• Veronica Lee

    Facilities Manager, ISSofBC Welcome Centre

    Veronica Lee

    Facilities Manager, ISSofBC Welcome Centre

    Veronica Lee, ISSofBC Welcome Centre’s Facilities Manager, is among a small but growing number of ISSofBC staff moving closer to marking 30 years of service with the agency.

    From her position as Executive Assistant to ISSofBC’s first and second executive director in the early 1990s, Veronica has over the years continually taken on more responsibilities and is today Facilities Manager of the ISSofBC Welcome Centre, a world-class 58,000 square foot, Gold LEED building that regularly draws prominent visitors from Canada and around the world.

    In this position, Veronica oversees facility operations and ensures compliance of established safety policies and procedures and promotes safe work habits. “Although the job is challenging and unpredictable, my background and experience continue to serve me well,” says Veronica, who has over 19 years’ experience in operational management of facilities. She is currently also responsible for overseeing and tracking lease renewals for all ISSofBC locations.

    Veronica’s stint as a Tradeshow/Event Planner after completing her studies in England helped hone her skills in trouble-shooting problems and managing crises. Equipped with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Certificate in Administrative Management, Veronica enjoys travelling, reading and fine dining.

  • Diana Smolic

    Associate Director, LINC

    Diana Smolic

    Associate Director, LINC

    In her 25 years at ISSofBC, Diana Smolic has contributed considerably to ISSofBC’s reputation for excellence in program management, administration and delivery.

    As Project Manager of ISSofBC’s LINC program until her promotion as Division Manager in 2010, and driven by a strong desire to provide quality language programming to newcomers, Diana has led the LINC team in introducing innovative ideas and practices in service delivery that have stood the test of shifting client needs.

    Under her management, LINC expanded from one location in Vancouver to six locations across Metro Vancouver, as well as one in Squamish. Diana was also responsible for implementing various enhancements to the LINC program including providing blended online and in-class training options and ensuring that ISSofBC is a leader in Portfolio-Based Language Assessment.

    Diana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Commerce from the University of British Columbia. When not at work, Diana enjoys travelling, reading, garden design, and yoga.

  • Bonnie So

    Associate Director, ISS Language & Career College

    Bonnie So

    Associate Director, ISS Language & Career College

    Bonnie So is the first to admit that her pride in the ISS Language and Career College (LCC) – ISSofBC’s very successful social enterprise – goes deeper than merely professional.

    “It has been so fulfilling to witness LCC grow from one class of 12 students to our current operation with over 2,000 students attending ESL, vocational and co-op programs each year,” says Bonnie, who was involved in the creation of the program in 1995.

    “Having come to Canada from Hong Kong as an international student myself, I value and enjoy our multicultural clients and our diverse staff and volunteers,” says Bonnie, who has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Toronto’s York University and a Multicultural Settlement Certificate.

    Under Bonnie’s management, LCC became a recognized college, earned accreditations from Languages Canada and the BC government (Private Training Institutions Branch), and was listed on the federal government’s prestigious Designated List of Institutions. LCC revenues generated over the years have contributed significantly to supporting unfunded ISSofBC programs.

  • Gabby Korcheva

    Associate Director, Career Services

    Gabby Korcheva

    Associate Director, Career Services

     

    Gabby Korcheva joined ISSofBC in 2019 and, as an immigrant herself and a solutions-focused “people person,” she gets her energy from building meaningful employment and business start-up opportunities for immigrants and refugees coming through ISSofBC’s doors.

    She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy and a Master of Education in Adult Education from the University of British Columbia. Gabby was also a 2016 RADIUS Fellow at the Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business and completed the Social Impact Business-Start Up Incubator program at Spring Activator in 2015. Prior to joining ISSofBC, she was co-founder and manager at Binners’ Project, a local social enterprise of waste-pickers dedicated to creating new economic opportunities and reducing the stigma they face as informal recyclable collectors.

    Gabby believes strongly in the principles of lifelong learning that places learners at the centre. She knows that when the connection is right, we derive confidence, a strong sense of self-efficacy, and valuable learning through work. It is through this belief that she is confident we can move towards greater social and economic equity for all.

  • Edith Oen

    Controller

    Edith Oen

    Controller

    Edith Oen was an accomplished Certified Public Accountant in the Philippines before immigrating to Canada as a skilled independent immigrant in 1997. While in university, Edith served as president of the campus association for accounting students and was a recipient of several academic scholarships.

    She joined ISSofBC in 1999, carrying out multiple functions in the Finance department. Edith has extensive training and experience in bookkeeping, internal auditing, payroll, account reconciliations, cost analyses, and budget preparation. In her current position as controller, Edith is responsible for preparing the organization’s financial statements, monitoring internal controls and supervising the day-to-day processes in the department.

    Edith says she feels privileged to be “working with dedicated ISSofBC staff” and “feels honoured to be a part of an organization committed to serving newcomers.” During her free time, Edith enjoys long road trips with her family, nature hikes, dancing and arranging indoor plants.

  • Jennifer York

    Associate Director, Settlement

    Jennifer York

    Associate Director, Settlement

    Jennifer York’s career path at ISSofBC gives her a rare vantage point not available to anyone else in the organization at her level.

    From serving as volunteer 13 years ago to occupying positions as receptionist, program assistant, employment counsellor, senior counsellor to being manager of federally and provincially-funded employment programs, Jennifer brings to her current position as Settlement Division Manager, a unique understanding of the work requirements and challenges at each level of the organization’s operations.

    Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Alberta, an Executive Master of Business Administration and a Certificate for Responsible Leadership from Queen’s University. She currently serves as secretary for Kindness Foundation which promotes kindness through a school toolkit used by Vancouver School Board and other school districts.

    Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending her free time hiking in the BC trails, baking bread, learning new activities and spending time with her little Pekinese, Sunshine.

  • Ewa Karczewska

    General Manager/Community Relations, ISSofBC Welcome Centre – Surrey

    Ewa Karczewska

    General Manager/Community Relations, ISSofBC Welcome Centre – Surrey

    It’s hard to miss Ewa Karczewska in a crowd. Her exuberant personality and infectious energy bring a positive vibe to any gathering. As General Manager/Community Relations of the new ISSofBC Welcome Centre – Surrey, Ewa may be counted upon to deliver with vigor, the client-focused, multi-service model that its forerunner in Vancouver was built on.

    Ewa, who joined ISSofBC in 1994, has a well-known record for connecting with people, identifying problems, finding solutions and getting things done. As one of her colleagues said, “Ewa leads with flair! She is an exceptional leader who is proficient, fun, and never afraid to roll up her sleeves and do what needs to be done.”

    Ewa joined ISSofBC in 1994 as Childcare Supervisor. This was followed by promotions to ELSA Assistant Manager position then to ELSA/LINC Manager position in 2007. Ewa was instrumental in setting up of the ISSofBC LINC satellite locations in Tri-Cities, Richmond, New Westminster and Maple Ridge. She has also served in several BC-wide and regional committees and boards, including the City of Coquitlam Multicultural Advisory Committee.

    In her spare time, Ewa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, traveling and relaxing in the sun.

Learn more about Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, Canada’s response and how you can help ISSofBC in welcoming Afghan refugee families to Metro Vancouver.Learn More