This year, we are celebrating half a century of supporting newcomers as they’ve built their futures in Canada and shaped Canada today. Reflecting on our past highlights the significant changes we have witnessed. In this rapidly evolving world, how do we set ourselves up for success, not only in our next strategic plan, but into the next 50 years?
During the year, our board and staff came together to renew our vision and our values, aligning us with our future strategy. We are building a version of Canada where everyone feels safe, welcome, respected, and included, where we all thrive together in community. This vision, with its foundational principles of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, is central to our strategic plan.
The further pandemic year has taught us the unexpected continues to be the norm. Although we continue to improve service delivery using a data informed approach to anticipate future client needs, we know it is critical to prepare for unforeseen crises. To ensure our success, we are building capacity and organizational resilience to respond effectively to future change. This includes strengthening infrastructure to support our growing team of 450 staff, investing in technology and digital solutions, and continuing to grow our social enterprises. We are excited to face the coming years with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to learning, innovation, flexibility, and responsiveness.
We humbly thank our dedicated and talented staff. They embrace the expected and unexpected, find solutions to any challenge and keep the needs and aspirations of our clients at the forefront. We want to thank our clients – for the community they’ve built and will build, for trusting us and allowing us to share in their hope and their dreams. We want to express gratitude to our volunteers who spend their time building a better world. We want to acknowledge our funders without whom none of this would be possible.
This year, as incoming President and CEO, we would like to offer special thanks to two of our predecessors. Over her 24 years at ISSofBC Patricia Woroch, our recently retired CEO, oversaw the organization grow from two to 14 offices and, among other achievements, led the development of ISSofBC ’s Victoria Drive Welcome Centre. Jim Tallman, a former president of our Board of Directors, has been a volunteer for nearly 30 years, including as an inspiring mentor to many newcomers. Together, Patricia and Jim represent the spirit of service to our mission and the work of the entire immigrant and newcomer sector – we wish them both all the best in their retirement.