WE LIP Success Story | DECEMBER 2021

Winter Council Meeting

The WE LIP’s Winter Council Meeting was held on December 8, 2021. The agenda included a presentation of the 2021 Vital Signs Report from Lisa Kolody of the WindsorEssex Community Foundation, an update by Inas Abdallah on the new services and location of the VON Immigrant Health Clinic, an overview by Ronnie Haidar of the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario’s Ontario Newcomer Trades Action Program (ON TAP) and a walkthrough by Tashlyn Teskey of Workforce WindsorEssex’s new career tools.

The Winter Council Meeting was also an opportunity to announce the results of the 2021 WE LIP Executive Election, which was once again conducted virtually. The WE LIP Coordination Team is happy to welcome to the Executive, former Member-at-Large and now incoming Chair, Charlotte LeFrank, Outreach Coordinator at the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, and incoming Member-at-Large, Marion Fantetti, Business Ombudsman at Invest WindsorEssex.

To outgoing Chair, Hugo Vega, who has been a member of the WE LIP Executive for nearly 10 years, the WE LIP Coordination Team and WE LIP Council sends all our appreciation for his dedication, insights, and leadership over the years. We are thrilled that you will continue to work and partner with the WE LIP as part of the Council.

You can find a recording of the Winter Council Meeting and related documents at the following link: https://bit.ly/3m7Vkco

Now, please enjoy a message from our incoming Chair, Charlotte LeFrank:


A Message from Incoming WE LIP Chair, Charlotte LeFrank  

Season’s Greetings!

I would first like to take the opportunity to thank the esteemed members of the WE LIP Council for entrusting me with the responsibility of being your new Chair. I am excited and honoured to serve in this capacity. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our outgoing Chair, Hugo Vega.  Thank you, Hugo, for your wisdom, grace and leadership through some difficult and often turbulent times. You have left an indelible mark on this work (and very big shoes to fill!).

As this year draws to a close, it is natural to reflect back on the year that was. Once again, our community has faced many challenges. The ongoing global pandemic continues to take a toll, shining a light on the many social inequities that exist in our society. Regardless of our profession, family situation, or walk of life, we have all been impacted by COVID in some to go above and beyond to support the vulnerable in our community, to affect systemic change, and to work diligently to create a more welcoming Windsor-Essex for all.

In addition to our existing body of work, the WE LIP collective took on some new and important initiatives this year. Together WE:

  • Engaged new partners to implement recommendations detailed in the Migrant and Temporary Foreign Workers Action Plan;
  • Championed the International Student survey report and established a working group of University of Windsor, St. Clair College and local service providers representatives to review the key findings of the report and identify actions to support a welcoming strategy;
  • Collaborated with the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Migrant Worker Community Program to produce Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body virtual mental wellness sessions. The sessions were delivered in English, Spanish, French and Arabic through Facebook Live.

None of this incredible work would be possible without the support and contributions of many.  I would like extend a heartfelt thanks to our dedicated WE LIP coordination team – Alanna Oddoye, Monica Champagne, Michelle Suchiu, and Mary Ellen Bernard.  Thank you also to the City of Windsor and Workforce WindsorEssex for the enduring support that they provide year after year. Thank you to all of my fellow executive members, who ensure that the voices of our community are represented at the table.  A very special thanks to our funding body, Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for your support and visionary leadership, and for embracing our vision to grow and reach new populations in new ways.  Finally, the biggest thanks of all goes out to each and every one of you, our members, our champions, and our ambassadors.  Thank you for all that you do!!

We have exciting things planned for 2022, but first we have all earned a well-deserved rest. I hope that this winter break will bring you an opportunity to rest, recharge, connect with loved ones, and to experience joy.

Happy Holidays to one and all!


Charlotte LeFrank, Chair

Windsor Essex Local Immigration Partnership


Download a PDF copy of this Success Story here: