MANSO is governed by an eleven-member Board of Directors, elected from candidates nominated by its member organizations.  Board members are elected for a three-year term and vacancies are filled at the MANSO AGM in June each year.

MANSO est dirigée par un conseil d’administration composé de onze (11) administrateurs élus parmi et par les organismes membres. La durée du mandat des administrateurs est de trois (3) ans et les postes vacants sont pourvus par voie d’élection à l’assemblée générale tenue annuellement en juin.

2019 – 2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Jorge Fernandez – President
  • Jana McKee – Vice President
  • Susan Emerson – Secretary
  • Steve Reynolds – Treasurer

  • Nina Condo – Elmwood Community Resource Centre
  • Grace Eidse – Altered Minds Inc.
  • Fitsum Getahun – IRCOM
  • Codi Guenther – New Journey Housing
  • Salwa Meddri – Réseau en Immigration Francophone (RIF)
  • Steve Reynolds – Regional Connections
  • Traicy Robertson – Society for Manitobans with Disabilities
  • Miriam Turyamwijuka – Portage Learning and Literacy Centre

BOARD BIOGRAPHIES

 

Jorge Fernandez – Immigrant Centre

Jorge Fernandez started with the Immigrant Centre in 1993 and became Executive Director in 2014. He is responsible for developing and delivering effective settlement services, plays a lead role in identifying immigration trends, and engages proactively with funders and key stake holders.

Working as a teacher’s aide in Winnipeg with students who had migrated from Spanish speaking countries, Jorge realized that being an immigrant he could help other immigrants. This opened the doors to seek employment at the Immigrant Centre. While making a difference working through different levels at Immigrant Centre Manitoba, Jorge has helped countless immigrants and newcomers put roots down in Winnipeg.

Jorge was born and raised in Ecuador and moved to Winnipeg in 1985. He graduated from the Catholic University of Ecuador with a degree in Business Administration. Jorge has had a long journey working in the settlement field, giving him over 28 years of experience working in the settlement sector and supporting newcomers to Manitoba.


Jana McKeeJana McKee – Seven Oaks Adult Learning and Settlement Services Centre

Jana is the Manager of Seven Oaks Adult Learning and Immigration Services Centre and has been involved in Manitoba’s immigration sector for the past 7 years, and is currently an interim director for MANSO. Jana has worked in education and non-profits for the past 17 years both abroad in New Zealand and in Winnipeg. She possesses a Master’s degree and her strengths include policy and program development, research and evaluation, and community and organizational building. She has participated in a number of committees in the sector over the years including professionalization committee, health/mental health committee, NISW group, and is a member of WELARC advisory group. In New Zealand, Jana was a Chair of a Community Development Trust from 2000-2006, and aboard member of the YWCA from 2004-2006.


Susan Emerson –YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg

Susan is the Vice President Operations – Community Programs with the YMCA YWCA of Winnipeg.  For over 25 years she has been involved in the childcare sector. From providing front line inclusion support services to administering programs she remains connected to the sector as a part time Educator with Red River College.  A trained ECE, Susan also has a degree in Developmental Studies from the University of Winnipeg and her Adult Education Certificate from Red River College.  She is her Association’s Child Protection lead and along with sitting on the Child Protection Steering Committee for YMCA Canada, conducts nationwide Peer Reviews.  Her board experience includes Willow Place; a family violence agency supporting transformation, healing and healthy relationships.   She just completed serving  as a member of the Community Solidarity Fund through the Manitoba Council of International Cooperation assessing projects for Manitoba not-for-profit, community-based groups involved in development projects overseas.  Her work in the community sector continues to provide her with a greater understanding of the complex systems that children and families find themselves within.


Steve Reynolds, Regional Connections Immigrant Services

Steve has been working in the sector since 2007, beginning as a LINC and English at Work instructor for Regional Connections before moving into the role of Workplace and Employment Services Coordinator in 2012, Language Program Director in 2017, and Executive Director in 2018.  Steve is a trained Diversity and Intercultural Facilitator who has delivered presentations and workshops to a variety of audiences at conferences, in workplaces, for community groups, and in schools. He has also presented on EAL and settlement at various conferences hosted by IRCC, MANSO, TEAM, and HCC. His original passion for teaching and learning (MA Educational Studies, Providence Seminary) has evolved through his experiences of living and working in Osaka, Japan for two years, working with newcomers to Canada for the past 10+ years, and settling in small town Manitoba himself, into a vision for building healthy communities together through settlement, integration, and successful community partnerships.  Steve’s three young kids have also drawn him into various community roles including sports committees and coaching 5-7 year olds in baseball and soccer.


Nina Condo – Elmwood Community Resource Centre

Nina is the Executive Director of Elmwood Community Resource Centre (ECRC) since 2014.  She serves as Co-chair of the Inclusion & Civic Engagement sector for the Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW). She  developed a brief on the experiences of newcomer women and girls in Manitoba in partnership with Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO) in response to the invitation from the House of Common Standing Committee on Status of Women’s study on “Violence against Young Women and Girls”.Prior to her role at Elmwood Community Resource Centre, She was as an instructor within the Applied Counseling Program at Red River College for four years. She managed a Women’s domestic violence prevention program for Five years which allowed her to mentor people from various organizations and to work closely with other organizations through policy recommendations, Clinical consultation, program development and facilitation.

She is passionate about community development, advocacy and empowering Individual, families …her philosophy is “it takes a community to build, raise, and heal families while supporting the growth, liberation of everyone.”

She is a wife and a proud mother of two boys. She is Canadian with Rwandese heritage, her life experience both locally and internationally have inspired her desire to dismantle racism and oppression.


Grace Eidse – Altered Minds Inc.

Grace has worked in the settlement sector in Manitoba since 1989, as an EAL teacher, language assessor (doing A-LINC, CLBA and CLBPT), and educational consultant.  She is the Executive Director of Altered Minds Inc.

She has worked as a contractor with the federal government (CIC/IRCC) and as Program Development Officer with Manitoba Labour and Immigration, where she served as the project officer for regional and francophone agencies, as well as many Winnipeg SPOs.

 


Fitsum Getahun, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba

Fitsum Getahun is a Director of Programming at IRCOM. She has been overseeing IRCOM’s Language, Child Care, Volunteer and Community Engagement, and Asset Building Programs. While serving the newcomer community in different capacities for over a decade, Fitsum accrued an in- depth knowledge of the challenges newcomers face and the opportunities available for them to successfully integrate into society. Fitsum has been managing, designing, developing and delivering programs that support settlement and integration, providing leadership to nonprofits, and engaging in community development activities over the years. Being a newcomer herself and previously working as a settlement worker, she gained invaluable knowledge and experience related to settlement, and developed a strong connection with partners, supporters and the newcomer community. She not only shares the newcomer experience but also has a wealth of international education and experience in different roles. She has a Master Degree in Education and over 8 years of experience in teaching and leadership in her country of origin. Fitsum has been serving at the West End Commons as a member of the Community Life board committee for over a year. Fitsum is passionate about newcomer refugee issues, women, children, and the environment. Fitsum truly enjoys supporting newcomer community members in their settlement process outside of her work. Fitsum also is interested and actively engaged in learning about Indigenous peoples. Fitsum lives with her husband and two children.


Codi Guenther, New Journey Housing

Codi Guenther started working in the settlement sector through her practicum at IRCOM in 2008 after graduating from CMU with her BA in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies.  From there, she moved on to working at New Journey Housing, first as receptionist, then housing counsellor and now currently as Executive Director.  Working in various positions has given Codi 10 years of experience meeting with individuals and families as they work their way towards making Winnipeg and Manitoba their new home.  Codi has been the chair of the MANSO housing committee since 2013 and works hard to bring forward the various housing needs of newcomers to the Right to Housing coalition, MB Non Profit Housing Association and other housing advocacy groups.  Codi spends non-work time hanging out with her partner and 2 kids in their west end neighbourhood.


Salwa Meddri

Salwa Meddri – Réseau en Immigration Francophone (RIF)

Salwa is the Coordinatrice of the Réseau en immigration francophone (RIF) – Francophone immigration network coordinator. The RIF’s role is to bring together organizations that play key roles in attracting, recruiting, welcome and integration French-speaking immigrants in the Province.

Salwa participated and served in different boards such as l’Association des résidents du vieux Saint-Boniface, Saint-Boniface Network, Healthy Together, Vulnerable Cancer Patients Working Group, Saint-Boniface University research group on French speaking newcomers’ mental health, MIRSSA and MANSO.


Traicy Robertson, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities

Traicy has worked in the settlement sector in Winnipeg since 1998. In the past she has served on the board of Manitoba Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Sector Association, (MIRSSA), where she co-chaired the Health Committee and served on the working group for the Winnipeg LIP.  Traicy is also a member of the WRHA Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Working Group, and Cancer Care Manitoba’s Newcomer Advisory Group. Traicy is also a founder member of the Community Health Workers Network of Canada, (CHWN), an organization which supports, and advocates for, the professional development of Cultural Brokers in Canada; she also co-chairs MANSO’s Health Committee. Joining the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities in 2010, she continues to expand her expertise, specifically in the area of culture and disability, specializing in cultural brokerage program development and its’ benefits for various human service sectors. Presently, Traicy manages the Ethno-Cultural Program at SMD, a newcomer navigation program, providing assistance to newcomers and refugees living with a disability, ensuring equitable access to, and understanding of, available services. Created in 1997, the program continues to be at the forefront of services for newcomers living with disabilities. She is proud to be a part of this work.


Miriam Turyamwijuka – Portage Learning and Literacy Centre

Miriam Turyamwijuka is the Settlement Coordinator for Newcomer Settlement Services at the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre. Prior to this, she was the Program Assistant and Stage 1 ESL Instructor. In 2009, she was also an ESL Instructor for all CLB levels at the PLLC. Her lived experience includes teaching English overseas in Rwanda and China for two years. She has also traveled to many countries throughout the world, including Uganda, Kenya and across Europe. Miriam has experience working in mental health and working with people with addictions. She has seven years of experience working in homes with individuals with developmental delays, and this work included hiring new staff and solving any personnel issues. In her personal life, Miriam went through the process of sponsoring her husband from Uganda, and she is a proud mother of four young boys aged 3 to 9. Despite how busy she is with her work and family, she finds the time to contribute to other community organizations as a Board member for CMHA Central and Portage Nursery School.