Staff

Patrick MacKenzie

CEO

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 aboriginal and immigrant populations, including immigrant economic integration, provincial nominee programs, credential recognition and labour mobility.

Daisy Quon

Senior Manager, Programs and Stakeholder Relations

Daisy is the Senior Manager, Programs and Stakeholder Relations at IEC-BC where she is responsible for oversight, coordination and implementation of IEC-BC’s programs and services, as well as external relations with employers, service provider organizations, government and other key stakeholders. She holds a BA and MA – following completion of her university studies, Daisy worked internationally, primarily in Hong Kong and Madrid, Spain. Her professional background includes senior positions in the private, non -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 the work of IEC-BC is fuelled by its blend of economics and social mission, thereby, resulting in the ability to “do good and do well”.

Dimitry Morales

Senior Manager, Centralized Services

Dimitry is the Senior Manager, Centralized Services and is responsible for IEC-BC’s day-to-day financial management of funding contracts and ongoing organizational operations. He has extensive experience with accounting, information technology, operations and event management for non-profit organizations. As a Labourer-Teacher, he worked along migrant workers from Mexico and the Caribbean on farms in Southern Ontario and taught them ESL English and computer skills while helping them integrate into Canadian society. He has also taught secondary school accounting credit courses at a private school.

Dimitry is a strategic thinker who likes to take a holistic approach to his work. He is passionate about being involved through community engagement. Dimitry holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University, has completed the Certified Management Accountant accelerated program and believes in lifelong learning.

Devon Franklin

Senior Manager, Skills Validation & Strategic Initiatives

In her role as the Senior Manager of Skills Validation and Strategic Initiatives, Devon oversees the dynamic teams responsible for the development and delivery of innovative, digital tools that support the recognition of the skills and competencies immigrants and refugees bring to the Canadian labour market. In addition to managing the existing tech-enabled solutions, Devon is responsible for identifying and pursuing strategic opportunities that ensure the on-going sustainability and business continuity of IEC-BC. Before joining IEC-BC, Devon has held progressively senior roles at several different institutions, where she has focused her efforts on developing demand-driven, collaborative initiatives to address the pervasive challenge of under- and unemployment of immigrants and refugees. Through her collaborative, action-oriented leadership approach, Devon has been successful at bringing a unique employer-informed lens to program development and mobilizing stakeholders for collective action.

Devon holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University.

Jonathan Waiching Ho

Manager, Communications

Jonathan is the Communications Manager of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. He is a multi-faceted storyteller with more than 11 years of integrated marketing & communications (IMC) experience across Canada, the Middle East, and Asia. His areas of expertise include digital communications, brand strategy, communications counsel and social media. Having worked with both government and private organizations, he brings fresh ideas to the IEC-BC team. He holds a Bachelor in Commerce with a specialization in Marketing & Comms Management. Jonathan also worked for the British Council in Asia, where he found his true passion for creating awareness on diversity, education, and inclusion within niche communities.

Jonathan is a social strategist wearing many hats and will continue to work on driving strategic communications & partnerships across corporate communications. He is involved in multiple marketing projects and leads the communications team at IEC-BC. Jonathan holds certifications in Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing Certifications in SEM and SEO from BrainStation. He has been working on website development and marketing alongside exploring UX and UI for targeted users.

Chris Anderson

Manager, ASCEND

Chris is the Manager for the Immigrant Employment Council of BC’s ASCEND project. Upon graduating from SFU, 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 then moved to Asia where he completed Mandarin-language studies at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies 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.

Rania Younes

Senior Manager, National Network

Rania is the National Network Project Manager. She brings solid experience in guiding and leading program design and development in the newcomer employment and career advancement space. Through her experience working closely with immigrant professionals and employers alike, she brings a systemic approach to the forefront, articulating and drawing upon user experiences to develop effective and engaging strategies. Rania has over 17 years of progressive marketing experience, which has taken her to positions in global and leading local marketing and advertising companies where she excelled in areas of expertise in strategic planning, brand positioning, market research and analysis, new market penetration and business analysis.

Rania strongly believes that when immigrants proposer we all prosper, and with that belief rooted in her community work, she co-founded WelcomeHomeTO, a grassroots initiative that works closely 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, and supported to reach their highest potential for a stronger Canada.

Iona Santos-Fresnoza

Manager, FAST

Iona is the Lead responsible for the FAST (formerly FAST BC) project. With over a decade of work in government, tourism, IT, academia, and non-profits, she brings to her role not only extensive experience in project coordination, program development, and community outreach, but also advocacy for social justice, diversity, and inclusion. Before moving to Canada, she collaborated with digital agencies in Singapore and the US – believing that with the tools available to us today, a world without borders is possible. 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.

Daniel Chen

Specialist, Learning and Inclusive Workplaces

Daniel is the Learning & Inclusive Workplaces Specialist at IEC-BC. 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. With over a decade of corporate learning experience, 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.

Hana Bilikova – On Mat Leave

Coordinator, Administration

Hana is the Coordinator, Administration at IEC-BC, providing support to the CEO, Board of Directors and Senior Management. She enjoys helping others succeed and 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 and her professional experience also includes event planning, corporate training, marketing research, graphic design and website development.

Eduardo Bananal

Coordinator, Employer Relations

Eduardo is the Community Partnerships Coordinator whose role entails collaborating with the different community groups and immigrant serving organizations across the province, with the ultimate goal of connecting BC employers with newcomers to help meet their workforce needs.

He has more than nine years of experience in sales and client management in the pharmaceutical industry. He previously worked in the fast-moving consumer goods industry as a business development officer. Eduardo holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines. He has been involved as a volunteer for a disaster management organization (logistics team for Typhoon Haiyan victims) and an associate editor/ volunteer for a non-profit, religious organization.

Narissa MacLeod

Coordinator, ASCEND

Narissa is the Coordinator for the ASCEND project. She 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.

Farizan Razie

Coordinator

Farizan is the Coordinator at the Immigrant Employment Council of BC. He 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.

Souhaila Hussain

Coordinator, Administration

Souhaila is the administration coordinator at IEC-BC, focusing on supporting the CEO. She brings with her a background in communications, marketing and research skills from her education and work experience from Malaysia and Sudan. She enjoys working with people and is no stranger to diversity and multi-culturalism. In addition to her role at IEC-BC, Souhaila is also a volunteer grants writer and board secretary to the Vancouver Visual Arts Foundation. Before joining IEC-BC, she started a Doctoral degree in communications in Malaysia, where she completed her BA and MA, and accumulated over 8 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods and utilities industries.

Christine Wong

Marketing Generalist

Christine is the Marketing Generalist at IEC-BC. She graduated from UBC’s Sauder School of Business with her bachelor’s degree in Commerce specializing in Marketing and Business Technology Management. She has worked on marketing campaigns for a variety of firms ranging from high tech, engineering, professional services, and non-profit. In addition to her role at IEC-BC, she is a Chapter lead and Board Member with Project Linus Canada, the Canadian branch of a global charity that connects handmade blankets with children in need of comfort.

Peiman Sadeghi

Coordinator, Finance

Peiman will be working as a Coordinator, Finance and be working closely with the team to support the financial sustainability of the organization as we continue to grow. Previously Peiman provided bookkeeping and accounting services to various organizations. He also worked as an Auditor for the Ministry of Finance in Iran and a faculty member at Azad University. Peiman holds a Ph.D in Accounting from Turkey.

Dumebi Ifesemen

Coordinator

Dumebi (pronounced Do-Maybe) will be working as a Coordinator. Previously Dumebi provided strong administrative support and built strong collaborative relationships with various stakeholders at the Central Bank of Nigeria and more recently Vancity. Dumebi holds a BA in Economics from Ghana and MSC in Financial Services from England.

Christian Toussaint

Coordinator, Centralized Services

Christian will be working as a Coordinator to support the team in an operational role. Previously Christian provided excellent customer service in various industries including hospitality, consumer products and transportation. He is passionate about offering professional and results-driven work. Christian holds a BBA in Marketing from Mexico.

Noha Hamed

Program Administrator, ASCEND

Noha is the program administrator for the ASCEND program. She 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. Noha holds an MBA from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport and a BCom from Alexandria University.

Ryan Carter

Coordinator, Programs and Research

Ryan is the Programs and Research Coordinator. He oversees BC JobConnect, an online platform which connects employers with skilled immigrant talent. In addition to this, Ryan also works with employers to run events with the aim of hiring skilled immigrants to numerous positions across a variety of in-demand industries.

Ryan brings over five years of research and data analysis experience from both his time completing his master’s in political science and working in the non-profit sector. He has experience in project management, financial analysis, and law gained in the private sector. Ryan is passionate about personal growth and believes that open and informed dialogue is an integral piece of bettering society.

Kim Tobin

Project Coordinator, FAST & SPRINT

Kim is the Project Coordinator for FAST/SPRINT.  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.

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.

Sahar Sayedy

Specialist, Research and Partnerships

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.

Divya Hariharan

Project Manager, Building SME Networks

Divya is the Project Manager, Building SME Networks at the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia. She brings a decade of experience in research, social impact projects, and policy programming. She has designed, implemented, and managed scalable programs and strategies on gender, social inclusion, and economic empowerment. Divya has a Master’s degree in Gender from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked in various South Asian markets on inclusive economic development and financial inclusion for women and the integration of vulnerable populations.

Vania Barber

Communications Specialist, National Network

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.

Monica Joshi

Specialist, Employer Relations

Monica Joshi brings 15 years of experience leading branch operations for a consulting firm where she managed strategic planning, client relations, project management, and regulatory & compliance. She volunteers with non-profit organizations in Canada and the US which serve various humanitarian causes. Her experience working in corporate & non-profit environments has provided her with a holistic view of the different segments of society. Monica holds a Master’s degree in Commerce and has completed Chartered Accountancy (ICAI, India) and the Uniform CPA Exam (CBA, USA).