A Centre For Immigrant Women

Over 30 Years in Serving Edmonton

Search our blog

Thursday, February 9, 2017

MEMO and BIOS of B of T

SUBJECT:       Interim Board of Trustees and Executive Director


Dear Members of Changing Together:


It was with honor and humility that I agreed to accept the position of Chair of the Interim Board of Trustees for Changing Together: A Centre for immigrant Women Association.


The Centre has a reputation as a highly respected organization, which for decades, has served the immigrant women of Edmonton.  While the Centre has experienced some recent challenges, I can assure you that the Interim Board is fully committed to facilitate the renewal of the Association and the continued work of the Centre. 


As you are aware, one of the responsibilities of a board is the choosing and hiring of an executive director. Therefore, at the Interim Board meeting on February 9 2016, a motion was carried that Noreen Berkes be appointed as the Executive Director on a volunteer basis, effective immediately. It is my great pleasure to announce that Noreen has accepted this appointment. This is a significant step forward because she will be essentially handling and managing the organization with the support of the Board.


I wish to emphasize that we recognize that the heart of Changing Together is the membership, and we will be counting on your continued support as we move forward. In order to facilitate communication with the members, we have attached a document with short biographies of the members of the Interim Board, so you will know something about each of us as we work together to further the interests of the Centre. The Changing Together website will also be revised to reflect the new changes, and to provide the contact information of the Interim Board and staff of the Centre.


Please join with me in welcoming Noreen Berkes as Executive Director and the new trustees in continuing the good work of Changing Together.



Joy Fraser, Chair


Board of Trustees (Interim) Changing Together


Chairperson: Professor Joy Fraser, R.N., PhD.

Dr. Joy Fraser, R.N. holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Administration, Policy Studies, a Master of Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (with Distinction) from the University of Alberta. She is a Registered Nurse, Full Professor, and Director of the Health Administration Program at Athabasca University. She has been a nursing consultant for the United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) since 1999 and is currently undertaking a project to strengthen Nursing and Midwifery in Iraq.  Dr. Fraser is frequent consultant locally and internationally on education, research program evaluation, accreditation, social justice, human rights and cultural competency. Among other international initiatives, she developed nursing and midwifery curricula in Dubai; assisted with the curriculum development and program evaluation for the University of the West Indies, consulted on the Nursing curriculum for Bangladesh, and Nursing research for the Ministry of Health/WHO in Kuwait. She has also been engaged in cultural diversity training and human rights education locally and internationally.

Dr. Fraser participates in a range of community activities and has been active on many non-governmental and government boards, including serving as the inaugural Chair of the Human Rights City (Edmonton) project.


Robert Brown: Vice-Chair/Secretary

Robert Brown recently retired after nearly 37 years of employment with the Government

of Alberta. He was employed in a number of positions, all related to labour and minimum standards for the employment of Albertans. Since the 1970s, Robert held a series of volunteer positions in trade unions, associations and other worthy causes, and is pleased to bring his skills and support to Changing Together. 


Jane Arscott, PhD.: Treasurer, Board of Trustees

Jane Arscott works in Human Service Education at Athabasca University. She is interested in community development, learning from experience, including experiences of immigration and settlement. She has served the local community on the Parent Council, including a stint as co-chair, ten years on the Board of the local community league on the Housing Committee, as President and Past President. She has been involved in fund-raising for playground equipment, Heart and Stroke and the United Way. Her financial expertise is primarily related to the administration of grants from government bodies and successful proposal writing. She is familiar with the work of Changing Together and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to good governance practices, sound financial planning and well-administered programming.


Vida Drah: Member, Board of Trustees

Vida Drah is a Registered Social Worker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work with a Psychology minor. She is currently employed by the Edmonton North Primary Care Network (ENPCN) where she occupies two roles as Health Coach and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. In these roles, she works with patients and their families, community groups, and other providers to improve the health status of individuals and groups. Prior to joining the ENPCN, she worked as a Health Broker with the Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative, where she used her knowledge of the complex life circumstances facing immigrant families, to work with community and governmental agencies to address the needs of families from diverse cultural backgrounds, through holistic family support. Vida has a passion that drives her to contribute her skills and efforts to improve the standard of life for all people, and especially those with special needs.


Hai Nguyen: Member, Board of Trustees

Hai Nguyen is a Law and Economics graduate and a retired senior officer of the Government of Canada. During his 27 years in the public service he was mainly responsible for the Canadian identity programs in Alberta (Official Languages, Aboriginal, Multiculturalism, Arts & Culture, Human Rights, Youth and Women's programs). In recognition of his positive contributions to the province, Hai was awarded with the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. Since retirement in 2012, Hai has as a volunteered with several prominent organizations such as the Alberta Hate Crime Committee, the John Humphreys Centre for Peace and Human Rights and Changing Together-A Centre for Immigrant Women.

Josette Salgado: Member, Board of Trustees

Josette Salgado is the Nurse Coordinator of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic & Pulmonary Hypertension Enteroprostenol Program at the University of Alberta Hospital. She has worked as Registered Nurse in several countries for four decades. Josette has been involved as volunteer member in several professional and community organizations, and served in various positions as past Board Member, Vice Chair, PRO, Treasurer, Secretary and Coordinator.


Simona Sima: Member, Student Representative, Board of Trustees

Simona Sima, emigrated from Romania where she studied psychology and worked as an accountant. She in retail as sales associate and as data collector. Simona is dedicated in helping people and has greatly enjoyed and benefited from Changing Together, where, in 2015 she began her ESL Classes. In 2016, Simona graduated from the Level 4 ESL Course, and is now committed to helping others who are faced with the challenge of learning English as a second language.