Board of Directors
Angela Connors is the Executive Director of the Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough and is Anishnawbe from the Saugeen First Nation Beaver Clan. She has a passion for social justice, fuelled through her ancestry and shaped by over two decades in the non-profit sector and organized labour.
Angela has worked extensively with organizations across Ontario providing professional development encouraging dialogue and action on anti-racism and anti-oppression. She is a past recipient of the City of Toronto’s Access, Equity and Human Rights Award in Aboriginal Affairs.
In 2019 Angela spearheaded the successful campaign to get Peterborough to sign onto the Canadian Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. She hopes to bring this campaign to municipalities across Peterborough County.
Dr. Saji Mon Ravi Mannosseril is a recent immigrant from India. He became a citizen of Canada in December 2015 and currently lives in Peterborough. He is a self-directed, integrity-driven professional, with over 18 years of experience in higher education management, healthcare service management, teaching, research, business development, and overall operations management.
Saji Mon is the Program Manager for Practical Nursing, Paramedic and PSW programs of School of Health and Wellness at Fleming College. Saji Mon’s academic background includes a PhD in management studies, two master’s degrees in business administration in Human Resource Management and Hospital Administration and a Bachelor of Science. He has worked for not-for-profits, public sector, and private sector organizations. His professional background ranges from researcher, guide, mentor and coach, to administrative and academic leader. He has served as a volunteer for many organizations in various capacities both nationally and internationally and was a board member of Uttarakhand State Council for Child Welfare, India.
Elizabeth Lee Rahman was born in Cornwall, England, and is a Certified Translator by profession. She and her late husband (who was from India) immigrated to Canada shortly after they were married because of the discrimination and racism they encountered in England. Aside from working as a Translator, Elizabeth has taught English as a Second Language, as well as French as a Second Language. She also speaks passable Urdu.
Elizabeth was among the founding members of the Kawartha Muslim Association 30 years ago, and is a former vice-president of the association. She suggested the name of the mosque (Masjid Al-Salaam, the Peace Mosque) rather than more traditional names, to send a message of peace to the wider community. Elizabeth is co-founder of the Abraham Festival in Peterborough (which brings together Jews, Christians & Muslims and is now in its 15th year), and a founding member of the Multifaith Network formed in Peterborough after 9/11. She is past Chair of the Kawartha/Lakeshore Regional Multifaith Committee (a sub-committee of the Canadian Multifaith Federation), which supports chaplains in government institutions such as prisons & hospitals; Secretary of the Spiritual & Religious Care Partnership Council at Peterborough Regional Health Centre; and a member of the Ethics Committee at St. Josephs at Fleming Nursing Home.
Elizabeth’s passion is promoting understanding and acceptance among people of different faiths and different cultures.
Edward Kloosterman was born in the Peterborough region. When he was a young child he moved with his family out to the countryside in Keene. Ed loved to explore and developed a love of the outdoors. He also learned the value of hard work and grew up to become a chicken farmer. During his 30 years of running a successful, multi-site operation, Ed oversaw all aspects of the business from managing staff, finances and investments. Now retired from farming, Ed is enjoying life with his wife Valerie. Together they have become invested in the work of the New Canadians Centre and the important role it plays in welcoming and supporting newcomers to our community.
Ed is a very proud Canadian and feels so fortunate that he lives in a country that is so rich in natural and human resources and with so much potential. He feels that we can and must continue to welcome newcomers from all over the globe and to assist them as they build a new life in our country. Ed’s love of the outdoors has not waned since he was a youngster! Together, he and Val canoe, camp and hike. They have a goal to hike the entire Bruce Trail in 2019 of which they have already completed over 200 kms with another 700 to go!
Originally from Caracas – Venezuela, Emilio Ojeda graduated as a Business Administrator in College and University with majors in Commercial Sciences and Business Management. He moved to USA in 2000, navigating through the almost impossible US immigration world and eventually decided to move with his family north to Toronto, Canada in 2007. He graduated as a Trained Chef at George Brown College and opened a small gelateria, creating his own job, like many newcomers. After living in Toronto for 4 years, he moved to Northumberland where he finally settled.
Emilio is the Settlement Services Coordinator for the County of Northumberland, a wonderful fit as an immigrant and new Canadian. He has been in charge of producing the Multicultural Day, Multicultural Festival, the Diversity Festival 2021 and Citizenship Ceremonies in conjunction with the IRCC. Emilio is fluent in Spanish and English
Professionally, he was a professor in several colleges and University in Caracas in the area of Administration. In Canada, Emilio had the opportunity to train people in ESL through culinary experiences and Ontario Works recipients turning attention to culinary, food safety and opening a food business.
His passion for education directed him to apply for the Trustee position for Township of Asphodel-Norwood, Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen and the Municipality of Trent Hills, after the sudden passing of the former trustee.
In terms of community development, Emilio helped formed the Skills Advance Ontario advisory committee with the Community Training and Development Centre. He is on the municipality of Trent Hills Community Development Advisory Committee, the Housing Solution Lab with the Community Training & Development Centre with Ryerson University. In addition a member of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee of the Cobourg Council, as well as Vice-chair of the 7 Hills Community Pantry and Events Director of the board of the Northumberland Hispanic Cultural Club, where he has produced 4 Heritage months, including the writing of grants to secure funding from the federal government.
Looking to the future, Emilio is training and preparing to be a diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialist and advocate.
Fabiola Contreras Carrasco was born in Mexico City, and has a degree in Electronics Engineering, specialising in Digital Systems. She worked at the University for five years in computational projects and as an instructor. After that, she worked in the private sector as a project manager and volunteered in some organizations for helping people in vulnerable situations.
Fabiola arrived in Canada in 2015 and since 2017, her main focus has been raising her son. She has also been involved in some projects at the NCC. For more than four years, she has been the facilitator for the NCC Women’s Group, facilitator in the Spanish group for one year, and participated in other projects like the Living Library Project and International Women’s Day planning team.
Fabiola is happily married for 12 years and has a 3-year-old son. She says, "Since my first day in Canada, I have received a lot of support and beautiful welcomes from everybody, mostly from the NCC. My way to say thanks to Canada is to give newcomers as much as I possibly can."
Ghada Hussein, M.Sc., PMP, is a new Canadian who moved here in 2012 from Cairo, Egypt with over 20 years of industry experience managing software and content development projects and programs. During her career, Ghada worked with many international organizations – such as Proctor and Gamble – and nonprofit enterprises, including Association for Women’s Total Advancement and Development, Center for International Private Enterprise, and Save the Children. Ghada is currently a full-time professor at Fleming College in the School of Business and Information Technology. She has over 8 years of experience as an educator at post-secondary institutions, including some time spent at Durham College. Ghada speaks fluent English and Egyptian Arabic and some French.
Feeling grateful for the support she received from the New Canadian Centre when she arrived, Ghada is passionate about supporting immigrants as they build new lives for themselves and their families. As such, Ghada has often volunteered with the NCC to give back in the hopes that her experiences can benefit other newcomers. Realizing the many challenges that Peterborough faces, she is looking forward to adding value through community involvement and engagement.
Ghada lives in Peterborough with her husband of 31 years, Wael Nawara. With a deep fondness for and strong connection with their new community, Ghada and Wael both love nature, cooking, and gardening. Ghada and Wael have two children; their eldest son, Omar, is a practising environmental engineer living in Saskatoon and their daughter, Yousra, is a graduate of Trent University and is currently studying media in Vancouver. You may also see Ghada and Wael on the local trails as they walk their two dogs.
When the pandemic is over, Ghada and Wael hope to drive across Canada from coast-to-coast, exploring all the beauty and adventure that Canada has to offer.
Petra Kukacka is an immigration and educational professional with 15 years of experience in the non-profit and community-services sector designing and implementing programs to support people living and working in Canada to reach their full potential. She is a licensed Canadian Immigration Consultant and holds a Master's degree in development and communication from York University. In recent years, in addition to her professional pursuits, Petra has enjoyed volunteering as an English tutor, fundraising for local schools and holds a small share in Young Entrepreneur's Egg Emporium- a fledgling business owned and operated by her young daughter.
Robert McDonald was born in Peterborough and raised on a dairy farm in Northumberland County. He graduated from Sir Sanford Fleming College, in the Police Foundations program. He then moved to Toronto where he worked for the Toronto Police Service as a police constable. He worked in a number of uniform and investigative positions, and has also completed many in-service training courses and specialized in child abuse and sexual assault investigations. The well-being of his peers is of paramount concern to him and he worked in an on call position as a Peer Support Volunteer for conducting debriefings after police officers were involved in critical incident stress situations.
Robert has a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Justice Studies from the University of Guelph-Humber and is presently enrolled at Dalhousie University in a leadership development program. His three young children enjoy farm life on their farm East of Peterborough. The farm includes sheep, crop lands, forests and provincially significant wetlands. Robert has witnessed some of the great work done by the NCC and has been a community volunteer on the Recruitment Committee of the NCC Board in previous years.
Simon Liston and his family emigrated from Ireland and Jersey, in the Channel Islands, to Ottawa where he grew up and later moved to Toronto for University. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Education (M.Ed) in Adult Education.
He has worked in Canada and overseas in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Ecuador with Canada World Youth. He worked as a Management Consultant with the housing co-operative sector developing non-profit housing co-operatives in Toronto.
Simon had a long career in the Toronto Public Service as a manager developing affordable housing and establishing programs to alleviate homelessness. He founded and co-chaired the Refugee Housing Task Group which developed strategies that helped refugee claimants find stable housing and the services they needed to help them adjust to the many challenges of a new life in Canada.
Simon lives in Peterborough and enjoys the easy access to the outdoors for dog walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing and gardening. He currently also volunteers at the Canadian Canoe Museum and with the Community Foundation.