Say “Hello” to the ARAISA team. Do not hesitate to email or call us, we’d love to chat!
Carolyn Whiteway (she, her)
#Connector #Thinker #Juggler #DiversityChampion #Francophile
Etoile Najm (she, her)
Project Lead, MWSP
Zahra Bazzi (she, her)
Manager, Programs and Services
#Inclusive #Networker #SocialJustice #HumanRightsDefender #Swimmer #Francophone
Adam Khadiri (he, him)
#Inclusion #Immigrant #Musician #Francophone #Reader #IT #Soccer
Aria Russell (she, her)
I2 Project Co-Lead
#Equity #Socialjustice #Inclusion #2SLGBTQI+ #Foodie #Francophone #Trilingual
Mélanie Veerapen (she, her)
#OrganizationFreak #Francophone #Immigrant
Ngai So (she, her)
Manager, Financial Operations
#Hiker #NatureLover #Shutterbug
#Foodie #Cat person #Feminist
Board of DIRECTORS
Meet the 2022-2023 Board of Directors
ARAISA counts on a committed Board of Directors. Elected every two years by ARAISA members, our Board is composed of full member agency representatives who are experts in settlement and integration in the Atlantic region.
Megan Morris has worked in the immigrant settlement sector for over fifteen years and is currently the Executive Director of the Association for New Canadians (ANC), a community-based, non-profit settlement agency in Newfoundland and Labrador. Megan worked with various federal government departments, and served as a political aide to a former Cabinet Minister. With a long interest in immigrant and refugee issues, she has served on various Boards, Committees and Working Groups including, for example, the Coordinating Committee on Newcomer Integration, ARAISA, the Atlantic Metropolis, the Performance Measurement Advisory Group and the Professional Development & Sector Coordination Working Group.
Jennifer Watts is CEO of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), the largest immigrant serving agency in Atlantic Canada. ISANS provides a wide range of programs and services including resettlement, language, employment, business development, employer engagement, community integration and online programs both pre and post arrival. Trained as an Urban and Rural Planner, Jennifer has a background in community development, urban and rural planning and municipal issues having served as a Municipal Councillor on Halifax Regional Council from 2008-2016. Jennifer has lived overseas in Central America and the Middle East and her family has been involved in supporting refugees through private sponsorships and university refugee programs.
Kathryn Melvin is the General Manager of Newcomer and Community Connections at YMCA Newcomer Connections in Saint John, New Brunswick. Kathryn works with a team of over 60 staff to support newcomers with their settlement needs in Saint John. She has been working with newcomers for the past four years and loves meeting people from many backgrounds and walks of life. She believes that newcomers are essential to building a welcoming and inclusive community. Kathryn completed a Masters in Science before joining the Y family. In her down time you can find her getting creative in the kitchen or curled up with a book.
Mohamed Bagha is the Managing Director of the Saint John Centre (SJNC). He has been involved in the Newcomer Settlement Sector for over 10 years. Mohamed is very passionate in carrying out the mission of the SJNC – to improve the socio-economic well-being of Greater Saint John by supporting newcomer settlement and promoting multiculturalism. He wants to see communities across Atlantic Canada, like Saint John, thrive through diversity, where newcomers actively participate in society by fully contributing their talent, skills and culture. Mohamed has a Master of Interdisciplinary Degree focusing on Community Economic Development from the University of New Brunswick.
Bernadette Reynolds is the Executive Director of Immigrant & Refugee Services Association of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I). Bernadette oversees a team of more than 40 staff who deliver settlement, employment, and integration services and programs to newcomers to P.E.I. Bernadette brings more than a decade of senior management experience with Western Union in both Canada and the U.K. Originally from P.E.I and holding a Bachelor of Business Administration from UPEI, Bernadette gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the immigrant experience by volunteering with Breaking Barriers, a U.K. program that assists refugees to prepare to enter the job market and with Estacion Inglesa, a program in Spain that helps Spanish speakers improve their English.
Lisa Bamford De Gante
Lisa Bamford De Gante is the Executive Director of the Multicultural Association of Fredericton Inc. (MCAF), in New Brunswick.
Ron has a combined 17 years of CEO experience leading regional economic development agencies. He has been a catalyst for change, leading the branding of regions and agencies, creating, and implementing strategic planning, and mobilizing community stakeholders around a unified vision.
Ron recently served three and half years as CEO of Economic Development Greater Saint John. Prior to this, he spent a decade leading several regional economic development agencies in Ontario and NB. Ron is currently an Executive Board Member of the Economic Developers Association of Canada
He has been recognized as Canadian Economic Developer of the Year, Canadian Top 40 Under 40, and one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs.
Normand Bourdeau is the Executive Director of the Centre de ressources pour nouveaux arrivants au Nord-Ouest (CRNANO). A native of Montreal, he now lives in Edmundston since 2018. During his career, he has held various positions in which he has worked with, hired and managed hundreds of newcomers from around the world. Most recently, he held the position of Intercultural Competency Trainer at NBMC. His professional experience, combined with the opportunity to grow up in a multicultural city has given him a unique perspective on the reception, settlement and integration of newcomers. He is passionate about continuous improvement and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience.