In her previous role as Manager of Donor Engagement and Fund Development, Allison developed and implemented strategies that deepened relationships with donors to expand the resources & support available to organizations in our community. 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.
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 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.
Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives and Investments
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.
She came to VCF with a breadth of experience across the charitable and small business sector, having previously worked at Pace Accounting (a small firm in East Vancouver specializing in non-profit clients), SPUD.ca, Options for Sexual Health, Atira Women’s Resource Society, and Lunapads International. Marie-Geneviève moved to Vancouver in 2002 to complete a Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies at SFU, then took a sharp turn into a new career a few years later, completing her Diploma of Technology with Distinction in Accounting at BCIT. She currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of her housing co-op, does the books for her partner’s bike shop, and in between managing all those numbers, enjoys walking her dog, lifting weights, and going to see live music.
Landon graduated from Simon Fraser University with a joint major in Business and Environment, and a certificate in Sustainable Community Development. Before joining the Foundation, he worked for Vancity at the North Vancouver Branch. His favorite thing about his job is getting to support local organizations that work to make our community better.
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 Vancity Community 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 dog, 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.
Team Manager, Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy
Reaching Home provides federal funding to agencies addressing homelessness in the region. In Metro Vancouver, Reaching Home is delivered by Vancity Community Foundation as the Community Entity.
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.
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.
Reaching Home is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness in the region. Arminda 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 bachelor of arts from Seattle University. She also received a graduate diploma in urban studies from Simon Fraser University, and, along with her family, is proud to call Metro Vancouver home.
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.
The Canada Learning Bond Project is an Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) funded initiative to increase the awareness and take-up of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), particularly among Indigenous, Métis and Newcomer populations in Surrey, British Columbia. Kyla has over 6 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector and has particular interests in community development, reconciliation, education and poverty reduction. Kyla is passionate about the role education can play in empowering individuals to tap into their greatest potential. Kyla has a Bachelor’s in Business from Concordia University and a Master’s in Social Policy for Development from the University of Rotterdam. During Kyla’s personal time, she loves being outdoors and keeping active while exploring our beautiful province.
Team Manager, Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society
The SHHS team works collaboratively with Surrey organizations to address the needs of vulnerable people who are homeless and at risk in Surrey.
Before joining the SHHS team in 2017, Letizia was managing the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) team. This team works in partnership with Metro Vancouver and administers federal funding to organizations working to prevent and reduce homelessness in the region. Before this, she 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 in Surrey on initiatives to end homelessness.
Stephanie Shardlow (On Leave)
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.