With financial assets of more than $55MM, including 175+ Donor Advised Funds and a core endowment, they model a progressive approach to investment, while making grants, engaging in advocacy work and delivering collaborative programs with a focus on sustainable upstream development rather than aid. Building on the values, tradition and capacity of the relationship to a $20 billion, 500,000 member financial cooperative, VCF has pioneered a number of innovations in Canadian philanthropy and impact investing, with a particular strength in supporting social enterprises and community owned real estate initiatives in the region.
Before joining the Foundation in 2008, Derek worked in the venture capital division of Vancity, focused on impact investing through a portfolio of social enterprises, aboriginal ventures, alternative energy and nonprofit housing. His professional career started in microcredit with BRAC in Bangladesh, after an MBA from Queen's University, and he worked in management consulting before a variety of roles at Coast Capital Savings and then Vancity. Derek currently chairs the Public Policy Committee of Imagine Canada, an important umbrella organization representing the interests of charities and nonprofits across the country, as well as Board roles with New Market Funds, Cooperators Foundation, Responsible Investment Association and as Vancouver City Co-Chair for Aga Khan Foundation. He lives in East Van with his wife and partner of almost 30 years and their 3 children.
Michelle focused her studies on collaborative e-learning and online communication working for several years as a research assistant in these areas before following her heart into the non-profit sector. Michelle joined the Foundation in January 2005 initially working in philanthropic services before moving over to the Enterprising Non-Profits program to manage the development of a social enterprise development focused website, newsletter, podcast series, and other engagement activities.
Michelle completed the professional Certificate in Community Economic Development (SFU) furthering her passion for building community and specifically for the potential of social enterprise to create impact. Today, Michelle manages the communication and engagement activities for Vancity Community Foundation.
Beyond the opportunity to work in a field she enjoys, Michelle is both proud and humbled to be part of an organization that is dedicated to using community economic development strategies, partnerships, and advocacy, to enable community change, capacity building, and well-being. She feels fortunate to work with passionate and driven colleagues; and she is inspired daily by the amazing work and impact of community organizations.
She has worked in the areas of donor engagement, fund development and leadership development for twenty years through roles at Canada World Youth, Vancouver Foundation, Vantage Point and most recently at the Justice Institute of BC's Centre for Leadership. Her volunteer work includes serving on the Board of Directors of BC Council for International Cooperation, Association of Fundraising Professionals Vancouver Chapter and WISH Drop-In Centre Society. She also served on our Foundation board over a decade ago. Allison holds a Master's Degree in Adult Education and a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work.
During her hiatus from VCF, Irene led the Community Investment division at Affinity Credit Union, an important sister organization to Vancity with a similarly long track record supporting innovative community development and also a fellow member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).
Irene has a broad range of experience supporting and leading different nonprofit organizations, including specific expertise in each of our focus areas of social enterprise, community owned real estate and impact investing. Irene has also worked in microcredit, through international experiences in Bolivia and Guatemala, as well as domestic examples including inner-city Winnipeg, and as the founding Executive Director of the Immigrant Access Fund in Saskatoon. Her university degrees are in Business and in Rural Planning & Development, and she also had a role with the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development doing post-graduate research and coordinating a joint program delivered through a Mexican University in Cuernavaca.
She and her husband Rob live in North Vancouver with their 2 young children.
For the past three and a half years she has assisted with the management of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Fund, working with the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society board to grow and distribute the fund, develop and launch a granting program, and lead community initiatives aimed at reducing homelessness and increasing access to housing. In her role as Manager, Community Projects, Vera will supervise our various community programs and partnerships.
JC joined VCF in 2013 as our Administrator, Philanthropic Services and is responsible for coordinating and developing the administrative support systems of the Donor Advised Funds' growing program.
Coming from the Maritimes, JC has a home-grown sense of social responsibility with a need to be connected to the community. JC has a background that merges creativity and business having grandparents and parents who are entrepreneurs in tourism, hospitality and food/beverage products. Over the years he has gained experience in developing, designing and managing these various interests and holds a degree in Business Administration from Acadia University and a Minor in Economics from U.P.E.I.
Bryn has over 15 years experience working in impact assessment and cost-effectiveness analysis. Prior to joining VCF, Bryn worked as a consultant and researcher at SFU, leading numerous projects for government, private sector and non-profit organizations. Bryn holds a B.A. from Carleton University and a Masters of Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University.
Bill holds an MBA from UBC as well as a master's degree in real estate from the University of Illinois, and brings broad multidisciplinary experience from the fields of real estate, urban planning, manufacturing, healthcare and information technology. Before coming to Vancity Community Foundation, Bill worked as a land use consultant at Urbanics Consultants, where he helped both public and private sector clients optimize the impact of their real estate assets.
Sean brings 10 years of social enterprise experience to this role, as the founder of Megaphone, a magazine sold on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria by homeless and low-income vendors. Sean helped build Megaphone into an award-winning social enterprise that works with more than 300 marginalized people ever year and puts more than $100,000 annually into the pockets of vendors.
HPS is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness in the region, which VCF administers in partnership with Metro Vancouver. She brings extensive experience in social and affordable housing finance, accounting, property management and real estate asset management, having worked at King County Housing Authority and Bellwether Housing, which has the largest non-profit affordable housing portfolio in the City of Seattle.
Arminda holds a BA from Seattle University. She also received a Graduate Diploma in Urban Studies from SFU, and, along with her family, is proud to call Metro Vancouver home.
Prior to obtaining her Human Resources Management Diploma at the BCIT School of Business, Shauna spent seven years working for both the regional and provincial health services authorities in an administrative capacity. During this time, she gained a wealth of experience in contract management and developing strong working relationships with various funding partners. Further, she had the privilege of being in many client-facing roles, deepening her passion for working with organizations that support marginalized populations. It was during her time at a mental health rehabilitation unit that Shauna came to understand the unique challenges that people who experience mental illness face when it comes to finding and maintaining suitable housing. Feeling inclined to be part of the solution, she joined the team at the Vancity Community Foundation as a Project Officer with the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
Prior to this role, Liam worked with non-profit housing providers in a project management role. He also worked on reconciliation files with Indian Residential Schools Resolutions Canada, and provided research to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Liam is now completing his graduate degree in Urban Planning at the University of British Columbia.
Team Manager, Homelessness Partnering Strategy (On Maternity Leave)
HPS is a partnership between Vancity Community Foundation and Metro Vancouver that provides funding to agencies addressing homelessness in the region.
Lisa has worked in government and non-profits in a wide variety of areas. She has an educational and professional background in criminology having worked with youth involved with the criminal justice system, women in the downtown eastside dealing with addictions and housing issues and adult offenders in federal and provincial institutions. Prior to joining Vancity Community Foundation, Lisa oversaw a portfolio at Jewish Family Service Agency which included: Financial Assistance/Case Management, Housing assistance and advocacy, a food bank, Mental Health Outreach, The World in Garden urban agriculture project, Special Needs related to families with children living with a disability as well as specialized holiday and prison outreach programs.
The HPW team works to administer federal funding to organizations working to prevent and reduce homelessness.
Before joining the HPS team in 2014, Letizia held various financial service positions at the Vancity Credit Union community branch level. At the branch is also where she had the privilege of volunteering as a Regional Community Service Representative. Representing her home branch in Kerrisdale, Letizia was part of a larger team that met regularly to discuss strategies for building community partnerships and implementing local Vancity-sponsored events within the Region. Letizia holds two BAs from the University of British Columbia in Language and Speech Science, and she has completed a Personal Financial Planning course at BCIT. She feels fortunate to be part of an organization that is dedicated to strengthening community and to be part of a team that connects with non-profit organizations across Metro Vancouver as they utilize their HPS funding and strive to end homelessness.
Fund Development Coordinator, Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society
As the Fund Development Coordinator, Stephanie works to carry out the fundraising goals of the Society while also supporting Surrey-based non-profit organizations with Capital Campaign projects. Stephanie enjoys the challenges of fundraising and being a part of an organization whose work has a direct impact on helping to change the lives of Surrey’s most vulnerable individuals.
A donor-advised fund with Vancity Community Foundation, the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society was seeded by an endowment from the City of Surrey. This donor advised fund is unique in also having a volunteer board of directors.
Prior to her role, Stephanie spent over five years fundraising in the arts, where she held roles in Development at Gateway Theatre and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts and Art History from the University of British Columbia in 2010. She lives in Surrey with her husband and young daughter.
Amrita is responsible for coordinating and developing the administrative support systems of the growing Donor Advised Fund program. She has worked with Vancity since 2006 so she brings internal knowledge and understanding to the team. Amrita has previous fundraising experience working with Canadian Red Cross and BC Children's Hospital Foundation and obtained an education in Sociology and Psychology from SFU.
She is responsible for the Foundation’s financial systems, processes, and reporting. Cherlyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UBC and a Diploma of Technology from BCIT in the Professional Accounting program. Cherlyn has been a proud CPA, CGA since 2011.
In this capacity, she oversees facilitating the day-to-day administration of the Foundation offices. Pearl also provides administrative support to facilitate efficient tracking, reporting, funding, and distribution of Foundation grants.
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
First Call is a non-partisan coalition of over 95 provincial and regional organizations who have united their voices to put children and youth first in BC.