Originally from El Salvador, Mario has been involved in community work since his arrival to Canada in 1992. In 1994 he became the first Executive Director for the Hispanic Community Centre where he helped Spanish-speaking refugees and immigrants for three years. In 2001, he was chosen, along with wife, as one of the people who made change in the City of Coquitlam.
Before coming to Canada, Mario worked in El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica as university professor, manager for government and private companies, researcher and private consultant for noteworthy organizations such as United Nations Development Program. His education includes a post baccalaureate diploma in Community Economic Development from SFU, two Masters degrees, one in Business Administration and another in business economics, and numerous seminars and congress. Besides conducting many research assignments, Mario has written theses, chapters of text books, case studies, articles for magazines, business plans, feasibility studies and community projects.
During most of his time in Canada, Mario has been working as a private business and community economic development advisor, and has been registered as an international consultant and co-operant for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
In 2007, he joined Inland Refugee Society, first on a part-time basis and then as full-time staff. Now Mario is the Refugee Services Director for IRS that serves almost 50% of asylum seekers in BC.
Inland Refugee Society is celebrating its 30th year of providing uninterrupted assistance and support to refugee claimants in meeting their immediate needs and adapting to their new home.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brendan joined the Inland Board as Treasurer in September 2011. In 2013 he was elected President. He is a independent consultant with a diverse business background in cooperative development in Canada, Ireland and Mongolia.
He is an accomplished Strategic Partner with extensive financial experience in strategic support roles undertaken in large international multi-stakeholder projects.
Brendan believes that the IRS provides an important service to refugees to integrate quickly into Canadian society by providing them with immediate support, assistance, and life skills when they arrive here.
Saul has more than ten years of experience working for non-for-profit organizations dealing with community services. He joined IRS as a volunteer in 2012 and quickly identified himself with the needs of the organization. Saul holds an MBA from INCAE Business School and has several years of managerial experience in the financial, real estate and retail sectors. He currently works for the financial industry and writes articles on financial advice for the Latin American community.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)
Affiliation of Multicultural Societies Services (AMSSA)
Vancouver Refugee Services Alliance (VRSA)
Canadian Red Cross First Contact
Settlement Orientation Services (SOS)
Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISS)
Bridge Community Health Clinic