I must say “2020, what a year to retire”, but the good thing is that virtually we can reach out to everyone, rather than gathering in person in one place. It has been an incredible journey for me, having worked as the E.D. for the agency with several staff for 15 years. Today, we have over 50 staff and are now a one stop service centre, with national and international services. I would like to thank all the managers who supervise their programs, Rupert Yeung in Settlement, Ying Xie in the Employment Program, Snezana in the Language Program, Juliette in the Women’s Program and Hassan in the Refugee Program for Syria and the Middle East, our incredible Finance Manager Collie, Stephen Noah with Operations, and Zhi Li, our IT staff, who has become the busiest guy since the Pandemic lockdown.
I would like to say thank you to, the CCI E.D. Carl Nicholson, together with consultant Yew Lee, who helped me with the transition in building OCCSC thirteen years ago. With the support of our founder Bill Joe, and past president Mr. Ching, I was able to take over OCCSC in 2007. Owing to the work of our most experienced and competent managers and staff, I was able to grow the agency to help newcomers who will make contributions in Canada. We have many stories that outline our success of our services, of which I am very proud. With the support of the board and their due diligence, we are able to be a reputable organization, recognised and connected with our sponsors, volunteers, partners and communities. I want to thank all the past presidents, Irene Zhou, Jonas Ma, Vivian Chan and the present president, Robert Parungao. I am very grateful for all their support. Also in particular, to all government and private funders that ensure we can provide good quality services needed in Canada. I am especially grateful to our Mayor, Jim Watson, who has always been supportive in welcoming newcomers in Ottawa and has made a big difference in making Ottawa a chosen City for many newcomers, because of his vision.
This is a very special year to retire, as we also reach our 45th Anniversary. Thanks to our volunteer coordinator, Doreen Ju for organizing our fundraising dinner throughout the years. This year is the first time for a virtual Gala with lots of excitement. I do think we have a lot to celebrate, as we as a sector, have all met our challenges, but we can gain from such to build a better and much needed future. I am glad to say, that we are well equipped with quite a good digital infrastructure and resources to reach out more to clients. The lack of health care professionals in this Pandemic is a call for our sector to rise to the occasion to train and fill the shortages, which is what OCCSC is capable of doing. I am sure our new E.D. Sharon Deng, will continue with innovative ideas, to build the agency along side our strong management team and staff for years to come. Lastly, I would like to thank all committee board members, our President, Rob Parungao, Vice-President, Hilda Chow, our Treasurer, Long Tran, and Secretary, Sally Zhang, as well as board members, Rudi Mangulabnan, Riven Zhang and Yufei Luo.
I wish the best for OCCSC and I am sure we can do the best for all newcomers in the years to come.
Ottawa Chinese Community Services