Over 60 local organisations and more than 140 community individuals are represented on the membership of the PPCII. Members participate at PPCII meetings, and may sit on any of the committees of the PPCII.
Committee Chairs for 2012-2013:
Jenn Harrington was born in Peterborough, raised in London, and returned to the community 4 years ago with her husband and two children. Jenn completed her bachelor of engineering science at the University of Western Ontario, and after working as an engineer in the Oil & Gas industry, returned to school to complete her MBA at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
This resulted in a new career focus in the area of community development, and once back in Peterborough, Jenn worked at the Workforce Development Board, where she became involved in many aspects of the community. Though no longer employed full-time, Jenn has continued her community work by volunteering and will continue to consult while raising her kids. Jenn has also volunteered and traveled extensively overseas and is excited to bring her various experiences to her role as chair.
Suresh is originally from India and moved to Canada in 1996. He has been living in Peterborough since 2010. He holds a bachelor degree in commerce from India and master’s degrees in Geography and Environmental Science from Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Calgary.
He has worked in the for-profit and non-profit sectors managing business, environmental, and cultural projects. He also teaches part-time at Trent University. Suresh is a member of the New Canadians Centre and serves on its Finance Committee and on the Board as an advisor.
Dawn Berry Merriam
Dawn Berry Merriam has over 30 years experience in community planning. She was the City of Peterborough’s first Manager of Social Planning. After leaving City Hall, she worked for 13 years with the local District Health Council, where she was the Associate Executive Director.
Dawn’s experience in the Peterborough community also includes working in the long-term care sector, as Manager of Support Services for St. Joseph’s At Fleming. In 2006, Dawn returned to her roots of social planning and community development and assumed the position of Research & Policy Analyst with the Peterborough Social Planning Council.
Michael grew up in Peterborough and returned home after a 17 year hiatus in 2009. He holds a B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Guelph and a B.Ed. from OISE/UofT. Since returning to Peterborough he has immersed himself in the community like never before. Currently he volunteers for the NCC/PPCII, Jamaican Self-Help (JSH), as a director for the Electric City Culture Council (EC3), and is on the 2013 Artsweek Committee. When he’s not engaged with his many pro bono pursuits Michael earns a living with his writing and communication skills.
He is currently doing communications work for Market Hall. If he can find the time he’d like to write a screenplay for Catch-22 and his first novel. For now he contents himself with beer and shuffleboard at The Only Café, reading Nietzsche, and trying to learn to sing and play guitar like Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.
Carmela Valles is an experienced settlement worker with over eight years of senior management experience in integration programs to immigrant and refugee families in the Peterborough region. She is the leader of Carmela Valles Immigration Consulting, the first private immigration consulting business in Peterborough. She holds an Honours degree in Sociology and International Development Studies from Trent University. Carmela is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and a fellow of the Canadian Migration Institute. She is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants.
Carmela serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Trent Centre for Community Based Education and is an appointed member to the Arts Culture Heritage Advisory Committee of the City of Peterborough. She has been involved with the New Canadians Centre in Peterborough on various capacities since 1997, and served as the NCC Executive Director from 2000-2009.
Safo is responsible for coordinating the various committees of the PPCII and for facilitating the Talking About Canada Group. Safo is originally from Albania and has a law degree from the University of Tirana. She earned an LL.M. from Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in US and a second LL.M. from Riga Graduate School of Law in Riga, Latvia. Before moving to Canada she served as Policy and Advocacy Specialist and Project Manager on several development projects in Kosovo. Safo shares a passion for traveling and writing. She is very excited to join the PPCII team.
Yvonne moved to Canada from Singapore in 1998 to attend university. She graduated with a BA(Honours) in Psychology and English from Trent University, and with an MA and PhD in Psychology from York University. Her graduate work was based on assessing immigrant needs in small urban communities and patterns of community engagment.
Yvonne has worked with various community agencies which include the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society, YWCA of Peterborough, Victoria and Haliburton and the Canadian Mental Health Association. She feels very fortunate to be able to work with such a dedicated team in a great community.
The role of the Project Implementation Specialist for the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration is to facilitate the establishment of an English as a Second Language (ESL) steering committee. Gabriela is also responsible for delivering training in the Newcomer Integration Toolkit to the community and developing the skills of our Speakers Bureau members.
Gabriela was born in South Africa and immigrated to Canada as a young child. Prior to moving to Peterborough in 2009, she worked for a decade in Alberta with the City of Calgary and several non-profit organizations. Gabriela has a B.A in Communications from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a BEd. from Trent University. Gabriela enjoys spending time with her family and meeting new people.