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Event: Panelists to share lived experiences and expertise on inclusive workplace culture at CV Chamber luncheon

The Immigrant Welcome Centre’s Welcoming Communities Coalition has partnered with The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce to present a panel discussion and luncheon on Developing an Inclusive Culture in the Workplace.

Have you ever wondered: How can we make our organizations more inclusive and welcoming? How can we attract and retain people of diverse abilities and backgrounds?

Join us on Wednesday, July 27th for an engaging luncheon panel where you will learn from our panelists’ lived experiences and expertise, and from our past Collaboratory discussions with the community. Enjoy lunch in the Platinum Room of the Crown Isle Resort, and participate in a Q&A.

We will explore ideas, challenge assumptions, and talk about proactive ways in which we can create more welcoming and inclusive workplaces.

Our panelists include: Ramesh Lad, Ramon Ramirez, Diane Naugler, and Phil Edgett.

Ramesh Lad, the founder of Step by Step Accessibility Consulting, immigrated to Canada from the UK 21 years ago with a background in supporting youth at risk. As a person born with diverse abilities, Ramesh brings with him a lifetime of personal lived experiences in creating solutions to dealing with environmental barriers within education, employment, leisure, housing, travel, and recreation services.

Diane Naugler, the Director of Future Students & Community Engagement at North Island College is a post-secondary leader and educator who decided never to hide their identity from employers, colleagues, students, or community members. The questions, discomfort, and opportunities this decision set in motion has shaped them into a consistent advocate for inclusivity, equity, and change.

Ramon Ramirez, a mortgage broker and business consultant, moved to Canada 20 years ago from Paraguay and experienced first-hand the challenges of adapting to different customs and business practices. He is now a proud Canadian who volunteers on many boards and believes that diversity fosters innovation and a culture of understanding and harmony.

Phil Edgett is a local realtor who will talk about overcoming challenges as a lifelong entrepreneur with diverse abilities (he started his first business enterprise at age 12!). He has extensive experience working with employers and his approach to new opportunities is one of positivity and innovation.

The event will be moderated by Chamber CEO Dianne Hawkins. Coalition coordinator Julie Keumbehdjian will also present some of the insights, challenges, and experiences around equity and inclusion shared by local organizations at the Coalition’s annual Collaboratory earlier in the year.

Reserve your ticket today!

What: Developing an Inclusive Culture in the Workplace

Where: The Crown Isle Resort (399 Clubhouse Drive, Courtenay)

When: July 27th, 2022 | 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $50/ticket

Tickets include lunch, panel discussion, and Q&A.

Learn more here at the Chamber event page or contact Coalition coordinator Julie Keumbehdjian at

Sponsored by:













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Immigrant Welcome Centre

We provide free specialized services for immigrants, refugees and newcomers in Campbell River, the Comox Valley, and northern Vancouver Island.

Immigrant Welcome Centre

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers in Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River and northern Vancouver Island.