Meet the Team | Rural Communities

Serving the communities of High River, Okotoks, Strathmore, & the county of Rockyview, our team provides connections to local services and assists with the resettlement process.


Fleeha Ahmad | Program Coordinator/Settlement Counsellor

I collaborate with community agencies, schools resource centres to guide newcomers through their personal settlement & integration needs. It is a privilege to work with a diverse group of clients and see them grow and resettle in their new country. Among many great community partners, FCSS is a great help. I am also a member of the Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee.


On a personal note, I love meeting people and getting to know the different cultures and traditions. Each one is unique and beautiful in its own way. I always tell my clients Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings


Connect: fahmad@ccisab.ca | 403-604-2377

Check our Fleeha's feature in Women In Leadership Feature below.

Chestermere Womens Magazine(_)
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Laura Suarez | FCIS High River

My name is Laura, I am a Settlement Counsellor and Settlement Worker in Schools. I work in partnership with the 2 school divisions in High River, Foothills School Division and Christ the Redeemer to support newcomer families to get settled and to navigate the process of integration in school and in the community. As newcomer myself, I know the importance of showing respect, kindness and friendship.  Also, I like to advocate on behalf of immigrants to clear up any prejudice or stereotype against them in the community. l have 2 beautiful daughters and 4 pets!


Connect: lsuarez@ccisab.ca | 403-336-3941 | 403-652-5325



Tania Resendiz | FCIS High River

I'm currently a Settlement Counsellor in High River & I have the opportunity to help newcomers learn about Canadian culture but at the same time, I  have the chance in my personal life to talk more about immigration in our communities.  I also am an advocate in the fight against racism and discrimination. When newcomers first move to a new community, all are a serious, stressful position. They need a job, place to live, furniture, get kids in the school, etc. I think it is also very important let them know they can have a good time, relaxing, reading in their own language, jogging in an indoor walking track or using the local  swimming pool. This helps to alleviate the heavy weight from of all their worries.


I am the youngest child of a family of 2, originally from Mexico but a happy resident of Canada since 2007 and although my English still sounds very Mexican, I am very proud to call High River, Alberta my hometown.


Connect: tresendiz@ccisab.ca | 403-652-5325



Natacha Gougeon | FCIS High River

My role as Community Engagement Volunteer Coordinator is to make sure FCIS has in place a reliable, well-trained volunteer base ready to welcome, support and care for our clients. I work closely with our team of settlement workers to increase our capacity to serve our client’s needs by finding creative ways of using all the tools we have at our disposal. Sparking ideas so that together: staff, clients, and volunteers, we can showcase the cultural diversity in our respective communities to the benefit of all.


Partnerships to celebrate:

Inclusion Foothills, who manages the local farmer’s market in High River, as allowed us to have a booth for free (on several occasions) throughout the summer. Enabling FCIS to be front and center during a well-attended community event.


Connect: ngougeon@ccisab.ca | 403-652-5325



Nancy Risdon | FCIS Okotoks

Okotoks FCIS works effectively to support and guide our newcomer families who have chosen the Foothills to be their new home. We provide information, orientation and referrals to individuals, families and the community, on the telephone, through email and in-person. We conduct group information sessions and workshops,  do assessment of clients' needs, develop settlement plans and provide referrals to community resources. We engage our newcomer families with the community through events, activities and volunteer opportunities!


We have many fantastic partners in the community of Okotoks and Christ the Redeemer and Foothills School Division are integral partners to the successful settlement of our Newcomer families.


Connect: nrisdon@ccisab.ca| 403-978-1412


Fun fact:  I rescued a puppy ten months ago – the best thing I ever did!  Her name is Hazelina Kathleen.


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