SVI brings together a number of experts in different areas of running a social enterprise. At the conference, you can sign up for free short consulting sessions with these experts. If you would like to be a one-on-one mentor, please let us know when you apply.
Explore this year’s list of mentors and book time with them once you arrive on campus for SVI.
Social enterprise development
Andrew is a co-founder of Purppl, a social enterprise accelerator. He’s fully committed to helping to build a community that supports social enterprise development. He’s also helped to build acceleration programs for tech entrepreneurs across BC with Accelerate Okanagan and is a former top Canadian sales manager for Xerox. He’s a Director with Big Brothers and Sisters (Interior BC) and One Big Table Coop.
Raising capital via community investing & aligning culture with mission and strategy
Arno Hesse develops and deploys new forms of community capital, foremost in sustainable food and regenerative agriculture. As co-leader of Slow Money Northern California, he convenes the Food Funded community and has led multiple investments in food and ag businesses. The community funding platform and app Credibles, founded by Arno, has been used by many loyal customers to fund their favorite food makers -If you eat, you’re an investor.
Committed to promoting more inclusive financing models open to regular community investors, Arno co-created the online aggregator Investibule which has been featuring thousands of investing opportunities across 30+ platforms in the US
Previously, Arno was Executive Vice President for Retail Markets at MUFG Union Bank. In his prior work, he worked with leadership teams of technology, financial, and nonprofit organizations to align their culture to successfully execute mission and strategy.
Arno received an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. He grew up in Europe and is easily distracted by new ice cream flavors and typefaces.
Capital planning, Investor outreach, & Alternative financing
Bill is a financial activist. He connects people and ideas to create opportunities for transforming capital markets. Through his independent advisory firm, NorthFork Financial, and as a co-founder of HomeStake Venture Partners, an innovative platform to help mid-market businesses access growth capital from locally-minded investors; he is deeply committed to distributing opportunity, ownership and power. He lives in Bozeman, MT with his family.
Business startup, growth, and financing
Carrie is a Regional Manager of Community Business at Vancity Credit Union, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Concordia University. She acts as Treasurer on the board of Yoga Outreach and is part of the Women and Finance Advisor’s Panel for the Small Scale Food Processor Association. She has participated in various loan review boards (CSBFA and Youth Employment Services) and now sits on the judging panel for the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.
Sales & Copywriting
Sales and Writing are my two core focuses. With 17 years of sales experience selling all kinds of things, most often local and/or fair trade, organic food and coffee, I can’t help but see opportunities everywhere when it comes to selling. I’ve managed up to $2 million in annual sales, from Tofino to Halifax, and Florida to California.
This year my own projects include re-launching my own brand and website (my community knows me for writing about travel, food, and craft drinks), and building a new brand for online sales resources for Entrepreneurs and Sales Professionals. My client projects focus on working with values-led companies who need help crafting their sales programs, and telling their story.
If you need help writing your mission, vision, values and brand story to set the tone and empower your sales people, I have space for a few more clients this fall and winter.
If you need help building good sales habits and giving structure to your sales team or sales hours, let’s explore working together. Everyone has a grand vision. I can help you get there. With a clear story and understanding of who your best customers are and how to sell to them, your sales team (or yourself!) will find it easier to connect and grow with your customers.
Personal & Organizational Leadership
Chloe Gow-Jarrett is Founder/CEO of 3Fold Partners, in Vancouver, BC. 3Fold supports leaders in scaling the culture and leadership of their enterprise as it matures. 3Fold’s products and services support a broad range of progressive, not-for-profit, investment, and philanthropic enterprises and networks in Vancouver and across the globe. Celebrated for her ability to develop powerful, purposeful leaders and deliver results-driven programming, Chloe expertly crafts and facilitates transformational learning and growth experiences. Chloe is co-chairperson of the Vancouver Waldorf School Board of Trustees, is the mother of two energetic young boys, and is happiest when eating guacamole.
Business start-up & growth financing
David is a Small Business Advisor of Community Business and Investment at Vancity. He was born in Saigon, Vietnam which is now known as Ho Chi Minh City. Having fled during the fall of South Vietnam, his parents have taught him to be grateful for what you have and to treat others with dignity and respect. He is fluent in English, Chinese, and French and he spends the majority of his spare time with his two sons whom are in elementary school. When not spending time with his family, he tries to keep updated on current events in the world and technology. He is passionate about using technology to improve our daily lives.
Elvy del Bianco
Strategies inspired by nature
As Vancity’s Cooperative Portfolio Manager, Elvezio (“Elvy”) Del Bianco coordinates Vancity’s support for new and established cooperatives. He also founded the Cooperate Now co-op business boot camp, co-authored the “Seven Ways to Grow BC’s Co-op Sector” policy document, established a provincial network of co-op developers to better coordinate support services, guest lectures at post-secondary business classes, and gets into the trenches to support community development and incorporate cooperatives. Elvezio also works with the University of Bologna to organize Vancity’s study tour of the cooperative economy of the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, which informs Vancity’s approach to supporting the development of British Columbia’s sector.
Personal leadership, digital marketing, and e-commerce solutions
Emily believes that making a difference through business is how we change the world. She currently works as a GM for Halfmoon and B Yoga and previously lead Halfmoon’s Marketing and Ecommerce departments. Emily is impassioned by the power of connection, whether that be self-connection, interpersonal connection or connection to the environment, and is especially excited to dive deep into all of the above during her first season attending SVI. With experience in digital marketing, creative direction, ecommerce, teaching yoga, fair-trade, sales and people management, Emily offers up her skill set to serve the SVI community.
Financial strategy, liquidity and capital structure
Harumi Kambara, CFA, is a financial consultant, angel investor, and aspiring yoga practitioner. She spent 17 years at The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (now MUFG Union Bank) in New York and Chicago, serving various credit-oriented roles. In her last position as a Director, she managed a $10 billion credit portfolio, supporting some of the largest American companies and tackling numerous headline Mergers & Acquisitions transactions.
Three years ago, she abruptly put her career on pause when she heard inner calling to travel the world and dive deep into yoga and meditation. During this time, she met inspiring yogis and meditators who had achieved clarity on how they can bringing more wellness and harmony to the world through their business ideas. Today, she manages finance for a retreat software and marketplace company Retreat Guru and is an anchor investor in select mission driven startups.
Harumi is originally from Japan and currently resides in Chicago. She loves to spread her love of yoga, meditation and travel through her blog www.StiffYogi.com. She happily considers herself a finance monk.
Joel Solomon is Chair of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest mission venture capital firm. With $98m assets under management, Renewal Funds invests in organic food, green products, and environmental innovations. Joel is a Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance, a 2012 TEDxVancouver speaker, founding member of Social Venture Network, Business for Social Responsibility, the Tides Canada Foundation, and serves on Hollyhock’s Board of Directors. Joel founded Social Venture Institute at Hollyhock and has been producing it for 20 years. Thank you Joel!
Progressive food & beverage, organizational culture, personal growth and transformation
Julian is an advisor, investor and co-creator for high-impact ventures.
He studied engineering at McGill University and holds an MBA from INSEAD in France. After an early career in engineering and business consulting, curiosity and disenchantment took him off the beaten path, embracing independent travel and a far reaching exploration of life.
Since 2000, Julian has been joyfully supporting organizations to learn, grow and thrive. He has worked with startups to SMEs and larger companies in roles of coach, advisor, consultant, investor and executive.
Julian marries tried and true legacy business practices with a multiple bottom-line and highly collaborative approach, deeply informed by buddhist and yogic philosophies.
In 2009, he co-founded progressive food ventures Crudessence and RISE Kombucha, starting with seed investment and strategic input. He served as Crudessence’s CEO/Chairman from 2010 to 2013 and President/Chairman at RISE Kombucha from 2016 to mid-2019. He is a founding board member of Montreal based Esplanade, a pioneering cross- sector incubator/accelerator for social ventures.
Julian is a regular speaker on topics including culture, sustainability and impact focus. What’s on his mind these days is how to step-up business as a force for good by fostering more non- dual, regenerative and collaborative mindsets.
Humility, Humor, Connection
Kahlil Ashanti is the Founder and CEO of weshowup.io, the first digital pay-after-the-experience platform for arts, culture and entertainment. He created it to scratch his own itch when he wrote a new show and had no idea what to charge the audience for admission, revealing that the perceived value of any event is highest at the end of the experience. As an actor, speaking coach and web developer he is constantly searching for ways to help people share their stories in memorable ways with those they seek to serve. His performance career contains lots of cool accolades which you can find at kahlilashanti.com, but he would rather use this space to thank the SVI team for the opportunity and welcome everyone to his workshop!
Marketing and branding, business strategy aligning with personal goals
Karri first came to Hollyhock on a scholarship from Vancity in 2003. She is the owner and co-founder of Chambar Restaurant in Vancouver, and co-founded Café Medina, and The Dirty Apron Cooking School. Karri is also on the Board of the Vancouver Economic Commission and directing the Greater Vancouver Innovation Capital Project to create a regional infrastructure masterplan for the region.
Marketing Process and Organization Design
Kathy Kwon is a people, process, and operations consultant at Modern Craft, a Vancouver-based marketing consultancy dedicated to offering values-driven strategy, operations, and technology support to marketing change-makers. We tackle stubborn and at times hidden or underlying problems in order to clear the way for positive change. With a background in system’s engineering, education, and finance, Kathy’s focus is on the cross-industry and -functional necessity for good processes, systems, and organizational structures. In her spare time, she loves riding motorbikes, making music, and slowly chiselling away at a new craft brewery in the Fraser Valley.
Personal Ecology, Communications/Marketing, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Worker Co-operatives
Loretta Laurin is Hollyhock’s dynamic and multi-talented Communications Manager. Founder of Shift Delivery Co-op, a for-profit worker co-operative that is replacing truck deliveries with peddle-powered cargo tricycles, Loretta is experienced with business strategy, marketing, group facilitation, and membership engagement. Loretta has also spent the last decade as a movement and social justice educator. From dance and fitness to yoga and pilates, they have over 10 teaching certifications in embodiment modalities. They are also passionate about and well-versed in many of the nuances and issues surrounding equity. They hold a Bachelors of General Studies with certificates in Applied Human Nutrition, Sustainable Community Development, Liberal Arts, and Religious Studies. This year as SVI’s night producer, Loretta will be supporting all the party vibes!
Growth planning & execution
Martha is a growth strategist and business advisor, helping mission-driven companies to grow and visionary entrepreneurs to thrive. She provides her clients with strategic support in the areas of growth planning, customer experience, leadership development, and operational efficiency. Clients build their business acumen, work through their fears, overcome their constraints, and grow enterprises at rates of growth that are real and right for them. Her career has ranged from environmental and human rights activist, convener of conscious enterprise networks and events (including SVI!), and founding employee of multiple start-ups.
Mary Lou Miles
Mary Lou has been in the investment and banking business since 1976. She joined Genus from Maxima Investment Management in 2005 and has held senior positions with the Bank of British Columbia and HSBC. Mary Lou has also been involved in women’s, children’s and families’ issues for many years. As Past President of the Canadian Federation of University Women (Richmond chapter), her role involved advocacy work in all manner of local and national policy issues affecting families, with a focus on women. She also participates in the Vancouver Foundation Giving Well Circle that is focussed on improving the lives of women and children. Through her twelve years at Genus, she has increased her involvement in social justice through attending and supporting the Board of Change, the Responsible Investing Association, and now as a corporate sponsor of Hollyhock.
Strategy, Branding, Sales
Mike is President & CEO at Junxion Strategy, an
international social impact consultancy that exists to help the bold visionaries of the next economy to articulate their purpose, plan their positive impact, share their stories, and demonstrate their accountability. Junxion’s clients range from major international companies such as adidas and Natura, global NGOs like Doctors Without Borders and United Nations, and countless entrepreneur-led social ventures and non-profits. Mike is Chair of Hollyhock’s Board of Directors, where he is an Executive Producer of the Social Venture Institute. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Social Venture Circle, serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at RADIUS SFU, and is a B Corp Ambassador.
Antiracism, Equity & Inclusion
Naomi Gracechild (pronouns she/her/hers) is a woman of Afro-Caribbean and European descent born and currently residing on unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver). She is a facilitator, educator, social justice activist and performing artist who believes in the power of art to heal communities, affect social change and document history.
As the founder of Euphony Works, Naomi brings her cross-sector experience in both urban and rural communities to help clients gain a deeper understanding of socio-political dynamics in order to effectively address issues of inequity. Throughout her professional career she has had the honour of developing and leading creative initiatives with organizations such as The National Music Centre, BC Alliance for Arts & Culture, Selkirk College and BC Touring Council. Naomi continues to be an active advocate for community building and empowerment through the arts.
Answering Your Soul’s Calling
Pamela’s career has been defined by a desire to serve – to develop, coach and mentor leaders – and to connect people with shared values and aspirations. She is passionate about transformation and supporting the advancement of women entrepreneurs. As a natural relationship weaver, Pamela has a history of cultivating high-caliber, action focused relationships, which she embedded in her leadership positions at BALLE, Renewal Funds and Social Venture Network (SVN). She is thrilled to be launching her new biz here at SVI: Practical Feet Advising which supports and empowers leaders to follow their deepest calling. She is the Board Chair of the TahDah Foundation and Co-Exec Producer of SVI Women (Bay Area, April 2019). Pam has loved being a producer of SVI Hollyhock since 2002 and looks forward to meeting you!
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Parker Johnson is a group facilitator, mediator, intercultural educator, and organizational change specialist who is committed to building inclusive, equitable and just organizations. With his diverse array of interests, skills and experiences, he brings an understanding of intersectionality.
Parker studied administration, planning and social policy at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and rounds out his education with practical application in mediation, coaching, intercultural communication and anti-oppression work. Parker’s graduate work in diversity and inclusion focused on research, teaching, policy, curriculum development and organizational change. While Parker enjoys the rich, creative and transformative nature of theory and research, it’s their application which interests him most.
His understanding of organizational change and organizational effectiveness expanded in his employment equity role with the City of Vancouver. Over the course of 10 years at the City, he delivered inclusive and respectful workplace workshops, conflict mediation and investigations, along with employment outreach to diverse communities and various special projects.
Strategic Communication, Digital Marketing, Coaching
Ramona Wright has more than 15 years of strategic communication experience and taught public relations and social media marketing at her alma mater Loyola Marymount University. She’s co-founder & CEO of WeUp (www.weuptheworld.com), a social enterprise goal achievement app. Ramona has worked in the corporate, non-profit and tech sectors and is the fund manager for an apprenticeship program providing underrepresented youth access to STEAM careers. She has raised $5 million for a global humanitarian organization and she managed a $2.5 million budget for Cialis®. She’s worked on behalf of Sony Music US Latin, Reebok, Georgetown University, Film Independent, Qatar Foundation International and the West African country Sierra Leone.
Ramona empowers others as a certified integrative wellness life coach and is creator and host of The Chair podcast on iTunes & Google. She has hosted and spoken at events presented by TEDx, Google/RainbowPUSH, Microsoft’s Tech Goddesses initiative, American Heart Association, LeaderShape, Cornell, Howard University, USC, Fuller Seminary, and the Hispanic College Fund. Her commentaries, speeches, BLOGS, and creative works have been published in Black Enterprise, the Congressional Record, Journal of Popular Film and Television, and Going Supernova: The Bold Paths of 101 Superachievers.
In 2011, Ramona was named one of the “Top African American Public Relations Agents” by MadameNiore.com, and she wrote/produced a Telly Award winning PSA about homelessness featuring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and Ryan Seacrest. Also, she was the founding publisher of Wiles Magazine.
Ramona’s philanthropy includes co-founding the MojaMoja Music Awards, an annual charity brunch & concert in its 10th year benefiting the MojaMoja Innovation Fund at Liberty Hill Foundation. She sits on the board of Everybody Eats and previously served on boards and councils for the Media & Policy Center, Levitt Pavilion, and the National Congress of Black Women (NCBW).
Consulting business development
Scott is an entrepreneur, engineer and environmentalist. He cares deeply about reducing our collective impact on climate change. Scott developed SES as a B Corp certified vehicle to practice creative and innovative engineering that tackles the challenge of dramatically reducing emissions for our clients’ buildings. Scott has spent a large part of his life in the wilderness white water kayaking, back country skiing, and mountain biking. He brings over 20 years of experience in construction and consulting with a passion for engineering, climate solutions to build green jobs for the new economy.
Workplace law & advocacy
Stephanie is a partner at Harris & Company, Western Canada’s pre-eminent management-side labour, employment and human rights law firm. Stephanie has been advocating on behalf of her clients and providing strategic advice on all aspects of workplace law for over 18 years. Stephanie regularly represents clients at arbitration, before the BC Labour Relations Board and the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Her advocacy brings her before the British Columbia Courts (both levels) and various federal tribunals. She is an experienced workplace investigator (bullying/harassment and discrimination investigations). She is frequently called upon to present at conferences and seminars. Visit www.harrisco.com for more information.
Leadership & Organizational development
Tracey is an executive coach & consultant, originally hailing from the Rock.
Tracey’s passion lies at the intersection of psychology, leadership, and social
change. She believes in a higher purpose for leadership and business: to
create change for good in the world.
Over the past 20 years, Tracey has been in a ‘helping profession’ working as a
Counselling & Organizational Psychologist, coach, professor and trainer
specialized in well-being, career, and leadership development. She has
provided executive and team coaching to more than 800 impact leaders,
teams, and organizations across the globe.
As the founder of On Purpose Leadership, she applies a conscious leadership
model to coach and train leaders to be more self-aware, resilient and
compassionate. All in an effort to transform work to be a place where
purpose-driven people thrive and collaborate in high trust environments.
When she’s not geeking out on work, you’ll find her adventuring, striking up
conversations with strangers, or petting the nearest dog.
Creative Community Engagement
Vanessa Richards, born in Vancouver, is an artist and community engagement facilitator. Her work focuses on participatory culture and what happens when we turn toward each other. Some of the organizations she’s devised and delivered projects with include PHS Community Services, Broadway Youth Resource Centre, The Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Simon Fraser University and and Vancouver Park Board. She is the founder and song leader for the drop-in choir, Woodward’s Community Singers, and director of Creative Together, a song based facilitation process bringing song to conferences and gatherings including SVI with the Hollyhock Leadership Institute. Vanessa has volunteered with the Hogan’s Alley Working Group to reinvigorate citizen driven city building. In Feb 2018, she received the Mayors Achievement Award for her work in community engagement.
Yvette completed the UBC MBA program, with a focus on sustainability and social impact through business. She has held various internal consulting roles as a strategic advisor to different business functions, primarily in the retail industry. She currently works at Vancity Credit Union and played an integral part in the design and launch of Vancity’s “Fair & Fast” payday loan alternative and cheque cashing offering. In her current role as Director Enterprise Risk Management she helps Vancity navigate risk and reward. Yvette is mom to Henny and Willa, the original muses and inspiration to start her own business, Wuchild – a baby and kid apparel company back in 2014. Her latest side project in the social enterprise space aims to eliminate single use plastics in the restaurant industry.