Board of Directors
MOSAIC’s Board of Directors is responsible for setting strategic direction for the organization and oversight of its implementation.
The board restricts its activities to the following:
- Strategic planning
- Determination of annual objectives
- Organizational outreach and partnerships
- Oversight of finances to ensure sustainability
- Response to significant community issues in the areas of settlement work
The Board of Directors meets six times per year. All of our board and committee members are volunteers. Without their support and their continued contribution of time and energy we couldn’t continue serving and empowering the immigrants and refugees to fully participate in the Canadian society.
In 1998, while taking up a humanitarian post with the UN Oil-For-Food Programme (OFFP) in Saddam’s Iraq, George took over as Baghdad spokesperson for the OFFP.
In 2002, as Afghan refugees poured into Pakistan, George served with UNICEF Pakistan. In mid-2003, he returned to United Nations peacekeeping and to the Horn of Africa, to serve in the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). From late 2004 to 2007, as the UN struggled to bring peace to North and South Sudan, George joined the fledgling UN peacekeeping mission in Khartoum as the Chief of Public Information, UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS).
George ended his UN career with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), where he served as Director of Communications/Public Information from 2007 to 2011. He continues to do consulting work, as part of a team training Asian military officers to lead UN peacekeeping contingents. He has joined the national board of the UN Association of Canada (UNAC) as a B.C. regional representative and is Vice-President of the board of UNAC Vancouver. George Somerwill has an MA in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development, from the University of York (UK).
Bark Kong is the Executive Director of Business Planning and Support Services at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), with responsibilities for leading the organization’s capital planning process, overseeing business and financial planning support for PHSA’s commercial services and providing business planning support for the organization’s expanded mandate.
Prior to this position, Director of Finance & Administration for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., a province-wide network of support that exists to alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, promote public awareness and search for a cure. In this role, Bark’s focus is on leadership and operational excellence across a number of service areas including finance, human resources, information technology and facilities. Before this position, Bark was a partner at Charlton and Company, Chartered Accountants, providing auditing, and consulting services to public and private companies and health and not-for-profit organizations. In addition, Bark has previously served as a Director of Financial Planning and Reporting with the Fraser Health Authority and the Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Centre.
Bark is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and a Chartered Business Valuator with a BA (majoring in economics and commerce) from SFU.
Barb has experience with volunteer Boards in the non-profit sector, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society, the Autism Community Training (ACT) and the White Rock Public Art Advisory Council. Barb has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from McMaster University.
Sylvia Ceacero has over 25 years of executive experience in non-profits. She has extensive experience in strategy, finance, HR, risk management, change management, governance, fundraising and more. Her experience expands from local non-profits, to national wants as well as charitable organizations with a focus on fund development.
Sylvia has a passion for volunteering her expertise in non-profit Boards and committees. She is currently a Board member for the Vancouver Communities Arts Council; a Committee member with the Laurier Institution as well as a member of the Civic Affairs Committee of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Recently she served on the Board of Vantage Point and previously served as Co-Chair of the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership and as VP of the TC Social and Communities Co-op.
Sylvia holds a Master of Business Administration from HEC Montreal, a Masters in Political Science from McGill University, Executive Certificates in Strategy and Governance from Queen’s university as well as a Masters Certificate in Risk Management.
Paul Cheng is a registered architect, and a senior staff member at the City of Vancouver Planning Department. As a new board member, I hope to contribute to the growth and effectiveness of MOSAIC. I bring with me: A knowledge of municipal planning and permitting processes; architectural design skills, experience in negotiation and problem-solving between multiple interests; and a passion/obsession for community-building and urbanism. I also hope that my experience with MOSAIC will enrich and inform my effectiveness as a city planner.
I immigrated to Canada as an infant with my family during the early 1970’s. I grew up in Toronto in an exceptionally multicultural neighbourhood, and spent my 20’s, studying and then starting my career as an architect, in Montreal. My time in Quebec, as well as a year working in Taiwan, has given me a strong impression of the challenges my parents faced when they decided to start a new life in Canada. The linguistic and cultural challenges facing newcomers can be stressful, while other spinoff effects such as loneliness can be debilitating. Since then, I have come to view my experience as a migrant as just one of billions of migration stories that I would like to draw from and understand. It is my view that the movement of people seeking opportunities and a better life will be a constant phenomenon as the world continues to globalize, and the accommodation of this phenomenon is critical for the future success of humanity.
For the past 20 years she has engaged in research on local settlement issues in metro Vancouver, addressing the gender dynamics that affect women and men differently, and focusing particularly on working with smaller communities that come from sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to research with immigrants and refugees, Gillian has a long-standing interest in government policies around immigration and settlement in Canada, and in comparison to the United States, Europe and Australia.
Gillian has a long association with MOSAIC. She served as a member of the MOSAIC Board of Directors from 1994 through 1999, including serving as Vice President from 1995 to 1997. She also has experience working with a smaller settlement agency. From 2008 until 2015 Gillian served as a member of the Board of Directors of Umoja Newcomer Family Services.
Gillian has been fortunate to be able to combine her passion for research with her teaching, her community service, and her advocacy for greater social justice in Canada.
Meeru Dhalwala was born in India and moved to Washington, DC at a young age with her parents. In DC, she worked with various international non-profit organizations on human rights and economic development projects. She received her MSc degree in Development Studies from Bath University in England. She also holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University for her community and professional work. Meeru is fluent in English, Hindi and Punjabi.
In February 1995 Meeru moved to Vancouver and has since been cooking and running the kitchens and menus at Vij’s and Rangoli restaurants. Vij’s has been hailed by the New York Times as “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.”
Forging professional relationships with other local businesses, and BC farmers in particular, is another important focus for Meeru. She was a board member for Vancouver Farmers Markets for 6 years (2011-2017). She is committed to improving her business environmental footprint, most notably through her choices in produce, seafood and meats as well as minimizing food wastage.
Meeru is a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS). She also works closely with the Dean of LFS and UBC Farm on various, creative fundraising initiatives to build an academic, teaching, sustainable farming center for students, the BC community, and visitors from around the world.
Meeru’s vision is for each person to connect him/herself (body and soul) to the 3 pillars: culture, personal nutrition/health, and the impact of agriculture and eating choices on the environment.
Serena Mawani Parbatani is a manager at HSBC Bank Canada, focusing on acquisition and customer growth. A first generation Canadian, Serena attended the UBC Sauder School of Business where she obtained a Bachelor of Commerce, and most recently graduated from the MBA program at Simon Fraser University.
Volunteerism and giving back to the community is one of the most important pillars of Serena’s life. She has over twelve years of community service experience, including serving on the Burnaby Public Safety Committee, and the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for BC. Serena’s passion is coaching and teaching children; she has been a mentor, public speaking coach and program lead for many youth across BC.
Between 1977 and 2004 Fred worked for the Ministry of Child and Family Development (in his many renditions) as a Social worker, Manager and finally as an Executive Director for a region. It was in this later capacity that he met MOSAIC many years ago. Fred was very committed then to Multiculturalism (as he still is today) and worked with community agencies to try to make the Vancouver Coastal Region culturally competent and responsive to the diversity in our region.
In the capacity of Executive Director, Fred has had responsibly for programs such as Child Protection and Family Support, Youth Justice, Early Childhood Development, Income Assistance, Addictions, Special Needs Children and Adults with a Developmental Disability.
In 2004, he retired from MCFD and worked as a Deputy Child and Youth Officer until 2007. Fred is currently a senior advocacy with the Representative’s office primarily involved in the advocacy mandate of the office. In the course of his many roles in government, Fred has been an advocate for assisting immigrant and refugee families to access services.
Fred would like to continue to use his knowledge and skills in a volunteer capacity to work with the immigrant and refugee populations.
Chris Duff (Board Chair)
George Somerwill (Vice Chairperson)
Bark Kong (Treasurer)
Barb West (Secretary)
Olga Stachova (CEO)
Bark Kong (Committee Chair)
Olga Stachova (CEO)
Sue Trevor (Finance & Administration)
Chris Duff (Committee Chair)
Olga Stachova (CEO)
Wendy Ma (Committee Chair)
Gillian Chetty (non-Board Member)
Olga Stachova (CEO)
Sherman Chan (ELT)
Barb West (Committee Chair)
Olga Stachova (CEO)
Ninu Kang (ELT)
Chris Duff (Committee Chair)