Our Leadership

Meet the Board of Directors

IWC’s Board of Directors is a group of dedicated volunteers, meeting monthly to set the strategic direction of our organization.

Following the Policy Governance Model, the Board of Directors provides financial oversight, strategic planning, analysis of needs and trends, and linkages towards the organization’s mission and vision.

Our Board of Directors

John Ariyo​, Chair, Board member

John Ariyo joined the IWC Board in 2019. A Canadian of Nigerian origin, he is the Manager of Community Initiatives for the City of Hamilton.

His expertise is focused on improving community outcomes by building a culture of public participation, working with diverse partners and stakeholders to make Hamilton a more inclusive community. John is a Project Management Professional, with a Master’s degree in International Development Studies.

His personal motto is “to never pass on any opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.” That motto has been a key driver for his passion to support newcomers and advocate for their success in Canada.

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Erin joined the IWC Board in 2018. 

She is a human rights lawyer who currently works as a Senior Investigator with Human Rights Services at Ryerson University. Passionate about diversity and human rights, Erin previously taught a course on these topics at Mcmaster University and also worked in national and international refugee law with Legal Aid Ontario and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Gentiana Collaku, Board member

Gentiana joined the IWC Board in 2015. Gentiana was born in Albania, the Mediterranean’s hidden gem.

Her passion to support immigrants’ issues is rooted in her belief that the world is one country. She is an internationally trained professional with experience working and living in several countries. Her educational background includes law, mediation, and mental health studies. Gentiana’s international and personal life experiences have helped to her develop counselling and advocacy skills and her passion to promote intercultural awareness and the concept of unity in diversity. She currently works for the Hamilton Public Library where she promotes services and community capacity building. Her personal motto is “to live a purposeful life, serve humanity, and let integrity distinguish her actions.”

Miekela Singh, Board member

Miekela joined the IWC board in 2018.

She is a Canadian of Indian descent, grew up in Dundas and spent her early working years in Hamilton. Miekela currently works at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, in corporate governance. Miekela is called to the bar in Ontario and also serves on the board of the Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR). She has a deep interest in corporate accountability, social impact, and community building. One of her personal mottos, courtesy of Aaliyah, is “dust yourself off and try again”.

Krista D'Aoust, Board member

Krista joined the IWC Board in Dec 2020. She grew up in the Hamilton area, and has moved around for school and work, including having spent time in Mongolia with Voluntary Service Overseas.  Krista is a social worker, currently working in the non-profit world at Neighbour to Neighbour’s Hamilton Community Food Centre.  Loving to get her hands dirty in the soil, growing food and plants in the garden is where you’ll find her when the weather is good. People’s right to food and a healthy life is a key philosophy that motivates her, and she also believes in the power of laughter.

Serah Jacob, Board member

Serah joined the IWC Board in January 2021. Born in Southern India, Serah immigrated to Canada in the 90s with her family and has lived in several cities across the country since. She is strongly passionate about equal representation in the workplace, the importance of active sponsorship, and the empowerment of girls from a young age.

Serah’s brings to the board extensive marketing expertise — honed through her experience at several marketing agencies and supported by her Master’s degree in the field. Her personal motto (borrowed from Henry Ford) is to remember that “an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it” – a cornerstone belief that underlies much of her passion for advocacy work. 

Rebecca Smyth, Board member

Rebecca joined the IWC Board in January 2021. She is Program Coordinator of the federal Dimensions: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, (EDI) Pilot Program at Wilfrid Laurier University and in her role leads and supports activities related to advancing the EDI landscape at Laurier. Completing her undergraduate degree in international affairs, she obtained a Masters in Applied Politics (MAP) with a focus on examining Canadian public policy design and delivery. Much of the expertise she brings to the Board is rooted in her experience in the non-profit sector, both in Canada and abroad on human rights and education-related programs.

Luc Bonaventure Amoussou, Board member
Luc joined the IWC Board in January 2021. He is currently the regional director of College Boréal in Hamilton and the region of Niagara. Educator and professor, he has always been at the service of immigrants and displaced people around the globe. Luc holds a PhD from the university of Toronto with expertise in political science and religion. He is focused in the question of political resistance against domination and the interconnection between politics and various religions. After many years of teaching and doing humanitarian work with immigrants all over the globe, he is dedicating his time in forming and welcoming newcomers and students from various parts of the world who choose to come to College Boreal. His motto is to always dare great things (Perseverance coded message on Mars 2021) for the betterment of other and the world. He believes in succeeding together and is a great and excellent team builder with a special sense of humour.
Kim Zarzuela, Board member

Kim joined the IWC Board in January 2021. She is a second-generation Filipino-Canadian, born and raised in Hamilton. After completing her undergraduate degree at McMaster University, she moved overseas to live and work in Japan and Scotland.

Kim has a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Mohawk College and a Masters in Strategic Communications and Public Relations from Queen Margaret University. Working in communications at McMaster University, she seeks to apply a strategic EDI lens to her work to affect positive change. Kim also serves as an EDI ambassador at McMaster and as Co-Chair of Mentorship for the Canadian Public Relations Society of Hamilton.

Blake McCall, Board member

Blake joined the IWC Board in January 2021. Passionate about workers’ rights, migrant justice, and climate change — Blake has spent the better part of the last decade supporting these issues in various capacities and campaigns.

Blake grew up in a small town in southern Alberta and moved to Hamilton for University in 2007. There, he finished with a Master’s Degree in Work and Society in the School of Labour Studies. He currently works for the City of Hamilton as bus operator. Blake’s personal motto is “a just world is possible if we want it.” Meaning a that we can make the world just and fair if we collectively do the work to change it.

Nidhi Nagori, Board member
Nidhi joined the board in January 2021. Born and raised in India, Nidhi immigrated to Canada in 2019 and currently works with the Internal Audit Department of Lincoln Electric Company. A CA and CPA by profession, Nidhi enjoys adding value by suggesting process improvement measures. Being an immigrant herself, she understands newcomer struggles first hand pushing her to advocate for better opportunities for all immigrants alike. Nidhi’s personal motto in life is to “have equal opportunities for all- when we all come work together, we grow together.”