Genesa has built a 25-year career as a community leader and social justice advocate. Over the past five years, Genesa served as President and CEO of the BC Women's Health Foundation, an organization recognized as an effective advocate for women's healthcare policy, research investment and a voice for gender equity and intersectionality in health. Prior to leading BCWHF, Genesa worked in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on homelessness, poverty, mental health and addiction as Executive Director of the First United Church Community Ministry Society.
In addition, Genesa is a dedicated community volunteer. She sits on the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver’s Board of Directors, co-chairs the Equal Futures Network and serves on the Advisory Board to the Institute of Gender and Health, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
However, Genesa’s most important title is Mom. She is the proud single mother to her six-year-old boy, Nnamdi. They love reading together and being out in nature. The great outdoors of BC reminds Genesa of where she was born and raised – Newfoundland – and where she also developed her love for community building, storytelling, wind and water.
His most recent experience includes helping elect Vancouver's first independent Mayor in more than three decades and serving as Director of Communications in the Mayor’s Office for four years, including during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With an Interdisciplinary Studies degree from the University of British Columbia, Alvin has a long history of commitment to public advocacy and social change at all three levels of government as well as with for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Alvin’s past work includes serving as National Communications Manager for the David Suzuki Foundation where he worked to build support around a constitutional right to live in a healthy environment. He was also the City of Vancouver's first Renter's Advisory Committee Chair where he helped advocate for affordable housing and renters rights.
Born and raised on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔ /Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations in East Vancouver, Alvin still lives there with his wife Allison.
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.
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 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 communications and donor services 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.
During her hiatus from the Foundation, 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.
Michelle has been involved in the not-for-profit sector for over 10 years and worked as the Director of Operations and Human Resources for Surrey Crime Prevention Society since 2013. She has vast experience in program development, human resources and community engagement. With a passion for working with Youth At-Risk, Michelle developed a Mentorship and Leadership Program to target issues faced in the City of Surrey.
Michelle is a graduate of Simon Fraser University with Bachelor of Arts Degree in a Joint Major in Criminology and Psychology. She holds a Human Resources Management Post- Baccalaureate Diploma from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR). She has stayed involved in her community through actively participating in a number of committees and through volunteerism. She is a proud mom of a toddler, who enjoys reading, and travelling in her free time.
Marie-Geneviève obtained her CPA designation in early 2022 and was promoted to Director of Finance later that year. Originally from Montréal by way of Edmonton, Marie-Geneviève moved to Vancouver in 2002 to complete a master’s degree in Women’s Studies at SFU. Her career took a sharp turn a few years later when she fell in love with accounting at her then workplace, and she went back to school, completing her Diploma of Technology (with Distinction) in Accounting at BCIT.
Splitting her time between Vancouver and the Saanich Peninsula, Marie-Geneviève also manages the finances for her partner’s bike shops. When not knee-deep in spreadsheets, she enjoys spending time with her two rescue mutts, attempting to birdwatch, lifting weights, and going to see live music.
iris aspires to work, play and live in a society based on equity, free from discrimination, full of compassion and activism. Having spent all of her teenage and adult life working and volunteering within community and non-profit organizing, she has a passion for learning and understanding the complexities of community engagement and mobilization, while fostering her desire to provide accessible and inclusive resources that meet the needs of our diverse communities.
Kaeda has built a career as a marketing communications professional and a social justice advocate. She brings a broad range of experience from her work at full-service marketing agencies where she helped organizations of all sizes co-create and develop effective and inclusive marketing strategies and campaigns that resonate with the communities they serve.
Born and raised in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, Kaeda is privileged to live and work on the lands of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen Frist Nations and is constantly in awe of the beauty and powerful gifts of nature she is honored to experience. Kaeda is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology where she holds a Diploma of Technology in Marketing Management – Communications. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Asian Culture and Language from the University of British Columbia.
When Kaeda is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her partner and pets exploring the outdoors, sharing a meal with her family, or gaming/streaming with her friends online.
Terran completed a Master's degree in Gender & Social Policy and has worked with various non-profit organizations in Vancouver and abroad. Before coming to the Foundation and Vancity, her work was focused mainly on coordinating regional responses to gender-based violence. She brings a broad range of experience from her work in frontline support, program development, and policy analysis. She cares deeply about building community and finding innovative and creative ways to connect resources to community.
Loucia has over 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector where she led award-winning fundraising campaigns, with a focus on organizational growth, sustainability, and innovative solutions. She is proud to have won multiple CASE VIII awards in Fundraising and Communications, and Silver in Circle of Excellence for her work in digital strategy and design.
After completing her undergrad at the University of British Columbia, Loucia completed a dual Master’s degree in Global Management and Business Administration from Royal Roads University and Management Centre Innsbruck in Austria, with a focused thesis on the relationship between cultural diversity and entrepreneurship in Canada.
As a first-generation immigrant, Loucia is grateful for the opportunity and privilege to live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Growing up in two different cultures has given Loucia a unique perspective and understanding of inclusivity and diversity. She is honoured to be part of an organization that is committed to advocacy and driving community change.
Madison graduated from the University of British Columbia with a major in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and a minor in English Literature in 2016. Before joining the Foundation in 2021, Madi worked for Vancity at several branches in the Vancouver region, and drove the horse drawn carriage tours in Stanley Park. In her spare time, she enjoys embroidery, walking her dogs, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Madi’s favourite part about her job is getting to work with people who want to make our communities better for everyone.
Bryn has over 15 years experience working in impact assessment and cost-effectiveness analysis. Prior to joining the Foundation, 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.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Gloria worked with Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada as a project specialist. Experienced in research and data analysis, she holds a Masters of Science degree in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She has worked in the International Organization of Migration, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Economic Social Commission of the Asia Pacific, and other non-profit organizations in both Canada and Asia.
Hannah earned her B.A. from the University of British Columbia with a double major in Political Science and Geography (Environment & Sustainability), and studied internationally at the University of Amsterdam. Before joining the Foundation, she worked in the non-profit sector with a focus on women's health and community building. Hannah is driven by her passions for environmental sustainability and social equity, and loves working for a values-based organization furthering these causes.
Landon supports the day-to-day financial operations of the Foundation; reviews and improves financial systems, policies, and procedures; and assists with database management. He has extensive administrative, customer service, and fundraising experience and graduated from the Sustainable Business joint major program at SFU. He is currently working towards a CPA designation, and in his free time enjoys bird watching, tending to his house plants, and exploring the city.
My name is Ellie. I'm currently working as an administrator in the Finance team at the Foundation. I have always been ambitious to be a part of a team who makes a big difference in people's lives. I love to learn about other cultures and looking forward to travelling around the world.
Elyse is responsible for the grantee, borrower and investor relationship management and administration of the Affordable Community Housing Program and Accelerator Fund at Vancity Community Foundation and the Greater Vancouver Community Assistance Foundation. Elyse brings 5 years of experience in community investment, working as a member of the Vancity Community Investment team from 2018-2022 where she facilitated impact investment opportunities for local economic development initiatives focused on affordable housing, financial inclusion and environmental sustainability. Elyse started in the Vancity branch network in 2012 and earned an undergraduate degree in Health and Community Services from the University of Victoria in 2015. When she's not at work, Elyse loves cooking and sharing meals with friends and family and spending time in and on the ocean!
Mischelle is our Strategic Investment Coordinator and will be bringing in administrative capacity to the overall Program. She will be working closely with the Strategic Investment/Housing Accelerator Program to support effective and efficient program delivery, administration, and management. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2023, Mischelle has been with Vancity since June 2021 where she was a Representative at the Member Service Centre. She later moved to the Centralized Lending Administration Department in August 2022, where she worked as a Lending Administrator. Mischelle is originally from Kenya and moved to Vancouver, BC in 2015 to complete a Bachelor of Arts Major in Political Science. She graduated in 2020 and decided to settle down in Canada. When she is not at work, Mischelle enjoys travelling, painting, music, and braiding hair.
Alicia is the Manager of the Housing Accelerator Program and will be leading the stewardship of the grant and loan programming for affordable housing development projects at the Vancity Community Foundation and the Greater Vancouver Community Assistance Foundation. Alicia is a licensed architect with over ten years of local experience in the community housing sector. She brings a thorough understanding of the development, design, and construction process having guided projects from the early design stages through construction into occupancy. Alicia is originally from Mexico where she studied architecture, she moved to Vancouver in 2008 to pursue a Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture at The University of British Columbia. Besides her work in development consulting and architecture, she is also the co-owner of two beverage companies, Faculty Brewing and Oddity Kombucha, and co-founded the Laboratory of Housing Alternatives, a housing advocacy group that operated between 2012 and 2015. When she's not at work, she loves spending time outdoors playing in the mountains with friends.
Melissa Giles is the Managing Director with BC Rent Bank, a Vancity Community Foundation project funded by the Province of BC focused on supporting the development of a provincial rent bank system. She has almost 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, both domestically and internationally, and is passionate about social justice and housing affordability issues. In 2020, Melissa completed her Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University. She currently is the co-chair of Wellspring Foundation for Education, an international non-profit committed to quality education in East Africa. Apart from work and study, Melissa enjoys hiking, cycling and enjoying the great outdoors.
Lauren was born and raised in the U.S. and has been a visitor on Xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories since 2017. After a variety of work experiences in collaborative, social justice-oriented work, they completed a Ph.D. at The University of British Columbia focused on housing and homelessness policy. Aside from housing-related work and activism, Lauren loves all sorts of outdoor adventures, running, reading, and growing food and flowers.
Prior to joining Vancity Community Foundation in 2014, Shauna spent several years in front-line capacities in mental health and addictions, and women's health. Through her interactions with clients, she gained an intimate understanding of the far-reaching and devastating consequences of housing precarity and homelessness -- soon after, Shauna made the move into the housing sector. Prior to joining the BC Rent Bank team, Shauna worked at Reaching Home, Canada's Homelessness Strategy, as a Senior Program Officer.
She is now the Program Manager at BC Rent Bank, a homelessness prevention and stability program that supports low to moderate income renters in BC. Shauna oversees and supports the operations of rent banks across the province. She brings with her a Diploma of Technology in Human Resources Management from BCIT's School of Business.
When not working, you can find Shauna with her husband and two young children exploring all of the beauty and adventure that Vancouver Island has to offer.
After a career in teaching, Mary moved into the non-profit sector and has over 10 years' experience engaging donors and building community support as a communications and philanthropy professional. Her background includes knowledge around the challenges of homelessness and how mental health can impact unhoused and vulnerable populations. She is excited to be part of the BC Rent Bank team, collaborating with her coworkers to grow the program's capacity and working with community partners to enhance housing stability services for renters across the province.
Mary is a proud parent of four daughters and two dogs, who inspire her, make her laugh, and bring her joy every day. She is grateful for the privilege to live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔ /Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and enjoys long walks in the beautiful trails of Pacific Spirit Park.
Linda is the Communications + Marketing Coordinator with BC Rent Bank. She has volunteered throughout her life and wants to build on her passion for giving back to the community with a focus on children/youth, mental health and homelessness prevention. Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, cooking, camping, dirt biking and building her sustainable passion project.
Anastasia has a decade of experience managing campaigns and projects that have changed laws and policies in the UK and Canada. While managing the Living Wage campaign she has helped double the number of Living Wage Employers in BC. She has previously worked for the MS Society Canada and the Children’s Society and Ramblers in the UK. In her spare time, she enjoys trying to visit every park, library, and brewery in Vancouver.
Lamya earned her BA from the University of British Columbia with a double major in Gender, Race Sexuality, Social Justice, and Asian Area Studies. Prior to joining the Foundation, Lamya was working within the Labour Union sector, focusing on visual and physical artwork, digital media, and performing arts Co-Operatives/Unions within the Downtown Eastside. Lamya is driven by her passion for Diasporic re-telling, anti-colonialist, and social equality activism, and is excited to work for an organization that respects and honors that.
Marina brings significant and progressive experience from leadership roles working closely with the non-profit sector and Indigenous partners. Her most recent work experience includes BC Housing Management Commission for more than 13 years, where she worked in the provision of programs and services aimed at assisting equity denied communities. Marina has cultivated productive relationships with various levels of government, non-profit organizations, and communities. She has led teams and stakeholders through successful and meaningful change initiatives aimed at strengthening service delivery in agile environments.
Marina has a passion for continued learning and purpose driven change. She holds a Bachelors degree in Science and maintains the following Professional Designations: Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Canadian Administrative Professional (CCAP).
Marina's passion for social contribution and promoter of positive interactions is reflected in her profound continued mentorship roles at Minerva BC and Chartered Professional Human Resources BC & Yukon Professional Mentoring Program. She also keenly volunteers with various charities such as Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives and the Sharing Farm in impactful initiatives that unlock opportunities for the community.
Prior to joining Vancity, Margaret was a small business owner for over 12 years, managing in partnership a retail and wholesale clothing and giftware store specializing in fair trade items from developing countries. She started with Vancity as a micro credit specialist with Community Business Services in 2001, extending innovative credit to marginalized people and newcomers to Canada. The bulk of her time was in the branch as a Senior Account Manager, where her role was of a trusted advisor providing knowledge and seamless services to assist members in meeting their financial goals through loans, investments, and retirement needs.
Outside of work, Margaret has extensive volunteer experience working with the homeless and those at risk of homelessness in her community in Abbotsford, and her passion with these folks is helping and making a positive impact in their lives. She is a co-founder of a non-profit organization focused on racialized and marginalized individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and an active board member of Ravens Moon, an organization that serves the homeless in Abbotsford.
Margaret loves travelling, running, hiking, and above all, making new friends.
Before starting with Reaching Home, Julie joined Vancity Community Foundation in 2014 as part of First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and the Living Wage for Families Campaign. Through her work at YWCA Metro Vancouver and the Vancouver School Board, Julie has seen first-hand how a safe place to call home can help the most vulnerable citizens move forward. That’s why she’s excited to work at Reaching Home to help prevent the cycle of poverty and create better lives for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness.
Julie has been the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News since 2007 and previously worked at Raincoast Books and Alive magazine. She holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of B.C. and a certificate in community economic development from Simon Fraser University.
Prior to this, she has worked in various capacities with Vancity Credit Union. She has also worked as a frontline worker in social services with youth experiencing addictions and women fleeing violence and has always been passionate about serving the community. That is why she is excited to work at Reaching Home and help prevent and end homelessness and the cycle of poverty. Saffina holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and Islamic History as well as a diploma in Social Service Work from Langara College. Outside of work, Saffina enjoys volunteering, reading, and trying new restaurants.
Lindsey joined Vancity Community Foundation in May 2021. Lindsey is of Tsimshian & Nisga’a First Nations descent and has extensive experience working within First Nations organizations.
She brings an administrative background, having helped to organize a conference for the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres as well as Acting Executive Director of Nisga’a Ts’amiks Vancouver Society helping to organize Elders councils and delivering the Hoobiyee Ts’amiks Edition Nisga’a New Year Celebration bringing together over 5,000 people which included dance groups and performers, vendors, stakeholders and the general public from all over British Columbia.
Reaching Home provides federal funding to agencies addressing homelessness across Canada. In the Greater Vancouver region, Reaching Home is delivered by Lu'ma Native BCH Housing as the Community Entity. We serve as a partner to help administer the program in that region. We also have a similar partnership with the Community Entity of the City of Abbotsford, which serves that 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.
Since 2002, Louise has enjoyed various roles within Vancity concentrating in Community Investment. Principally working on the Community Partnership Program, a grant program supporting underserved communities, and focused on areas of social justice, financial empowerment, co-operative economy, and climate justice with a racial equity lens. Her work also expanded into the enviroFund Local Food Project Grants Program, which focused on the development of a sustainable local food system. Over the years she has supported Vancity staff to deepen their understanding of Community Investment impact areas, while exploring community partnership and business development opportunities.
In 2020 she joined Vancity Community Foundation as Program Officer for the Reaching Home Program: Canada's Homelessness Strategy to assist with COVID response homelessness. Louise continues to work with the Reaching Home Program as Finance + Contracts Officer supporting the aim to prevent and reduce homelessness in the community.
Van holds an MA in Quantitative Methods in Political Science from U of T, with a research focus on political economy and development economics. Her research explored various topics, including labor market mobility, macro-prudential policies, and homelessness strategy. Prior to joining Vancity, Van interned with BEworks in the role of data scientist, where she conducted experimentation and applied advanced econometric and statistical modelling to evaluate the efficacy of behavioural economics interventions in real-world business challenges.
Social + Economic Innovation
Manager, Community + Membership
David is the Manager, Community + Membership for 312 Main.
With 13+ years of experience in the non-profit sector, David brings a wide range of experience to his role at 312 Main. He has worked in many organizations in the lower mainland. Much of his work has included individuals seeking support around education, mental health, substance use, gender identity, employment, food security, housing, and primary care. He has spent his entire life in Vancouver and feels strongly about supporting those in his community to thrive, while eliminating as many barriers as possible. He passionately believes in the power of collaboration, inclusion, and community engagement to ensure the voices of often marginalized communities are heard.
Sonam is driven by good storytelling, big picture thinking and doing things with a socially conscious mind. She has spent the last 10 years working with various social impact organizations including The Wellbeing Project, The Discourse and The Urban Worker Project. Previously, she co-founded a social venture that focused on engaging immigrant women and their transition to the Canadian workforce through cultural cooking classes. She earned her BA from Simon Fraser University and has studied internationally at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She has received multiple awards for her work including HSBC Women Leader of Tomorrow for Western Canada and an AMEX Emerging Innovator.
With over 15 years of marketing, sales, and project consulting within sustainable real estate development and co-operative financial services, Kelly brings a comprehensive and compassionate perspective to her work with the 312 Main team. She is inspired by the project through the core values of coworking – Community, Collaboration, Openness, Accessibility and Sustainability. Born in Victoria and raised in the Lower Mainland, Kelly has lived in and visited most of BC. While she loves to travel, she is always happy to call Vancouver home. She spends her time being an active participant in community events, and enjoying family life with her husband and her son.
Lisa began working in the non-profit sector during her days at university. Since then she has also been a frequent entrepreneur, having started businesses here in Vancouver, as well as internationally, in Scotland and Germany. She now brings her skills and intrapreneurial spirit to her role at 312 Main, solving challenges using compassion and innovation. Her passion is helping people get organized and she loves to improve systems to make them as efficient and user friendly as possible. Lisa's full-time sidekick is Bella, a chihuahua who has a wardrobe bigger than her own.
Building Maintenance Technician
Dave is 312 Main's Building Maintenance Technician.
As a lifetime resident of Vancouver, Dave, our Building Maintenance Technician, has seen the evolution of this vibrant community. With over 10 years of custodial and maintenance experience, as well as 15 years of commercial construction experience, Dave is more than qualified for this role. He brings a quiet determination to make this facility a co-working showcase and an interactive community hub that brings respite and connection to all those who enter.
Florence has studied sciences for the majority of her life. She has always been interested in health sciences specifically because of her passion for caring for and helping people, especially those who are vulnerable. She has an associate degree in Health Sciences and has been volunteering in her local community. She has volunteered with Fraser Health and volunteered with children for over 3 years.
Florence’s self-taught skills in content creation, social media marketing and video editing, as well as her customer service skills from her experience at McDonalds, have helped her to work on various creative projects.
As a proud member of the DTES for 11 years, Camilla brings both lived and worked experience to the 312 Main staff. She has worked in various social agencies on the DTES, and has gained enough experience to both help and add value to the 312 Main team. A proud, single mother from the NIsga'a/Tsimshean Nations, she is both thankful and honored to be able to live, work, and play on the unceded Coast Salish territory; including the lands belonging to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔ /Selilwitulh Nations.