The board is a body of elected members – all volunteers – who jointly oversee the activities of the organization. Guided by ISSofBC’s Mission Statement and Core Values, the board’s responsibilities include:

  • Governance of the Society
  • Strategic Vision and Development
  • Fiduciary Oversight

ISSofBC holds an Annual General Meeting (AGM) within six months of the end of each fiscal year. The AGM is an opportunity to:

  • present ISSofBC’s Annual Report;
  • conduct the business of membership
  • celebrate the contributions and successes of ISSofBC over the previous year, and;
  • introduce ISSofBC bursaries to recipients and present their awards.

At the Annual General Meeting on September 20, 2018, the following persons were elected to ISSofBC’s Board of Directors (2018-2019).

  • Jim Tallman


    Jim Tallman


    Jim Tallman is the quintessential settlement mentor. Since 1992, when Jim first offered his time and effort to the ISSofBC Volunteer Connections program, he has helped over 20 newcomers and their families from four continents become adjusted to life in Canada. For most of these new Canadians – from Vietnam, Guatemala, Iran, Bosnia, China, Burma, Eritrea, Ecuador and Korea – Jim is considered a life-long friend.

    Jim, a training consultant since 1979 with clients in business, industry and government, has also been an active supporter of ISSofBC’s career services, generously sharing his knowledge and advice with numerous immigrant jobseekers through workshops and networking events. He has hired many newcomers for project work in his company, North Pacific Training & Performance Inc., a company that creates skills-based training and assessment systems for industry across North America and overseas.

    In 1995, Jim joined the ISSofBC board and has been a vital presence since. A Bachelor degree holder in English Literature from UBC, Jim has also served on the board of AMSSA.

  • Jack Wong

    1st Vice-President

    Jack Wong

    1st Vice-President

    Jack Wong is Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia (REFBC) which provides grants to support land use and real estate practices that contribute to resilient, healthy communities and natural environments.

    Before joining REFBC, Jack was assistant managing director of the Vancouver Board of Trade. A certified member and Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, Jack holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration degree from UBC.

    An active volunteer, Jack currently serves in the boards of – in addition to ISSofBC – Brightside Community Homes Foundation, Vancouver Police Foundation, Richmond Museum Society, and the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network. He is also chair of the Social Innovation Working Group at UBC Farm, and sits on the advisory councils of the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC, and the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University.

    Jack is a fellow of the Ford Foundation’s Regional Sustainable Development Program, member of Lambda Alpha International, and associate member of the Real Estate Institute of BC.He has two grown daughters with wife Alana.

  • Joann McKinlay

    2nd Vice-President

    Joann McKinlay

    2nd Vice-President

    Joann McKinlay is a Spanish-English translator and writer for over two decades, having worked with Mexican and Canadian companies in translations, media relations and consulting.

    A native of Vancouver, BC, Joann moved to live in Mexico City, Mexico for 12 years after obtaining a degree in Latin American Studies. Her previous positions include financial journalist, industry consultant, counselor at an international high school, and contemporary dance teacher. She was also involved in the administration of a non-profit professional association.

    Joann has served on the boards of the Mexican Business Association of Canada as president, and on the Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC. She is currently Registrar at the Vancouver School of Interpreting and Translation (VanSIT), and has launched a new venture providing counselling support for interpreters and individuals working with immigrants and refugees.

  • Nicolas Lozovsky (Dip Arch, M Arch)


    Nicolas Lozovsky (Dip Arch, M Arch)


    As a volunteer at ISSofBC for over two decades – 10 of these as president of ISSofBC’s board – Nicolas Lozovsky has seen the organization grow from “a very tiny organization made up of people with a lot of heart and commitment” to the professionally-managed, internationally-recognized institution it is today.

    The construction of the ISSofBC Welcome Centre holds a special place in Nicolas’ heart, given his involvement in the project from its early visioning years to its completion with him still in the front-row seat as a member of the building committee.

    Born in Russia and growing up in the Middle East and Europe, Nicolas Lozovsky speaks fluent Russian, French and Arabic. He trained as an architect before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Nicolas has been a member of the Architectural Institute of BC for 40 years, and was involved in the creation of the Vancouver Public Aquarium and St. Paul’s Hospital.

    A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Nicolas is a past board member of AMSSA and the Canadian Folk Society, and presided over the Russian Community Centre in Vancouver for 10 years. He plays in the Russian Folk Orchestra and enjoys travel, dance and scuba diving.

  • Naomi Linklater


    Naomi Linklater


    Naomi Linklater BFA, B.Ed., has first-hand experience in, and knowledge of key immigration issues. She has worked for over 10 years with immigrant, multi-barriered, and at-risk youth and adults in visual/performing arts, ESL, cross-cultural competency, conflict resolution, and life-skilled classes.

    As a partner in The Drive Learning Consultants, Naomi has consulted on the creation of several online and face-to-face programs, including Indigenous Peoples, History, and Cultures (City of Vancouver) Respectful Workplace (Provincial Health Services Authority), Aboriginal Relations (BC Hydro), Career Gateways, and Indigenous Peoples (Vancouver Community College), and the Indigenous People Modules for BCIT and KPU.

  • Joseph Chan


    Joseph Chan


    Joseph Chan’s association with ISSofBC began when he volunteered in the ISSofBC Host program, an iconic settlement-related program that has touched the lives of thousands of newcomers and their Canadian hosts through the years.

    A graduate of Simon Fraser University in Computing Science and Behavioral Psychology, Joseph’s advocacy activities have included co-authorship and publication of studies on issues of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, law enforcement and criminal justice for Simon Fraser University and the University College of the Fraser Valley.

    Joseph is a former military officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, and has since worked in technical aspects of health care and telecommunications consulting. He speaks French and Cantonese in addition to English.

  • Heather Judd


    Heather Judd


    Heather Judd’s first contact with ISSofBC was as a volunteer in the settlement mentorship program, which focuses on building friendships between newcomer families and long-term Canadian residents.

    A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) candidate, Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from McGill University. She currently has a public practice providing assurance services. She has previously provided accounting consulting services to small businesses.

    In addition, Heather has years of experience teaching mathematics, critical analysis and reasoning skills for exam preparatory courses. Among Heather’s volunteering experiences is a stint as Treasurer for Vines Art Festival Society – a popular annual multidisciplinary eco-arts festival that offers platforms for local artists and performers to create and steer their creative impulses toward work that focuses on the environment.

  • Mahtab Rae


    Mahtab Rae


    As an immigrant herself from Iran, Mahtab Rae is passionate about helping other immigrants and refugees settle in Canada. Moving to Vancouver in 2013 after immigrating to Montreal, Quebec in 2008, Mahtab lost no time approaching ISSofBC, initially to seek support, and soon afterward to volunteer.

    Given her academic background and qualifications in science, she was tapped in 2016 to serve in the advisory committee of ISSofBC’s Alternative Career in Technology program, an online resource to help newcomers from regulated occupations considering a shift to alternative careers. Mahtab has a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Biomedical Engineering. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Management from McGill University.

    She worked as a neuroscience researcher and lab coordinator at McGill U, and since moving to Vancouver, has staked out new ground in sales and marketing, earning awards and recognition as a sales leader and consultant.

  • Sasha Ramnarine


    Sasha Ramnarine


    Sasha Ramnarine’s combined interest in business and law saw him pursuing a career in business law.

    He began exploring his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for business at the age of nine, honing his business skills by helping his father grow the family’s Trinidadian bistro in Kitsilano into a successful restaurant.

    Sasha eventually earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Simon Fraser University concentrating in finance, followed two years later by law studies at the University of Ottawa.

    He is currently an associate counsel with Remedios and Company. Off-work, he is a strong supporter of business and the community. Sasha is ambassador for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the New Westminster Police Board and Douglas College Foundation. He is also a professor at SFU and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

    Sasha enjoys hiking, swimming, and playing cricket. His stated mission in life is to “Inspire and touch the hearts of as many people as I walk the path of life.”

  • Joanna Starczynowski


    Joanna Starczynowski


    Joanna Starczynowski brings to the ISSofBC Board her business industry experience and broad knowledge of the financial sector as well as her understanding of cultural dynamics and the growth of communities.

    Born in Vancouver of immigrant parents from Poland, Joanna was raised with strong ties to her ethnic community. In addition to ISSofBC, she is a board member of the M. Kopernik Foundation, a facility for seniors of Polish origins. She has volunteered for various organizations, particularly those that serve newcomers, students and entrepreneurs. She is currently a business mentor for the Caribbean-based (Richard) Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.

    Joanna has over 20 years’ experience in areas of self-employment, banking and consulting. She has consulted internationally and was involved in a project restructuring regional and cooperative banks in Eastern Europe and a USAID banking project in Morocco. She currently operates a business management consulting company – Star Ventures Enterprises Ltd.