Jorge Fernandez is the CEO of the Immigrant Centre in Winnipeg, where he first joined as a facilitator in 1993 and was promoted to CEO in 2014.
During his 27 years of service, Fernandez has helped thousands of newcomers adjust to living in Canada.
“It makes me happy to see families reunited in Canada,” says Fernandez.
He moved to Winnipeg from Quito, Ecuador in 1985. For four years he worked as a teacher’s aide, assisting Spanish speaking students at Princess Margaret elementary school.
Many of the newcomers he helps move to other parts of Canada, though he finds in time, a lot of them return.
“Manitoba is one of the best places to live,” he says, “with all of the different cultures.”
Fernandez misses the one-on-one contact he had with clients before becoming CEO of the Immigration Centre. He will sometimes take a break from his senior role when assisting clients who he worked with during his earlier years.
Fernandez says retirement is still several years away, but when the time comes to step away from his career, he still wants to be a community builder.
Fernandez is also the President of the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations, a member of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and a member of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.
To him community is, “a place where you are welcome, you can work and live with no discrimination and enjoy life.”