• Patricia Woroch

    Chief Executive Officer

    Patricia Woroch

    Chief Executive Officer

    Patricia Woroch, ISSofBC Chief Executive Officer, has over 30 years’ experience leading social service organizations in diverse sectors including legal services, victim/witness services, health care, community services and family services.

    As CEO since 1998, she has led ISSofBC to be recognized globally for leadership in services for immigrants and refugees, including construction of the purpose-built ISSofBC Welcome Centre, a unique integrated housing and support facility for newcomers that regularly draws local and international visitors interested in services for immigrants and migrant issues.

    Under Patricia’s leadership, ISSofBC expanded its services from two locations to 17 locations in Metro Vancouver, Squamish and Northern BC, and gained recognition as one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada for seven years. In addition to several recognition awards given to ISSofBC during her tenure, Patricia herself received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2017 for propelling change through her “leadership, professionalism and vision within the non-profit sector” and for making “a significant and sustained difference in Metro Vancouver.” In 2019, Patricia received the “Legend” award from the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) for “outstanding contributions to the social services sector.”

    Patricia has been, and continues to be, an active volunteer in a variety of capacities in various organizations. A Registered Social Worker since 1975, she also has a joint BA in Anthrolopology/Sociology and an MA in Organizational Development.

    “The impact our work has on individuals and on community is profound. Our role is integral to nation building – to making Canada the strong, safe and diverse country we are.”

  • Lawrence Tam, CPA

    Director, Finance & IT

    Lawrence Tam, CPA

    Director, Finance & IT

    Lawrence Tam arrived here with his family as a youngster from Hong Kong during Canada’s centennial year in 1967 and settled in Vancouver. A Bachelor of Commerce graduate from UBC and a Chartered Public Accountant (CPA – CGA) for over 30 years, he has been with ISSofBC for over 10 years as the Director of Finance and IT. Prior to this, Lawrence held executive finance and administration positions in several major credit unions, in addition to a short tenure with the provincial Finance Ministry.

    Lawrence is an active member of the Vancouver Chinatown Lions Club. During his year as President, the Club received the Lions Club International Club Excellence Award and was the Top LCIF Contributor Club in Canada. He has received several Lions International President Letter of Commendation and Certificate of Appreciation.

    Lawrence has been married for more than 40 years to Cathy and has two sons and four granddaughters. In his spare time, he enjoys live concerts, dancing, running and going to the YMCA. Last year, Lawrence completed his 20th consecutive Sun Run.

    “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your Life”

  • Chris Friesen

    Director, Settlement Services

    Chris Friesen

    Director, Settlement Services

    Chris Friesen is a recognized mover and voice within the refugee and immigrant settlement sector and is a sought-after speaker, media resource person and research collaborator on immigration-related policies and programs.

    As Settlement Services director at ISSofBC for over 25 years, Chris has been at the forefront of major immigration and refugee resettlement initiatives in BC and Canada in recent history, including the unprecedented resettlement operation involving Syrian refugees in 2015-2016. Chris also played a key role in the development and construction of the ISSofBC Welcome Centre.

    Chris currently serves as chair and founding member of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA-ACSEI), and is co-chair with IRCC of the National Settlement Council. In 2013, he co-chaired the UNHCR Annual Consultation on Refugee Resettlement in Geneva, Switzerland as the NGO focal point.

    As an undergraduate student at UBC in the mid 1980’s, Chris led a successful referendum on campus to increase student fees to establish a permanent student refugee scholarship program. What started as a one-off initiative has rippled through over 60 post-secondary institutions across Canada through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program.

    “Underlying my work for over three decades is a profound respect and awe for the strength and resilience of immigrants and refugees who chose or were forced to start over in this country. They inspire and drive our work.”

  • Carla Morales, MBA

    Director, Language & Career Services

    Carla Morales, MBA

    Director, Language & Career Services

    Carla Morales is an accomplished professional with proven success in development, governance and strategic planning for non-profit groups and community based organizations in Canada and overseas in East Africa.

    For over 15 years, Carla has diverse experience in the non-profit sector, a well-developed analysis of key development issues and high competence in intercultural communication. She has held a strong orientation towards community engagement and partnership development.

    Carla has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the City University of Seattle. She has completed courses through the Executive Education arm of the UBC Sauder School of Business. She currently serves as advisor to two community-based organizations in rural Kenya to support their capacity-building efforts. Much of her time is spent staying abreast of the issues that influence the social impact of the organizations she is involved with.

    Carla enjoys reading, practicing yoga, travelling and spending time with her young daughter.

    “The key to supporting newcomers successfully is to constantly be assessing their experience – to really listen. You have to be grounded in that understanding before you can innovate and serve with excellence.”

  • Theo Madeley

    Director, Human Resources

    Theo Madeley

    Director, Human Resources

    After a long and solid career in health care, Theo Madeley, Director – Human Resources, joined ISSofBC in 2011, an experience Theo describes as “profoundly rewarding.”

    After post-secondary studies at both UBC (Education) and SFU (Foundations in Business), Theo worked for the City of Vancouver in several public health units, and then in the HR Department at the former Shaughnessy Hospital (currently Women’s and Children’s Hospital). This was followed by a senior HR position at Burnaby Hospital and then as Director of HR at a denominational care facility and a veteran’s care facility prior to coming to ISSofBC.

    Theo was selected to be part of the provincial negotiating team representing healthcare employers during three rounds of collective bargaining and was involved in the building and staffing of a new hospice centre.

    Theo sees the commitment that ISSofBC staff and leadership demonstrate to the organization and clients as being key “to the success and credibility that the organization has garnered provincially, nationally and internationally.”

    “F.E.A.R (Face Everything and Rise!)”