Mario J. Calla, BA, MSW, has been the Executive Director of COSTI
Immigrant Services since 1987. COSTI is a community service agency that
has been providing a broad range of services to immigrants and refugees in
the greater Toronto area for the past 67 years.
Mario has been involved in his community as past-President of Social
Planning Toronto and as a member of the Board of the Toronto Region
Immigrant Employment Council, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving
Immigrants and the Catholic Children's Aid Society.
Mario is the recipient of the Newcomer Champion Award by the Province of
Ontario, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and
was recently appointed a Knight Officer by the President of Italy in
recognition of his community work with newcomers.
Josie Di Zio has thirty years’ experience in Senior Management of agencies serving newcomers.
She was the Executive Director of the Working Women Community Centre, an immigrant women’s agency in downtown Toronto for ten years. Josie joined COSTI in 1999 as the Director of Employment Services and is currently the Senior Director of Planning and Program Development.
Josie was a longstanding member of the Board of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), where she held positions President and Treasurer. Josie has represented the community-based sector at the National Settlement Council, the Service Delivery Advisory Group to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Youth Justice Advisory Committee and was a member of the national Voluntary Sector Advisory Committee to Service Canada. Josie has served on a number of community Boards including Cecil Community Centre, Canadian Multilingual Literacy Centre and the National Congress of Italian Canadians – Toronto. Josie is a graduate of York University majoring in socio-cultural Anthropology.
Yasmine joined COSTI in her present position in 2002.
With a Masters in Psychology and teacher training certification from England, Yasmine came to Canada from Pakistan in 1999, following a twenty-five year career in teaching and educational administration in both Iran and Pakistan, where she was also responsible for educational program development. Prior to leaving Pakistan, Yasmine was the Regional Director for the largest private network of schools in South Asia. She has supervised a number of educational projects funded by the World Bank, IMF, CIDA and the Aga Khan Foundation.
Yasmine has served as Chair of the Investment and Fundraising Committee of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and co-chair the Immigration and Settlement Working Group of the CCR. She is a member of the Board of the Social Planning Council of York Region as well as being a member of the Social Inclusion Working Group which is part of the Central Planning Table of the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group. In the past, Yasmine served as Co-Chair of the South Asian Community Services Network - York Region, member of the Woman Abuse Council, and Treasurer of the Board of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA).
Julie has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto with an area of interest in Policy, Communities & Organizations.
Julie has worked in various management positions since joining COSTI in 1999 and is currently serving as the Co-chair of the Economic Inclusion Working Group of the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group and the Lead for CASIP Governance and Leadership Project’s E-Learning Working Group. She served on the Inclusivity Action Plan Working Group of the Human Services Planning Coalition of York Region. She has in the past served on the boards of agencies serving the African community including: as the President of Africans in Partnership Against Aids and Vice President of the Ghanaian Canadian Organization. Her volunteerism and dedication in public education and awareness of settlement issues faced by African women and their children in the Greater Toronto Area earned her a Ministry of Citizenship Volunteer Award in 1995 and a Remarkable Woman Award in 1997 from the Rubena Willis Counselling Centre for Assaulted Women and Children.
Rena Zhou graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, with a major in Electronic Engineering from Beijing, China.
Rena then worked for a few years as a computer programmer, building a number of accounting software applications. By the end of 1990, Rena came to Canada and a few years later switched her career to the accounting field. In 2004, Rena achieved her Certified General Accountant designation Rena has worked in a number of private industries including: a private high school, a marketing company, an insurance company and a logistic company, as well as a not-for-profit organization, Harbourfront Corporation. Working at senior management positions, Rena has gained sound experience in financial accounting, financial reporting, auditing, taxation, system conversion, budgeting, strategic management and sound business practices. Rena joined COSTI in July 2013.
Lara Hussein is a development professional with 20 years of experience in policy development, policy advocacy, and in managing International development programs in areas related to social development with a particular emphasis on family policy, education, child protection and early childhood development. She worked with the United Nations, policy think tanks, and International NGOs contributing to innovative policies, leading multi-disciplinary teams, and managing grants for complex multi-country programs.
Lara has a Masters of Education from Huddersfield University of the United Kingdom and a diploma in Leadership from INSEAD University of France. She worked with UNICEF Gulf Area Office as Chief of Child Protection, the Jordanian National Council for Family Affairs as Deputy Secretary General, and with Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) of Qatar Foundation as Director of Family Policy. Since 2006, Lara has been a board member and Vice President of Family Policy at the World Family Organization that is based in France.
During her professional life, Lara contributed to the development of several national strategies and plans of action, and oversaw the implementation of several projects in areas related to social development. She wrote in several publications and prepared papers presented in national, regional and International conferences. Lara has also mobilized a network of strategic alliances and coordinated among multi-sectoral Governmental and non-governmental organizations discussing and influencing children and family sensitive policies and legislations.
MBI COSTIN, COSTI 简介, À PROPOS DE COSTI, TUTTO SUL COSTI, ЧТО ТАКОЕ COSTI?, ACERCA DE COSTI, TUNGKOL SA COSTI
At COSTI we understand that success means different things to different people. By filling people's lives with opportunities for success, we're helping build a strong and prosperous community.