Speakers – 11th WRC Abbotsford

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Wendy NeufeldKeynote Speaker
Mrs. Wendy Neufeld
Executive Director of Abbotsford Community Foundation

Wendy has been a resident of Abbotsford for 38 years and graduated from W.J. Mouat high school. She started her career in the insurance industry while in high school and worked in this sector for over 37 years before changing careers to the non-profit sector in April of 2017. Wendy was a farm insurance advisor for Co-operators Insurance from 1986 until 2017 and was a specialist in the area of dairy, hog and poultry intensive livestock operations.

She has been a Rotarian for the past 17 years with the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary club and has served on their Board in all positions for 15 of those years. She also served as the Assistant Governor for the Abbotsford/Mission area clubs in Rotary District 5050 in 2012. Wendy is also a 11 year member of the Abbotsford Executive Association and served on their Board for a period of 3 years. In addition, she served as the Board chair of the Abbotsford Community Foundation from 2013 to 2016 as a volunteer and in 2017 was selected by the Board as the Executive Director of the Abbotsford Community Foundation.

In 2016, Wendy was presented with the Order of Abbotsford by the Mayor and Council in recognition of her volunteer contributions to the Abbotsford community. She is married and has a fourteen year old daughter. She enjoys volunteering, reading, travelling, and Pilates in her spare time.


Matt MurdochBaha’i Perspective
Mr. Matt Murdoch

Matthew Murdoch is active member of Baha’i community of Mission and currently sits on its Assembly. His primary paths of service have been in holding Baha’i children’s classes and deepening classes in Mission and Abbotsford over sevral years. He attended UFV and UBC, but ended up getting his nursing license in 2010 and has been working as a nurse at the Mission Memorial Hospital ever since. His personal studies focus especially on world religious scripture and the relationship between science and religion. Matthew has been married for 3 years to his wonderful wife Kyla, and new son Rowan.


KRISTAL TOEWSChristian Perspective
Pastor Kristal Toews

Kristal Toews is the Pastor of Women at Northview Community Church. She loves teaching the Bible and helping fan into flame the teaching and leadership gifts of others. Kristal is married to Bob and they have 3 children who are 17, 19, and 21 years of age.




Vishnu SharmaPandit Vishnu Sharma
Hindu Faith Perspective

Pandit Vishnu Sharma is head priest at the Fraser Valley Hindu Cultural Society, Abbotsford. He has over 30 years of experience as minister ofreligion, and enjoys international exposure. He has worked in a hindu temple in Brampton, and Vishnu Devi Temple, Oakville; both in ON. Canada. He has also served at a temple in Newcastle, United Kingdom, and Vishno Devi Mandir in ]Rohtak, Haryana, India.He graduated with degree in Sanskrit and is well versed in Hindu scriptures, literature and culture. He is a good singer and has a couple of masters degrees in hindustani classical (vocal singing). He is good at playing and teaching musical instruments like harmonium,tabla, dholak, keyboard and flute.Vishnu is experienced in performing Ramayan Katha, Shrimad Bhagwat Katha, Bhagwati Jagran, Chowki, Sunderkand, Shiv Vivah, Bhajan Sandhya, and many other musical styles. Vishnu is an enthusiastic
worker and possess good communication skills.


Tariq AzeemMaulana Tariq Azeem
Islam Perspective

Tariq Azeem graduated from Ahmadiyya Islamic University in Toronto in 2013. His study was on Theology and Religious.He served as an Imam in Liberia (Africa) for a period six months. He served as a missionary from May 2014 to April 2017 in Lloydminster appointed by the Worldwide Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He is married and currently serving missionary incharge of British Columbia.


Rabbi Sussan ShmashJewish Faith Perspective
Rabbi Susan Shamash

Rabbi Susan Shamash was ordained as a rabbi by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal in January 2017. She holds her BA (Hon) from the University of Alberta and an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) from the University of British Columbia. As a lawyer and administrative law judge for thirty years, Susan specialized in workers’ compensation and administrative law. Beginning her practice as a workers’ advisor, Susan subsequently served the people of British Columbia as Vice Chair, Registrar and Tribunal Counsel of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal and its predecessor Review Board. Susan has been an active member Or Shalom Synagogue, affiliated with the ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, where she is a regular davenen’ (prayer) leader on Shabbat (the Sabbath), the Festivals and the High Holy Days and teaches a monthly Talmud class. She has also served Or Shalom in a variety of organization capacities including Co-Chair, Treasurer, Rabbi Search, Governance, and Publicity. She is a happily retired lawyer who lives with her husband Yom-Tov and dog Dulce in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Tajinder SinghMr. Tajinder Singh
Sikh Faith Perspective

Tajinder Singh is a member of the missionary team at Guru Nanak Academy, an institution that educates and provides resources for the Sikh youth to connect to their faith. Tajinder Singh has been studying and learning Sikh scriptures, philosophy and history since 2003. This education has enabled him to speak about and spread the beautiful teachings of the Sikh Gurus throughout North America. He has spoken at multi-faith gatherings in the past and is looking forward to continuing his service for the community.