Alda Messiah

Organization/Title: Academy of Learning College - Executive Director

Position: Member

Website: academyoflearning.com

Bio: Originally from South Africa with a Chinese/English heritage, Alda has been in Canada for 21 years, with 16 years at Academy of Learning college and two years as Director of Sylvan Leaning in Richmond and Tsawwassen. She enjoys traveling, reading, scrapbooking and cake decorating, and is responsible for general day-to-day campus operations, and interviewing and assisting perspective students with career selections.

Allan Asaph

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce - Executive Director

Position: Member

Website: abbotsfordchamber.com

Bio: Allan has been an Abbotsford resident for more than 20 years, and is heavily involved in numerous local community initiatives.

Danielle Nazarewich

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Community Services - Administrative Coordinator Diversity Education

Position: Secretariat

Website: abbotsfordcommunityservices.com

Bio: Danielle has resided in Abbotsford since 2007 and is a second generation Canadian of Irish, Scottish and Ukrainian heritage. She strives to include all people in our communities by promoting and facilitating educational workshops and events surrounding diversity, inclusion, anti-oppression and anti-racism.

Ruth Meehan

Organization/Title: Vybe Realty - Senior Realtor

Position: Member

Website: vyberealty.com

Bio: An Abbotsford area resident for 47 years, Ruth’s family has been Canadian for several generations with mostly Irish roots. She’s traveled extensively through Canada and the US, as well as Venezuela, Mexico, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. During her spare time, she enjoys family and friends, church, her business, golf, reading, quilting, art, theatre and singing.

David Loewen

Organization/Title: City of Abbotsford - Couniclor

Position: Member

Website: abbotsford.ca

Bio: Born and raised in Abbotsford, Dave is a retired teacher and school administrator who has lived in the area for the majority of his life. Utilizing his languages whenever he can – English, German and some French – he’s lived two years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two years in Australia, several months in Belgium, and three years in Manitoba.

 

Lia Bishop

Position: Member

Varinder Dhesi

Organization/Title: Fraser Valley Packers - Owner

Position: Member

Website: fraservalleypackers.com

Bio: Varinder, an Indo Canadian Sikh, was born and raised in Abbotsford and has been involved in the blueberry farming and packing industry, locally and internationally. He’s currently a student at the University of the Fraser Valley, enrolled in the Criminology Program. He works at Fraser Valley Packers Inc. as Production Manager.

Sue Federspiel

Organization/Title: City of Abbotsford - Community Developer

Position: Co-Chair

Website: abbotsford.ca/community/neighbour...
abbotsford.ca/community/social...

Bio: Sue is a lifelong resident of the Fraser Valley, and is interested in how human diversity makes a city and community stronger and wiser, by reaping the benefits of multiple perspectives and voices.  She works for the City of Abbotsford as a Community Developer, connecting with neighbourhood residents and associations, and developing partnerships to enhance the general quality of life for residents of Abbotsford.

 

Ajay Khausal

Position: Member

 

Tina Stewart

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Downtown Business Association - Director

Position: Member

Website: downtownabbotsford.com

Bio: Tina grew up a daughter of a Canadian Military man, and spent her childhood moving all around Canada, mostly Quebec and Ontario. Of French Canadian and Native Indian Heritage, she has happily planted her roots in Abbotsford since 1988. Committed to helping others, she volunteers with Abbotsford Hospice, works with those who struggle with substance abuse and helps women facing violence.

Manpreet Grewal

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Community Services - Director of Multicultural Immigrant Integration Services

Position: Co-Chair

Website: abbotsfordcommunityservices.com

Bio: Manpreet is the Director of Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services at Abbotsford Community Services and has worked in the non-profit sector for 26 years. She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Vancouver Sun, the Province, the Abbotsford News and the Abbotsford Times. Manpreet has a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Delhi, a diploma in print journalism from the London School of Journalism, and several credit courses from BC Institute of Technology.

Scot Friskey

Organization/Title: Academy of Learning College - Director; Council Vice Chair

Position: 

Website: academyoflearning.com

Bio: Scot’s background in education and training started in 1993. He was the General Manager for a global corporate training organization, stationed in Southern US and England, working internationally for eight years. He was also employed by a US public affairs firm organizing conferences with high-ranking officials. Since 2006, Scot has been a co-owner and operator of three Academy of Learning Colleges; in Abbotsford, Langley and Richmond. He’s held board member positions with the British Columbia Career College’s Association and Quizam Media, an educational media organization, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Gugan Sidhu

Organization/Title: Abbotsford Community Services - Community Developer

Position: Secretariat

Website: abbotsfordcommunityservices.com

Bio: Born and raised in Abbotsford BC, Gugan’s family immigrated to Abbotsford in the late 80s from Punjab. She speaks English and Punjabi fluently. Gugan is passionate about studying early Sikh/Punjabi Canadian history, and enjoys connecting with other immigrants with varying backgrounds.

Kanta Naik

Organization/Title: Abbotsford School District District - Principal-ELL

Position: Member

Website: ell.sd34.bc.ca

Bharati Sandhu

Organization/Title: Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association - President

Position: Member

Website: fvicba.com

Bio: Bharathi, a seasoned financial advisor, is President of the Fraser Valley Indo Canadian Business Association, serves on the board of the prestigious Dasmesh Punjabi School, and is a member of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Professional Women’s Club.  Her volunteer work has included 10 years of coaching Jawani Bhangra, a competitive girls’ Bhangra dance team, which she started during her own university days.

Andy Sidhu

Organization/Title: Punjabi Patrika - Owner & Publisher

Position: Member

Website: punjabipatrika.ca

Stephen Piper

Organization/Title: UFV International Education - Associate Professor Social, Cultural and Media Studies

Position: Member

Website: ufv.ca
ufv.ca/scms
ufv.ca/gds

Bio: Stephen immigrated to Canada as a child, and has lived in Abbotsford for the last 20 years. He teaches Sociology, Global Development Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley and is relatively fluent in English and Spanish.

 

Ghizlane Laghzaoui

Organization/Title: UFV Modern Languages Institute - Assistant professor

Position: Member

Website: ufv.ca

Bio: Ghizlane is a professor of French at the University of the Fraser Valley. She immigrated to Canada in 2000, and taught French language at SFU from 2001 to 2011. Born and raised in Morocco, she has also taught French in a private school ofbBusiness, l’Ecole Supérieure de Gestion, which is a Moroccan branch of the Parisian school. She has a PhD in French language and Literature, and recently finished an Ed.D. in education.

John Potts

Organization/Title: University of the Fraser Valley International Education  - Partnership Manager

Position: Member

Website: ufv.ca

Bio: As the Partnerships Manager in the International Education Department at the University of the Fraser Valley, John invites potential partner universities, colleges and private/public agencies to collaborate in all areas of education and development.

 

Harpreet Singh

Position: Member

 

Camilla Boisvert

Organization/Title: Fraser Health - Community Health Specialist

Position: Member

Website: fraserhealth.ca

 

Hillary Russell

Position: Member

 

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