HILC and MISA worked for many years as partners to serve immigrants, sharing values and goals as well as many clients. Then in August 2003, the two organizations began to also share offices at Chebucto Place as they had outgrown their previous spaces. By sharing, money was saved on rent, equipment and supplies.
Soon the two organizations discovered other ways to work together, and began submitting joint proposals and sharing staff.
The synergy created through collaboration generated new innovative programs and service delivery models, now recognized at national and international levels. Over the following five years, the collaboration grew more and more essential and complex, and it became clear that everyone would benefit if HILC and MISA were one organization.
By merging, HILC and MISA wanted to further develop their synergy, better integrate services and create a more holistic approach for clients. The goal was to be more efficient and effective in service delivery and to provide more clarity for partners as they continued to deliver quality services. They wanted to be even more responsive to clients and more agile and resilient in times of economic challenges.
A great deal of that six month transition was professionally guided by Joseph Malek, a MISA Board member at the time. A management consultant, Joe was also an advisor on mergers and acquisitions.
“I was incredibly impressed with how two sets of staff with their own organizational culture came together,” says Joe. “Those were signs of ‘Best Practices’ in mergers.”
The merger was completed in December 2009, when MISA and HILC became one corporate entity and ISIS (Immigrant Settlement & Integration Services) was set up.
Just one month later the new organization moved to its current location on Mumford Road. ISIS later, wanting to distance itself from negative association, changed the name to Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS).