Board of Directors

      Adri Hamael

      Adri Hamael
      Founder & Executive Director

      Adri Hamael is a proud Canadian citizen. He is 39. He was born In Jordan 5 years after his family was displaced by the 1967 War between the Jewish and Arab Armies. His family currently lives near Ramallah-Palestine under Israeli occupation.

      Adri is currently the Founder and Executive Director of One Team United for Development and Peace Soccer Society (ONETEAM) www.oneteamunited.ca

      (ONETEAM) is a not for profit, non partisan Canadian Society. ONETEAM exists to promote social change and global peace through Soccer (football).

      ONETEAM currently runs four soccer programs: An Annual International Soccer Tournament, an Annual International Soccer camp for women from war torn regions, a local and International Soccer equipment program, and a Vancouver -Based feed the athlete program catering to disadvantage soccer communities.

      Adri is an avid soccer player and organizer. Adri played soccer since he was able to walk. After years of dedication, he graduated from the Al-Arabi Football Club Soccer Academy in Jordan. His dedication and hard work earned him a spot on the Al-Arabi Football Club Premier team. The club is currently one of Jordan's top 10 premier teams. In Canada, He played for Westward United FC (WWU FC). WWU FC won the North Shore Men Soccer League 5 years in a row.

      For the past 16 years since Adri Hamael has immigrated to Canada from Jordan, he has continued to demonstrate a passion for promoting intercultural relations through creative mediums close to his heart; a passion that started long before making Canada his home.

      In 2003 Adri started a multi cultural dialogue group aiming to promote intercultural understanding, and to bridge the gap of hatred between Canadians of Arab and Jewish backgrounds. Adri was so inspired by the power of the discussions that were happening within this group that in 2004 he co-found Peace it Together Society www.peaceittogether.ca The aim of the society was to empower Palestinian and Israeli youth from the Middle East and Canadians here in Canada to promote peace through filmmaking and dialogue. During the program here in Canada, the youth were taught dialogue and filmmaking techniques. In culturally mixed groups (Palestinian, Israeli and Canadian), the youth were asked to make films about the conflict using their recent teachings. After the program, Adri travelled throughout Canada with many of the Canadian youth supporting them to show their films with the rest of the country in over 200 screenings. The Canadian youth, of a multitude of cultural backgrounds, and Adri delivered a powerful message during these screenings of peace and tolerance. To date the Canadian youth have continued to be inspired and many have travelled to other areas of the world promoting these messages, begun university with focuses on peace education, and continue to use the films as a tool to promote cultural understanding. Under his leadership at Peace it together, the organization was awarded the Vancouver Cultural Harmony Award and United Nation Association and BC human Rights award. Adri served as Peace it Together Co Executive Director from 2004-2009.

      Adri's knowledge of the intercultural relations and history of Middle Eastern affairs has positioned him as a local resource for Canadian media and groups and individuals interested in Canadian, Jewish, Arab affairs. He has been asked to speak on radio and television programs, to news media.

      Since he immigrated to Canada, Adri has raised more than half a million dollars in cash and in-kind contributions to multicultural, and humanitarian causes. Most recently he was asked to speak at the Global Civic forum where he was selected as one of the fifteen most interesting contributors to the cultural life of Vancouver.

      Adri has contributed many volunteer years since coming to Canada. For 5 years he served as a big brother for Big Brothers and Sisters Canada, where he mentored a child from a male absence home. Adri Joined big brother because Big Brothers embodies the principles of diversity and welcomes participants regardless of race, religion, and culture.

      For an additional 5 years, he served as a wish granter for the Make -A- Wish Foundation where he granted wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. In his years with this inclusive organization, Adri granted wishes to Canadian children from different religions, races, and cultures diverse backgrounds.

      Adri is married to Melanie Hamael and they are currently expecting their first child.

      Melanie Hamael

      Melanie Hamael
      Director

      Melanie Hamael has traveled throughout the Middle East, including Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and Egypt. She graduated from SFU in 1994 with a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology. It was during her first trip to Israel in 1992 to do archaeological excavations (in collaboration with the Haifa University) that her interest in Israeli-Palestinian relations was sparked. After graduating, she taught English to a multi-national group of young children in Egypt, and then spent time with her in-laws in the West Bank and Jordan. It was with them that Melanie became more aware of the daily struggles of Palestinians in the region. Her passion to be part of Peace it Together comes from the many conversations with people from the region who want peace, and sometimes feel they have no voice. Melanie currently works as a bank manager in Canada and is the Chair Women of Peace it Together.

      Michael Des Cotes

      Michael Des Cotes
      Director

      "Michael has been involved with the Vancouver International Soccer Festival (VISF) since 2009. He first participated as a player, then joined our ranks as the Tournament Manager, and now sits on our Board of Directors. Responsible for the VISF’s tournament operations, Michael brings with him a variety of sporting, customer support, and business operations experience. Having been involved in soccer and sport for many years he has seen first-hand the power that sport can have to bring people from different backgrounds together. Michael uses his experience to help the VISF continue to grow, and spread its vision.

      Barbara Manuel

      Barbara Manuel
      Director

      Barbara works in the financial industry and is a certified yoga instructor. She has participated with the festival in various capacities since 2005 and joined the board of directors in 2016. When not perfecting her banana kick Barbara is responsible for volunteer engagement and mentorship to the 100 + volunteers that generously donate time and resources to the festival.

      Barbara Mulleder

      Barbara Mulleder
      Director

      Barbara Mulleder is a full time Legal Assistant and busy mother of two girls who play soccer. She has many volunteer positions including U12 Age-Group Coordinator for the North Shore Girls Soccer Association. Barbara was thrilled to be invited to become a member of the Board for the One Team Society and Vancouver International Soccer Festival and is very much looking forward to being directly involved in the Society and Festival "I played soccer for a few seasons and I have spent many proud, rainy, early weekend mornings on the sidelines watching my girls. I know by watching that soccer promotes teamwork and really does not have a language barrier. It can bring many different walks of life together as well as people from all over the world successfully, just as it will at the Festival and the society programs"

      Neal Samaratunga

      Neal Samaratunga
      Director

      Neal is proud to be a part of the One Team United and the VISF steering team. As a leader in the community, Neal brings a great deal management experience in both the corporate and sporting realms. Neal is passionate about sport serving as a foundation for healthy communities and people: "I hold a deep belief that sport has the capacity to unite people in a way that nothing else can. Sport transcends genders, generations, and politics. Sport builds a bridge where no bridge was thought possible. The love of soccer crosses borders, languages, and cultures, and brings people together as one; united in their passion for the 'Beautiful Game'."

      Along with his leadership role with a global management development firm, Neal has served as a leader and advisor for numerous not for profit organizations.

      Tom Mulleder

      Tom Mulleder
      Director

      Tom has been with Vancouver International Soccer Festival (VISF) and One Team United Society (OTUS) for two years now. Tom is the director in charge events setup, tear down, and staging operations. It is an important role that demands hard work and leadership. Tom is always looking forward for the next event or program to welcome our guests and look after their needs. He believes wholeheartedly in the values and mission OTUS and VISF.

      Tom brings OTUS and VISF more than 25 years of work experience, including, managing major retail companies and small businesses. Tom is married with two girls who play soccer. He has many hobbies and interests including, hockey, running, boating, and traveling. Tom is proud to be a member of the One Team Society and Vancouver International Soccer Festival and is very much looking forward to serve the beautiful game and the beautiful people who plays it!

      Board of Advisers

      Bernie Simpson

      Bernie Simpson, C.M.
      Adviser

      Bernie Simpson attended the University of British Columbia and achieved his Bachelor of Social Work in 1965 and Bachelor of Law in 1968.
      In 1972 he formed the law firm of Simpson & Company which was the first Vancouver law firm to restrict its practice entirely to help the victims of car accident claims.
      He was one of the founding members of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and was honored by the Trial Lawyers for his contribution to the area of personal injury and the leading role that he played in preventing the introduction of no-fault legislation which would have deprived victims of car accidents the right to have access to the Courts.
      After establishing his reputation as a personal injury lawyer with the emphasis on catastrophic cases including brain injury cases and quadriplegia and paraplegia, he was elected to the BC Legislature for the riding of Vancouver-Fraserview.
      Prior to being elected, in 1989 he received the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest award to a Canadian citizen, in recognition of his work in the ethnic communities, the under privileged in the Third World, and service to his country.
      Bernie was one of Canada’s youngest recipients of the Order of Canada. He has also received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Golden Jubilee Medal.
      He served as Chair of the Mayor’s campaign for famine relief for the starving in Africa.

      “He inspired all around him with his zeal and efficiency. The astonishing success that the campaign had could not have possibly have been achieved without him, as a consequence there was the saving of human lives…”
      – Steven Lewis, Ambassador to the United Nations.

      Among the many positions in the community he has held, Bernie was also Chair of the Vancouver Cancer Society campaign.
      During his term in office as a Provincial Member of the Legislature he set out to ensure that bike helmet legislation, which would be the most progressive in Canada, was enacted into law. The determination of enacting that legislation was influenced by a case that he worked on before being elected where a young girl suffered severe brain injury as a result of not wearing a bike helmet.
      uring the debate in the BC Legislature it was noted at the time of the introduction of the legislation that an average of ten people a year were killed as a result of not wearing a bike helmet and the cost to the Heath Care system was in excess of 100 million dollars.
      In recognition of his achievements as a MLA focusing on enhancing safety of bicyclists, passengers, and drivers of motor vehicles, was honored at a dinner in Washington, DC sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of America.

      “We are honored that you will accept this international award for your excellent leadership in legislative prevention programs in British Columbia”.
      - Dr. George A. Zitnay, President International Brain Injury Association.

      “I would like to add my congratulations to that of many others for your receiving the Brain Injury Association award. Bike helmets will make an enormous difference for the children and youth, not to mention the adults of British Columbia”.
      - Dr. Judith G. Hall, Professor and Head Department of Pediatrics UBC and BC Children’s Hospital.

      One of the main objectives of forming the law firm of Simpson & Company was to ensure that legal fees were affordable to all victims of car accidents.
      The underlying philosophy of Simpson & Company was that all victims of car accidents, regardless of their financial circumstances, were entitled to the best legal representation in order to obtain the largest possible settlement and to ensure that all victims receive the best in rehabilitation and future care as determined in the Thornton Decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1978.
      In order to ensure that the best possible rehabilitation takes place by the insurance company, Bernie has travelled throughout the world to setup rehabilitation programs for victims of car accidents which occurred in British Columbia including South Korea, India, and various Provinces and States in Canada and the United States.
      He was a pioneer in the use of structured settlements in British Columbia which guarantees those catastrophically injured monthly, tax free payments for the rest of their lives.
      In 2001 Bernie formed a partnership with well-known personal injury lawyer Anthony Thomas and the firm became Simpson Thomas & Associates.
      In May of 2013 the firm reached a milestone when over 300 million dollars in settlements were obtained from the beginning of 2001, which represented settlements in over 7,000 cases.
      The practice to the present is still restricted to helping the victims of car accidents.
      Bernie for the last 8 years has had a weekly radio program in the Indo-Canadian community. In a recent radio interview as to the reasons why the law firm of Simpson Thomas & Associates has been so successful he responded:
      “Behind this success is the philosophy that the client deserves the best possible service at the lowest possible legal fees. The victim of a car accident has the right to be properly compensated and to be brought back to the same position, or as closely as possible, as what the victim was before the accident. The victim is entitled to optimum care. That is the law as set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Thornton Decision. The key is the outstanding lawyers ‘who care’ and support staff. Simpson Thomas & Associates has been fortunate to attract the best!”

      Catherine Winckler

      Catherine Winckler
      Branding Adviser

      Catherine Winckler is a Partner and Creative Director of Switch United, formerly Fleming Creative Group. Switch is a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Vancouver specializing in entertainment and lifestyle markets. Catherine has over two decades of experience developing advertising and marketing strategies for corporate, academic, political, and not-for-profit clients. She is a passionate entrepreneur, a member of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, the International Women's Forum, and was a past Canadian Business PROFIT 100 Women nominee. At Switch United, Catherine is primarily responsible for multi-platform campaigns for clients in the TV and film industries.

      Blair Pocock

      Blair Pocock
      Branding Adviser

      Blair Pocock is a Partner and Creative Director of Switch United (formerly Fleming Creative Group), overseeing a talented team of designers on large-scale corporate campaigns and multi-touch digital architectural installations. Blair has over 25 years' experience in the design field and brings his wealth of industry knowledge to the growing area of interactive installations for environments including museums, galleries, special events, themed attractions, and more. Blair is also involved hands-on with one of the company's most valued and longstanding clients, Nintendo of Canada. (And yes, he does get first dibs on all the new game software.)

      Dr Imtiaz Hassam

      Dr Imtiaz Hassam
      Health Adviser

      Dr. Imtiaz Hassam has over 12 years of experience as a Family Physician and is also a member of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine, certified in sport medicine. During this time, he has established two family practice clinics and spent time volunteering in Central Asia training physicians and building a sustainable healthcare model in this region. Imtiaz's love of sport made him a valuable addition to the Olympic Speed Skating Medical Team during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

      Imtiaz is currently owner of Yaletown Medical Clinic and Highgate Medical Clinic.

      Soccer has been a lifetime companion to Imtiaz, playing since he could walk -and he has passed the bug on to his two young sons. Dr. Hassam is excited to be back again as healthcare advisor for VISF and a player of the beautiful game!

      James Milligan

      James Milligan
      Adviser

      James Milligan joined the Advisory Board of the One Team Society in 2013. He is the CEO of Social Conscience, Fair Trade Sports Balls, where his products commit to a fair and livable wage for workers overseas and assure against the use of child labour. The fair trade model provides funding from each ball for the collective benefit of the local community of workers, thereby empowering people both locally and globally in breaking the cycle of poverty.

      In 2013, James spearheaded the introduction of fair trade products to the Vancouver International Soccer Festival. Securing additional fair trade products to be exclusively supplied, including soccer balls, resulted in the Festival’s recognition by Fairtrade Canada as the first Accredited Fairtrade Sporting Event in Western Canada.

      Dr. Soroush Khoshroo

      Dr. Soroush Khoshroo
      Adviser

      Dr. Khoshroo is an avid soccer player and a supporter of VISF. He is a fully certified chiropractor currently practicing in North Vancouver. He is also the current team chiropractor for the UBC men's varsity soccer team.

      Dr. Khoshroo graduated from Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver in 2000. He then attended University of British Columbia and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology and Genetics. He continued his studies at UBC under a second bachelor degree in Human Kinetics (Kinesiology). During this time his growing love and interest in manual therapy inspired him to attend the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon for four years to obtain his Doctorate of Chiropractic degree.

      Dr. Khoshroo is fully certified in Active Release Technique (A.R.T.)®, and has extensive knowledge with Graston soft tissue technique and Kinesio Taping. He is also trained in making custom orthotics. Having played university level soccer and competitive level tennis for the past 15 years, he is well aware of the many acute and chronic injuries associated with different sports and activities. He has treated many elite athletes at events such as the 2010 Penticton Ironman, 2010 Seaside Volleyball Tournament in Oregon (world’s biggest amateur beach volleyball tournament), 2011 BC Honda Open professional squash tournament, 2012 VISF, 2013 Stanley Park Open tennis tournament, and 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon. To learn more about Dr. Khoshroo's community involvements, therapies and services, testimonials, and blog, visit his website at chiropractornorthshore.com.

      Atef Abdelkefi

      Atef Abdelkefi
      Technical Adviser

      Atef Abdelkefi is a University of Quebec in Montreal graduate with an over a decade of solid work experience in the technical field.

      Atef grew up in Tunisia trained as a gymnast and won multiple gold medals in a variety of national competitions. At home he played soccer amongs his friends and family and has formed a love afair with game.

      Atef is currently based in Vancouver, and his primarely work is web edvelopment. His website can be check at atefdesign.com. He has also been working on the performance stages around Vancouver as a sound technicien and has developped a very tight network and knowledge around the entertainment industry. Using his ability to project manage he soon started to manage the technical departments of a few festivals around Vancouver, namely the Indian Summer Festival, the In the House Festival and many others.

 

 

2018 VISF: July 6-7-8

Empire Fields
3311 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC

Come out and enjoy a World Cup-style soccer tournament featuring fun, food, and festivities for the whole family. FREE Admission!

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Quotes:

Each year the Vancouver International Soccer Festival takes place on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples. The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is pleased to join the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in welcoming local and visiting soccer teams to Vancouver to participate in this celebration of sport and cross-cultural understanding. It is my pleasure to signal my support to the coordinators of the Vancouver International Soccer Festival in promoting individual health and inclusion of First Nations in this tournament. I encourage all interested First Nations in British Columbia to participate in this celebration.

BRITISH COLUMBIA ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Regional Chief