Board of Directors
Vera Radyo has served as President of North Shore Multicultural Society in the past year. She is the Executive Director of Kenoli Foundation, a private Canadian foundation that works in five countries in Latin America with local organizations to alleviate poverty and hunger. Prior to Kenoli, Vera worked as a citizenship judge, consultant, executive director (of MOSAIC and AMSSA) and for the provincial government primarily in the immigrant services/multiculturalism sector. Vera has extensive board experience and is happy to continue on the Board of NSMS for another term.
1st Vice President
Shelina Neallani is a lawyer, mediator and consultant specialising in conflict resolution. She graduated from UBC with degrees in social work and law and has been called to the bar in Ontario and BC. In addition to her private mediation practice, Shelina is a consultant and works with several organizations. She has contributed to a number of legal publications and has taught courses at the university level, including as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia. Shelina and her husband, Najeeb Hassan, also a lawyer, enjoy golfing and hiking the trails in the North Shore with their dog, Harry.
2nd Vice President
John Wray is Head of School at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver. Mulgrave is Pre-K-12 multicultural, independent, International Baccalaureate School for 900 students serving the North Shore of Vancouver. John, his wife Gill and their young children moved to Vancouver in 2010 from Hong Kong where John was Head of School at a large international school for nine years. Prior to this, John spent 20 years in public education in the UK including 5 years as Head of School. John has bachelors and masters degrees in education and is passionate about multicultural issues and supporting people of all cultural backgrounds to integrate into the communities in which they live.
Mary Macdonald is a Past President of NSMS. Mary is a retired Executive Director of non-profit organizations who worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years, the majority of this as Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society, Canuck Place, Children’s Hospice, the Kidney Foundation, Volunteer BC and the MS Society. She has also been a member of a number of Boards and has maintained a volunteer involvement with a variety of community organizations throughout her life.
A strong believer in the importance of building safe and inclusive communities, Marcus currently sits on the boards of directors of the West Vancouver Police Department and the BC Association of Police Boards. He also serves as an adjudicator on the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal. In the past, he has served on the University Council of Queen’s University, the Senate of the University of Birmingham, as well as the boards of the Canadian Association of Police Governance, the Queen’s University Alumni Association, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the BC Luge Association, and the Richmond Art Gallery.
As a leader in strategic marketing communications and stakeholder relations, Marcus built his career working with high profile clients and sectors such as Olympic athletes, national sports teams, agriculture, natural resources, and non-profit organizations. He gained extensive experience working for the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., helping to strengthen relationships with key members of the International Olympic Committee, the World Olympians Association, Olympians Canada, and both houses of the United States Congress. Marcus has also been the primary media spokesperson for a major utility company, as well as a communications advisor to several provincial cabinet ministers, notably the Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Olympics.
Irene Chan is a Senior Audit Services Advisor at ICBC. She currently holds the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designations. Prior to her employment with ICBC, she worked as an internal auditor for the Government of Canada in Ottawa. She attended the Sauder School of Business and majored in Accounting and Transportation & Logistics.
Iman Block Aghay
Iman Biock-Aghay founded Vancouver Business Network in March 2010 and today the Vancouver Business Network is recognized as one of the largest business meetup groups in Canada with over 9,000 members. Iman’s passion in life is helping entrepreneurs to succeed. Iman is the youngest person who has won the people’s choice award of Top 25 Immigrants in Canada in 2012 along with Olympic medalists, famous artists and well known politicians and scientists. Iman joined the board of directors of NSMS in February 2011.
Bahareh Danaei was born in Iran and moved to Canada in 1991 with her family. She grew up on the North Shore. She attended Simon Fraser University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology. She worked as the intake worker for the BC Legal Services in North Vancouver Provincial Court for two years and then she moved to Gold Coast, Australia to pursue her law degree. Bahareh moved back to North Vancouver in May 2011 and articled for two firms on the North Shore. She is currently working for North Shore Law. On her free time she enjoys, spending time with family and friends, travelling, dancing, and reading.
Elizabeth (Liza) Kanji
Liza works as a Mobile Investment Consultant with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce where she has held a number of positions including Senior Financial Services Representative (Business) – Retail Markets. Liza has extensive financial and banking experience including working for an international specialist investment firm while in Windhoek, Namibia. Liza holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, University of Free State, South Africa, a Canadian Securities Course Certificate, Canadian Securities Institute, Vancouver and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Namibia, Namibia. Liza volunteers her time with Junior Achievement of BC, has been the treasurer of her Parent Advisory Council and managed a Soccer Team. She loves living on the North Shore and enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with her kids.
Ramin lives with his wife and teenage son in West Vancouver. He has established himself as a high profile professional in the fields of sales, finance and management since his arrival to Canada in 1990.He is passionate about making a difference for new immigrants who navigate through the many challenges of adaptation and integration. His interests are sports, movies, politics and community affairs.
Toktam Sajedi is a forest ecologist. Being a pioneer woman in the field of forestry in Iran, she came to Canada in 2004 to obtain a PhD from UBC. She has taught a variety of courses in environmental sciences, forest ecosystems, soil sciences, and sustainable resource management at both UBC and BCIT. While completing her PhD she volunteered as the vice president of the graduate student society and facilitated workshops and ecology tours for girl guides, pathfinders, high school students, university students, government members and other professionals. As a student leader at UBC, Toktam was awarded as the founder of the “Global Tea House” talk series through which she brought diversity and interaction into the UBC community and increased the community’s global awareness. She is currently volunteering for the North Shore Community Center. Toktam and her husband, Farshad Fereidouni, a dentist, enjoy living on the beautiful slopes of the North Shore.