Satbir Singh Cheema
Satbir Singh Cheema
Satbir Singh Cheema

Surrey: Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society’s (PICS) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that PICS’ new Chief Executive Officer will be Satbir Singh Cheema, currently Director of Employment Programs and Planning.

Mr. Cheema was selected through an open competition process spearheaded by a recruiting firm hired by PICS.

“It was an extremely grueling process since we wanted the best for PICS. PICS is uniquely positioned to serve the community in Metro Vancouver and Mr. Cheema has the required experience and skills to take the Society to even greater heights,” said Mr. Bobby Pawar, President PICS Board of Directors.

Community Stalwart and Founder of PICS Charan Gill is stepping down after 30 years of stellar service to the organization.

Welcoming Satbir Cheema as CEO Mr. Gill said, “I am extremely pleased to hand over the baton to someone with whom I have worked closely for many years. I am rest assured that PICS will be in safe and able hands.”

He also said that Mr. Cheema’s familiarity with the culture and working environment of PICS and the community it has been serving for the last 30 years was most definitely an added asset.

Satbir Singh Cheema has worked for PICS for the last 19 years. His most recent positon was Director of Employment Programs and Planning at PICS.  Under Mr. Cheema’s leadership, PICS Employment Programs rose to new heights with the addition of a number of new programs including the successful Mega Job Fair, touted as the largest career fair in all of Metro Vancouver.

Talking about his selection as CEO of PICS, Mr. Cheema said that although he was excited to take over as CEO and has great plans to take PICS forward, it would be a daunting task to fill the shoes of someone like Mr. Gill who has over the last 30 years carved a niche in the social services sector with his unflinching dedication to PICS and community work.

“The road ahead is indeed exciting but I need the support of all community members,” said Mr. Cheema.

About Satbir Singh Cheema, CEO PICS

An Engineering graduate from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India, Satbir Singh Cheema came to Canada to gain his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg in 1988. He moved back to India after his degree but chose to make Canada his permanent home in 1994 arriving in Vancouver as a landed immigrant. Satbir worked in the banking and finance sector in Metro Vancouver before joining PICS in 1998. Over the last 19 years in the organization Satbir has gained experience in all aspects of the social services sector specializing in Employment Programs, a department he has headed for the last 14 years.

In his role as Director of Employment Programs and Planning at PICS, Satbir has managed multiple employment and community programs and has led an exceptionally committed and dedicated team that enhances the employability of new immigrants and facilitates their integration into the Labour Market. Over the years, these programs have helped thousands of clients in getting jobs and hundreds of clients in launching their own businesses.

Satbir understands the needs, requirements and expectations of the funders, has extensive knowledge of the working of community social services sector, and has deep understanding of the clients that PICS serves.  He has developed strong relations with the local community, stakeholders, partners, businesses, media, elected officials, funders and Government Departments.  He has represented PICS at various levels – both local and nationally even making a presentation to the Defense Diversity Council in Ottawa to give a community perspective to their recruiting efforts. It was Satbir who convinced the Canadian Forces to open a Recruiting Office within PICS Head Office that allowed people in the South Asian community choose Canadian Forces as a career. One of Satbir’s biggest achievements has been the conceptualization and implementation of annual Mega Job Fairs for PICS where 75+ exhibitors and 6000+ clients have annually participated.

Satbir has served as a Board Member with ASPECT (Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training) for seven years and with Collaborate Delta for three years and has served as a member of Program Advisory Committee at Vancouver Community College.  Satbir has participated and assisted with “Operation Remembrance”, an initiative by RCMP and Canadian Forces to arrange markers for 36 unmarked graves of veterans in Surrey.   In 2012, he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service.  At present, he is serving as a member of BC RCMP CO’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee.