• 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.”

  • Chris Friesen

    Chief Operating Officer

    Chris Friesen

    Chief Operating Officer

    Chris Friesen who served as ISSofBC’s Settlement Services Director for almost 30 years, has long been recognized as a leader in the refugee and immigrant sector throughout Canada and has been at the forefront of major refugee resettlement initiatives in BC and Canada. Chris has been an integral member of national bodies including holding senior leadership roles with the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance and National Settlement and Integration Council. He has also represented Canada on the international stage and is a sought-after speaker on immigration-related policies and programs. Chris played a key role in the development of ISSofBC Welcome Centre, a social purpose built, one of a kind facility in Vancouver.

    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 Sponsorship Program and is now an international resettlement promising practice for alternative resettlement pathways. Prior to his roles within ISSofBC, Chris coordinated a British-Kenyan Educational Trust for Refugees in Nairobi for over two-and-a-half years.

    “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.”

  • 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”

  • 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.”

  • Kathy Sherrell, PhD

    Director, Settlement

    Kathy Sherrell, PhD

    Director, Settlement

    Kathy Sherrell has worked at ISSofBC in settlement services for over 12 years. During this time she has taken a lead role in program development and evaluation, contract negotiations and oversight, and quality assurance and standardization. Involvement in special projects such as the BC Refugee Hub and allows Kathy to share her passion for refugee resettlement with others, promoting policy change and greater understanding of refugee issues.

    Kathy holds a PhD in Geography from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts Degree from Simon Fraser University with an emphasis on refugee resettlement in Canada. Kathy continues to be actively engaged in research. At present Kathy is a co-investigator on two pan-Canadian, multi-year refugee research projects, as well as a lead on numerous internal research projects. She is an Affiliated Scholar with York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies and serves on UBC Centre for Migration Studies Executive Committee.

    Kathy is passionate about evaluation and outcomes measurement, serving on IRCC’s National Settlement Outcomes Group, co-chairing the BC Settlement Outcomes Working Group, and as a member of the BCSIS Program Evaluation Working Group. She is the internal Project Manager for implementation of the NewTrack client information system.

    “I am inspired by the strength and resilience of refugee newcomers to Canada and committed to reducing structural barriers to their integration through my work and research.”

  • 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!)”