where she found her passion for the field. Most recently, she has been working for Jack.org in an Administrative Operational role, but is now shifting to work in Youth Engagement within the organization.

She has plans to further her education by obtaining a Masters of Social Work in the near future. Contact Jess by emailing her: jessica.gregoire@stepabovestigma.com.

Photo of  Laura Pickering
Laura Pickering,
Chair, Analytics

Originally, Laura joined the Queen’s University chapter of Step Above Stigma, holding the role of treasurer. As Step Above Stigma expanded, she took on the position of accounting director, overseeing financial monitoring and budget allocation.

After graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Queen’s University, Laura joined TD Insurance, working in the Data Analytics department.

She remains dedicated to fostering Step Above Stigma’s mission by empowering and deploying mental health resources, sustaining the dialogue through mentorship, and integrating mental health values into her corporate career. Contact Laura by emailing her: laura.pickering@stepabovestigma.com.

Photo of Cayleigh Pratt
Cayleigh Pratt
Chair, Governance

Cayleigh Pratt (she/her) is a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics student at Queen’s University and has recently completed a Certificate in Law. She has been a part of Step Above Stigma since 2021 and has served as President of the Queen’s Chapter. For her work as Chapter President, she was awarded the Jeffrey McCarthy Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution. Additionally, she is currently the Operations Manager for Canada’s Student Mental Health Network and the Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Proactive Minds.

After her undergraduate, Cayleigh plans to attend law school and dreams of becoming a health lawyer. She is passionate about increasing the legal framework that governs mental health professionals and protects those living with mental illness and increasing access to mental health resources on a policy level.

In addition to her extracurricular, academic, and professional endeavours, Cayleigh is an avid reader, yoga instructor, nature lover, traveler, and baker. Contact Cayleigh by emailing her: cayleigh.pratt@stepabovestigma.com.

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Simran Dhaliwal
Chair, Volunteers

Simran Dhaliwal is an international student from India going into her fourth year of Health Sciences at Queen’s University.

She enjoys listening to Bollywood music, trying out new cuisines and spending time with friends and family. In the near future, Simran hopes to pursue a career in medicine or public health in alignment with mental health.

She is eager to learn more about how mental health advocacy can intersect with areas of research and policy development, as well as how these facets can enhance mental health initiatives. Contact Simran by emailing her: simran.dhaliwal@stepabovestigma.com.

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Teri Campbell
Chair, Fund Development

Teri Campbell is a dynamic community builder who is driven by a sincere passion for creating and nurturing profound connections within her circles. Having spent over a decade residing in China and Korea, Teri has garnered a wealth of international insights that have deepened her appreciation for diverse cultures and global viewpoints. Her journey has encompassed a spectrum of roles, from a seasoned event professional to a dedicated educator and an indispensable business coordinator.

Through collaborations with various organizations, she has endeavoured to uplift and empower children, youth, and women. She is a passionate advocate for mental health who endeavours to destigmatize the discourse surrounding psychological well-being and promote open dialogue and understanding. She is dedicated to creating lasting impact and propelling positive change. Contact Teri by emailing her: teri.campbell@stepabovestigma.com.

Photo of Alexander Peh
Alexander Peh
Chair, Strategic Planning

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, educated in Melbourne, Australia and with experience in Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America, Alexander Peh currently serves as the Vice President and Head of Merchant Payment Services at The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), based in Toronto. His mandate focuses on executing oversight of RBC’s partnership with Moneris, and their growing Merchant Services Business. He joined RBC 6 years ago to lead their Tech + Ops Innovation Group, focused on an array of emerging technology, including BlockChain, Voice, Digital Identity and CyberSecurity.

An active startup advisor & mentor, and FinTech investor, he currently is the President and Chair of The Board of Ascend Canada, a Board Member of Ascend Global Leaders and has sat on a range of Global Advisory Boards, including TechToronto, Singularity University Canada, Copenhagen FinTech, the Mars Discovery District, the BC Tech Association and Dash40 Ventures. Contact Alex by emailing him: alexander.peh@stepabovestigma.com.


Marketing Committee
  • AJ Jackson
  • Dana Abughaduma
  • Daniel Mastrogiovanni
  • Katherine Wang
  • Leah Brown
  • Megan Hartviksen
  • Olivia Iaboni
  • Rosa Kim
  • Sabrina Graf Smith
  • Sanyu Rashford 
  • Shivanshi Dhuria
  • Christine Joyce Ortiz
Community Committee
Events Committee
  • Zoe Belen Brown
  • Lark Straw
  • Nathan Haas
  • Garima Hasija
  • Uyanda Mntambo
Empower-ment Labs Committee
  • Ella Blondin

Interested in getting involved with the SAS team?