Ottawa, March 15, 2017 - Languages Canada is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Cath D’Amico (Trent University – ESL Program) as President of Languages Canada. LC also welcomes three new members to the Board of Directors: Biba Fakhouri (Université de Montréal) as Vice-President, David Matthews (ILSC Language Schools – Vancouver) as Treasurer, and Gary Gervais (Heartland International English).
Cath D’Amico brings over 20 years of experience in language education and leadership, in both the public and private sectors, to her role as President of Languages Canada. She holds a Master’s degree in Leadership, a Bachelor of Education, and has completed the University Management Course through the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development at the University of Manitoba. Cath is currently Deputy Director, International at Trent University and the Manager of the Trent-ESL: English for University program. Her career began in a private language school British Columbia, where she worked as Operations Manager and Director of Camps, and then in Ontario where Cath taught in a private boys school, before joining Trent University’s English for University program. To her educational and professional achievements can be added her contribution in the non-profit sector, serving on the board of the New Canadians Centre Peterborough and co-founding and serving as the first Chair of the local immigration partnership council, now the Peterborough Immigration Partnership. She has been an active and engaged member of Languages Canada since its inception in 2008, and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2012, where she immediately undertook the role of Chair of the Marketing Committee (now the International Affairs Committee). In 2015 her peers selected her to represent them as Vice-President, English Public Sector Programs, in the Languages Canada Executive Committee. In that capacity she has undertaken research on the role and positioning of language programs within the Canadian university context.
Biba Fakhouri has been working in the language education sector for more than 25 years. She graduated from the University of Rouen in France, where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Language Science, a Master's Degree in French as a Foreign Language and a Master's Degree in Human and Social Sciences. Her career led her from the teaching of French as a foreign language to the pedagogical council and finally to the management of a language school. In the United Arab Emirates, she first worked as an FLE teacher at the secondary level, before becoming an educational advisor at the Alliance Française of Abu Dhabi. Arriving in Canada, she joined the Institute of Bilingualism and Official Languages at the University of Ottawa where she initially coordinated a remote language training project initiated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Official Languages. She then joined the team of academic advisors at the Center for University Teaching and contributed to various projects related to the professional development of university professors. Since 2012 she has been the Director of the Language School of the Faculty of Continuing Education at the Université de Montréal. Her areas of interest and professional activity include curriculum evaluation and design, teacher training, learning communities, and international outreach.
David Matthews has worked in all areas of the language education sector, as a teacher, a CELTA trainer, director of studies, school director, associate professor and director of operations with responsibilities for academic, sales and marketing, finance, business development and operations. Although most of his experience is in the private sector, he has also worked at a large public university in Australia in a senior role. He has taught in Turkey, Japan, Poland, the UK and Australia, held school leadership roles in Malaysia and Australia, and regional leadership roles in Australia, the US and Canada. He spent two years on the body of the Australian industry accreditation board, NEAS and served on the board of English Australia for ten years, with the last two as Chair.
Gary started Heartland International English School in Winnipeg in 1999 after returning from 3 years teaching English on the JET Programme in Japan. In 2015 Heartland opened a second location in Mississauga, Ontario. Heartland has been a member of Languages Canada since its inception and was a member of CAPLS from 2001. Gary has served on numerous committees for CAPLS and Languages Canada including Marketing, Membership, and Advocacy.
Gary has been active with the Manitoba Council for International Education (MCIE) since it was formed in 2000. He currently serves at the President of MCIE. He is an advocate for international education as a member of the Policy Committee for the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. Also, he was an elected trustee for Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) in Winnipeg from 2006 to 2014 including Chair of the Board from 2010 to 2012. LRSD is a public school division in Manitoba with approximately 15,000 students.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Gary graduated from the University of Manitoba with BA, JD, and MBA degrees.