Vivek Warrier


Vivek is a partner with the law firm Bennett Jones; he completed his education in Calgary and Edmonton and was called to the bar in Alberta in 2001.  Vivek practices in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, from exploration through marketing; he also teaches Oil and Gas Contracts Law at the University of Calgary, and publishes extensively on oil and gas legal topics. He is sought out by clients for complex purchase and sale transactions and other contractual issues including ownership and service agreements. 

Vivek is a lifelong Calgarian and has been extensively involved in community development. He has served as a director of the Distress Centre and currently is involved as a volunteer for the Calgary Stampede and as a United Way leader. 

Farrah Sunderani

1st Vice Chair

Farrah is a lawyer with ConocoPhillips Canada.  She practices in a variety of areas including employment, privacy, regulatory and corporate/commercial.  Farrah previously worked with the Hudson’s Bay Company in Toronto advising on various labour  & employment related matters including strategically managing one of the largest terminations in Canadian history due to the closure of Zellers. Farrah completed her B.A. (Honours) at Queen’s University and her LL.B. at the University of Western Ontario. As a born-and-raised Calgarian, Farrah is an avid volunteer and has been involved with several community organizations, such as The Calgary Foundation and the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

Hans Luu

2nd Vice Chair

Hans is a strategy, management system, and policy professional with expertise in environment and sustainability. Hans has over a decade of experience working with organizations in the public and private sectors to formulate and implement strategic responses to business and sustainability issues in order to improve their performance and manage risks. Mr. Luu possesses a strong business consulting background, combined with technical training and education in the environmental sciences, allowing him to bring a science-based approach to helping organizations navigate sustainability challenges. His professional experience includes deep knowledge and works in the areas of strategy development and implementation, risk management, environmental management, climate change strategy and policy, environmental reporting, non-financial assurance, business process improvement, organizational transformation, and environmental performance improvement. 

Muhammad Ashraf


Muhammad A. Ashraf is a banking professional with nearly six years of experience in retail, private & commercial banking.  Currently working at a Canadian Bank as a Commercial banker where he is involved in business lending to diversified industries including, Energy Services, Manufacturing, Transportation, and Agriculture.  Being an immigrant himself, he has a strong passion for serving the community and has worked with CCIS, Junior Achievement Southern Alberta, and United Ways. Muhammad holds an MBA from Queen's University with a focus on global business and leadership.

Aleem Dhanani 


Aleem has been an active community member contributing his knowledge and skills including strategic support and direction with a number of community organizations, financial training, and life skills for students, operational and strategic support in various international development projects, and raising awareness, participation, and funds for development projects in Africa and Asia. Aleem is currently the Managing Director of the real estate development company BRI-MOR Developments.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Business Administration from the London Business School. 

Mark Hopkins


Mark Hopkins is a Calgary-based theatre artist and community-builder. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre, Calgary‘s leading purveyor of fearless site-specific theatre. He’s also thrilled to be associated with the Calgary Foundation, the Centre for Newcomers, Human Venture Leadership and VoteKit Calgary, and is the founder of We Should Know Each Other.Some of Mark’s honours and awards include the Creative Placemaking Award (2016 Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 and the Calgary Herald’s 20 Compelling Calgarians.

Shawnnette Fraser


Shawnnette was born in British Guyana, South America and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. She started as a Full-time agent with TD Bank, Easy line/Phone Channel after finishing her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Alberta.  While completing her B.Comm., she also completed multiple courses related to banking including working towards her Professional Financial Planning designation. Throughout her tenure with TD, Shawnnette has been recognized multiple times for her outstanding leadership in sales management, business results and has a personal brand of attracting and developing our leaders of tomorrow.  She is known for her ability to motivate and engage teams to exceed objectives.

Tyler Cleveland


Tyler has 30+ years experience and a track record of success across a wide variety of roles and organizations. After obtaining his MBA with an HR major from McMaster University, he began his career in healthcare where he played a key role in the restructuring of healthcare in Alberta, initially as the HR lead to plan and execute the simultaneous merger of 11 separate organizations into a single entity as part of the consolidation of healthcare services in the 1990's in NW Alberta, and later as the Director of HR Planning for the Calgary Health Region during a time of critical shortages of healthcare professionals. Following a decade in healthcare Tyler transitioned to the private sector 

Don MacDiarmid


Don MacDiarmid recently retired from an energy industry career during which he worked first as an engineer and later as a lawyer.    He completed his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University and his LL.B. at Dalhousie University and practised law in Calgary for almost 30 years. 

Don has also been involved in numerous community volunteer roles, including political campaigns, university alumni fundraising, junior soccer coaching, Inn from the Cold and various Board roles at St. David’s United Church.  Don previously served on the CFN Board from June 2010 - June 2016, acting as Chair from December 2014 until June 2016.

Laura Linnell


Born and raised in Alberta, Laura has lived in both rural and urban centres in the province.  She and her family have called Calgary home, since 2000.  With a background in sales & marketing management, Laura started her career in media, first in broadcasting and then settled into the publishing industry. She has been with Postmedia and the Calgary Herald for nearly 20 years.  Through her time with Postmedia, Laura has had the opportunity to work with the business community, governments and non-profit organizations. A focus on offering solutions to the needs of a business, organization or community has served well in her role, both in the business and non-profit sector.  Laura is an active volunteer both locally and nationally.  She has served in various capacities with volunteer organizations in Alberta; is the past-chair of CISV Calgary, and currently does fund development nationally, for CISV Canada.  Laura has been involved with the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund since she joined the team at the Herald in 2000.  She values her involvement with the Christmas Fund, as it has given her an understanding of the needs of Calgarians and the incredible work that is done by the not-for profit sector in our city.

Veronica Tang


Veronica is currently Interim Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at WestJet Airlines. In her role, she leads the airline’s legal function, is responsible for WestJet’s corporate governance matters and for liaising with the company’s Board of Directors and advises WestJet’s executive team on a range of legal issues. Veronica has been at WestJet since 2012; prior to this, Veronica practiced securities, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions law at Stikeman Elliott in Calgary. Veronica is a member of the Alberta bar and holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degrees from the University of British Columbia.

Veronica is a born-and-raised Calgarian. She loves to travel, and her favourite WestJet destination is Palm Springs.

Click here for more information on how to become a Member.

Office Hours

Monday to Friday

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

We are closed on Statutory holidays and long weekends



1010, 999 - 36 Street NE

Calgary, AB T2A 7X6

(located inside the T & T Pacific Place Mall. -  Please use the northeast entrance off of 36 st, 12 Ave NE. No access from 33 st NE.



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Phone: 403.569.3325
Email: info@centrefornewcomers.ca