Help your community expand its understanding of issues related to relief, development and peace.
The MCC staff in Winnipeg have a wide range of passion and expertise, and they're eager to share with your church, school or event.
Below you'll find a list of staff who are available to speak in Winnipeg and nearby communities, at no cost. During COVID-19, staff are also willing to speak at events held online.
To book a speaker for your event, contact Jessica Williams today at (204) 261-6381 or fill out the form. Not sure who to invite? Contact Jessica for more information.
|Brad Reimer - Director of Donor Advisement and Special Projects|
|Sophia Bezoplenko - Material Resources Coordinator|
Director of Donor Advisement and Special Projects, MCC Manitoba
Brad Reimer has been with MCC Manitoba for over 15 years, previously as the Director of Communications & Donor Relations and now Director of Donor Advisement and Special Projects. Before joining MCC, Brad was Associate Director for Mennonite Voluntary Service for 10 years. Brad has travelled extensively to learn about MCC projects around the world.
Brad can speak on a variety of MCC topics as well as give general overviews of MCC work.
Material Resources Coordinator, MCC Manitoba
Sophia has been the Winnipeg Material Resources Coordinator for MCC Manitoba since January 2015. She coordinates volunteer efforts to assemble and pack material aid kits, several annual volunteer fundraising efforts, and provides presentations to church, school, and volunteer groups on MCC's relief, development, and peace work around the world. Sophia's prior MCC experience includes co-managing the Village Green Thrift Shop in Saskatoon, SK. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and Certificate in Christian Studies in Worship Leadership from Horizon College and Seminary.
Sophia is comfortable presenting to children or adults in Sunday school classes and providing group presentations at the Winnipeg Material Resources Centre or elsewhere. She is available to present on the following topics: an overview of MCC's mission and programs; comforter and material aid kit assembly; and disaster relief projects.
Migration & Resettlement Program Coordinator, MCC Canada
Brian has been the Migration and Resettlement Coordinator at MCC Canada since February 2015. Before that he was Refugee Assistance Program Coordinator at the MCC Manitoba office for seven and a half years. His primary work at MCC has been helping churches think about refugee sponsorship and the broader issues around forced displacement. Since May 2012 he has also been chair of the Canadian National Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holder Association, a national organization that meets with the Canadian government to help form Canadian policy on refugee resettlement. Brian was a missionary with Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission in South Africa from 1999 to 2005 where he and his wife, Lynell Bergen did leadership development and HIV/AIDS education among the African Indigenous Churches in the Eastern Cape Province. Before that he and Lynell were co-pastors of the Arnaud (Manitoba) Mennonite Church. He has received degrees from Canadian Mennonite Bible College, University of Winnipeg and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
Brian is available to speak on the following topics: A Christian response to forced displacement; Refugees and the Bible; Canadian refugee resettlement policy; and "How can my church get involved in sponsoring refugees?"
Abuse Response & Prevention Coordinator, MCC Manitoba
As Abuse Response & Prevention Coordinator, Jaymie raises awareness and offers resources relating to healthy relationships and abuse, while supporting those impacted by abuse. Jaymie entered this role with experience as a sexual assault and healthy relationships educator, sexual assault crisis counsellor, mental health worker and volunteer supporting women exiting the sex trade in Cambodia. She holds a BA in Social Sciences and Counselling and a Certificate in Applied Counselling.
Jaymie welcomes opportunities to speak to adults and youth through workshops, Sunday school classes, and presentations. She is available to speak on topics including: understanding intimate partner abuse, healthy boundaries in ministry, sexual violence awareness, and abuse prevention in faith communities. Presentations specifically for youth include: healthy relationships, active bystander response, and media messaging and gender stereotypes.
Director of Disaster Response, PLDR, MCC Canada
Bruce’s work involves supporting and directing MCC offices and partners in humanitarian and disaster response worldwide. Bruce has served as a pastor at Langley Mennonite Fellowship and as a MCC worker for a human rights organization in Jamaica. He has a Bachelor of Theology from Canadian Mennonite University, a BA in International Development from the University of Winnipeg, and a Masters of Philosophy in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK.
Bruce is available to speak on the following topics: international development, climate change and disaster response (particularly the Haiti earthquake and East Africa food crisis).
Associate Program Coordinator for Migration and Resettlement, MCC Manitoba
Maysoun Darweesh has been the Associate Program Coordinator for Migration and Resettlement since March 2019. The core component of the position is to promote, coordinate and implement all MCC Manitoba work related to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program and the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) Program. This position connects with a wide variety of people, groups and supporting constituency in Manitoba as well as with the MCC Canada network.
Before joining MCC Maysoun worked alongside many refugees and newcomers to Canada as a Settlement Counselor and a Community Activist for the Syrian and Kurdish Community. Maysoun is currently a board member on the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism and completed Amnesty International Training for Human Rights Advocacy-Outrage to Action.
Maysoun is available to present to settings involving a sermon or an MCC presentation to older adults. She is able to speak on topics about local programs involving migration and resettlement.
Joanna Hiebert Bergen
Program Director, MCC Manitoba
Joanna is the Program Director for MCC Manitoba programs. In this role she is a functioning member of the MCC Manitoba's leadership team as she supports the work of individual program staff and helps carry out the MCC's mission and vision.
Joanna also serves as a resource to those interested in engaging in active peace building and advocacy, locally and around the world. She has served with MCC internationally both as a service worker and as representative in Nigeria, as MCC's HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator and as MCC representative in Palestine and Israel from 2012-2015. Joanna has a B.Ed degree and an MA in Theology: Peace and Justice.
Joanna is available to preach, speak or deliver workshops in a variety of venues on the topics: the work of MCC Manitoba programs in fulfilling the mandate to be a witness to God’s love and commitment to follow Jesus, theological constructs of peace and justice, complexities of justice and peace in Palestine and Israel, non-violent peacemaking in conflict zones, trauma and healing, inter-faith bridge building, listening with compassion, faith formation and spiritual disciplines.
Canadian Material Resources Warehouse Manager / Manitoba Activities Coordinator
Gord has served as both the Canadian Material Resources Warehouse Manager and Manitoba Activities Coordinator since June of 2010. In these roles, Gord coordinates volunteer activities, oversees shipments, inventory of supplies, maintenance of the facility, and fulfills reporting requirements. Volunteer activities at the Canadian Material Resources Warehouse vary from assembling and packing kits, recycling books and quilting to inspecting meat cans for shipment.
Previously Gord worked in the grain industry following attainment of a Diploma in Agriculture. He has volunteered in leadership capacities on church committees and as a youth leader.
Gord is available to speak at churches and schools once per month and is more frequently able to accommodate church, youth, community, and school groups to participate in volunteer activities at the Warehouse. He is able to speak to the link between MCC's material resource activities and our relief work around the world.
Executive Director, MCC Manitoba
Darryl joined MCC Manitoba as Executive Director in 2016. Prior to this, Darryl served as an educator at Mennonite Collegiate Institute for 22 years, including 11 as principal. During that time he served as Treasurer and Chair of Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools. Additionally, he has served on Church Council of Gretna Bergthaler Mennonite Church, as well as various local and provincial boards including Gretna Athletic Association, various credit union boards and the Board of Credit Union Central of Manitoba.
Darryl welcomes opportunities to speak to adults and children in church, educational, community and organizational settings. He is available to present an overview of MCC’s mission and programs and/or share about his recent international program visits.
Interim Co-Director of Planning, Learning and Disaster Response, MCC Canada
Allison works as the Interim Co-Director of Planning, Learning and Disaster Response. She provides leadership within MCC on disaster responses and works back donor relationships and funding including Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Growing Hope Globally and Global Affairs Canada. Allison has previous experience working in Uganda and Mozambique. She holds a BA in International Development and Anthropology from the University of Winnipeg, and an MSc in Conflict, Violence, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Allison is available to speak on topics including: a general overview of MCC, international development and disaster response, food security, and sustainable livelihoods.
Indigenous Neighbours Program Coordinator, MCC Manitoba
Kerry’s work in the Indigenous Neighbours Program aims to facilitate relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people towards reconciliation and strategies for justice. He has been in his current position since August 2016. In the past, Kerry has worked with First Nations youth in Cranberry Portage, Manitoba, did restorative justice, community-building and advocacy work for MCC Newfoundland and Labrador and served as a Peace Advisor for MCC Bangladesh supporting peacebuilding opportunities.
Kerry welcomes opportunities to offer a sermon or MCC report in churches, school groups and groups of adults. He would be excited to present on topics such as the meaning of Treaties then and now, reconciliation, the Doctrine of Discovery, “settler” identity, and our shared history. Kerry is also able to do short workshops for newcomers about Indigenous relations or facilitate the Kairos Blanket Exercise, especially for youth, newcomer groups or Mennonite churches.