Recognition ceremony honours newcomers for important contributions to the community

Gabriela Covaci, Marlen Ortega, William Vallejo, Hanbyoul (Agatha) Park
Recognition ceremony honours newcomers for important contributions to the community
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Gary Carr

Gary Carr

In 2006, Gary was elected to the position of Regional Chair at the Regional Municipality of Halton, and was re-elected to the position in 2010. Gary sits on the Standing Committees of Health and Social Services, Administration and Finance, and Planning and Public Works, in addition to a number of Advisory Committees. Gary is also a member of the board for the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and served on the Halton Regional Police Services Board and Metrolinx.

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On March 6, 2017, the Halton Newcomer Strategy presented awards to Hanbyoul (Agatha) Park, William Vallejo, Marlen Ortega and Gabriela Covaci at the second annual Newcomer Recognition Ceremony. The annual event honours the contributions of newcomers in Halton, profiling their success in the categories of youth, business/culturally diverse workforce and community. Over 50 newcomer success stories were celebrated at the event. Elected officials joined members of the Halton Newcomer Strategy and other guests, to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s honourees.

The individuals recognized by the Halton Newcomer Strategy have made a positive impact on our community through their actions and leadership. By volunteering, encouraging others to get involved in community and civic life, and building support networks, the award recipients have helped make Halton an inclusive and welcoming place for all newcomers.

Hanbyoul (Agatha) Park was recognized in the Youth category for her commitment to education and volunteer service with the Milton Youth Advisory Council, Darling House and as project leader of Bishop Redding’s H.O.P.E. The work that William Vallejo and Marlen Ortega from Oakville have done in providing newcomers with employment opportunities through their company, Industrial Cleaning & Maintenance Services located in Oakville, was highlighted in the Business/Culturally Diverse Workforce category. Gabriela Covaci’s work with the International Language program at the Halton District School Board, as well as her volunteer work with Halton Multicultural Council and leadership during International Women’s Day was recognized in the Community category. To learn more about the stories behind this year’s honourees, visit to view their video profiles.

The Halton Newcomer Strategy consists of over 60 community stakeholders that work together to plan for and support the needs of newcomers in Halton. Through research, collaboration and broader system planning, the Halton Newcomer Strategy works to identify barriers and gaps to enhance settlement and labour market outcomes for newcomers while ensuring Halton continues to be both welcoming and inclusive and an attractive place for newcomers to settle. Visit to learn more.

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