About Us

Working Towards a Better Tomorrow

At Vernon & District Immigrant & Community Services Society, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 1989, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our non-profit organization upon: support, empowerment, and progress.

Learn more about our vision, values, objectives, and how we go about making the changes we want to see.



A vibrant community that welcomes our clients and provides excellent opportunities for them to contribute to a society in a way that appreciates the value of cultural and ethnic diversity.


  • We believe that everybody can make a unique and positive contribution to our society

  • We recognize that participation is a two-way street in which our clients and the wider community gain the most through positive and frequent exchanges

  • We will partner with other organizations which share our values in order to broaden our network, share capacities, and create greater opportunities for clients

  • We will provide excellent service to our clients

  • We will be ethical and honest

  • We will be socially and environmentally responsible

  • We will be respectful of culture and ethnicity



  • To assist in orientation and settlement of Immigrants and Newcomers to Canada.

  • To recognize and provide unmet needs of Immigrants in the Community.

  • To encourage an attitude in the community of cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

  • To encourage and assist Immigrants to participate in Canadian Society.

  • To provide a reception and information center for social, cultural and educational interactions.

  • To assist in employment readiness through access of existing programs and creation of new programs.

  • To encourage and help them obtain Canadian Citizenship.

  • To refer Newcomers and Canadian Citizens to other community organizations and agencies.


Meet the Team

Philipp Gruner

Chief Executive Officer

Elizabeth Koop

Executive Assistant

Adelina Fress

Settlement Worker

Julia Reball

Settlement Worker

Amelia Sirianni

Settlement Worker in Schools

Curtis Emde

Settlement Support Worker

Maritza Reilly

Community Connections Coordinator

Wendy Zarr

LINC Coordinator

Rebekka Peter

LINC Instructor

Carly Gare

Case Manager/Employment Services Coordinator

Stacy Birban

Customized Employment Specialist

Daniel Vallejo

TFW Outreach Support Worker

Perla Villegas

TFW Outreach Support Worker