Further to BILS board developments reported at the time of our AGM last year, BILS now welcomes Kersti Kahar and Michelle Stern-Buchnea to the board of directors.
"We are now entering a growth phase for BILS and taking purposeful steps to reinforce our board with the expertise necessary to guide the organisation through the next 12 months and onwards," explains Vinay Mathur, BILS board chairman. "Both fundraising, and getting the BILS name 'out there' are primary concerns for us, so we are very excited to welcome Kersti and Michelle to the team".
Kersti was hand-picked for board duties following a successful 15+ year career in both marketing and fundraising for a wide range of Canadian non-profits and charities. Her strategic oversight is anticipated to help the organisation formalise fundraising efforts for BILS. This will begin with an overall vision and mission, but later boil down to details such as PayPal functionality on the BILS website and BILS representation on sister sites such as Canada Helps.
Michelle's remit will be to assist the organisation in augmenting its existing website and social media properties, as well as providing ongoing counsel on content development, content management, and website/social media evaluation best practices. This ability stems from a varied and international career path that has seen Michelle counsel such brands as Aimia Inc. and Manulife in a similar way.
Mathur continues: "BILS has never been more relevant to Canadian society and public policy than now, thanks to Trump-led policy changes relating to immigration in the USA, combined with Canada's falling fertility rate and increasing average lifespan. Together, these factors mean that not only attracting immigrants but also ensuring they can acclimatise to Canadian society as quickly as possible with a steady home, job, and support network makes the work BILS does critical to the survival of Canada's economy and its government's tax revenue."
With womens' abuse likely to continue for at least another generation, and the isolation or abuse of aged Canadians similarly showing no signs of stopping, demand for BILS' settlement-related and other community-based advocacy efforts is anticipated to continue growing throughout the next few years.
BILS' full board of directors can be reviewed here.
Vinay Mathur, BILS board chairman
Kersti Kahar, new BILS board member
Michelle Stern-Buchnea, new BILS board member
Today saw the final appointments for our 2017 tax clinic as almost 50 clients from Toronto and the surrounding area cheerfully left our office with their armfuls of receipts, T4s, and other tax-related paperwork.
Once again, BILS would like to earnestly thank our three volunteer chartered professional accountants, some of whom stepped out of retirement in order to be at our office for four hectic tax clinic sessions this month. Despite one day when the City of Toronto issued a cold weather warning every clinic was well-attended, and our clients exhibited a collective sense of gratitude and relief in navigating this financial exercise - sometimes for the first time since arriving here.
It was also notable that BILS prioritises those clients with lowest income levels in order to be as supportive as possible to those who most need the help. This year a number of our settlement program participants exceeded the maximum gross income to participate in the clinics, effectively endorsing the success of our program in helping people to find true financial independence in their new lives in the Great White North.
As part of our settlement program BILS will be partnering with Toronto Public Library next week to run a Mandarin-language public information session on how to prepare for retirement and old age.
The event will run from 2:00pm until 4:00pm on Tuesday 28th March at the Lillian Smith Library, 239 College Street. The closest main intersection is College & Spadina. Main speaker at the event will be Alfia Chan, citizen services specialist for Service Canada. The session will include, amongst other things: old age security (OAS) and guaranteed income supplement (GIS); how and when to apply for these benefits; and eligibilities and allowance amounts.
Please contact us if you have further questions and ask to speak to Yumei. Alternatively you can contact Tina at the library itself.
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