Organization

Board of  Directors

Initiatives of Change Association (Canada) is a federally registered charitable organization, incorporated in 1944 under the name of Moral Re-Armament and operating since 2001 as Initiatives of Change.
(Business number 11904 5912 RR 00001).

TheBoard of Directors consists of seven Members elected to serve for a maximum of two 3 year terms. The Council’s main responsibility is to oversee the management of programs, financial and human resources. Priorities are generally set through national consultations. 

 

 

Lorne Braun

Lorne Braun lives in Richmond, BC and currently works as a consultant to Canadian NGOs doing humanitarian work throughout the world. His first career was in building technology, compliance and management.  The past 31 years were spent in international development: working and consulting with NGOs, the private sector, and the Canadian Govern- ment. He also spent four years teaching international non-profit man- agement at a college in North Vancouver.

Lorne has an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria. His research on the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict has led to facilitated dialogue work in Canada and the UK. Lorne has been a member on various Boards including his local church, the Vancouver Airport multi-faith chaplaincy, and several Canadian and international NGO coalitions. He has travelled extensively, including three years working in Ethiopia with his wife Joyce and daughter Megan.

Lorne has been involved with the local IofC team in Vancouver since 1992, and served as Chair of the IofC Canada Council. Lorne was Treasurer of IofC International from 2008 to 2014. He is currently supporting the new International Treasurer as a transition and is also volunteering in a fundraising capacity for IofC Interna- tional. His specific skill set includes strategic planning, board development, program planning, proposal writing, government liaison, project monitoring, and project evaluation.

Lorne’s upbringing in a Mennonite community in Canada gave him both grounding in faith and a reference point for refugee issues. This continues to inform his work with marginalized people around the world. He considers himself an international person, with a passion for justice. Lorne believes the combination of his experi- ence with IofC International and IofC Canada would be of benefit on the new Board.

 

 

Jean-Noël André

Jean-Noël André, a native of France, has been living in Neuville, Quebec for over 20 years. An engineer by training, he is a producer of stage productions concerning nature, the environment and tourism. Producer of a number of inter-cultural projects, such as Témis Jeunesse International and the popular show, Les Mystères de Québec, he founded the cultural centre Le Café des Arts in the historic Old Quebec City. He is co-author of the project Circles of Trust: forum for a Citizen Project in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He is President of the Espace Art Nature Corporation. He chaired the international orga- nizing committee of the Congress et si la beauté pouvait sauver le monde (…“and what if beauty could save the world”) in August 2014 in Montreal.

He has known IofC in Quebec for a number of years and has been a member since 2012.With the team of Espace Art Nature, he collaborated with IofC in putting on an event on the Plains of Abraham, during the AGM held there in 2008. On a trip to Alberta in 2010, Jean-Noël met several team members and took part in an event in memory of Chief Walking Buffalo.

Through his commitment to Espace Art Nature he is well aware of the challenges faced by an association like IofC Canada in adapting to today’s realities without losing its foundational soul. His friendships with aboriginal people from different communities, his experience in the Circles of Trust and the Citizen Project, as well as his work with the Congress in Montreal (see above), give him a good degree of expertise in terms of cultural diversity and organizational skill. He is ready to commit to the Board of Directors.

 

Karen Bambonye (Ottawa, Ontario)

Karen Bambonye works for the federal government as a senior project officer in Canada’s capital. She coordinates and implements projects, which involves extensive consulting and collaboration with various people, groups, and teams. She is also responsible for drafting and preparing various communication documents; such as procedures, guidelines, quarterly reports and annual reports. Before working for the government, Karen was a self-employed photographer for five years. She took photographs of products and portraits for magazines and businesses. She was also responsible for coordinating and organizing photoshoot sessions with clients, stylists, make-up artists and art directors.

 

Since 2003, she has supported and helped various Initiatives of Change (IofC) teams in Canada and overseas. She lent a helping hand to the Montreal team - she was an active member of the Montreal Regional Committee. Overseas, Karen provided translation assistance at IofC’s 2003 Ghana conference - ‘Africa in Search of Good Governance’. She was also, twice, a Caux Intern at IofC’s conference centre in Switzerland. Most recently, Karen also played a key role in organizing and holding a series of youth workshops at the University of Ottawa on ethical leadership, core values and quiet time. She also redesigned IofC’s brochure in 2015 and since June 2016, Karen was Treasurer for IofC Canada.

 

Mercy Okalowe (Toronto, Canada)

Mercy Okalowe is a former IofC-Canada Regional Coordinator and a former Caux Conference Organizer. In 2010, Mercy was subsidized by the Caux Foundation to coordinate the 'Leading Change for a Sustainable World' conference which was later absorbed into the 'Trust and Integrity for a Global Economy' conference. Mercy also served as a member of the organizing team for the 2010 IofC-Canada AGM, to plan and promote the local launch of Rob Corcoran’s book Trustbuilding: An Honest 2 of 2 Conversation on Race, Reconciliation and Responsibility as a side-event to the AGM. In 2011, Mercy took on the role of Regional Coordinator of Southwest Ontario. In this role, Mercy assisted in or coordinated numerous events including IofC-Toronto’s participation in International Development Week at the University of Toronto, a trust-building workshop for the South Sudanese community in Calgary, an ‘Open homes, listening hearts’ gathering in Toronto, the IofC-Canada AGM in Montreal, and The Imam & the Pastor film tour.

Mercy is an alumna of Western University where she graduated with a Bachelor's in Management and Organizational Studies, specializing in financial administration and economics. Mercy also completed a post-graduate certificate in Public Relations at Seneca College and worked as an Investor Relations Specialist during the height of the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis.

She believes that, like anyone who seeks to live an authentic and honest life, she brings a unique perspective to any organization she is involved in and, as an active and engaged member of IofC-Canada and IofC-International since 2009, she is very familiar with the programmes that IofC wants to promote. Mercy believes she has skills in coordination and collaboration which will be highly useful to IofC-Canada. Beyond this, we live now in a highly networked world where new technologies are being utilized in order to reach a broader segment of the population. The skills she possesses as a strategic networker and her willingness to explore and utilize new technologies will certainly be an asset to the association.

Currently she serves on two committees of the Action Coalition for the Ontario Disability Support Program and she is a member of the Board of Directors of both Working For Change and the C/S Info Resource Centre (where she was just elected Treasurer). She also resides in a suburb of Toronto. When not busy volunteering in her community, Mercy enjoys writing, exercising, and watching tennis. She dreams of one day going to Wimbledon.

 

Cecilia Sithembile Silundika (Thembi)

Thembi  has 20 years of experience in the federal public service working in international cooperation and indigenous peoples of the Arctic. In addition to policy work she has great experience in building partnerships and all aspects of program management. In the earlier years, Thembi coordinated a scholarship program for Southern African graduate students studying in Canada. She has two masters’ degrees in science and international relations.  Her involvement in IofC since 1992 has given her a broad scope and corporate memory. It has contributed to her philosophy in life. Thembi’s experience with IofC includes Creators of Peace, the Global Indigenous Dialogue as well as the Youth Leadership Program. She now sees the need for rejuvenating the love for IofC in a new world context. Everything is changing so fast and IofC can turn this into a positive by preparing for it and leveraging our strengths. 

Thembi would like to strengthen the Outreach and Engagement aspects – speaking engagements at high levels and community to promote IofC; to work to develop tools and means to connect with the public so that there is a renewed passion for the values that IofC promotes. This could be an important complementary step to fundraising and lead to funding support that is needed.

Another area that interests Thembi is inter-generational dialogue, to enable the passing of experiences between the older generation in transition to the younger generation. As a qualified Erickson Academy Coach with leadership training skills she is ready to help support the Board towards cohesion and motivation as they work as a team.

Thembi is currently using her leadership skills to support Newlife women’s project where she also serves as a board member (www.newlifeprojectinc.org). The organization helps disadvantaged women in Sierra Leon and Ivory Coast. Thembi has three daughters, one of whom is still living at home. She enjoys classical music, folk and modern dancing, and running.

 
Firyal Mohamed  

 Born an island-girl, raised a Calgarian, Firyal believes that the well-being of one is embedded in the well being of all; this drives her quest for knowledge, engagement in her community and a desire to build truly meaningful relationships that transform our own inner lives and ultimately the spaces around us.

She currently resides on the beautiful islands of Haida Gwaii and spends her days coaching and mentoring budding entrepreneurs with business planning and financing, and supporting the development of a strong local island economy.
As a 2011 Caux Scholar, Firyal was immediately drawn to IofC’s focus on personal transformation and has since been involved with: the Alberta chapter supporting the delivery of various trustbuilding workshops; planning and developing two national consultations and has served on the Board since 2015. She was an active committee member on the Inner Peace Conference, humbly receiving an opportunity to interview Dr. Rajmohan Ganhdi on his visit here as the keynote speaker.
She’s quite excited to bring a spirit of creativity to the Board and looks forward to working with the team to strengthen and widen outreach – “It is my hope that we are able to continue to create a sustainable and vibrant community dedicated to the lifelong journey towards personal transformation together.

 

Aron Tegenfeldt

Aron completed a BA in Pacific and Asian Studies and an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria. He worked as a project manager with the HOPE International Development Agency and has an ongoing connection with Myanmar.

Aron is a consulting director for the Peacemakers Trust in Victoria and has worked as a Research Associate for the Center for Global Studies at University of Victoria. He took part in a China/Canada Scholars Exchange Program (for continuing studies in Mandarin) with Peking University in Beijing. He is keen on the development of people and mentorship.

Aron participated in the Caux Scholars Program, with its focus on conflict transformation and peacebuilding, which continues to take place at the Initiatives of Change International conference centre in Caux, Switzerland. He has participated in local IofC meetings and workshops in Vancouver and in Victoria.

As a Co-Founder and Board member of Cocos Pure (www.cocospure.com), Aron finds this brings together his public relations and communications skills and his passion for ethically sourced and healthy food products. He lives in

Vancouver with his wife and infant son and enjoys surfing, snowboarding and sailing.