Effective 1 February 2020, Melanie Ostashek was hired by TTCAN, on a 60% part-time basis (3 days per week) as “Operations Manager” with the following general responsibilities:

  • Finances: produce financial statements, make payments, issue invoices, payroll, bookkeeping, keep Board informed on all financial matters, etc.)
  • Ratings: produce the new monthly ratings as of August 2020. Julia He will continue to produce the current Rating until July 2020 inclusive.
  • Logistics: make all arrangements for TTCAN events and meetings related to hotel bookings, travel bookings, reservations, etc.
  • General Administration
  • Assist the president in his work.

Melanie Ostashek is not a stranger to Table Tennis. She was first hired in 1991 by Adham Sharara (Director General then) as a junior secretary for the Canadian Table Tennis Association (CTTA), which was then located in the National Sports Administration Centre in Ottawa. At that time there was a full-time office staff of six (Adham Sharara, Michel Goyette, Bina Chohan, Tim Gautreau, and Sandi MacPherson) plus two national coaches (Guoxi Su and Mariann Domonkos). In addition, the CTTA had an assistant national coach, Ian Kent.

Melanie worked with many different staff members at the CTTA (before it became known as TTCAN) and later TTCAN including Tony Kiesenhofer, Mireille Talon, Pierre Desjardins, Steve Lambruschini and many others, plus the National Coaches Michel Gadal, Nikolai Novikov, Christian Foisy, Dejan Papic, Marles Martins, Coach Duan, Pradibhan Peter-Paul and others.

I always appreciated working for Adham and Tony as both allowed me to grow to accept any challenge that came my way, never doubting my abilities.” Melanie said when asked about her past work for Table Tennis.

She worked during the time when the Internet was not in vogue; when Phone (landline) and Fax were the modern ways to communicate.

Unfortunately, in the 1990s the funding to sports was drastically reduced, the CTTA had to reduce its expenses and many positions were cut. The Marketing Director position was the first to go, followed by the Technical Director and so on. Melanie did remain and took on additional responsibilities. Eventually Melanie also left to become a mother and had 3 children. During that time, she worked for table tennis on and off on a part-time basis.

With determination and hard work, TTCAN’s budget started to grow over the years and thankfully we were able to hire accordingly and redistribute the tasks. This worked well for Melanie as she could vary her hours in the office (or from home) while having her three children.

Both Adham and Tony were always very reasonable and accommodating to the needs of the staff.” Melanie said about her tenure with CTTA and TTCAN.

Melanie recalls: “I remember at one time it was just down to just the two of us in the office. We moved from the 7th floor at Naismith, down to the 3rd floor, and then down to the ground floor…on our way out. From there we moved to offices at Carleton University — adjoining offices with TMS International (TMS). Then onto 2211 Riverside Drive where we occupied space on the 3rd floor, with ITTF Ottawa and TMS occupying space on the 4th floor. In 2009, we moved to the Gladstone Sports and Health Centre (GSHC) which also housed our National Team Training Centre.”

Melanie further recalls when she left TTCAN: “After having tried my hand at many different duties also including coordination of meetings, event logistics, government funding applications, etc., in 2009 I was mostly just taking care of the finances and ratings. I started to take on some part-time work with GSHC (18 Louisa Street) in Ottawa, and then also with TMS International. By 2015, after handing over the finances to Viviane, I went to work solely for GSHC and TMS and said a fond farewell to TTCAN — Tony, Mireille and Yan Bin. After the 2015 PanAm Games in Markham, TTCAN then moved its offices there.”

For the past five years (2015-2019), Melanie worked for Adham Sharara taking on various roles and eventually the position of “Operations Manager” for TTCAN as of 1 February 2020.

Melanie explains her return to TTCAN from a philosophical point of view: “I like to work for someone who values me and my work, someone who won’t micromanage me, but allows me to perform my tasks and trusts that I will do them well. Someone who has a great vision for TTCAN’s future that I believe in.”

There are many changes and many challenges ahead. TTCAN welcomes Melanie back.

15 April 2020