Council Members

HIPC Council 2017-2020
Photo credit: Kobby Crabbe/HIPC


The Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC) is funded by the federal government, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is sponsored by the City of Hamilton.

The HIPC Council is led by a Chair and Co-Chair and consists of key local community leaders. Members of HIPC are from many sectors in Hamilton, including housing, health, employment, education, language training, research, settlement services, local government, businesses, community-based organizations and media.


Lily Lumsden
Lily Lumsden

Senior Manager, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford

Chair, Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council

As the Senior Regional Manager of the Employment & Immigrant Services department for the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, Lily has developed and implemented programs for new immigrants over the past 7 years. Through these programs, the YMCA has served over annually 8,000 new immigrants of all immigration categories, including international students. As a member of the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, she has developed numerous collaborative initiatives with community partners. Lily has a Master’s of Science and a Bachelor of Education.

Jim Vanderveken
Jim Vanderveken

Dean,  Centre for Community Partnerships & Experiential Learning, Mohawk College

Jim leads Mohawk College’s strategic commitment to postsecondary access, partnership development at the community level, and work integrated and experiential learning. He oversees programs and services for newcomers, the innovative City School initiatives, Employment Ontario initiatives, and School College Work programming. In the community, Jim serves as the Chair of the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, is a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Syrian Refugees, and is the Co-Chair of the SCWI Golden Horseshoe Regional Planning team.

Alain Dobi
Alain Dobi

Le Réseau en Immigration francophone for Central and Southwest Region Ontario

M Alain Dobi is the Manager of Le Réseau en Immigration francophone for Central and Southwest Region Ontario. He holds a Masters in Social Work from Laval University and a graduate diploma in Public Administration from ENAP. Alain is very involved in the Francophone community and in immigrants settlement issues. He was a member of the National Francophone Immigration Table and the Joint Committee IRCC-FMC from 2013 to 2016. In 2015, he was the co-chair of the Experts Group on Francophone Immigration established by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. 

Bill Torrens
Bill Torrens

Superintendent of Student Achievement, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB)

A Hamiltonian born and raised, Bill Torrens is a Superintendent of Student Achievement at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) with responsibilities that include English as a Second Language (ESL) programming upto grade 12. Bill  has worked extensively in the area of ESL programming as a classroom teacher, consultant,  school administrator and now superintendent. Through this work, Bill has demonstrated a commitment to building and maintaining strong partnerships with settlement agencies to support the needs of newcomers to Hamilton. 

Brent McLeod
Brent McLeod

Paramedic Superintendent, Hamilton Paramedic Service

Brent has been a Paramedic Superintendent with the Hamilton Paramedic Service since 2012. His major responsibilities include being the Service’s community initiative representative, managing and expanding the Community Paramedicine Program, and delivering continuing medical education to the paramedic staff.  Brent has an extensive frontline clinical background working in both the air and land ambulance environment.  In 2009, he stepped away from his clinical work to complete a double Master's degree in Public Health and Health Management at the UNSW, in Australia.  Brent is passionate about contributing to the overall health improvement of all our residents in the City.

Denise Christopherson
Denise Christopherson

CEO, YWCA Hamilton

Denise Christopherson is a skilled and respected advocate whose passion for social justice, equity for women, and diversity have contributed to the goal of equality for women and girls. Denise’s commitment to marginalized and vulnerable women and their families is evidenced by all she does. As CEO, YWCA Hamilton, Denise is a dynamic leader who builds relationships within the non-profit sector and broader community. Denise is an active volunteer in Hamilton and has been the recipient of a number of accolades in recognition for her tireless advocacy for women’s issues.


Grace Maciak
Grace Maciak

Community Leader

Grace Maciak currently holds a Case Management position with the Community and Emergency Services Division, City of Hamilton.  She has an extensive work experience in Human Services and Education. Grace attended McMaster University to pursue an education in Social Work, Psychology and Leadership and Management Studies. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for Immigrants and Refugees. and is committed to the principles of partnership and collaboration to bring positive change and improve lives.

Huyen Dam
Huyen Dam (On Leave)

Community Leader

Huyen Dam is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University. Her research interest focuses on immigrant health and immigration broadly. Huyen has served on HIPC since 2011 and is currently a member of the Research and Evaluation Working Group. Her experience arriving as a young refugee has shaped her academic and professional life in Hamilton. Her work in the community and research reflects her passion for helping newcomers and immigrants find safety, identity, belonging, and home in Canada. 

Ines Rios
Ines Rios

Executive Director, Immigrants Working Centre (IWC)

Ines Rios is the Executive Director of the Immigrants Working Centre (IWC).  Ines has collaborated with allies ito empower newcomers to create conditions that foster settlement, skills development and access to work in Canada. Ines holds a degree in Mass Communications and Adult Education from the University of Santiago, Chile; is a graduate of the Maytree Foundation’s Leaders for Change Program; and holds a certificate in Management and Leadership from the Schulich School of Business, York University.  She is a proud recipient of the 125th Confederation of Canada Medal and the Canadian Governors General, Golden Jubilee Medal.

Judy Travis
Judy Travis

Executive Director, Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH)

Judy is Executive Director of the Workforce Planning Hamilton and oversees a range of research projects and other partnerships that address labour market and skills development issues that bridge the gap between workforce supply and demand.  Judy is a member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for Workforce Development, the Skills Development Flagship for the City of Hamilton, the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and is the past chair of the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council.  She is active in the community and volunteers as a Board member for Community Information Hamilton and the Community Centre for Media Arts.  

Keanin Loomis
Keanin Loomis

President and CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Keanin is the President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Celebrating its 172nd anniversary and representing 1,000 members that employ 75,000 people, under Keanin's leadership the Chamber has remained the authoritative Voice of Hamilton Business. Prior to the Chamber, Keanin was Chief Operating Officer of Innovation Factory, Hamilton's Regional Innovation Centre, and a lawyer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and the College of William & Mary School of Law. He serves as the Board Chair of Supercrawl and proudly lives with his wife and two children in Hamilton's lower city. 

Leo Johnson
Leo Johnson

Executive Director, Empowerment Squared

Leo Johnson spent eight years in refugee camps, after fleeing Liberia, and arrived in Canada in 2006 as a refugee. While studying political science at McMaster University, he founded Empowerment Squared, a charitable organization that promotes access to education, life long learning and educational projects in Liberia. He received the Albert Lager Prize for Student Initiative and was a semi-finalist in CBC’s Next Great Prime Minister Competition. He also received the YMCA Peace Medal, Gandhi Peace Award, World Citizenship Award and has been recognized among the top 75 immigrants in Canada. Leo was also named in Hamilton Spectator’s Top 40 under 40. 


Sandie Pizutti

Superintendent of Education, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB)

Sandie Pizzuti was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario.  She attended schools within the HWCDSB, from there attended the University of Western Ontario where she graduated with an Honours Degree in English/ French, then went on to complete her Masters in English at the University of Windsor and her Bachelors of Education at the University of Toronto. Sandie has been in education for 27 years, and has had various leadership positions, now serving in her 3rd year of Superindentency. Sandie is married to her husband John for 27 years, has 2 sons aged 21 and 24.  



Dave Hennick

Inspector, Hamilton Police Service 

David Hennick is an Inspector with the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) and currently oversees the Investigative Services Division. David graduated from the Police Foundations program at Conestoga College, has obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Waterloo and recently completed the Executive Management Program at the DeGroote School of Business. He is an active community volunteer, having held the following positions: past Board member of St. Joe’s Home Care, past Board Member of St Joe’s International Outreach Program and a past Board Member of Hamilton Police Service – in house charity Project Concern. David currently serves as a Board Director with the Catholic Children's Aid Society and has done so since June 2014. David also serves as the Secretary and Chair of the CCASH Governance Committee. David currently serves on several committees focusing on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence investigations in the City of Hamilton.

Sharon Reichheld
Sharon Reichheld

Branch Manager, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Sharon Reichheld is currently RBC Branch Manager of the Locke and Main location.  Sharon has been a member of RBC for the past 29 years where she has held various roles in both Business and Personal banking.  Sharon plays a very active role in her community in various ways.  She is a member of the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, a Guide/Pathfinder leader, Co-chair of the Parent Council at Mount Hope School and a member of two BIA’s.   RBC provides many ways for Sharon to continue her love of community involvement and she has been recognized for her dedication to helping others.

Zenaida Roque Cruz
Zenaida Roque Cruz (On Leave) 

Manager, Mobile Teams, Good Shepherd HOMES Program

Zenaida came to Hamilton with her family as a refugee from El Salvador in the early 1990's. Her childhood and life experiences have fostered a passion to provide support to those in need.  Zenaida currently has the honour to volunteer as the Chair for the City of Hamilton Immigrants and Refugees Advisory Committee. She leads the organization of the annual Multicultural Wellness Fair and participates in other volunteer opportunities. In her professional life Zenaida works as one on the managers for the Good Shepherd HOMES Program. Zenaida is humbled for the opportunity to pursue her passions in her current roles.


  1. Lil Acevedo, Housing Worker, Housing Help Centre
  2. John Ariyo, Manager, Community Initiatives, Community and Emergency Services Department, City of Hamilton
  3. Suzanne Brown, Director, Neighbourhood and Community Initiatives, Community and Emergency Services Department, City of Hamilton
  4. Denise Christopherson, CEO, YWCA Hamilton
  5. Jim Commerford, President & CEO, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford
  6. Huyen Dam, PhD Candidate, McMaster University
  7. Laurie Davidson, Regional Vice President, Greater Hamilton, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  8. Alain Dobi, Coordonnateur du Reseau de soutiena l'immigration francophone
  9. Lorraine Hamilton, Project Manager, Immigrant Services and Programs, Collège Boréal
  10. Don Jaffray, Executive Director, Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton
  11. Richard Koroscil, President & CEO, Korlon Strategic Services
  12. Lily Lumsden, Senior Regional Manager, Employment, Training & Settlement, YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford
  13. Kirsten Maxwell, Policy and Program Specialist, Housing Services Division, Community Services Department, City of Hamilton
  14. Heather Moffat, Vice Principal of System Programs, Vincent Massey Site, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
  15. Yohana Otite, Program Manager/Community Activator, Diversecity Onboard, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion
  16. Sandra Pizzuti, Superintendent of Education, Hamilton-Wentworth District Catholic School Board
  17. Ines Rios, Executive Director, Immigrants Working Centre
  18. Barry Smith, Vice-Principal of Community and International Education Services, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
  19. Judy Travis, Executive Director, Workforce Planning Hamilton
  20. Jim Vanderveken (Chair), Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, Mohawk College
  21. Sarah Wayland, Project Lead, Global Hamilton, Economic Development Division, Planning and Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton


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