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ICA is growing and looking for good people to fill positions across the organization.
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ICA Leadership Team

Shelly D’Mello
Chief Executive Officer

Shelly D’Mello is a skilled relationship builder, a collaborative coach who takes a strength-based approach to team and community development, a creative thinker, and a visionary leader. With over 25 years of experience in private, government, and non-profit organizations, Shelly is an inclusive and transformational leader whose strengths include strategic planning, financial acumen, organizational development, and organizational change management.

A self-proclaimed entrepreneur, Shelly is backed by a degree in Economics from York University, an international MBA from England, is a member of HRPAO (Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario) and holds a Certificate in Adult Training and Development from the University of Toronto.

She has held executive and management positions in organization in sectors including settlement and integration, management consulting, information technology, education, and health care.

Born in Guyana, South America, Shelly is passionate about women in leadership, and has created curriculum and facilitated workshops that empower immigrant women and entrepreneurs to create a meaningful life in Canada. Over the last 13 years, Shelly has immersed herself in the settlement and integration sector in Toronto, Ontario designing, developing, and delivering programs and services to newcomers, immigrants and refugees. These programs give voice, opportunity, and recognition to the important contributions of immigrants to Canada while addressing barriers to integration such as language, credential recognition, access to employment, mental health and wellbeing, and housing.

Shelly is a founding board member of Aurora House, a transitional home for survivors of modern slavery, and is the Treasurer of the Workforce Housing Non-Profit Corporation, a non-profit initiative working towards addressing how home ownership and control of the “roof over one’s head” is the best way to break the cycle of poverty, build equity, and create self-respect.


Winnie Lee
Director of Operations

I have had the pleasure of working at ICA since 1997 and my role has varied from frontline work with clients and volunteers, to program design and implementation of services. My family’s personal immigration experience is what attracted me to work in this field more than 20 years ago.

My parents did not have the opportunity to benefit from settlement services, LINC classes, or employment support. It is important to me to help ensure all immigrants and refugees arriving to Canada can take full advantage of available services they are entitled to and have the best possible support.

Alkarim Versi
Director of Finance

As the Director of Finance at ICA, my role is to provide specialized support to ensure the financial health of ICA. I bring more than 16 years of broad experience in the international, not-for-profit sector in areas of program and financial management, strategic planning, board governance advisory, training and facilitation, and key stakeholder dialogue.

With diverse work experiences in over 20 countries in Africa, Europe, and North America, I am excited to join the ICA leadership team. I believe in the organization’s mission, its inclusive and rights-based approach to building a strong community, as well as its strong advocacy in anti-racism, multiculturalism, diversity awareness and human rights. This work resonates deeply with my sense of passion and drive.

Meghan Mergaert
Director of Impact and Innovation

Since 2019, I have led the Community Engagement and Impact and Innovation team at ICA, overseeing community development, communication, fundraising, program design, and client evaluation.  Prior to this role, I served as ICA’s Development Manager since 2012.

For more than 15 years, I have had the pleasure of learning from and working with immigrant and refugee communities in Victoria, BC. My experience includes designing, delivering and evaluating complex programs for high-needs immigrants and refugees, with a special focus on assisting immigrant and refugee youth.

I continue to be inspired by the people I meet through this fulfilling work. The strength of newcomers motivates me to find solutions that support them as they create a new home and are welcomed into our community.

 

Todd Kitzler
Language Services Manager

As the Language Services Manager I oversee the delivery of more than thirty language classes with between 600 and 700 students each year.

I started teaching EAL overseas in 1986 and have been working at ICA since 1993. During my time with ICA, I have worked as a LINC Instructor, Head Language Instructor and Language Services Manager. After I started teaching English at ICA, I quickly realized that helping newcomers adjust to living in Canada is very important work.

ICA teaches newcomers the practical language tools needed, as well as information about local people, cultures, government and employment to help them and their families thrive in Victoria.

Elaine van Niekerk
Manager of People and Culture

My role at ICA is to work in partnership with the leadership team to develop HR strategies while administering best practices that align with ICA’s values, mission, and vision. I also serve as Administration Manager, overseeing ICA office operations to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

My career at ICA started in 2013 as the Office Manager and Executive Assistant, and since that time, my areas of expertise have expanded to include  accreditation consultation, office management, labour relations, organizational development, workforce engagement, compliance management, health and safety, and policy development. ICA is committed to cultural diversity and as such, it is very rewarding to employ and work with culturally diverse individuals from all over the world, as I myself immigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1997.

Florentien Verhage
Manager of Immigrant Integration, Research & Planning

As the Manager of Immigrant Integration, Research and Planning at ICA, I work with community partners to celebrate and create better opportunities for newcomers. I lead the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP) and oversee other partnerships with local governance, employers, education, health care and housing organizations to inform and strategize, organize events, and conduct research that furthers the inclusion of immigrants and refugees in our region.

My interest in equity work started when working in academia in gender studies and philosophy. Born and raised in the Netherlands I have studied and worked in the UK and the US before arriving in Canada. As an immigrant myself, I feel passionate about collaboratively building a community that welcomes newcomers and is dedicated to an equitable approach to inclusion and participation.

Mirko Kovacev
Employment Services Manager

As the Employment Services Manager, I oversee the Employment Services programs, including Career Paths, Game Changer and WorkBC. I started my career at ICA in 2013, as the Mentoring Services Facilitator/Employment Facilitator, and continued as an Immigrant Employment Specialist, providing frontline client services to newcomers’ job seekers in the Greater Victoria Area. I transitioned to the role of Employment Services Coordinator thereafter, providing client services support to the Career Paths team and overseeing the Settlement Employment Services.

I am passionate about the services and supports that we offer at ICA, as they address the current and evolving job search needs of newcomers and refugees, and thus providing them with the information and supports they need to become successful in the local labour market.

Quinton Gordon
Manager – Strategic Engagement

As the Manager of Strategic Engagement at ICA, my role is to develop, implement and oversee ICA’s communications strategies across all departments, including our client and community services.

My background includes working internationally in Costa Rica, New Zealand and the UK, for more than 25 years, helping tell the stories and share the impact of organizations in social, cultural and environmental sectors. Joining ICA’s leadership team in 2018 offered me the opportunity to focus my efforts on ICA’s mission–to support newcomers in Greater Victoria, while working alongside the community to address issues of racism and build a strong community that celebrates our diversity and provides the opportunity for us all to thrive–means I spend each day working towards values that I believe in.

Paulina Grainger
Manager of Arts, Equity and Community Engagement

As the Manager of Arts and Community Engagement at ICA, my role is to develop and implement community based programs that support greater cultural competencies through anti-racism training programs like Tools for Equity as well as other community and arts engagement programs focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

I joined ICA in 2012 and as a Black, immigrant woman of colour, with a deep connection to community and broad knowledge of the many systemic barriers faced by refugees and newcomers to Canada continuously informs my work. I use an innovative approach of art-based practices to explore critical social issues around equity, justice, diversity and inclusion, for which I was honoured to receive the BC Multiculturalism Award in 2016. My background includes experience as a community organizer, activist, arts administrator, actor, general manager of PUENTE Theatre, storyteller and TV and radio producer for International Advertising Agencies in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Aly Essa
RAP Manager

As the Resettlement Assistance Manager at ICA, my role is to oversee the Government Assisted Refugee Resettlement program providing services to the individuals and families arriving in Greater Victoria under a one year refugee sponsorship with the Canadian government. My team and I work to help find housing, medical support and employment.

My career at ICA started as an educator, running workshops and trainings covering a range of topics. After transitioning to ICA’s Housing Coordinator, I joined ICA’s leadership team. This role aligned with my passion to integrate newcomers and build diversity in the community I love and grew up in. As a Victorian and a local business owner for more than 25 years, I care deeply about ICA’s values of inclusion, education and partnership.

Elie Kozma
Immigrant & Refugee Services Manager

As the Immigrant and Refugee Services Manager at ICA I oversee all settlement services programs including our Settlement Workers in Schools program that serves School Districts 61, 62 and 63.

Growing up in Canada as a son of a forcibly displaced family has shaped who I am today. I am a first generation Lebanese Canadian, and I thrive in environments working with diverse people. I have witnessed a lot of misunderstanding around cultural differences and colonization of indigenous people lands in Canada. This is part of the reason why I am at ICA, contributing to a holistic shift in our communities through ICA’s programming and services that help combat systemic inequalities. My education is as a social scientist with a focus on human/cultural geography and city planning in conjunction with public administration. I joined ICA in 2012 as the Employment Services Coordinator. I also worked with ICA’s Folkfest production team and moved into management for the RAP program in 2016, eventually managing settlement and the SWIS programs.


Community Partnership Network (CPN)

The Community Partnership Network (CPN) is a group of more than 300 local agencies, businesses, and institutions committed to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities in Greater Victoria.

Immigrant Welcome Centre

From housing and education to employment services, ICA’s Settlement Services team can help newcomers navigate and connect with important resources and support.

Board Bios

ICA board members bring a wealth of diverse skills, experience and community leadership to the governance of the organization. Each is personally committed to the work of building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community that supports newcomer immigrants and refugees throughout the Capital Region.