This past weekend, former CEO of ISSofBC and ASPECT member Patricia Woroch received the Order of British Columbia for Community Leadership, the highest honour the province can extend to its citizens. As leaders within our sector come and go, it is wonderful to see someone who works or has worked among us be recognized.
Patricia retired as ISSofBC CEO in August 2021. She continues to lead social service organizations such as TRAC, for which she sits on the Board of Directors as Vice-President and currently sits as co-chair on Correctional Service Canada’s Pacific Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committee.
During her 24-year tenure, ISSofBC became a recognized global leader in the immigrant-serving sector. Research demonstrates that focusing on the pre-employment needs of individuals with significant barriers to employment has a significant impact on their success in the workplace. ISSofBC, under Patrica’s leadership, successfully rose to the challenge with the newcomer clientele and was named Canada’s Top Settlement Agency in 2018. Patricia also oversaw the development and opening of the ISSofBC Welcome Centre and took the lead role in the largest resettlement plan in recent history by receiving over 2,000 Syrian government-sponsored refugees in 2015. It was an inspiring moment for us all in the sector.
Join me in congratulating Patricia for this well-deserved recognition. In this ever-changing labour market, when one of us is recognized, we all are recognized. The honour raises the profile of the vital work we all do in the sector.
As our leaders in community services come and go, it is inspiring to see someone who works or has worked among us be recognized. Another instance was when Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, former CEO of another ASPECT member organization, YWCA of Metro Vancouver, was appointed to the controversial role of BC’s Lieutenant Governor. She spoke at the ASPECT Conference in Victoria in 2018, and I was dazzled by her account that she would not take the job unless she could use it to promote her community development projects. I became an instant fan girl!
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO