Ron Graham helps newcomers because he loves helping people. But Ron can also thank his love of connecting people for a personal connection of his own: he met his wife while taking Spanish lessons. Now married 25 years, he and Theresa are building a retirement home in her native Peru. Ron has been interested in people and places around the world since he was a child in Winnipeg, Man., poring over National Geographic magazine and dreaming of far-away places.
As an adult, he was involved in an Edmonton organization for computer professionals, and as an “extroverted introvert” became the unofficial welcoming committee, helping newcomers get settled in the city. “I had a big map of the world on my office wall, and every time I met somebody, I’d get them to put a pin in their city,” he said. Informally a connector for years before officially becoming a Connector with the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC), Ron uses his years of experience and LinkedIn network to help people find jobs, especially in engineering and computer fields.
Sometimes his help is practical, like showing new immigrants around the city and helping them gather winter gear. Other times he helps people like Yessica from Venezuela, who quickly found a position in Petroleum Engineering thanks to Ron’s introduction to someone in that field. “She did it on her own. I just connected her; she went off and did it.”
Sign up to be a Connector with your local Connector Program. To start a Connector Program in your community, please visit: https://connectorprogram.ca/connector-communities/