Drawing insight from his own immigrant experience, Enver Naidoo has been named Westman Immigrant Services’ executive director.
He replaces outgoing head Carly Gasparini, whose short term is ending after she resigned to accept a position in her hometown of Sudbury, Ont.
Naidoo previously served as the organization’s local immigrant partnership co-ordinator, helping build relationships and strategies to improve long-term integration of immigrants and newcomers.
"We definitely recognize the need for community collaboration," he said, adding immigrants don’t live in a vacuum.
"They’re involved in multiple areas of our community, whether that’s attending post-secondary institutions, or their kids are in school, or they’re utilizing services like at the YWCA, so it’s reaching out to these different leaders, and all of them are very supportive of coming toward collectively."
The community interest in opening more doors for immigrants and newcomers is "very promising and very encouraging," and Naidoo said he looks forward to expanding upon his previous work in his new role.
Naidoo immigrated to Canada from South Africa in the late 1990s, and said although every immigrant experience is different, his key to success was forging strong connections with his new home.
He now calls himself a "proud Canadian" and aspires to make sure other immigrants and newcomers have the same opportunity to thrive in their new chosen home.
"We do have incredible resources in our community, and I think Westman Immigrant Services is doing an incredible job to make sure … people know about these resources," he said. "I’m really excited to step in and support them in making sure we can continue to serve the community and newcomers."
In a release issued Friday, board chair Steve Robinson offered Naidoo his congratulations.
"The board is elated that Enver is taking on the role of ED at WIS. Enver has an exciting vision for the organization and is already seen as a leader in the Immigrant sector," he said. "The board is confident that Enver will be a great fit with our team and are very much looking forward to working with him."
Naidoo begins his new role May 25 and will attend the organization’s annual general meeting on June 11. The virtual event will begin at 10 a.m., and registration information can be found through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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