Meet the Team

Amy Friesen, BA
~ Founder and CEO~

As a former Marketing Director in the Ottawa retirement residences’, Amy was seeing an increase in confusion surrounding the retirement industry. As more homes were being built, care terms were being altered; seniors and their families were beginning to have a very hard time matching the homes offerings to their needs.

Amy wanted to create a complimentary service where seniors and their families could speak with one person who had the knowledge and expertise to match their needs and wants to the best retirement residence option, in a fraction of the time it would take the average family to do so.

After completing both a Marketing degree and a Psychology degree, the senior industry called to Amy. In 2005, Amy began her career as a Recreation Coordinator but soon found that she enjoyed helping seniors find the perfect new home and quickly moved into Marketing. Amy has worked for multiple companies in Ottawa as a Marketing Director.

Amy enjoys being out in the community, lending a hand where needed. You will often find her helping at local senior events. She is also a mom to little Eva and married to her husband Mike. Her fuzzy kids include, Levon and Mabel the cats, Sigmund the dog!

Jean Johnston-McKitterick
Senior Living Advisor

Jean has worked in Marketing in the Corporate sector of Ottawa for over 25 years. She has worked with many people in her lifetime, but continues to prefer seniors. She believes they have the best stories and she loves to sit and chat. In her spare time, Jean spends time with her aging mother and enjoys playing 6 hand euchre and bridge.

Jean is increasingly concerned with the aging population of our city so when she learned of Tea and Toast she knew she had found her calling. Jean has advocated for seniors in various ways for many years. She has been part of the fundraising team for a local Long Term Care Facility and even worked there for a short stint. Jean’s priority is to build a bond of trust by listening carefully to the needs of her clients and working with them to help search for the perfect retirement living that fits their lifestyle.


Jean started her career in Accounting and soon found that her bubbly personality was more geared toward Marketing and working with people. Jean plays an active role in the community she lives in and coordinates the Canada Day festivities for all to enjoy. She runs a euchre club where she is the youngest player and her oldest player is currently 91. Jean is the VP for the Gloucester South Seniors Club and somehow finds time to complete financial admin for the Treasurer of the local hockey association.


Jean is married to Chris and they have a daughter and son whom they adopted when they were 8 and 6 respectively. She enjoys photography and scrapbooking (when she can find the time) and playing cards. She is an avid reader and loves all James Patterson novels. Jean and her husband Chris love date night at the movie theatre

Michael Rastelli
Senior Living Advisor

Michael was born and raised in Montreal. Growing up, he played hockey, and was heavily involved with his team and his community. He has always been known as a people person; social and approachable, he enjoys meeting new people and spending his time with others. Before moving to Ottawa, Michael worked as an Account Manager and Sales Representative at Traffic Tech Inc. In this position, he excelled most in building solid, trusting relationships with his clients and enjoyed finding solutions for them.

Through experiencing the challenges of selecting his grandparents’ retirement home, Tea and Toast felt like the right fit for Michael as it was easy for him to see the need for this type of service. He is looking forward to getting to know the clients of Tea and Toast and assisting them in the process of finding their most suitable home. 

Kerrie Whitehurst
Senior Living Advisor

Kerrie has worked in healthcare organizations for more than 20 years as a marketing and
communications specialist. Like her Tea and Toast colleagues, Kerrie enjoys the company of seniors and has spent many happy volunteer hours taking part in friendly visits, sharing a cup of tea, and organizing musical afternoons at retirement residences. She was drawn to Tea and Toast by its mandate to advocate for seniors and their families, and by its exceptional reputation in the Ottawa community. Kerrie feels privileged to be part of a caring group of people that helps seniors find their perfect retirement living lifestyle.

Kerrie started her career as an administrative assistant with McGill University in her hometown of Montreal. After taking a few years’ break to raise her family, she jumped into journalism and then into communications. Kerrie has always been drawn to healthcare and has worked for several of Canada’s highest-profile healthcare organizations.

In her spare time, Kerrie sings with a few choirs in the city, occasionally takes to the stage with local theatre groups, likes to bake treats for family and friends, volunteers in the community, and is constantly trying to improve her curling game! Her husband Doug is a competitive wheelchair curler, and Kerrie takes an active role in organizing local sporting events for people with disabilities. Kerrie and Doug have three adult children who are the light of their lives.

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