Please meet Doug Preston, our Board Chair. Doug is a dedicated and passionate Board Member that has been collaborating with us for many years!
How long have you served on the board?
I have served on the board since May 2020.
What motivated you to volunteer on the board?
Our family has been involved with MISA since it’s inception. Through our work, Jo-Anne (ELL teacher) and myself (Executive Director, North Island Employment) had many work connections with MISA and participated on joint projects that supported attracting and settling immigrants in the north island region. We share with MISA a belief that understanding and supporting immigration, diversity and inclusion makes our families and our communities stronger.
Tell us about a favourite memory with the IWC.
Some of my favourite memories includes our family’s participation in the walks against racism and our kids carrying posters attached to their hockey sticks. These walks were an annual event that culminated in the community coming together to collectively promote and celebrate inclusion, diversity, understanding and mutual respect.
Does your family have an immigration story you’d like to share?
On both sides of our families our grandparents immigrated to Canada from Germany, Ukraine, the UK and the US. They immigrated to Canada to flee upcoming wars in Europe, devastating poverty in rural southern United States, to escape post World War I economic collapse and to seek opportunity, safety and well-being for their families.
Have you used any IWC services and if so, what was your experience?
I have worked with MISA over a 28 year period to support MISA’s linkage of settlement supports with employment opportunities and occupational skill development. This has included foreign worker skills recognition, on-the-job training, and skill development. MISA works to engage with immigrants and newcomers to connect them with services and supports and to help open doors that create opportunity. MISA puts a human face to these services that help people to feel welcomed and valued as they make connections and start to build their new lives on the north island.
If you knew anyone immigrating to Canada, what would you tell them about the IWC to help them make the best of their experience settling here?
MISA will welcome you and work with you to support and guide you through your arrival in our communities. They will help you understand how our communities work, how to access information and support and where to begin in making your home here. MISA is a safe haven amongst all the unknown, the new, and the confusing. You will feel welcomed and supported.
Other than the IWC, what are some of your passions?
I am an avid reader, walker, tennis player and cook. In retirement we have discovered home exchanges are a great way to explore and to be welcomed into new communities around the world. We love being with our adult children, sharing in their lives and being granddog parents.