About Us

About Us

Board of Directors

From left to right: Marj Wiebe, Diana Wiesenthal, Holly Toupin,
Anastasia Baynova, Sherry Dupuis, Gil Garcia


Marj Wiebe, Chair

Marj has worked in the charitable sector for most of her career, with key planning and development roles at Manitoba non-profit organizations including Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. At the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Marj helped create and manage a successful planned giving program called the Endowment Book of Life, and other fund development initiatives including the Women’s Endowment Fund and a Bar/Bat Mitzvah program.

With a keen interest in planning, organizational health, and fund development, she currently contributes her experience and energy in a volunteer capacity with organizations she cares about, like the Immigrant Centre. Marj is a life-long volunteer, and has been active in a variety of church, school, and community activities.

Lori Wilkinson, Vice-Chair

Lori Wilkinson is a Professor at the University of Manitoba in the Sociology Department, Acting Dean of Studies at the University of Manitoba’s St. John’s College, Director of Immigration Research West, and the Editor of the Journal of International Migration and Integration. Lori does research in Human Rights, Race, Ethnicity and Politics and International Relations. Her research agenda focuses on the integration of refugees and immigrants.

Lately, she has worked on various aspects related to the successful economic integration of refugees in Canada, settlement service use among immigrants and refugees and the health and well-being of immigrant and refugee youth. Previous projects have examined the long-term labour market trajectories of those arriving to Canada as children or teens. Other areas of research interest include the health outcomes of newcomer children and youth and labour market transitions of immigrant women.

Gil Garcia, Secretary

Gil Garcia is a Senior Business Officer and advisor with Western Economic Diversification with industry focus areas in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, and digital technology.

As a first-generation Canadian, Gil is an enthusiastic advocate for newcomers and the benefits they bring to the Canadian economy and society. He is a passionate Winnipeg supporter and a believer in the need to give back to the community, whether it is volunteering with the United Way, community sports, or other worthy causes. Gil brings his years of experience in leading and directing organizations to perform at their best and achieve their desired outcomes. 

Gil holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours (Finance) degree from the University of Manitoba and a diploma in Business Administration (Marketing) from Red River Community College. He has also completed a Certificate in Leadership from the Manitoba Quality Network.

Yemi Olaleye, Treasurer

Yemi Olaleye is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) with over 15 years’ experience in accounting and finance, cutting across different organizations within the manufacturing, financial services, energy, and technology industries. Yemi is graduate of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, where he obtained a Master’s degree in international accounting and finance.

Yemi has a passion for helping organizations grow and achieve their goals by providing quality finance and business advice.

 Hugh Adams

Hugh Adams is a senior corporate and commercial lawyer, and a qualified commercial and residential real estate lawyer. Hugh assists both public and private clients with corporate governance compliance, secured financings, corporate acquisitions and reorganizations in both Canada and the United States. He acted as the Corporate Secretary for The Arctic Group Inc. from 1997 until 2002. In 2002 he became Corporate Secretary and lead Canadian counsel to Arctic Glacier Income Fund, continuing his responsibilities to the Board of Trustees and Fund Committees and remaining responsible for all continuous disclosure compliance including insider trading reporting.

Hugh recently received his Master of Laws (Osgoode Hall Law School) specializing in arbitration and mediation. He is married with two children and is highly active in the equestrian community. He spends much of his free time traveling with his family to horse shows within Manitoba and throughout North America.

Diane Carriere

Diane is a member of Norway House First Nation in Manitoba, and she currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Diane has a Bachelor of Arts Undergraduate Degree from the University of Winnipeg and a Certificate in Human Resources from the University of Manitoba. Diane is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) professional both in her region and in tribal areas in United States of America. Diane has worked in the field of Human Resources for over twenty (20) years both in the corporate sector as well as the Aboriginal communities.

Diane owns her own Human Resource Company, D. Carriere & Associates is a First Nations owned and operated company delivering professional Human Resource (HR) consulting services that specializes in assisting Aboriginal communities to meet their specific HR needs and requirements. The Company is committed to professionalism and is driven by a strong desire to assist aboriginal communities in reaching their goals.

Diane has created a national Human Resource Association called the Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association (CAHRMA).  The Association offer a venue for networking, connections and education that blends HR practice with Aboriginal culture to assist Aboriginal peoples establishing their business practices in the Canadian community. This association is dedicated to the development of human resources for our aboriginal communities. 

Daniel Hildebrand

Daniel Hildebrand is a staff lawyer at the Legal Help Centre in downtown Winnipeg. He has practiced law for ten years in Manitoba with several different law firms, primarily in employment law, civil litigation, and refugee protection.

Daniel loves meeting and working with newcomers and is constantly inspired by the optimism and boundless energy newcomers to Winnipeg bring to the community.

Daniel holds a BA from the University of Winnipeg, a JD from the University of Manitoba, and an LLM from York University in Toronto. He lives in Winnipeg with his family.

Maria Cristina Laureano

Maria Cristina Laureano is a proud Filipina-Canadian. She immigrated to Canada as a child and grew up regularly visiting her homeland and appreciates how both cultures have helped shape her perspective of the world. 

Maria Cristina is an award-winning communications professional who has worked in a range of industries for almost a decade. Her specializations include content creation, digital marketing, social media, and public relations.

For over three years, she has worked at Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU) as its Digital Marketing Specialist where she oversees the company’s blog, email marketing, social media, and website. While Maria Cristina has loved this experience, she will soon be embarking on an exciting direction in ACU’s newly created Community Relations Specialist role.

She looks forward to being on the Immigrant Centre board to share her expertise while also deepening her relationship with the local immigrant community.

Kim Stephens

Kim has worked in Canada and abroad, in a variety of businesses including Sales, Marketing, IT, Procurement, and HR. Among her many professional achievements, she has launched 2 sales channels, 3 websites, 2 international brands, 2 national private label programs, and 5 mobile apps.

Her diverse resume includes working as Director of Events and Promotions at Vodafone in the Czech Republic, and a consultant at Nakheel in the United Arab Emirates and at Telenor in Serbia. Currently, Kim is an instructor of International Business Program at Red River College, after working as a consultant for Banfield Commercial Properties Group.

Holly Toupin, Past-Chair

Holly Toupin was RBC’s Regional Vice President, Financial Planning for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Northwestern Ontario. She led a talented team of over 146 accredited Financial Planners who work collaboratively with clients to develop personalized financial plans that help them achieve their short and long-term life goals. During Holly’s extensive career with RBC, she has left many deep footprints across several dynamic environments including business banking, human resources, and regional office sales leadership.

With a passion for employee volunteerism, the newcomer experience, and the health and wellness of young Canadians, Holly brings her unwavering commitment to community leadership as a Board Member of The Boys and Girls Club of Canada, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Immigrant Centre, the India Centre, and the organizing committee for Children’s Hospital Teddy Bear Picnic.

Holly holds an MBA from Dalhousie University, a Financial Planning designation from the University of Regina, and has completed Not for Profit Governance from the Rotman School of Management.

Anastasia Baynova

Located on Treaty One land, the ancestral land of the Anishinaabeg, Ininiwak (Cree), and Dakota, and on the homeland of the Métis peoples.

Situé sur les terres du Traité no 1, les terres ancestrales des peuples Anishinaabeg, Ininiwak (Cris) et Dakota, et sur la patrie historique des peuples Métis.