We are on a MISSION…

Mission Community Skills Centre Society is a community-based resource dedicated to helping people improve their employability through quality services and training as defined by our clients.”
Join Our Team

Meet Our Team

We believe in collaboration, fun & work, encouragement, respect, self-direction,  and self-reliance!

Stephen Evans

Executive Director

Stephen Evans has lived in the Fraser Valley for the past 25 years. Since 1994, Stephen has worked in the field of Employment Services and Business Development Supports. Having worked as a Self-Employment Program Coordinator/Business Analyst for Community Futures, before moving on to managing several employment assistance programs, Stephen has acquired extensive experience within the employment counselling and business coaching fields. Stephen is also self-employed and has worked as an independent fruit broker. In addition, Stephen has managed a large processing business for more than five years selling locally grown food within the global marketplace. Stephen’s passion for the micro-enterprise agri-foods industry has provided him with specialized expertise within the fields of food production and human resource management. Stephen received his Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies from the University of Cape Breton (with distinction) and a Diploma in Applied Arts (Community Development) from the College of the North Atlantic.

Diana Dufour-Zand

Manager of Employment Programs and Human Resources

Diana began with Mission Community Skills Centre Society in March 2019 and in November she was promoted to Manager of Employment Programs and Human Resources.

Diana is passionate about people and is a champion for their growth; whether she is advocating for clients or for her team. Diana has been in the Career Development field for almost 15 years and has worked for various organizations as Facilitator, Case Manager, Job Developer, and Program Manager.

Prior to her work in the career development field she founded a successful non-profit organization that supported women and children in crisis. Diana is a Certified Career Development Practitioner and also possess a Provincial Instructors Diploma and in 2017 she acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education as well as a TESOL.

Yu Yin Yang

Director of Finance

Yu Yin Yang has been a part of the Mission Community Skills Centre Society team since January 2004. She moved to Canada in 1997 from Taiwan and has worked in the Accounting and Financial field for more than 25 years. Yu Yin’s passion is promoting teachings from Chinese culture and sharing the culture in her community.

Susan Smith

Operations Support / Administrative Assistant

Sue is originally from the United Kingdom but has been a resident of Mission for over 23 years. Sue completed her Career Development Practitioner Certification at University of the Fraser Valley in 2003 and has worked in the employment services field since 1999 assisting individuals with their job search and career planning.

Leslie Milne

Program Coordinator / Job Developer

After graduating from BCIT’s Media Techniques and Marketing Communication program Leslie went on to work for, and with, radio, TV and new media companies. Transitioning to the helping field and working for over 10 years with Mission Community Skills Center has given her a sense of fulfilment assisting people looking for career direction, job seekers and youth.

Rachelle Pflug

Program Assistant

Born and raised in BC, Rachelle is coming to us with over 20 years in the Customer Service Industry. She works as a Program Assistant for the MYST Program in Mission.

After making the decision to change careers Rachelle went back to school and completed the Applied Business Technology Program at UFV. She never wants to stop furthering her education and growing in her Industry.

Rachelle is really enjoying her time at Mission Community Skills Centre with assisting in the progress of individuals’ job growth and their new career paths.

Jenna-Mary Cruickshanks

Facilitator/Job Coach

Jenna-Mary is the Facilitator/Job Coach for the Wild Craft Foods Program, a program for Indigenous Youth Entrepreneurs. She acquired her Career Development Practitioner Certification from Douglas College and has attended the University of the Fraser Valley working towards her Bachelor Degree in Social Work. She’s also worked in Customer Service for over 10 years, including 5 years in the Beverage Industry, and 5 years in Management. Jenna’s true passion is people, helping, guiding and serving.

Her heritage lies in Newfoundland and she looks forward to getting back to the East Coast one day soon.

Daina Whitlock

Facilitator/ Operations Support / Administrative Assistant

Aaron has been working in career development as a facilitator for almost 20 years. In that time his primary focus has been working in emplDaina has been in the Customer Service industry for 29 years. After moving on from her long time career with Safeway, she completed the Applied Business Technology Certificate program at UFV. She is enjoying being a part of the Mission Community Skills Center and assisting in the development of individuals job search and their new and exciting career paths.oyment programs with vulnerable communities and young adults. He believes in setting the stage for people to experience epiphanies that will impact them positively and stick with them long term.

Aaron Davis

Senior Facilitator/Coach

Aaron has been working in career development as a facilitator for almost 20 years. In that time his primary focus has been working in employment programs with vulnerable communities and young adults. He believes in setting the stage for people to experience epiphanies that will impact them positively and stick with them long term.

As the facilitator for the Empowering Youth Entrepreneur Program, Aaron is passionate about helping Generation Z explore the entrepreneurial skills that will allow them to develop and pursue opportunities outside of traditional work paradigms. He also believes that future-proofing your career is more than having the skills demanded by employers, it’s about not having to rely on other people to provide opportunity.

Our History

Mission Community Skills Centre Society is a not-for-profit organization which was incorporated under British Columbia’s Society’s Act on May 17, 1995 as a joint initiative between the citizens of Mission, Human Resources Development Canada and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The purpose of the Community Skills Centres strategic initiative was to broker or provide employability programs and training in rural communities. At the onset, the Society offices, contracted and business services were provided in Mission.

In 1999, the Society opened an office in Abbotsford to deliver employment assistance programs under federal contracts. This program ran until 2008.

From November 2002 to 2015, the Society contracted with federal and provincial government to deliver employment assistance services in Langley and Aldergrove. This represented a significant expansion of the services of the Society to new communities.

During 2006, the Society merged its training services with the Fraser Valley Community Education Centre Society; a ten-year veteran in provincial and federal training programming focusing on vocational training and job finding programs in the Fraser Valley.

In 2011, the Society partnered with Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Society, Free Rein Associates Training Inc. and Win Resources to create the Fraser Valley Employment and Services Co-operative through which the Society was successful in becoming the lead service provider of the WorkBC Employment Services Centre for the Mission area in 2012 to 2019.

Since its inception in 1995, the Society has always delivered at least one employment assistance contract (federal or provincial) in each fiscal year and usually more. The Society has had facilities and offered services in the communities of Mission, Abbotsford, Langley, Hope and Chilliwack with itinerant services in Aldergrove and Maple Ridge. Programs and training served thousands of individuals in these communities.

The Society works with clients diverse in demographic, economic status, ethnicity, gender, disability, and multi-barrier challenges. All program delivery has included the social aspects of interpersonal relationship building, resources, bridging to social services and building the labour market capacity of the community.

Meet The Board of Directors

Founded in 1995, Mission Community Skills Centre Society is a community-based resource dedicated to helping people improve their employability through quality services and training as defined by our clients.

How did we do it? Through actively supporting the development and growth of client and new and existing businesses by:

  • Encouraging people to become employed through skills training, career decision making, job search and needs determination;
  • Encouraging people to become self-employed through a formalized orientation and access to self-employment training and supports; and
  • Encouraging community partners by supporting economic development initiatives.

Our partnerships with businesses and organizations enable innovative and quality programming that respond to the needs of our clients and contributes to the economic and social health of our communities.

We are committed to excellence in all of our activities and we pride ourselves on the reputation that we have attained in the academic, business and employment communities. Our standards of service and program quality are high and these standards are reflected in the positive outcome of our graduates and participants. A further reflection of that excellence is that our trainers and staff are recognized for their skills and abilities.

As a non-profit society, we actively seek new Directors who are willing to represent the community interest in our deliberations. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply to become Directors and be available to serve on committees and/or join our Board of Directors.

If you are interested in applying, please get started below by clicking through to our information and application page using the button below.

Robert Waycott

(Board Chair) – Robert Waycott has served on the Board of Directors of Mission Community Skills Centre since 1999 and as President since 2003. Robert has over thirty five years’ experience in labour market adjustment programming including industrial adjustment and skill development. Robert currently is involved in Immigrant Accreditation Support and Business Development Consulting Service. Robert holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from UCLA.

Moe Gill

(Director) – Moe was born in Punjab, India, arrived in Canada in 1955, and moved to Abbotsford in 1975. Moe has served on Abbotsford City Council since 1996.

Moe has served on many Boards and Regional Committees including: Traffic Safety Advisory Committee; Delta Heritage Airpark Management Committee; Matsqui Dyking, Drainage, and Irrigation Committee; AgriFair Board; Fraser Valley Regional District Board; Glen Valley Dyking District Committee; Local Court of Revisions for Frontage Tax, and the Parcel Tax Review Panel.

Moe has also served with many organizations, including: Fraser Valley Cold Crop Growers Association; Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association; B.C. Raspberry Growers Association; Federal Agricultural Employment Services; MSA Museum Society; Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association; Abbotsford-Matsqui Rotary; Dashmesh Punjabi School; and the Abbotsford Foundation.

Amar Rai

(Director) – Immigrating to Canada from the UK in 1995, Amar has been a resident of the Fraser Valley since 1998. Graduating from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree Amar currently works for an Asset and Infrastructure Finance Management company whose portfolio includes the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre. His previous community engagement includes the Abbotsford Multicultural Festival and the Abbotsford Youth Commission among others. A new Director to the Board, Amar is looking forward to advancing the goals and objectives of the Mission Community Skills Centre Society.
Diana is passionate about people and is a champion for their growth; whether she is advocating for clients or for her team. Diana has been in the Career Development field for almost 15 years and has worked for various organizations as Facilitator, Case Manager, Job Developer, and Program Manager.

Prior to her work in the career development field she founded a successful non-profit organization that supported women and children in crisis. Diana is a Certified Career Development Practitioner and also possess a Provincial Instructors Diploma and in 2017 she acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education as well as a TESOL.

Ken Peterson

(Director) – Ken holds a BA in English and Asian Studies from UBC and an MA in Adult Education. He completed his course work on his Doctoral programme and, after a leave to intern and lecture, joined the Canadian Penitentiary Service (Correctional Service of Canada). He taught at BC Penitentiary from 1972 to 1975 and then became an Assistant Warden, Deputy Warden, long term Acting Warden and Warden at various federal correctional institutions from 1975 until 2000.

Since retiring in 2000 Ken has presented personal growth workshops and has been involved in community volunteerism. He was a Director of the Clayburn Village Community Society from 2006 to 2016, member of the Senate of Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village in Chehalis BC. since 2008, and a Director with the Abbotsford Multicultural Society from 2010 to 2016. Ken Peterson is an experienced Level II Personality Dimensions Facilitator and a facilitator for Choices Seminars Unlimited, Adventures of a Lifetime, and Foundations for the Future.

Sherry Cannon

Sherry was born and raised in Vancouver and moved to Mission when she got engaged to her husband, Jack, in 1967. She worked for Scotiabank, starting in retail banking, and then transferred to commercial, where she stayed for several years. She then returned to retail banking and became a Retail Bank manager, retiring after 34 years of employment with Scotiabank. Sherry‘s husband of 32 years passed away in 2000. Sherry Is a founding member of the Rotary Club of Mission Midday and also involved with the Mission Community Foundation. She was the treasurer of the Red Cross for a number of years. Since retirement, Sherry can be found spending time with her family and friends, traveling, golfing and volunteering.

Jim Hinds

Jim spent 37 years with BC Hydro including First Responders and Industrial crews training in Electrical. Jim has also volunteered throughout the community including the Mission Agricultural Association (Mission Fair), and was awarded a Special Accomplishment Award from the District of Mission for hosting the District Centennial Parade. Jim and his wife were also involved with the Mission Arts Council Christmas Craft Show and in 1994 the Chamber of Commerce asked Jim to act as the Parade Marshall for the Annual Candlelight Parade. Other community groups Jim has been involved with include Research Assistant at the Mission Community Archives, Executive Committee member of the BC Custom Car Association Owners and Operators of Mission Raceway, and both Safety Crew and Head of Security for Mission Raceway. Jim, currently, is President of Rotary Club of Mission Mid-day. Jim also dedicates his time to volunteering at Hope Central and St. Joseph’s Food Bank. From 2014-2018, Jim served on the District of Mission Council. During that time, Jim served on the Joint Utilities Committee with representative from the City of Abbotsford; Council Rep for Safety and Engineering; and also served on the Fraser Valley Reginal District Board. Jim has also served on the Board of Directors of the Mission Seniors Centre for the last two years. This year Jim will be receiving a Lifetime achievement award from the District of Mission.

Sabastien Onyemaobi

Sabastien Onyemaobi, better known by his middle name of Obi, is a second year political science student at the University of British Columbia. Obi is a prolific volunteer contributing thousands of hours within his hometown community of the City of Mission. He has helped organize various cultural events and volunteered as an announcer, anthem singer, and awards manager for a variety of community organizations. In 2019, Obi was offered the opportunity to work as a Constituency Assistant with his local Member of Parliament; through which he gained further knowledge of what he could do to help the community.

A youth-parliamentarian, Obi has attended the last two years of the British Columbia Youth Parliament, and was a delegate to the British Columbia Student Leadership Conference from 2015 to 2019; in addition he was an attendee to the Canadian Youth Student Leadership Conference in September of 2019.

In 2020, Obi was awarded the Youth Champion of Diversity designation, for that years Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards and was awarded a Community Service Award from the (then) District of Mission, in recognition of his continued contributions towards encouraging diversity and youth leadership/empowerment within the community.

Ron Leger

Ron was born in Leominster, Massachusetts and moved to Canada in 1968. Ron holds a B.Comm from St Mary’s University, Certificate of Biblical Studies from Prairie Bible Institute, CGA, BC and Canada, CPA, BC and Canada. Moved to Mission in 1981 to begin work as an Accountant. Awarded with Freeman of the City, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Presidents Award Chamber of Commerce, Harold Clarke Award CGA, Paul Harris Award Rotary. He is a founding member of Rotary Midday, Founding President of Mission Foodbank Society, Director and Treasurer of St Joseph’s Food Bank, Director and Treasurer of Fraser House Society. Ron has also been involved in various other boards and committees over the years in Mission.

Gloria Tyler

I am a retired dentist and have been proud to call Mission my home since 1993. Throughout the years I have had a career as a dental hygienist, received a Bachelor of Health Science degree and continued to get my degree in dentistry. Along with my husband who also is a dentist, we founded Tyler Dental Artz, the Mission dental practice in which we worked together for over 20 years. My career also allowed me to be involved with and lead dental teams to many impoverished third world countries around the world. I am a member of the Midday Rotary Club holding positions of International Director, President and currently Secretary. I have also been actively involved with Seeds of Hope Children’s Ministry for several years being a director for at least 10 of those years. My busy retirement years include spending time with my family and friends, volunteering and community service, golfing, cycling and travel.

Hildirene Cabeza

My name is Hildirene Cabeza, born in Venezuela, a Lawyer with 17 years of professional experience as a consultant and a trial lawyer in civil and criminal court assisting different victims. I have international experience in different legal areas as a corporate consultant. I am also the President of HC & Consultores CA in Venezuela, with 11 years in the market with allied professionals in Venezuela and internationally. Moreover, I am the Partner of the firm Legalprocess in Venezuela. Currently, all these activities are online as I have only two years of residency in Mission, BC.

I was also a member of one of the Venezuelan Chambers of Commerce for eight years, which allowed me to interact and visit other chambers of commerce in different countries to make commercial alliances and business negotiations.

The following are my certifications: Certified in Contracts, International Litigation, Arbitration and American Law, Florida International University, USA. Certified in Prevention and Legitimation of Money Laundering, Universidad Metropolitana, Venezuela; Certified in New Worker Orientation, Violence, Workplace Harassment and WHMIS with AGIS, Canada; Certified in Psychological First Aid and Caring for Others, Canadian Red Cross; Expert in project development, execution and creation, logistics and preparation of events and public shows, fundraising in international events, personnel management and publicity campaigns for eight years; Expert in corporate and commercial business assistance, which together with international professional allies adjusted to the laws of each country to, manage, assist, coordinate and supervise processes in the area of immigration, registration, legal processes, pre and postgraduate education of interest in North America, Latin America, and Europe.

One of my passions is social work and contributing to help the most vulnerable; I am also a member of the Rotary Club El Tigre for four years in Venezuela, representing them for two consecutive years as coordinator of Rotary Foundation. I currently support as a weekly Rotarian to the Rotary Mission Midday, receiving recognition in February 2021 as the best Rotarian.

In addition, I volunteer at the Food Bank of Mission and am a coordinator in BC of the Venezuela Canadian engagement Foundation. Volunteering has brought me closer to the community as a new immigrant. That is why I am looking for a way to integrate my professional roots into this beautiful region.

Become a Board Member

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Declaration

We would like to acknowledge that we are on the unseeded traditional territories of the Leq’á:mel, Tla-o-qui-aht, Sumas, Katzie, Qualicum, Squiala First Nations, and Xwexwenaqe Xwexwilmelh people, and would like to thank these Nations for allowing us to live, work and play on their sacred territories.

Mission Community Skills Centre Society is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. We know that diversity underpins excellence, and that we all share responsibility for creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive community.

At Mission Community Skills Centre Society a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and participants, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a non-discriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We’re committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the employment services industry, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

We actively encourage applications from members of groups with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including, but not limited to:

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and all other Indigenous peoples;
  • members of groups that commonly experience discrimination due to race, ancestry, colour, religion and/or spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
  • persons with visible and/or invisible (physical and/or mental) disabilities;
  • persons who identify as women; and
  • persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

We recognize that many of these identities intersect and that therefore, equity, diversity and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings, and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all in our community.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, Mission Community Skills Centre Society strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

We would like to acknowledge that we are on the unseeded traditional territories of the Leq’á:mel, Tla-o-qui-aht, Sumas, Katzie, Qualicum, Squiala First Nations, and Xwexwenaqe Xwexwilmelh people, and would like to thank these Nations for allowing us to live, work and play on their sacred territories.

Mission Community Skills Centre Society is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. We know that diversity underpins excellence, and that we all share responsibility for creating an equitable, diverse and inclusive community.

At Mission Community Skills Centre Society a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and participants, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a non-discriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We’re committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the employment services industry, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

We actively encourage applications from members of groups with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including, but not limited to:

  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and all other Indigenous peoples;
  • members of groups that commonly experience discrimination due to race, ancestry, colour, religion and/or spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
  • persons with visible and/or invisible (physical and/or mental) disabilities;
  • persons who identify as women; and
  • persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

We recognize that many of these identities intersect and that therefore, equity, diversity and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings, and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all in our community.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, Mission Community Skills Centre Society strives to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee, and advisory bodies.
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.

Experience & Capacity

The Society is known for its quality of service delivery, innovation, flexibility, labour market connection and sound financial management.

The Society is managed by a Board of Directors, Executive Director (ED) and supported by a staff of experienced professionals.

The Society’s core competency is the development, implementation, and delivery of programs and training that help individuals improve their employability skills to (re)enter the labour market. The Society strongly believes that when dealing with employability, a holistic approach is most successful.

Activities provide a bridge between employment, training, education, community involvement and social services. The Society’s program activities are supported by a comprehensive resource of employment, community and social service information and business contacts in the Fraser Valley.

Society Vision

We are a starting point for tomorrow’s leaders. We believe that years from now, the Mission Community Skills Centre Society will be recognized as the place that launched the careers of business and community leaders who continue to contribute to a vibrant society.

Our partnerships with business and organizations enable innovative and quality programming that responds to the needs of our clients and contributes to the economic and social health of our communities.

We are committed to excellence in all of our activities and we pride ourselves on the reputation that we have attained in the academic, business and employment communities. Our standards of service and program quality are high and these standards are reflected in the positive outcome of our graduates and participants. A further reflection of that excellence is that our trainers and staff are recognized for their skills and abilities.

Get in Touch

Whether you are looking to hire your next great employee, or want to get the skills you need for the job market, we are here to help. Contact us today!