Board of Directors

Ozlem SariOzlem Sari
Board Chair

Ozlem joined the board of Global Gathering Place in January 2016, and took on the role of board chair in June 2017. Ozlem was born and raised in Turkey. After finishing college, she continued her education in Boston, USA and received her Masters and PhD in sociology. After teaching sociology in Miami and then at the University of Saskatchewan, she has worked at the Health Quality Council of Saskatchewan for 8 years. She is currently a Research Facilitator at the College of Nursing in the U of S. Ozlem has first hand immigrant experience, and a long-standing interest in immigration research, as well as a continuous commitment for supporting immigrants in their journey to become outstanding members of our community.

Jack HillsonJack Hillson
Board Vice-Chair

A lawyer for over 40 years, Jack was raised and educated in Saskatchewan.  Although based in this province, he has travelled extensively throughout the North and above the Arctic Circle.  He worked with Indigenous people throughout his legal career and was involved with the residential schools resolution settlement process. Jack also served as a member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly for 7 years.  Now retired, he and his wife enjoy their cottage in New Brunswick where they spend much of the summer near their daughter.

Jack enjoys his work on the Board and other volunteer work with Global Gathering Place and appreciates the new friendships formed at GGP.

Kristin RobinsonKristin Robinson, CPA, CA
Board Treasurer

Kristin is in her second full year as a member of the board of Global Gathering Place. She has served as Treasurer of the Board over the past year and is continuing in this role. Kristin works as a CPA in Saskatoon and works closely with a number of not-for-profit organizations. With her extensive NPO experience, Kristin took great interest in GGP’s ability to offer so many programs to newcomers and wished to join the Board to assist the Organization in fulfilling its mission.

Lawrence ThonerLawrence Thoner
Board Secretary

Lawrence is completing his sixth year as a member of the board of Global Gathering Place. He served as chair for two years and was secretary for two years earlier, as well. His association with GGP goes back about 10 years, when he began mentoring individuals and regularly attending Coffee and Conversation—both of which he continues to do today. His forefathers were immigrants from Norway and from Ireland and he has always had an affinity with newcomers to this country. With his background as a retired editor and teacher, he takes a special interest in GGP’s language program.

Alan Anderson
Board member

During the past several years, Alan has volunteered at Global Gathering Place as a regular participant in the weekly ‘Coffee and Conversation’ sessions, as a personal mentor to clients wishing to improve their writing skills, and as an assistant on various excursions.  A retired sociology professor at the University of Saskatchewan, he taught a course on immigration and refugee policy and long chaired the International Studies Program.  His extensive international experience has influenced his longstanding commitment to immigrants and refugees.  He continues to be affiliated with the Saskatoon Refugee Coalition, Saskatoon Open Door Society, Amnesty International, and Canadian International Council.

Gurtej BhullarGurtej Bhullar
Board member

Gurtej joined as board member after successfully completing the “Bridging to Non-Profit Governance” program offered by Global Gathering Place. He has more than 15 years of work experience in information technology services specializing in operations and projects. He is new to Canada and is passionate about opportunities for continuous learning and improving professional skills. For him to serve on the Global Gathering Board has been a privilege, and indeed one of the unique and most valuable experiences of life.

Darlene CooperDarlene Cooper
Board member

Darlene is completing her fifth year as a Board member of Global Gathering Place.  She was intrigued by the work of GGP and fascinated to witness the international community of Saskatoon evolve and expand. Former founding board member, Sr. Julianna Heisler, strongly encouraged her to get involved at the Board level.  Darlene also wants to better understand the challenges facing those who now call Saskatoon home. Knowing GGP provides a critical kick-start for newcomers’ success is very rewarding. Darlene’s professional work experience includes 20+ years in the education sector, fundraising, financial services and now sales consultant. She is especially delighted with her growing family that includes three grandchildren with two more on the way.


Bill RafossBill Rafoss
Board member

Bill was first elected to the GGP board in 2013 and he served as Board Chair from 2014 to 2016. Bill currently serves as National Board Chair for Amnesty International Canada. For more than 25 years, Bill worked as the chief investigator at the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and since 2006 has been a Sessional Instructor in the Political Studies Department at the University of Saskatchewan and St. Thomas More College. Bill enjoys chatting with GGP clients at coffee and conversation on Thursday afternoons.

Would you like to join the GGP Board of Directors?

If you have skills that could strengthen our Board and contribute to our diversity, we invite you to apply to serve on our Board. You need to be able to commit between 40 and 60 hours per year and should have knowledge and experience that will help us to improve the governance of the Global Gathering Place. The GGP Board is determined by a membership vote at its Annual General Meeting.

Currently, we have no vacancies. However, these do arise from time to time. If you are interested in serving on the Board, please complete our Board Application and submit it through our website. Alternatively, you can print out and fill in a form and drop it off or mail it to our main office at 100 5th Avenue North, Saskatoon SK  S7K 2N7.