Board of Directors
The Board of a not-for-profit Society fulfills the responsibility of ownership and ultimate accountability to the members of the Society and thus to the community.
2016-17 Board of Directors
Charles Buchanan, Chair
Charles Buchanan is a technology executive with nearly 20 years experience in Enterprise Content Management, Business Management and Information Technology. His experience includes business leadership, financial and operations management, strategic business and IT planning, workshop facilitation, business transition and contract negotiation. His strong consulting background was honed through significant contributions in senior management consulting roles at Oracle Corporation, Deloitte Consulting and Fujitsu. He is an experienced facilitator and negotiator with the ability to bring diverse issues to common and agreed resolutions.
Mr Buchanan holds an MBA (with distinction) from Queen’s University and B.Sc. (Honours) in Computer Engineering. He is also a member of the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society. Charles joined the Board of the Centre for Newcomers in 2011.
Roxanne Israel, Vice-Chair
Roxanne practices immigration law as a partner of Egan LLP and has served on the executive committee of both local and national Immigration Bar Associations. She provides strategic advice to corporate clients with respect to Canadian Immigration matters, including visas, work permits, permanent residency and citizenship, as well as policy development and corporate compliance. She completed her B.A. at McGill University, here LLB at the University of Victoria, and her M ST in International Human Rights at Oxford University, and was called to the bar in Alberta in 2003.
Aleem Dhanani, Vice-Chair
Aleem has been an active community member contributing his knowledge and skills including: strategic support and direction with a number of community organizations, financial training and life skills for students, operational and strategic support in various international development projects, and raising awareness, participation and funds for development projects in Africa and Asia.
Aleem is currently the Managing Director of the real estate development company BRI-MOR Developments. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Business Administration from the London Business School.
Muhammad A. Ashraf, Interim Treasurer
Muhammad A. Ashraf is a banking professional with nearly six years of experience in retail, private & commercial banking. Currently working at a Canadian bank as a Commercial banker where he is involved in business lending to diversified industries including, Energy Services, Manufacturing, Transportation and Agriculture. Being an immigrant himself, he has a strong passion for serving the community and has worked with CCIS, Junior Achievement Southern Alberta and United Ways. Muhammad holds an MBA from Queen's University with a focus on global business and leadership.
Vivek Warrier, Secretary
Vivek is a partner with the law firm Bennett Jones; he completed his education in Calgary and Edmonton and was called to the bar in Alberta in 2001. Vivek practices in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, from exploration through marketing; he also teaches Oil and Gas Contracts Law at the University of Calgary, and publishes extensively on oil and gas legal topics. He is sought out by clients for complex purchase and sale transactions and other contractual issues including ownership and service agreements.
Vivek is a lifelong Calgarian and has been extensively involved in community development. He has served as a director of the Distress Centre and currently is involved as a volunteer for the Calgary Stampede and as a United Way leader.
Mark Hopkins is a Calgary-based theatre artist and community-builder. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre, Calgary‘s leading purveyor of fearless site-specific theatre. He’s also thrilled to be associated with the Calgary Foundation, the Centre for Newcomers, Human Venture Leadership and VoteKit Calgary, and is the founder of We Should Know Each Other.
Some of Mark’s honours and awards include the Creative Placemaking Award (2016 Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 and the Calgary Herald’s 20 Compelling Calgarians.
He is a strategy, management system, and policy professional with expertise in environment and sustainability. Hans has over a decade of experience working with organizations in the public and private sectors to formulate and implement strategic responses to business and sustainability issues in order to improve their performance and manage risks. Mr Luu possesses a strong business consulting background, combined with technical training and education in the environmental sciences, allowing him to bring a science-based approach to helping organizations navigate sustainability challenges. His professional experience includes deep knowledge and work in the areas of strategy development and implementation, risk management, environmental management, climate change strategy and policy, environmental reporting, non-financial assurance, business process improvement, organizational transformation, and environmental performance improvement. Having come to Canada as a refugee himself, Hans is also deeply passionate about building a strong, unified, and diverse community through supporting and empowering new citizens, especially youth, and has previously spent ten years working with new immigrant youth and their families on settlement issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Master of Environmental Design from the University of Calgary.
Farrah is a lawyer with ConocoPhillips Canada. She practices in a variety of areas including employment, privacy, regulatory and corporate/commercial. Farrah previously worked with the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto advising on various labour & employment related matters including strategically managing one of the largest terminations in Canadian history due to the closure of Zellers. Farrah completed her B.A. (Honours) at Queen’s University and her LL.B. at the University of Western Ontario. As a born-and-raised Calgarian, Farrah is an avid volunteer and has been involved with several community organizations, such as The Calgary Foundation and the Calgary Drop-In Centre.
Sangeetha Varghese has significant consulting and general management experience in diverse industries including energy, retail, and telecom and spanning across the areas of safety, information solutions, shared services operations, supply chain and logistics. Having worked in India and Canada, both in entrepreneurial and corporate environments, she brings with her a multi-dimensional perspective. Sangeetha’s consulting practice focuses on Asset Management, Business Process Management, Change Management, Organizational Development, Project Management and Strategic Planning.
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