Jennifer BraunPast Chairperson
Dr. Jennifer Braun is an assistant professor of Sociology at The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta. Her main areas of research include women in leadership, agriculture and food, as well as public funding for immigration in Canada. Jennifer completed her PhD in the department of Sociology as the University of Alberta in May 2019. Jennifer has given numerous talks and lectures from her research on patterns of provincial and federal funding for immigration in Canada. She has been on the EMCN Board of Directors since 2016, serving as human resource chair, and a member of the executive director search committee. Jennifer is currently serving as Board Chair.
Bin Lau has been a member of Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson's team since his 2013 election, advising on outreach and policy at city hall. Prior to entering the political world, he worked as a communications professional in Canada and abroad. As an EMCN board director, Bin is vice chair and sits on the human resources committee. He is a long-time volunteer at North America's largest and longest-running fringe theatre festival, centred in Old Strathcona every August. With a BA in economics and an MA in southeast Asian studies, Bin is a commercial aviation geek - which means he nerds out at airports plane-spotting.
Allison PetersChair, Human Resources Committee
Allison Peters has more than a decade’s experience supporting post-secondary students in the province through various roles with Alberta Advanced Education. Currently Sector Strategic Support Lead, she is the team lead for the department’s post-secondary student mental health program, using policy, partnerships, and funding to improve post-secondary student mental health. Allison is interested in system design and implementing client-centred policy.
Allison joins the EMCN board as a representative for First Mennonite Church. She brings with her non-profit work experience with her as a former staff person with Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba. Allison has a BA in English Literature and a Diploma in Journalism.
Barry AndresChair, Governance Committee
Barry Andres is past Executive Director of Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services. He was responsible for leading the coordination of addiction and mental health treatment and prevention services and supported operational services through the development of policy and standards, care quality improvement, professional development and service reporting. He has been involved in the development, delivery and evaluation of mental health and substance use treatment and prevention services throughout Alberta and has led initiatives advancing the integration of mental health and addiction services. He is past president of the Canadian Executive Council on Addictions, a national body that advances substance use treatment. He holds a Masters’ of Science in Health Promotion from the University of Alberta along with bachelors’ degrees in Education and Psychology. Barry is chair of the EMCN Governance Committee.
Paola MatallanaChair, Treasurer
Paola Matallana is currently the Accounting Manager, Operations at Servus Credit Union Ltd. She is responsible for the taxation of the corporation and subsidiaries and oversees accounting operations. Paola is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) in Alberta, a Commissioner for Oaths in the Province of Alberta and currently working towards her Canadian Risk Management Designation. Paola brings over ten years of financial management experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, with a focus on financial reporting, budgeting and tax. Before joining Servus, Paola worked at the Edmonton Catholic School District as the Manager, Finance and Administration; KWB LLP Chartered Accountants as a Senior Staff Accountant; Manager Reporting and Internal Controls for Scania; Staff Auditor for the Auditor General of Alberta and others. She is fluent in Spanish and as an immigrant herself very knowledgeable about the challenges of being a newcomer in Canada. Paola joined EMCN’s board in 2017 and is grateful for the opportunity to serve this organization ensuring is financially healthy. Paola is the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee.
Don Douglas is an elementary teacher with Edmonton Public Schools. In his work, he has gotten to know many families of newcomers, and understands how important EMCN is. He values the contribution to our community that newcomers make, and love the rich tapestry of cultures in our city. Because of this, he am excited to be involved in the important work of EMCN.
Thomas Bumbeh is a full-time licensed Real Estate agent in the province of Alberta since 2006. Currently Thomas is licensed with RE/MAX Elite Brokerage and a member of the Edmonton Real Estate Board (EREB), specialized in residential, condominium, multi family, New Homes and investment properties. Thomas is a recipient of 2010 Mennonite Centre for Newcomers Rise Award for outstanding Services in promoting cultural diversity and inclusion among Children and Youth through Mentorship initiatives. Until recently, Thomas has spearhead numerous community projects including All Africa Games and Soccer Tournament Hosted by Africa Centre as part of the community engagement initiatives among many other services and achievements. Thomas lives on the Northeast of Edmonton with his wife Amie and three Children. Being an alumnus of EMCN as a newcomer in 2001, it is my profound pleasure to serve at this time on the Board of directors of EMCN on the human resources committee.
Harman Singh Kandola is a passionate advocate for social justice and anti-racism activism. Harman was born and brought up in Edmonton to immigrant parents who came to Canada from Punjab, India in the early 1970’s. Having spent all his life in the City of Edmonton, Harman worked his way through university, earning a Bachelor of Commerce and a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Alberta.
Beginning as a grassroots organizer, Harman has experience as a political organizer at both the provincial and municipal levels. Navigating systemic barriers and racism has driven Harman to commit to contributing to more inclusive, accessible, and equitable communities. Harman feels privileged to continue to break down barriers for vulnerable communities through serving on the EMCN board.
Currently, he is a Partner at Shourie Bhatia LLP, a full-service law firm where he specializes in commercial litigation. He is also the Vice President for the World Sikh Organization of Canada, and serves on the City of Edmonton's Antiracism Advisory Committee.
Helen is a senior executive with 25+ years of experience leading Human Resources in health care, at the municipal government level and in the post-secondary sector where she is currently the Associate Vice President of Human Resources at MacEwan University. She has her Master of Science in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology.
Helen was born and raised in Edmonton. She is a first-generation immigrant settler. Her parents emigrated from Hong Kong in the late sixties and Helen has the lived experiences of growing up with immigrant parents trying to find their way in a new country. In her work, she has championed numerous diversities, equity and inclusion programs. Outside of her professional life, she is the proud mother of two active teenagers and an Australian Labradoodle named Ollie.
Daniela O'Callaghan is passionate about building more inclusive, accessible and equitable communities. She and her family immigrated to Canada from Chile in 1988 and experienced firsthand the positive impact that understanding, compassion, support and friendship from the larger community can have on the success of newcomers.
Daniela feels privileged to serve on the EMCN board where she can work towards breaking down barriers for newcomers and celebrate the value of a diverse cultural fabric.
Daniela has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta and a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Saskatchewan. She is a Canadian military veteran and currently works as in-house counsel for a public utility. Daniela was recently elected the Chair of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission which regulates professional combative sports in Edmonton and hears licensing appeals.
When business owners find their businesses in financial chaos and are serious to take the leap to say hello to cashflow and MORE, they reach out to Kirsha Campbell “The Cashflow Maven”. A CPA/CMA, Kirsha integrates all the moving parts in your business to set up the right foundation to be recession proof, operate with reduced risk, increase cashflow, set up effective systems and procedures and so much more. Kirsha helps business owners to say goodbye to overwhelm, stress and frustration about their businesses results and operation.
Kirsha values continuous improvement and is sought after for her attention to details, integrity and her passion to turn businesses around. Having spent years in the corporate world, she understands key strategies that need to be adhered to ensure businesses are successful and set up to be recession proof. She also understands the need for businesses to have customized strategies that fit their particular situation.
She is deeply passionate about helping her clients and is committed to forming lasting relationships. She has a heart for her clients and is deeply committed to their businesses being set up for success and be their “go-to” second brain for their business.
She expertly steps into each relationship with her clients and is committed to create change and effective solutions in businesses recognizing the importance of looking beyond the numbers.
As an immigrant herself, she understands the various experiences immigrants may experience as well as the importance of having a strong support structure and community.
She believes in volunteering and community involvement and seeks to get involved in the community she resides in and beyond.
She is a twin mom and enjoys outdoors with her little ones who keep her learning.
Sunny Chattha is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), first receiving his Chartered Accountant (CA) designation in 2007. Born in Calgary, Alberta to immigrant parents from Punjab, India, Sunny attended the University of Alberta and stayed in Edmonton after graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce. Sunny spent over 8 years at Deloitte & Touche in Edmonton in their Assurance & Advisory practice gaining experience in the Not-for-Profit space. Currently, Sunny has been working in the Automotive Lending Industry and is the Vice President of Auto Finance at Go Auto.
Sunny hosts a popular radio show on My Radio 580am communicating in both English and Punjabi about such issues as diversity, social justice, anti-racism and community building. In addition, Sunny has worked on several community initiatives with Punjabi youth that required grassroots organizing. Sunny has political experience in both municipal and provincial levels as an organizer and volunteer.
Sunny has served on the EMCN Audit and Finance Committee since January 2021 and has come understand the finances of the EMCN in that time. Sunny feels honoured to now be working on the EMCN board that will serve Edmonton’s newcomer community and wants to help grow the centre in the years to come.
Ejike Ohuegbe has years of work experience in both nonprofit, public and private sectors in various capacities including as a Resettlement Counsellor for newcomers to Canada, Community Social Worker and Human Resources professional.
With both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work, Ejike has extensive volunteering experience in community organizing and development including serving as President of a community association and also as a board member for Calgary Catholic Immigration Society.
Currently, Ejike is the Director of Human Resources at Clark Builders.