NIOVI PATSICAKIS, President
Niovi is a retired teacher. She has taught over 30 years as a classroom teacher and in the field of remedial reading and special education. She holds Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees from McGill University. She continues to play numerous roles in the education field still holding her BC Teacher Certification. She is a part-time teacher supervisor for the Learning Disabilities Association Frazer South and the Reading and Real Math Program. She is also a member of CHADD- Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity- and a Group SENG facilitator (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted). She does all that while working with parents and students through her business: New Pathways Educational Services.
She is well known as a strong advocate for public education and learning conditions of students. Once she was the President of the Association of Surrey Specialist Educators. In 2012, she was a representative on the Surrey teachers Bargaining Committee. Over the years, she has presented many briefs to the government and the school board, written many letters to Members of the Legislature and Surrey newspapers. In 2014, she also ran for the Surrey School Board. Currently, she is administrating the BC Citizens for a Fully Funded Public Education group on Facebook and via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. She encourages others to join her in this discussion/focus group, which aims to protect and improve public education in Surrey. She is delighted to be part of GPA that strives to empower people and their educational, cultural and other grassroots networks to build and sustain a culture of peace for generations to come.
Peter Prontzos, First Vice President
Peter Prontzos came to Canada in opposition to the U.S. war against Vietnam. Once in the True North, he continued to organize against the war, as well as working on such issues as the environment, human rights, and global poverty.
After earning a Bachelor’s in Psychology, he became a broadcaster and writer, focusing on Central America, especially the Sandinista Revolution. He was one of the founders of the monthly newspaper “Latin America Connexions”, and also served on the National Board of Oxfam Canada.
After receiving a Master’s Degree in Political Science, he began teaching at Langara College, where his classes included Developing Nations, Ideologies, International Political Economy, Political Psychology, and Democratic Socialism. He also served as a member of the City of Vancouver’s “Peace and Justice Committee”.
He has run for political office twice, once provincially and once federally – and lost both times (in spite of being endorsed by Noam Chomsky!)
He is now finishing his first book, “Remembering Our Humanity”.
ASAD SYED, Second Vice President
Asad Syed has been a resident of Surrey for the past 24 years along with his wife and three children. He is a community activist and advocate for interfaith harmony, as well as the founder and past president of The White Rock Muslim Association and Whiterock Musallah and Community Center. He is the chair of steering committee of Iqbal Academy BC, member of BCMA and play very active role in local Pakistani and Muslim Community. He served on the Government Relation Committee FVREB, as well as the BVOR Syrian Refugee Sponsorship and settlement program as a partnership between the WRMA and the First United Church. He volunteers for several charities and not for profit organizations. He is self-employed as a realtor and private business owner. He has a MSc degree in Geology and previously worked as professional Geologist in Saudi Arabia and in USA.
He was a candidate for councilor in civic election in city of Surrey, he is very much involved in Pakistani community and Muslim community in Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley. He is actively involved in main stream politics as well member of Federal and Provincial NDP and an executive South Surrey /Whiterock NDP Constituency.
PATRICK O’CONNOR, Member at Large
Pat O’Connor is the longest serving director of the Global Peace Alliance. He has been an active supporter of peace going back to the Stockholm Peace Appeal, an international effort to ban nuclear weapons. He is a retired transit driver. He was a long time member of his union’s Political Action Committee. He was on the steering committee of his community association, active in civic politics, and in anti-poverty work. Pat has been a vegan for 10 years and believes we have to cut our animal consumption for personal and planetary health. He was a founder of the Preventative Healthcare Delegation and a member of the Patient Voices Network. Peace and environmental sustainability should be our guiding principles rather than war and austerity.
Annie Ohana has received the Prime Minister’s award for teaching excellence. She is a Social Justice & Equity Curriculum Specialist, the Aboriginal depart head at LA Matheson Secondary and a BCTF Representative. She was part of the BC Fed Human Rights Commission. She is much loved by her students and inspired by her to participate on Global issues, the multicultural club, the Energy Ambassadors program, creative writing and much more. She has been involved and is a much wanted speaker by many social movement organizations such as Next 100 Years Mentorship Through Identity, Shakti Team, Stand Up To Racism Metro Vancouver and m any others. She was recently involved in organizing a peace rally in Vancouver where thousands turned out to stop hatred dead in its tracks. She has fostered the LA Matheson secondary Mustangs for many years, youth that help in the community and participate in social justice causes. Her motto, “There is Reconciliation Every time We Learn”.