Management Team

Senior Management Team

Claudio Ruiz, Executive Director
(416) 757.7010

Claudio Ruiz Pilarte has a long and proven record in the non-profit sector. He began his professional journey in the sector over 20 years ago working in international development and then focusing his efforts working with organizations addressing the needs of newcomers in Canada.

As an immigrant to Canada and a former refugee, Claudio is intimately aware of the challenges newcomers and refugees face daily as part of the integration process and the various stigmas they must confront.  This awareness led him to decide that he wanted to dedicate his professional life to supporting newcomers and refugees to settle successfully in their new adoptive country.

Early in his work as an Executive Director, Claudio developed a keen interest in governance and transformational leadership as two essential components in the successful management of a non-profit organization.  He believes in the importance of leading with a people-centred approach that is founded on transparency, humility, honesty, accountability, and effective management.  Some of Claudio’s achievements include co-leading the community initiative to proclaim October as Hispanic/Latin American Heritage Month at the provincial and federal levels.  He also co-led discussions with elected officials and the Pan-Am Organizing Committee that resulted in the meaningful inclusion of the Pan-American communities in key committees of the Toronto Pan-Am Games in 2015. 

Claudio graduated from Glendon College, obtaining his BA in International Studies with a concentration in Political Sciences.  His executive education includes a certificate in Negotiations from Osgoode Hall Law School and a certificate in Performance Evaluation for Non-profit Organizations from Harvard Business School.  He is finishing a Master’s degree in Non-profit Management with a concentration in Leadership from Northeastern University. 

Lisa Loong, Director, Settlement and Program Expansion
(416) 757.7010 ext. 2208

Lisa Loong is a long-tenured CCS employee. She joined CCS as Toronto Regional Director in 2004 and is currently Director of Settlement and Program Expansion.

In this role, Lisa leads both the Toronto and Peel Region settlement teams in developing and delivering unique programs to address the evolving needs of our GTA newcomer communities.

Lisa has over twenty years of experience in the settlement sector. Prior to joining CCS, Lisa led a settlement-oriented agency for a decade that focused on serving immigrants with a Chinese background. She also worked with the TDSB as an ESL and citizenship test preparation instructor.

Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Toronto. She is also certified in various not-for-profit leadership streams such as fundraising, not-for-profit management, volunteer development, and settlement counselling.

Lisa is a proponent of the belief that our services not only help new immigrants settle and integrate into their new country but that our programs help engage their communities and become active members of Canadian society.

Yosief Araya, Director, Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP)
(416) 290.1700 ext. 2402

Yosief Araya is the director of the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), a national program that provides training and support to refugee sponsors across Canada (except Quebec).

He has been working with CCS and in the Private Refugee Sponsorship Program (PSR) field for the last 14 years. Yosief has offered training workshops on a range of refugee sponsorship issues in different cities across Canada and Europe, including London and Brussels.

Yosief was a founding board member of Lifeline Syria and had assumed various leadership positions in the refugee-serving sector. He was a co-chair of a working group in the Canadian Council For Refugees (CCR) and an elected member of the NGO-Government Committee on Private Sponsorship Of Refugees. He also appeared as a conference presenter and has acted in various consultation capacities on refugee settlement.

Yosief has a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University Of Asmara and a Master’s degree in Law (LLM) from McGill University.

Irmi Hutfless, Associate Director, Skills, Research & Innovation
416-757-7010 ext. 2214

Irmi is the Associate Director of Skills, Research & Innovation at CCS.

Irmi has extensive experience in frontline and leadership roles in the settlement sector, both in Canada and internationally. She joined CCS in 2008 as a trainer with the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP). Prior to her current role, she was the Senior Manager of CCS’ Language, Skills, and Social Development. She was also the manager of the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) for several years, leading the transition of the LIP from a neighbourhood-based project into an initiative with a regional scope.

Irmi enjoys being involved in the community: she served as member and vice-chair of the Board of the Anglican United Refugee Alliance for several years, is currently a member of the Scarborough Health Network’s Community Advisory Council, and serves on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.

Irmi holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from the University of Applied Social Work in Vienna.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, travel and the outdoors.

Kathy Moffat, Associate Director, People & Culture
416.644.0816 ext. 2312

As the Associate Director of People & Culture Kathy leads the human resource function at CCS.

Kathy is a dynamic human resources professional with experience across the full spectrum of HR including recruitment, employee engagement, and performance management. As a certified JHSC member she is passionate about health & safety and emergency preparedness.

Kathy has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including 8 years working in HR.  She obtained my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Queen’s University and has pursued professional development opportunities in order to enhance her HR and leadership skills.

Kathy believes in the importance of giving back and is a dedicated volunteer. She has served on fundraising committees, a child care board of directors, and is currently a member of the professional development committee for the HRPA Durham Chapter.

In her spare time, she enjoy reading, walking, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two children.