CEO, YWCA Vancouver
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITH POTLUCK CAFÉ SOCIETY
Since 2006, Heather O’Hara has been the Executive Director of Potluck Café & Catering, a social enterprise located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Heather is a passionate advocate for social enterprise as a model for inclusive community economic development. Through her work at Potluck, Heather leads a dedicated staff team which includes DTES residents with multiple barriers to employment. The entrepreneurial drive of the Potluck team has assured its continued success as a leader in social enterprise.
Potluck Café & Catering serves thousands of catering clients and invests its business revenues into its social mission which includes creating DTES jobs and serves up to 30,000 free, healthy meals to local DTES residents each year. Heather is currently Board Chair of the Hastings Crossing BIA and Board Treasurer of BOB. Heather’s educational background includes an MBA, a BA in International Relations and Native Studies along with an Environmental Studies degree. Heather is also a designer, avid equestrian and dog lover.
BUILDING COMMUNITIES WITH ATIRA PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Janice conceived of and launched Atira Property Management Inc. in 2002. As the Executive Director of Atira Women’s Resource Society, Janice is described by the Vancouver Sun as one of Canada’s leading social entrepreneurs. She took the Executive Director position in 1992, and since then she has led the organization from a single transition house to a large, multi-service agency with more than 20 programs and 11 sites in the Lower Mainland.
All of Atira Property Management’s profits are donated to the Atira Women’s Resource Society and used to fund transition housing and support services for women and children who are recovering from the effects of violence and abuse within their families. Janice develops new programs for the Society, raises capital through property management, and works with and supports staff from both organizations. She says all her work is driven by her passion to eliminate violence against women.
SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS WITH BOARD OF CHANGE
Monika is a Systems Design engineer with technical expertise for analysis and development of practical sustainability plans and strategies. She founded greenworx Inc. with the goal of bringing sustainability to the mainstream business community, maximizing her clients’ profits and bringing to the forefront all possible environmental benefits. Her technical expertise includes the analysis and development of practical sustainability action plans and strategies, ecological and carbon footprint assessments, GHG inventories, and education on climate change and sustainability issues. She has worked on Sustainability projects with clients ranging from Park Royal Shopping Centre to The Canadian Tourism Commission, Metro Vancouver to the City of Santa Monica.
She is the Executive Director of the Board of Change, an inclusive business network that exists to inspire and encourage new ways of doing businesses: Making money while making meaning.
As a co-Founder and Executive Director since the network’s inception, she brought the network