Sara Shawesh is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia. She became involved with Landmines issues when she was entrusted with the position of Night of 1000 Dinners Coordinator with the International Relations Students Association. This fundraising event was founded by the Canadian Landmine Foundation and Adopt-a-Mine Field in order to raise funds for landmine clearance around the world.
After graduation she worked in Geneva, Switzerland with the International Peace Bureau at the United Nations promoting the ban on cluster bombs at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). Here she met and worked with groups such as International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), Landmine Monitor, Survivor Corp, International Trust Fund, Peace Boat, Ban Bus, and Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Furthermore Sara had the opportunity to work as a team member of the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines on gender aspects of the impact of unexploded ordnances.
Mass Media Sources about Sara Shawesh: Langley's peacemaker globetrots
Shawesh credits her parents for always encouraging and supporting her humanitarian and volunteer efforts, but who motivated her to get involved? "Seeing what Michael had set up, what he had done at such a tender age, was definitely a push in the right direction," she said. "His courage and determination was an inspiration." Shawesh admitted she caught the infectious "volunteer bug." While studying at the University of B.C., she took on planning, organizing and hosting of an event called Night of 1,000 Dinners. It raised more than $35,000 by bringing together more than 350 people, including diplomats, professors, students, and business leaders. The event raised awareness and money for Adopt-A-Minefield, a United Nations campaign aimed at ridding the world of all explosive remnants of war, including landmines. "Through this event, I was able to improve my communications skills and relationship building, all of which led to a successful event," Shawesh said. "It also helped me realize that with the power of numbers we can make a difference. I met victims of landmines and thought to myself that something had to be done." It opened up a whole new world of volunteerism for this Langley girl. "I found a passion for different causes, and continued to volunteer," she said. A short time later she was invited to Geneva to work with a women's rights group called the International Federation of University Women. "With them, the world of disarmament was introduced into my life," Shawesh said. "Empowering women and disarming an area are very much linked, even though it might not seem like it," she explained. Following that internship, she was invited to do another unpaid internship, this time with the International Peace Bureau. "IPB allowed me to create my own job description/responsibilities and work independently," she said, noting how it opened up her eyes to the innocent casualties and further emflamed her desire for a world without war. "I engaged their membership groups to promote the ban on cluster bombs, attended United Nations sessions and was sent as a representative of IPB in Oslo for the signing of the historic cluster bomb ban treaty," she said. "During my relatively short time working for IPB, I was able to meet the UN director of disarmament, many different members of governmental and non-govermental delegations, a wide range of civil societies, and staff from different UN departments and journalists." It motivated her, gave her a wealth of contacts, and a better understanding of what could and needed to be done to make peace possible. Now working back in Canada, her enthusiasm for the cause has not waned. "My passion for disarmament issues has enabled me to start a non-profit organization in Vancouver, called the Croation-Canadian Foundation for Demining (CCFD)." The goal, she explained, is to educate Canadian citizens of Croation descent of the landmine problem their beautiful country still faces, and to eradicate all the landmines left in Croatia (www.deminecroatia.org). She warned people interested in the world of humanitarian work to be patient: "Don't be surprised by the slow pace that things will take to accomplish. Stay strong and surround yourself with people who have the same interest as you and the same passionate drive." Roxanne Hooper, Langley Advance Published: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 © Langley Advance 2009
George Kovacic advises and assists executives/management in the oil and gas industry with: strategy, new market entrance and business development. George's work has lead to the establishment of new country operations and strategic alliances as well as numerous contracts. George has provided services for several multinational corporations and numerous smaller companies and has conducted discussions/ negotiations with many prominent oil and gas companies. George's project experience includes North and Central America, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the former Soviet Union. Previously, George worked for the Government of Alberta in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. George has a High Honors MBA from the Solvay School of Business, Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium and a BA from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He is fluent in English and Croatian. George is married and has three children and resides in the Greater Vancouver Area in Canada.
Anthony Balic is a Senior Associate in the Assurance and Advisory Services Group at Deloitte & Touche Vancouver, where he serves on a range of Canadian and US public companies and on large private companies. Anthony has successfully completed the UFE and is a qualified Charetered Accountant.
Mr. Balic has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree form the University of British Columbia and resides in Burnaby British Columbia with his family.
Born and raised in Croatia where he obtained law degree from the University of Zagreb. In Croatia he worked as a lawyer for INGRA d.d., an international construction and engineering company, where he was involved in numerous investment and construction projects in Asia, Europe and Africa. Mario came to Canada in 2005 and completed his MBA at the University of Alberta, specializing in International Business. After completion of the MBA program, he joined the Government of Alberta's Utilities Consumer Advocate team, a regulator of the utility and gas industry in Alberta. In 2011 he joined Alberta Energy and now he is a manager in the Resource Development branch and is responsible for Unconventional gas development with an emphasis on the upstream side of the industry. Mario resides in St. Albert, with his wife Suzana and sons Luka and Marko