Patrick MacKenzie is the CEO of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. He has made a career of public service from coast to coast, working in policy and program areas aimed at supporting many of Canada’s most vulnerable communities through economic and social development as well as international relations. Previously, Patrick spent 11 years working for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada at its national headquarters in Ottawa and its regional offices in Vancouver. Throughout his career, Patrick has worked with partners on matters affecting Indigenous and immigrant populations, including immigrant economic integration, provincial nominee programs, credential recognition and labour mobility.
Director, Labour Market Programs & Employer Engagement
Daisy holds a BA and MA. Following completion of her university studies, Daisy worked internationally, primarily in Hong Kong and Madrid. Her professional background includes senior positions in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors in the areas of strategic partnership development and corporate leadership, community investment, immigrant labour market integration and policy development. Her commitment to IEC-BC’s work is fuelled by its blend of economics and social mission, resulting in the ability to “do good and do well”. Daisy oversees programs and services ensuring systems and resources are in place to facilitate cross-organization program alignment and collaboration that support our strategic priorities.
Senior Manager, Finance and Procurement
Dimitry’s expertise spans accounting, IT, operations, and event management for non-profits. As a Labourer-Teacher, he supported migrant workers from Mexico and the Caribbean on Ontario farms, teaching ESL English and computer skills to aid their integration into Canadian society. Additionally, he taught accounting credit courses at a private school. A strategic thinker with a holistic approach, Dimitry is dedicated to community engagement. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Commerce from TMU, and completed the Certified Management Accountant accelerated program, embodying his belief in lifelong learning. Dimitry is responsible for IEC-BC’s day-to-day financial management of funding contracts and ongoing organizational operations.
Senior Manager, Employer Networks and National Engagement
Rania has over 17 years of progressive marketing experience and excels in areas of impact, strategic clarity, value framing, participatory research and stakeholder management. In the past decade, Rania worked with various equity-seeking organizations and co-founded a grassroots initiative that works with local community groups to articulate and bring attention to settlement challenges and opportunities, envisioning a dynamic settlement network where all newcomers are welcomed with open hearts and minds. She also co-founded a networking and mentoring platform for professionals within racialized communities getting started in their new homes and careers. Rania is responsible for strengthen the leadership team and support our programs and employer and stakeholder engagement in BC and nationally.
Executive Assistant to the CEO
Kakada brings over a decade of hospitality industry experience, offering high-level operational support and strategic solutions. With expertise in sports operations, corporate leadership, event sales, and conference management, Kakada excels in curating captivating experiences in Greater Vancouver. Fluent in multiple languages, Kakada forges meaningful partnerships with diverse communities. Their distinguished tenure on the Executive Board of CCIAF reflects a deep understanding of industry dynamics and forward-thinking strategies. Beyond work, Kakada passionately advocates for inclusive communities and empowers immigrants in British Columbia. As a trusted liaison to the CEO and IEC-BC, Kakada streamlines operations and drives organizational success.
Chris graduated from SFU, upon his graduation he conducted primary research and developed work plans used to review and analyze documentation into the history of residential schools in Canada on behalf of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and INAC. Chris also completed Mandarin-language studies at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Asia and oversaw a portfolio of skills-development and income-generation projects for the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. Upon returning to Canada, Chris completed studies in project management through the UBC Sauder School of Business, obtained Project Management Professional certification and, most recently, helped to deliver asset management planning strategies in BC’s non-profit housing sector.
David brings over 18 years of invaluable experience, including extensive time in managerial positions with one of the world’s largest INGOs, to his role as the Manager for the Immigrant Employment Council of BC’s FAST project, where he is currently filling in for Iona during her maternity leave. With a master’s in business administration from the University of West London, he infuses the organization with new perspectives, leveraging his project management expertise and a deep understanding of organizational dynamics. David thrives on challenges, consistently seeking innovative solutions to complex problems. Driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence, he is passionately committed to creating a positive and lasting impact within the sector.
Iona Santos-Fresnoza – On Mat Leave
Iona brings a wealth of experience spanning government, tourism, IT, academia, and non-profits, amassing over a decade of diverse expertise. With a strong focus on project coordination, program development, and community outreach, she adds significant value to her role. Advocating passionately for social justice, diversity, and inclusion, Iona is a catalyst for positive change. Her international exposure includes collaborations with digital agencies in Singapore and the US, driven by a vision of a world without borders, empowered by modern tools. Armed with a Journalism Major from the University of the Philippines, Iona is currently completing an Award of Achievement in Community Management at the University of British Columbia. As the lead for the FAST program, she spearheads transformative initiatives, embodying her dedication to fostering connected and inclusive communities.
Project Lead, Tech Bootcamps
Ryan has a background in project management, stakeholder relations, and over 5 years of research and data analysis experience gained in the academic, non-profit, and for-profit sectors. Ryan is passionate about personal growth and believes in the importance of open and informed dialogue. In his role as Tech Bootcamps lead, his focus is to improve labour market integration for tech-skilled newcomers and address barriers and biases in the hiring processes of tech employers. He also oversees BC JobConnect and Connections Events, focused on connecting employers and newcomers for high-skilled roles.
Project Lead, Engaging SMEs
Sahar has more than 7 years of experience in research, data analysis, and health promotion. She is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a Master of Science in Community Health Promotion from the University of Arkansas, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Kabul University, a Diploma in Business Administration from Kardan Institute, and a Diploma in Public Health and Nutrition from the Indian Institute of Public Health. Sahar worked for World Health Organization (WHO) on multiple projects and capacities and engaged with project partners and stakeholders, including the UNICEF, Nutrition Cluster, Action Against Hunger, USAID, and Global Affairs of Canada.
Specialist, Learning and Inclusive Workplaces
Daniel has extensive experience in learning administration, management, and design. As a certified Master Trainer, Daniel has facilitated workshops across North America and the UK. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and is a life-long learner advocate. He leads the development and implementation of strategic learning programs and resources to support employers in creating inclusive workplaces and in recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse workforces.
Communications and Partnerships Specialist, Engaging SMEs
Vania is a seasoned Communications and Branding professional with 16 years of progressive experience in Financial Services. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Advertising and Digital Marketing at University Anahuac in Mexico and received an MBA in Digital Marketing & Transformation from the University Rey Juan Carlos in Spain. Born and raised in Mexico City, Vania has had the opportunity to travel around the globe and meet people from various cultures. She strongly believes in the importance of multicultural talent empowerment and the powerful contributions newcomers can bring to the Canadian economy.
Project Coordinator, BC JobConnect and MentorConnect
Anshul has over 8 years of project management and entrepreneurial experience across multiple sectors. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media, he managed projects from start to finish while completing his Master’s degree in Commerce with a specialization in Management. He has also earned a diploma in Event and Tour Management and has managed multiple events and international tours. Having been a trustee of a charity for the past decade, Anshul has organized numerous fundraising campaigns in India and has volunteered with Teach for India. He is also a student pilot and has trained on small fixed-wing aircraft.
Coordinator, Centralized Services
Christian is a marketing professional with a BBA from ITESO University in Mexico. He excels in executing innovative marketing campaigns to boost sales and brand awareness for new and existing customers. With extensive customer service experience across various industries, including hospitality, consumer products, and transportation, he is dedicated to delivering professional and results-driven work. In his current role, Christian plays a crucial operational part, supporting the team’s success with his diverse expertise and passion for excellence.
Farizan brings 5+ years of extensive global experience to this position. He’s previously been a consultant to social entrepreneurs in Ecuador, an ambassador for an environmental agency in Indonesia, and a caseworker for immigrants & refugees in Vancouver. He was vital to incubating “PowerHack”, a hackathon event that connects employers to skilled immigrant talents in the Information & Technology sector, into IEC-BC. He is passionate about the intersection between capitalism and social justice, hence his passion to connect employers to skilled immigrant talent so that they fully contribute to our society and economy.
With a passion and skill for helping others succeed, Hana brings over 12 years of progressive experience in executive support and office administration. Prior to joining IEC-BC, Hana worked in the business education & management training field, helping employers in Western Canada improve their operations and employee management practices. Hana has lived and worked in Europe and the United States before moving to Canada. Her professional experience includes event planning, corporate training, marketing research, graphic design and website development.
Project Coordinator, FAST & SPRINT
Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Heritage Studies/Archaeology and History from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Arts in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University. She is passionate about environmental and social justice, as well as community engagement. Before moving back to Canada in 2018, she was working as an ESL teacher in South Korea for a private academy. Upon her return, she worked at a financial and investment firm in Ontario, providing administrative support, coordination and team management for sales teams. During her master’s studies, she volunteered with the Canadian Immigration Historical Society (CIHS) as a graduate student researcher.
Mahdieh (Mah) Fallahnejad
Project Coordinator, Tech Connect Plus
Mah supports the planning and implementation of the Tech Connect Plus project, building and maintaining relationships with different project stakeholders, and identifying and developing opportunities to enhance the capacity of the project through research and communication Mah has over a decade of combined experience in project management, community impact work, and public relations. Through her extensive experience in developing and implementing projects and policies in a variety of sectors, she has adapted to a wide array of settings, including non-profits, community-based organizations, and social broadcasting in multiple countries. She holds an MBA focused on equality in organizations and an MeM focused on planning and system analysis.
Narissa completed a BA degree double majoring in political studies and sociology, and double minoring in criminology and women’s studies at Bishop’s University. Additionally, she completed a MA degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Sunderland. She lived, worked and studied abroad for 10 years in South Korea and Australia and recently returned to Canada. She is an experienced project coordinator, instructional designer, instructor and training developer, skilled in curriculum development, e-learning, virtual reality, gamification, training and facilitation. She is an innovative professional who believes strongly in helping newcomers to Canada achieve their dreams.
Program Administrator, ASCEND
Noha holds an MBA from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport and a BCom from Alexandria University. Noha is a trained web designer and developer with a passion for technology. She has volunteered in the past as a web developer on a learning platform for the TechWomen program from ISS of BC. Before that, she worked in administration and research for more than 10 years. Her previous experience includes researching and developing a labour market analysis for the city of Alexandria as well as managing the development of a website to promote foreign investment in Alexandria.
Peiman holds a Ph.D. in Accounting from Istanbul University and has served as an Auditor for the Ministry of Finance in Iran. With a background as a faculty member at Azad University and an independent consultant, he offers invaluable expertise in bookkeeping and accounting services to various organizations. In his current role, Peiman plays a vital part in ensuring the organization’s financial sustainability and growth. His extensive knowledge in financial management makes him an invaluable asset, contributing significantly to the organization’s success.
Special Project Coordinator
Stefanus is an experienced professional in business operations with a background in start-ups and in the private sector. He is passionate about growth and effective optimization. Having worked internationally in China and Indonesia for more than 10 years, he has honed essential skills in problem-solving, collaboration, and agility while maintaining a consistent focus on big picture perspective. Stefanus is driven by his commitment to excellence and as such he aims to empower businesses to thrive in ever-changing markets by embracing innovation and adaptability.
Jabin brings over eight years of experience in software engineering and IT recruitment. She holds a Master’s degree in Computer Applications that has propelled her into diverse roles as both a Software Engineer and Recruiter. Beyond her professional commitments, Jabin passionately volunteers her time for teaching as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility program, reflecting her deep commitment to community engagement. In her free time, Jabin avidly reads, staying updated on trends. She plays a key role in our team, supporting the MentorConnect program’s scaling efforts by managing registrations and facilitating matching.