Anna Priemaza has been working as legal counsel at the Court of Appeal of Alberta since 2018. Before that, she was a partner at the law firm McCuaig Desrochers LLP, where she practiced in immigration and family law. Anna is passionate about the important, strengthening role diversity plays in society. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the EMCN board and to support newcomers who bring their varied talents, cultural perspectives, and passions to Canada. Anna sits on the executive director search committee and is the chair of the human resources committee.
In addition to being a lawyer, Anna is an author of books for teens. Her first book, Kat and Meg Conquer the World, was on Chapters Indigo’s list of the top young adult books of 2017, and her second, Fan the Fame, was featured in Cosmopolitan magazine in 2019.
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 LauStrategic Advisor to the Mayor
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 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.
Nasim Charkhandeh holds her MBA from Dalhousie University, B.A. from University of Alberta as well as a CFP designation. She has over twelve years of experience in the financial industry and wealth management. Nasim has extensive experience in the development and implementation of comprehensive financial planning strategies encompassing investment management, estate planning, tax planning, retirement planning and business succession planning.
Nasim is passionate about making a positive and meaningful impact through her work and community involvement. Once a newcomer to Canada herself as a child with her family, Nasim believes very strongly in helping newcomers find their path and place in the community. She serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors at EMCN.
Barry AndresExecutive Director for Addiction and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services
Barry Andres is the Executive Director of Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services. He is responsible for leading the coordination of addiction and mental health treatment and prevention services. He supports 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 Governance Committee.
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.