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 16, 2021, the following persons were elected to ISSofBC’s Board of Directors (2020-2021).

  • Heather Judd

    President

    Heather Judd

    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.

  • Taruna Goel

    1st Vice-President

    Taruna Goel

    1st 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.

  • Joanna Starczynowski

    2nd Vice-President

    Joanna Starczynowski

    2nd Vice-President

    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.

  • 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.

     

  • Jennifer Natland

    Secretary

    Jennifer Natland

    Secretary

    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.

  • Jim Tallman

    Member-at-Large

    Jim Tallman

    Member-at-Large

    Jim Tallman has been a Training Consultant since 1979, working with clients in business, industry and government. He has conducted course development projects across Canada, the U.S. and overseas. He is president of North Pacific Training & Performance Inc., a company that creates skills-based training and assessment systems for industry.

    Over the years, he has hired many newcomers for project work in his company. He has been a settlement mentor for many families and individuals through the ISSofBC Volunteer Connections Program, and has served on the ISSofBC Board of Directors since 1995.  He has also served on the board of AMSSA.

  • Joseph Chan

    Member-at-Large

    Joseph Chan

    Member-at-Large

    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.

  • 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.

  • Mahtab Rae

    Director

    Mahtab Rae

    Director

    Mahtab Rae was born and raised in Iran. Before immigrating to Canada in 2008, she lived and studied in Europe. Beginning with exploring life in different continents, countries and cities, Mahtab’s journey of immigration finally brought her to Vancouver in 2013. Through a friend’s recommendation, she sought the help and support of ISSofBC in 2014. She also began volunteering for ISSofBC at that time. Later, she became an advisory committee member for the Alternative Career in Technology developed by ISSofBC in 2016, and then, most recently, joined the board in 2018.

    Mahtab holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology. She has also obtained a Graduate Diploma in Management from McGill University. An engineer, researcher and scientist at heart, Mahtab is also an experienced sales and customer success associate. She has worked to establish and achieve sales targets, conducted marketing activities, built relationships, matched products with business requirements, and provided sales leadership to a broader team.

    Mahtab is active in the Vancouver community and enjoys volunteering her time for various non-profit organizations. She is passionate about helping immigrants and refugees to settle into their new future.

  • Lida Paslar

    Director

    Lida Paslar

    Director

    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.

  • Margaret Ostrowski

    Director

    Margaret Ostrowski

    Director

    Margaret Ostrowski, Q.C. most recently served as the full-time Chair of the Mental Health Review Board of B.C. for approximately seven years, a board that conducts more than 700 mental health hearings per year.  She was also an Independent Adjudicator for the Correctional Service of Canada Fraser Valley Institute (BC Women’s prison) and has volunteered at ISSofBC and the Access Pro Bono Aboriginal Law Clinic.

    She practised law in BC for 35 years and been a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Employment Standards Tribunal, Health Professions Review Board, Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal, Crime Victims Assistance Appeal Tribunal and Financial Services Tribunal. She was President of the Canadian Bar Association of BC in 2000 and a Bencher of the Law Society of B.C. from 2002 to 2006 when she was appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board.

    Margaret was the recipient of the 2009 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Business and the Professions and was the national CBA Touchstone Award winner in 2007 for her accomplishments in promoting equality in the Canadian legal profession.  Active in her community, she was the Vice-President of the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals and the Justice Education Society. She currently is the Vice-President of the Seniors First Society.

    Margaret held an Advanced Commercial Mediation Certificate, a Family Law Mediation Certificate, and was a BC Registered Psychologist. She has authored many articles and given many presentations and is currently authoring a book on immigration experiences. She has two sons and three grandchildren.

  • Rhys Volkenant

    Director

    Rhys Volkenant

    Director

    Rhys Volkenant currently works at De Jager Volkenant as an associate lawyer, practicing in the areas of business law, charity compliance, education law and real estate. Prior to joining De Jager Volkenant, Rhys articled and worked as an associate lawyer at a mid-sized law firm in downtown Vancouver and assisted clients with corporate commercial, intellectual property and advanced education matters.

    Rhys completed his law degree at the University of British Columbia, with a Law and Social Justice Specialization. Prior to law school at University of British Columbia, Rhys attended Trinity Western University and played varsity soccer there for five years. From August 2018 – February 2021, Rhys volunteered at Kinbrace Community Society as a host community member and had the privilege of living alongside refugee claimants in Vancouver with his family.

    Outside of work, Rhys enjoys being a father and spending time with his wife and their three children. He also continues to be involved in soccer through coaching and playing recreationally.

  • Jack Wong

    Immediate Past President

    Jack Wong

    Immediate Past President

    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.