WINDSOR, ON: The Board of Directors of the Multicultural Cultural Council of Windsor and Essex County [MCC] announced today the retirement of Executive Director Kathleen Thomas, effective March 31, 2022.

During her 30 years with the MCC, Thomas has seen the agency grow from a staff of three to a busy and
devoted team of 60. Each year, this team assists nearly 4,000 clients access over 88,000 MCC programs and services.

Under her direction, the agency has become a nationally recognized leader in providing settlement and integration services to government assisted refugees and newcomers. The MCC has also become the largest language service provider in the region, and has created the most diverse roster of community programs, services and events – including the multi-award winning Carrousel of the Nations.

During the Syrian influx in 2016, Thomas and her team were highlighted across the country for their
leadership and best practices. This helped to ensure an efficient and welcoming resettlement for refugees arriving across Canada, including Windsor-Essex. Thomas’s kindness, genuine care for clients and passion for Windsor-Essex has led to countless partnerships, enabling the MCC to create innovative and life-changing programs in support of a diverse and inclusive community.

During her three decades with the MCC, Thomas was responsible for many new initiatives including the
launch of the Herb Gray Harmony Awards, the region’s only newcomer health care expo – MCC Health
Access Day, the first MCC Newcomer Health Clinic and the MCC Harmony Ribbon.

Thomas’s personal contributions were recognized in 2003 with the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee award, and in 2012 with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

“It has been an honour and privilege for me to work alongside a devoted Board, dedicated volunteers, an
outstanding Executive Team, and a talented staff – many of whom started out as clients.” said
Kathleen Thomas, Executive Director Multicultural Council. “Working as a team, we have accomplished so much for the organization and for our community. I am so proud to have been a part of the MCC’s role in creating a more welcoming community for all and am confident the MCC will continue to lead the region’s efforts to combat racism, prejudice, and discrimination in all forms.”

“Because of her leadership and tireless commitment to the mission and vision of the MCC, thousands of immigrants and refugees from all over the world were able to transition into a new life here, with the  programs and services required to succeed,” said Allison Johnson, President of the MCC Board of Directors  who referred to the announcement as bittersweet. “Kathie’s presence will be deeply missed and we are sad to see her leave. At the same time, we look forward to next steps for the MCC and are grateful for Kathie’s commitment to assist with the transition.”

The MCC Board of Directors has launched a comprehensive search process to find a successor.
For information, visit www.themcc.com

For more information, please contact:
Fred Francis, MCC Director of Programs and Development
[519] 990-4138 – ffrancis@themcc.com

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