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


    Heather Judd


    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 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


    Craig Stocking


    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


    Jennifer Natland


    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


    Jim Tallman


    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


    Joseph Chan


    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


    Sasha Ramnarine


    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


    Mahtab Rae


    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


    Lida Paslar


    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.

  • 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.

For the latest updates on immigration to Canada for displaced Ukrainians and the Afghan Humanitarian Resettlement Initiative, visit