top of page

Connecting Newcomers to Our Community since 1989.

omar-lopez-1qfy-jDc_jo-unsplash.jpg

Our Mission

Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society is situated on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territory of the Okanagan Syilx Nation and we recognize, with gratitude and respect, that, for centuries, the Indigenous stewards of these lands have welcomed local settlers with kindness and compassion.


At VDICSS, we wish to honour this example of inclusivity of the Okanagan peoples by fostering a culturally conscious, equitable community that advocates for the rights of all. We support newcomers to Canada in becoming thriving, contributing members of the community. We are a catalyst for positive change driven by our 6 values: Equity, Empowerment, Progress, Inclusivity, Diversity and Collaboration.

Our Vision

We envision a culturally inclusive, equitable community for all. A community that respects and appreciates the value of diversity and supports the full participation of people from all backgrounds.

Mission.jpg
Lecture

Our Values

  • EquityRecognizing that we do not all start from the same place but striving to provide access to the appropriate opportunities.

  • Empowerment: Fostering an environment where individuals gain the knowledge and confidence to make informed choices.

  • Progress: Commitment to continuous learning, growth, and improvement.

  • Inclusivity: Working to remove barriers to include everyone in opportunity.

  • Diversity: Embracing the uniqueness which shapes our community for the better.

  • Collaboration: Working together for a common purpose.

Meet the Team

Martin Friedrich

Executive Director

He/Him

Languages: English/German

Harriet Gutang

Manager of Operations

She/Her

Languages: English/Filipino

Anetha Kashuba

Community Connections Coordinator

She/Her

Languages: English/French/Spanish

Rebekka Peter

Settlement Services Coordinator

She/Her

Languages: English/Faroese/Arabic

Julia Reball

Settlement Worker

She/Her

Languages: English/German

Oksana Khavruk

Settlement Worker

She/Her

Languages: English/Ukrainian/Russian/French

Ramandeep Kaur

Settlement Worker

She/Her

Languages: English/Hindi/Punjabi

Omer Abdalla

Settlement Worker

He/Him

Languages: English/Arabic

Daniel Vallejo

Settlement Worker in Schools

He/Him

Languages: English/Spanish

Laura Zimmer

Settlement Worker in Schools

She/Her

Languages: English/Spanish

Enzo Vera-Valencia

TFW Outreach Worker

He/Him

Languages: English/Spanish

Wendy Zarr

Language Services Coordinator

She/Her

Languages: English/Spanish

Curtis Emde

LINC Instructor

He/Him

Language: English

Alison Leslie-Uesson

LINC Instructor

She/Her

Language: English

Joyce Caines

LINC Instructor

She/Her

Language: English

Dave Ellison

Support Instructor

He/Him

Languages: English/Spanish

Kathryn Hettler

Language Instructor

She/Her

Language: English/Portuguese

Rajneet Chhatwal

Language Instructor

She/Her

Language: English/Hindi/Punjabi

Kseniia Rudenko

Language Intake Worker

She/Her

Language: English/Ukrainian/Russian

Carly Gare

Employment Services Coordinator

She/Her

Language: English

Mackenzie Owens

YESS Employment Advisor

She/Her

Language: English

Jade Hinds

YESS Youth Employment Advisor

She/Her

Languages: English/French

Emma Carter

YESS Youth Employment Advisor

She/Her

Languages: English

Megan Priest

Childcare Manager/

Early Childhood Educator

She/Her

Language: English

Patricia Cardenas

Early Childhood Educator Assistant

She/Her

Languages: English/Spanish

Ma Michelle Catuira

Early Childhood Educator Assistant

She/Her

Language: English/Tagalog

Emma Heistein

Youth Program Facilitator

She/Her

Languages: English

Amy Timleck

Special Projects Coordinator

She/Her

Language: English

Jacky Pereira

Marketing Coordinator

She/Her

Language: English

Marisa Penalber

Receptionist/Settlement Intake Worker

She/Her

Language: English/Tagalog

bottom of page