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 22, 2022, the following persons were elected to ISSofBC’s Board of Directors (2022-2023).

  • Jennifer Natland

    President

    Jennifer Natland

    President

    Jennifer Natland Jennifer Natland is Acting Vice President, Real Estate for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Jennifer has been with the port authority for 14 years and holds the permanent position as Director, Planning and Development. She has also worked as a planning consultant to the maritime sector and previously worked in community planning for the City of New Westminster.

    Jennifer has been involved with ISSofBC since 2017 when she and her family began volunteering as settlement mentors. In other volunteer roles, Jennifer served on both the alumni council and Council of Advisors for the SFU Urban Studies program from 2012 to 2020. She also served as a commissioner and Vice-Chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission from 2010 to 2012.

    In 2018, Jennifer earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the SFU Beedie School of Business. She earned a Master of Urban Studies degree, also from Simon Fraser University, in 2008. She is a Registered Professional Planner and member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

  • Craig Stocking

    Treasurer

    Craig Stocking

    Treasurer

    Craig Stocking is a partner with an accounting firm in the Fraser Valley focusing on tax planning and corporate structuring.  He has also worked extensively with clients on compliance issues and appeals with the CRA. In addition, Craig has worked for over a decade with CPA Canada and its predecessor organization in marking the national final exams for CPAs. He holds a CPA, CA designation and earned a BBA degree in accounting from SFU.

    Away from work, Craig volunteers much of his time to charitable and not-for-profit organizations as director or volunteer in various capacities.  He currently acts as a director/trustee for three local charities.  He has served as a member of the ISSofBC Finance Committee since March 2021.

     

  • Taruna Goel

    Vice-President

    Taruna Goel

    Vice-President

    Taruna Goel is a Learning and Development (L&D) professional with over 22 years of experience in adult education, workplace training, curriculum design, competency assessment, and performance improvement. She holds a Bachelors Degree specializing in Community Resource Management and Education and an MBA in Marketing and Human Resources. She is currently working as Competence Development and Assessment Specialist with North Pacific Inc. Taruna is also an Instructor at University of Victoria and teaches courses in instructional design and learning.

    Taruna has been volunteering in different capacities for many years including writing and editing articles for United Nations Volunteers and Volunteer Burnaby for the purpose of promoting and mobilizing volunteer activities. She has also served as a Workplace Connections Mentor and as Family Settlement Mentor to help immigrant and refugee families build a future in Canada.

    Taruna enjoys exploring the outdoors and nature photography, is an active participant in local industry events and blogs at https://tarunagoel.blogspot.com. Taruna was born and raised in New Delhi, India and immigrated to Canada with her husband and daughter in October 2011.

  • Joseph Chan

    Secretary

    Joseph Chan

    Secretary

    Joseph Chan is a graduate of Simon Fraser University in Computing Science and Behavioral Psychology.  He was formerly a military officer in the Canadian Armed Forces, and has since worked as an operational advisor and planner for Erinys International.

    His past advocacy activities include co-authoring 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 was a volunteer with the Host Program.  He speaks English, French and Cantonese.

  • Lida Paslar

    Member-at-Large

    Lida Paslar

    Member-at-Large

    Lida Paslar – born in Dubai, raised on the North Shore, Lida’s family left Tehran just before the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

    Lida brings with her a wealth of knowledge from the public sector and senior levels of government. Currently, she leads Customer Experience Strategy and Delivery at TransLink, our regional public transportation authority that spans across 21 municipalities in Metro Vancouver. Prior to TransLink, she held positions at the office of the Minister of Transportation for British Columbia, the Organization of Economic Corporation and Development, and at the federal level for the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Finance.

    Lida earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia, with a major in Political Science and a minor in French. Lida is fluent in English, Farsi and French. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and is expecting a little girl in October.

  • Heather Judd

    Immediate Past President

    Heather Judd

    Immediate Past President

    Heather Judd first joined ISSofBC as a volunteer in the Settlement Mentorship program in 2016, where she became enamoured with the organization through the people she met – both staff and clients. She joined the Board of Directors in 2018.

    Heather is the COO of an AI start-up focusing on understanding risks in financial disclosures.  She has over 10 years of experience in accounting and finance roles, including internal financial reporting and external audit/advisory. Further, she has experience teaching critical reasoning, mathematics, and financial literacy. Heather holds a CPA designation and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Statistics from McGill University.

  • Joanna Starczynowski

    Director

    Joanna Starczynowski

    Director

    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.

  • Jack Wong

    Director

    Jack Wong

    Director

    Jack Wong is the recently retired Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia.

    Before being named CEO in February 2011, Jack was the Assistant Managing Director and CFO of the Vancouver Board of Trade. A certified member and Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (FCPA), Jack holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration degree from UBC.

    Jack also has an active volunteer life, currently serving as a Director for Brightside Community Homes Foundation, Immigrant Services Society of BC,  Vancouver Chinatown Foundation for Community Revitalization, and a Governor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). He also has served as Chair of the Social Innovation Working Group at UBC Farm, Treasurer of the Vancouver Police Foundation, Capital Committee Co-Chair of Thompson Rivers University, as well as serving on the external advisory councils for the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of BC and the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University.

    He lives in Steveston, BC with his wife Alanna, and has 2 grown daughters.

  • Sasha Ramnarine

    Director

    Sasha Ramnarine

    Director

    Sasha Ramnarine is an Associate Counsel with Remedios and Company focusing on business law, wills & estates and real estate law. Sasha has worked since the age of nine, and managed his family’s Trinidadian restaurant for a number years in Kitsilano. Sasha completed his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Simon Fraser University concentrating in finance, and then spent two years providing financial advice for families and small businesses. With the aspiration to practice business law, he entered law school at the University of Ottawa and thereafter articled at a boutique corporate real estate law firm serving large companies and real estate developers. A tireless lawyer and entrepreneur, Sasha is dedicated to providing his clients with high value and creative legal solutions for their business and personal life.

    Sasha is a strong supporter of the business and greater community. Sasha is a long-time member and a former Ambassador of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade helping new members assimilate to the Board. Sasha is also a Board Member with the New Westminster Police Board and Douglas College Foundation. He is also a Professor at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University teaching business law and employment law to commerce students. Sasha also ran as Member of Parliament in the General Federal Election of 2015 obtaining over 15,000 votes.

  • Abdullah Abunafeesa

    Director

    Abdullah Abunafeesa

    Director

    Abdullah Abunafeesa (he/him) is a corporate lawyer with extensive legal experience in governance, regulatory compliance, and general corporate law. Abdullah has advised boards of directors of companies in various business sectors on a broad range of legal issues, including risk management, financings, and governance matters.

    Abdullah and his family fled to Canada as refugees from Sudan. He is fluent in Arabic. Abdullah is passionate about utilizing his personal experience as a refugee and his professional experience as a lawyer to help the ISSofBC achieve its objectives.

    Abdullah obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Neuroscience from Carleton University and Queen’s University, respectively, with a focus on the neural basis of human decision-making. Additionally, he obtained his J.D. (law degree) from the University of Ottawa.

  • Jordan Simmons

    Director

    Jordan Simmons

    Director

    Jordan Simmons (he/him) is an explorer at heart. Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, he has since traveled to more than 50 countries, sparking his passion for migrant rights, cultural identity, and inclusion and belonging.

    Jordan is the co-founder and CEO of Nominee, an organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging more women, youth, 2SLGBTQ+, and people of color to run for office and equipping them with the skills they need to change the world.

    For the past 15 years, Jordan has been active in politics and advocacy at every level of government, serving as a political advisor to several B.C. cabinet ministers, and leading grassroots advocacy campaigns, with a particular focus on justice and human rights.

    Jordan brings to the ISSofBC Board a strong combination of lived and professional experience in government relations and corporate strategy, as well as a deep passion for building diverse, inclusive communities where we can all thrive and succeed.

  • Lisa Richlen

    Director

    Lisa Richlen

    Director

    Lisa Richlen (she/her), a Canadian citizen whose mother grew up in the Lower Mainland, is originally from Bellevue, Washington. From 2000-2021, Richlen lived in Israel where she worked as an employee and consultant for tens of human rights and social change organizations, primarily in resource development. In particular, she worked with and for organizations that focused on non-Jews in Israel including asylum seekers and indigenous Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel.

    Richlen, an immigrant twice over (first to Israel and then to Canada), has been professionally engaged in the issue of immigration and migration for nearly 20 years. From 2004-2010 she worked at an organization now called the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants which assists undocumented individuals in Israel (migrant workers, asylum seekers, trafficked persons) whom the state wants to detain and deport. In 2008, she participated in the Refugee Studies Centre International Summer School on Forced Migration at Oxford University. In 2012, Richlen volunteered with the HIAS Refugee Trust Kenya in Nairobi and in 2014 she coordinated the Faces of Exile project through HIAS’s office in Tel Aviv. She also served for many years as a board member of The Schoolhouse: Adult Education and Skills for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

    Richlen holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies from the Jackson School for International Studies at the University of Washington and an M.A. in Social and Emotional Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. She is completed a PhD student in African Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in 2021 with her research focusing on community organizing amongst the Darfurian Sudanese asylum seeker community in Israel.

    Richlen relocated to Vancouver in August of 2021 and is currently working as a sessional in the Department of Sociology at UBC. She is excited to share her academic expertise, practical experience and knowledge of the non-profit and settlement world with ISSofBC and looks forward to learning more about settlement and integration in the Vancouver area.

  • Alec Attfield

    Director

    Alec Attfield

    Director

    Alec (he/him) was educated at Queen’s University and holds degrees in mathematics and education, and a Masters degree in Public Policy. He began his career as a teacher and was a management consultant before moving to the Federal Public Service in 1992.

    Over the course of 30 years, Alec served at the Treasury Board Secretariat in Economic Policy, was a Security and Intelligence Advisor to the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister at the Privy Council Office, served as the Chief of Staff to the President of the Canada Border Services Agency, represented Canada as a Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., and served as the Director General, Canadian Citizenship, at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Alec’s expertise encompasses international relations, intelligence, national security, Canada-US relations, citizenship, customs, and immigration.

    Alec’s spouse, Michele, is an artist and former public servant. His eldest child, Jasmine, is a lawyer and political advisor to the Ontario New Democratic Party. His youngest, Kieran, is pursuing Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s. Alec’s middle child, Aidan, is a dinosaur enthusiast and avid dancer. Alec, Michele, and Aidan live on the unceded and traditional territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam Peoples.