Speakers & Presenters

2021 Speakers
Employer Panel

We are pleased to be joined by RBC, Providence Health Care, Microsoft, and City of Vancouver for our 2021 Employer Panel. Representatives of these top Canadian companies and institutions will share their experiences on how they have dealt with and navigated the changes in the job market. Join us to learn about the lasting effects the pandemic has had on current HR practices. Discover how workplaces will change in the future and what you need to know to ensure your career success. Gain valuable professional advice to thrive in this new normal.

Searching for talent driven by compassion and social justice, Alison is a Senior Recruiter with 15 years experience in health care recruitment from point of care to executive roles. Alison holds a Bachelor’s degree with a focus in Sociology from Queens University and is proud of the exceptional relationships she has created along the way. Her current portfolio supports PHC’s Research Centres, Renal Department, Health Information Management, Communications, Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation, Occupational Health and Safety and Professional Practice.


Connect with Alison at to learn how you may be a fit for an organization rich in tradition and exciting plans for the future.

Sharon Rai is part of the Talent Acquisition team at Microsoft, focusing on tech roles in Vancouver, Seattle & Bay Area. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from Thompson Rivers University, a Diploma in Marketing Management from BCIT, and a Certificate in Human Resources from BCIT. She has worked in recruitment for the past 9 years, in Vancouver and New York, both in finance and tech.



Sharon joined Microsoft 3.5 years ago due to her passion and desire to join the evolving world of tech. She loves talking to people and has a true passion for matching the right candidates to the right role, and seeing them grow within their roles and the organization.

Elan started in Human Resources in 2014 where she joined a recruitment agency called Stellar Recruitment. About one year after joining, Elan graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and worked at Stellar for almost four years before joining the City of Vancouver’s recruitment team. Since starting at the City of Vancouver, Elan has had the opportunity to work as both a Recruitment Specialist and a Recruiter, hiring for a wide variety of roles ranging from entry level to senior management positions across the organization.


When she is not working, you can find her living the Vancouver lifestyle – spending time outside no matter what the weather brings! She likes to go for walks on the seawall and find new trails to explore with her dog.

As Community Manager, I have the privilege of leading five RBC locations comprising the Downtown Vancouver Community, including the Newcomer Meeting Place within the Royal Centre Branch. Our leadership and advisor team seeks to add value through client centric advice and industry leading digital offerings. With over 28 years of Financial Industry experience, I enjoy telling the story of RBC’s commitment in helping Clients Thrive and Communities Prosper. My career with RBC began with Advisor roles in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and BC, transitioning to leadership positions with various complexity. I have also spent time as a Regional Enablement Coach supporting TriCities and Northern BC as well as leading the BC Advice Centre Team. My team is excited to be opening our 6th location serving the Downtown Community in the spring of 2022.


In my spare time I enjoy nature, reading, learning about other cultures and giving back to my Community.

Traditional Welcome

The Indigenous Lens for Reconciliation

Indigenous knowledge in this time of great change is at a critical point in our relationships and with the work of reconciliation. The team of Rob Schulz and James Delorme have a unique perspective from their Indigenous lens. They will provide a source of knowledge and great insight to start the Immigrant Professionals Conference. They will also share their knowledge of Indigenous cultural teachings and provide examples of Shop First Nations work in the technology sector.


Delegates will:

  • Listen to opening remarks and gain insights for the start of IPC
  • Learn how to become active participants in reconciliation in technology through the Indigenous lens.

Rob is Métis (ancestral roots from Northwest Territories & Fort Chipewyan) on his mother’s side and German on his father’s side. He was born and raised in Greater Vancouver (unceded, traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqeum, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations) and currently resides in New Westminster (includes traditional territory of Qayqayt First Nation). He graduated from BCIT with a Diploma (Honours) in Computer Systems Technology.


Professionally, Rob is well versed in providing strategic technology solutions with expertise as an Enterprise and Integration Architect in the retail and commercial real estate sectors. A team player, he enjoys creating collaborative relationships and shared goals to deliver impactful technical solutions in today’s digital economy.

James Delorme (he / him) is a director at Shop First Nations. He is the former Chief of the Klahoose First Nation. In addition to his leadership roles he actively supports social impact work on various distinct boards such as the BC Small Business Roundtable, the BC Assembly of First Nations, Junior Achievement BC, Powell River Education Services Society and co-founder of the First Nations Internet Society. His current role as a Director of SFN focuses his time on technology innovation and working on impactful projects, both digitally and socially with companies.


James is committed to not only economic driven opportunities, but more importantly social impact projects supporting Indigenous rights and follow the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation 94 calls to action, and the BC Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (DRIPA).

Opening Remarks

Josie Osborne was elected as MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim in 2020. She is the Minister of Municipal Affairs and is a member of the Planning and Priorities Committee and the Cabinet Committee on Social Initiatives.


Josie grew up on Vancouver Island and has lived in Tofino for over 20 years, first moving there to work as a fisheries biologist for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and later as executive director of an environmental education non-profit organization. She was the Mayor of Tofino from 2013-2020 and served as Chair and Vice-Chair for the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District. During her time in local government, Josie chaired the Tofino Housing Corporation and was a strong proponent for active transportation and regional transit. She has served as Chair of the Board for the Island Coastal Economic Trust, and in 2017, she was appointed by the BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change to the BC Clean Growth and Climate Action Advisory Council.

Olga Stachova is the CEO of MOSAIC. She joined MOSAIC after a long career as Chief Operating Officer at Mitacs, a national non-profit organization delivering research and training programs to graduate and postgraduate students in Canada through partnerships with the private sector and the federal and provincial governments. Olga brings 20 years of experience managing a fast growing, distributing, non-profit organization, as well as operational expertise in program design, delivery, and evaluation, and a proven track record of building strategic partnerships among diverse stakeholder groups.


Olga has a Master’s Degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra, Slovakia. Prior to immigrating to Canada, she was Senior Project Manager at Management Partners, the leading HR consulting company in the Slovak market. She was highly successful in her role of recruiting personnel for international organizations opening subsidiaries in Slovakia.

October 22, 2021

Finding Connection to Deal with Stress Through Times of Change

Times of significant life transitions can bring about feelings of isolation and increase stress levels. We can learn to manage these challenges in ways that go beyond taking care of our basic needs. Building connection and developing a sense of belonging can help overcome feelings of isolation, reduce anxiety and help all of us be more productive at work and at home especially during times of significant change whether through moving homes or changing jobs, culture, relationships, health. Promoting an inclusive environment at work is one way to support belonging both for yourself and for others.


Delegates will:

  • Learn strategies to build connection and develop a sense of belonging to reduce sense of isolation and anxiety
  • Participate in exercises to increase awareness of and articulate components of identity to help in self care
  • Examine techniques on how to foster inclusivity and clarity at work through communication

Kara Ko, MSc, RCC (she/her | elle) – With a background in emotion management and respectful/assertive communication, Kara Ko has a MS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT and counselling and mediation training from Yorkville University, UBC and the Justice Institute of BC. She has more than 15 years of experience working with individuals, families and organizations. Currently, her private counselling practice in Vancouver focuses on cross-cultural issues, effective, healthy communication and Asperger’s, ADHD and giftedness. Prior to her counselling work, she worked as a management and IT consultant for companies in the intermodal transportation, insurance and pharmaceuticals industries and worked in film and environmental sustainability.


Kara was a speaker at the 2019 BCACC Conference on how “Cultural Considerations and Inclusive Language Can Promote Therapeutic Rapport in Counselling.” In October 2020, Kara facilitated “The Costumes We Wear,” Part 1 of the CCPA BIPOC Panel Series and will be facilitating Part 2 of the series “The BIPOC Umbrella.”

Lilian Atieno is the Employment Services Advisor for the F2CRM program which provides salesforce training to clients interested in breaking into tech. She is passionate about education and creating dynamic spaces for learning that bring out the best in people.







Labour Market Impacts: How can we expect to work differently in 2022

British Columbia is entering into an exciting time in the labour market. A growing skills shortage, increased automation and a global economy are all expected to well position immigrant professionals for a new wave of job opportunities. This presentation will examine our changing job market and provide participants with a new understanding of what they can do to make the most of these changes.


Delegates will:

  • Learn about the exciting changes happening in the job market
  • Gain advice and insights into taking advantage of the labour market

For over twenty years, Christian Saint Cyr has established himself as a leading labour market expert. As publisher of the BC Labour Market Report and the Ontario Labour Market Report, Christian advises thousands of career professionals throughout both provinces and across the country and regularly works with representatives of business, education and government.


He’s delivered hundreds of workshops for more than 10,000 individuals on topics which include labour market information, employment standards, unconventional job search, yearly overviews of the labour market and workshops which have looked specifically at trends in the construction, technology, tourism and health care sectors.

Larry Chan began his career in 1990 as a Career Counsellor working with the Severely Employment Disadvantaged. Since then he has managed programs for youth, older workers, multi-barriered clients, professional and immigrants. As the manager of the Vancouver North East WorkBC Centre, Larry worked with community partners to serve all British Columbians. Most recently, Larry oversees a variety of provincial/federal projects and works collaboratively with Immigrant Serving Organizations across Canada to further MOSAIC’s vision and mission.


Larry attended the University of British Columbia where he earned both, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Diploma of Education in Guidance Counselling. Larry has combined his education with 30 years of experience in the Employment Service field to assist individuals of all backgrounds towards training and labour market attachment.

October 23, 2021

The Power of Cultural Humility in the Canadian Workplace

Cultural Humility is the most essential soft skill to be successful in the Canadian workplace. To thrive in a diverse work environment, it gives us a greater understanding of cultures that are different from our own and helps us recognize everyone’s unique cultural experiences. Cultural humility is the most important step towards recognizing the dynamics of power and privilege and being comfortable with not knowing everything. More importantly, it instills a growth mindset that is open to learn from and about others in order to develop mutual understanding and intercultural fluency.


Through a variety of engaging activities such as reflective Zoom polls, real workplace scenarios and thought-provoking videos, participants will gain a better understanding of:

  • What is Cultural Humility?
  • How can we practice Cultural Humility in the workplace?
  • Why is humility even more important in our current workplace context?
  • How does having Cultural Humility make someone a successful employee or a leader?

As a Manager Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at MOSAIC, Sandhya Ghai is passionate about achieving systemic inclusion and fostering safe and brave spaces for individuals and organizations to learn, unlearn and relearn.


Her lived experiences coming from India where there is race, class, gender, age, religion, education, and all kinds of inequities that one can think of to Canada that at least outwardly celebrates diversity and inclusion have sparked an interest in her to delve deeper into the realities of one’s identity and how it can be both empowering and oppressing.

Laurie Koch is the Manager of Employment Programs, where she is on a mission to connect newcomers to fulfilling and sustainable employment. Having immigrated to Canada with her family when she was 10 years old, Laurie is passionate about empowering immigrants and highlighting their collective strengths, talents and skills to employers across Canada.


Laurie has 11+ years of experience working in Social Services, and an additional 20+ years volunteering with a number of organizations across BC. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Leadership with Royal Roads University and is excited to continue making a difference in people’s lives.


October 22 & 23, 2021

Olga Zamudio is the Program Coordinator of Care Pathways, a research program helping newcomer women interested in the senior care sector. One of the many learnings at Care Pathways is that confidence and a sense of community are key for newcomers to succeed.


Olga wears many hats, including lecturer, student, colleague, friend, facilitator, and immigrant. She arrived 7 years ago to Canada and received an information booklet with MOSAIC information with the words “Welcome to Canada” at the airport. After joining several MOSAIC programs, Olga recognized the positive impact in social integration of the organization and decided she wanted to be part of it. First as facilitator, and today as program coordinator.



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