our Team

Our team at ORIGIN is made of innovators and creative individuals that are all passionate about working towards our mission of connecting people to careers and increasing Indigenous participation in the workforce. Learn more about us below!

Melissa Hardy-Giles

Owner, Operator, Inspirer, Leader, Anishnabekwe

Melissa Hardy-Giles, the owner of ORIGIN was born and raised on Red Rock Indian Band. Her formal education is in Executive Office Administration and Human Resource Management.

Paul Giles

Director, Lead of Innovation

Paul Giles is a Director at ORIGIN and is a graduate of the Master’s in Management program from Lakehead University, with a Degree in Sociology, an Honors Degree in Social Work and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business.

Keegan Varella

VP, Operations

Keegan Varella has 15+ years of senior leadership experience in advisory and consulting functions for government-backed infrastructure and real estate developers in the construction, investment, and property management sectors. He also has an MBA, MSc. Finance, CPA, CMA and MRICS certification to support his experience.

Nicholas Giles

Finance and Technology Lead

Hello! My name is Nicholas Giles-Pelletier. I am born and raised in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area. I have traveled NWO extensively and have a love for this part of the country. I enjoy hiking and enjoy being around (and in) the many local lakes.

Charmaine McCraw

Indigenous Engagement and Training Lead

Charmaine McCraw was born and raised in Caramat, ON and now calls Thunder Bay, home. She is a proud member of Bigitigong Nishnaabeg, situated along the northern shores of Lake Superior and has built her career in Community Economic Development with a focus on building capacity.

Randy Moore

Community Outreach Liason

Randy Moore was born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario.  He is married and enjoys camping and the outdoors with his wife and family.  He has been a part of Age Friendly Thunder Bay since its inception in 2009 and currently serves as its Vice Chair.  He has also been a long-time musician having performed at the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2006 and closed out the Red Rock Folk Festival in 2008.

Luisa Valencia

LMS Lead

With an honours degree in Visual Arts, a master’s degree in audiovisual expression and studies in Documentary Making, Script Writing and Storytelling, Luisa started her path in Virtual Reality by self-toughing the medium’s nature and technicalities. Which gave her a strong knowledge of the platform leading her to become an award winner creative lead shaping the beginning of her quest to blend storytelling and technology.

Breanna Stephney

MarComm Intern

Hi! I’m Breanna and I was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. When I’m home, I like to go camping, spend time with my family and my two dogs – Bean and Boo.


Colette Hele

Community Outreach Liason

Boozhoo, my name is Colette Hele. I am a Community Outreach Liaison here at ORIGIN.

I’m a mom of two young adults and one teenager. I am originally from the Fort Frances/Rainy River district. I moved to Thunder Bay as a youth and currently live in beautiful Kakabeka Falls, Ontario.

Ruba Zouzou

Operation & Production Support

Ruba is a qualified mechanical engineer, PMP certified, and has had a diverse career in project management and business development.

Ruba moved to Canada with her young family in 2015. Since then she has built on her career in operations and project management and participated in leading different projects all while achieving her goals and objectives.

Andrew Wigwas

LMS Programmer

Andrew Wigwas is a First Nation member of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek, which is two hours north of the city of Thunder Bay. Andrew works on writing custom code in various frameworks and languages to bridge the gap between database and VR technology to deliver innovative solutions in the VR training industry. Our technology is designed from the ground up to support new and growing training applications.

Curtis Jensen

Applewagon Films ImmersiveLink Videographer

Curtis Jensen has a formal education in film production, which he has utilized since establishing his business (Apple Wagon Films) in 2007.

Combo Bravo

ImmersiveLink Videographers

Introducing our valued team members and partners Combo Bravo. Combo Bravo is an awardwinning, full-service boutique studio creating story driven digital media based in Toronto. 





ORIGIN is the creator of ImmersiveLink; a virtual application that creates a unique learning and development environment for cultural awareness and career exploration.


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