Jon Sharun – Chair
Jon Sharun brings 12 diverse years of investment, real estate, branding and business development experience from across Canada. Jon holds an MBA from Sauder School of Business (University of British Columbia), a CMA designation and is a LEED™ accredited professional with the Canadian Green Building Council. Jon is the Managing Director of Venexo, an innovative development group that connects experience, entertainment and real estate. Venexo successfully launched The Pint and has grown the food and beverage concept with several locations now across Western Canada, including the West Pender location at Abbott here in HxBIA. Jon is also active in the community as a Vancouver Foundation, Health and Social Development Committee, Board Member, serves on the University of Alberta’s Advisory Committee and is a Board Advisor to the Stollery Charitable Foundation.
Jennifer Johnstone – Secretary and Treasurer
Jennifer Johnstone, President & CEO with Central City Foundation since 2006, has an extensive background in non-profit management and community resource development, including experience as a fundraiser, marketing and communications manager and non-profit executive for more than 19 years. Jennifer has held key leadership positions with organizations such as the Vancity Community Foundation, Battered Women’s Support Services, the Vancouver Status of Women, and Ballet British Columbia, Canada’s pre-eminent contemporary ballet company, where she focused her efforts on building a sustainable non-profit dance company grounded in artistic excellence and community relevance. Jennifer holds a BA Hons. in political science from Queen’s University and pursued graduate studies at the Institute of Soviet and East European Studies and in Women’s Studies at Carleton University. Jennifer remains passionately committed to social justice and community investment and, throughout her life, has served as a volunteer in many capacities with various organizations at the local, provincial and national level. Learn more at centralcityfoundation.ca.
Howard Jang is the Director of the SFU Woodwards Cultural Unit. Trained first as a musician, Howard appreciates both the importance of artistic vision and the requirement for strong financial and strategic planning to support it. He has extensive training and experience in performing arts management in both a professional and a volunteer capacity.
At Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, he completed the National Arts Strategies Executive Program for Leaders in the Non-Profit Arts. He began his arts administrative career with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s (NYC) and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has served as Executive Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ballet British Columbia and, from 2000 to 2014 of Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre.
Mark Brand (represented by Ash MacLeod)
Food, fashion, fun. Mark Brand is an entrepreneur who is actively shaping the future of the Downtown Eastside. After being recognized as the top bartender in Vancouver Mark opened his first restaurant, Boneta in 2008, which burst onto the scene racking up an impressive 20 major industry awards that year. Not happy to rest on his laurels Mark launched Sharks and Hammers, an urban clothing line and other popular restaurants, the Diamond and Sea Monstr Sushi. Then in 2011 Mark’s biggest profile project began when he saved the iconic Save On Meats and reinvented it into one of the busiest diners in the city complete with a local food security hub and centralized space and services for local restaurants and food carts on the upper floors. Mark is committed to the wellbeing of the places and people that make East Vancouver a place he is passionate about. He has committed himself to hiring locally and is closely involved in food security and food access work in the DTES. Learn more at markbrandinc.com.
Devon is the co-founder and director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in the Vancouver area since 2004. Under his leadership the school has become a centre for swordplay with over 200 active students, a store, and an arms and armour museum. The Academie is currently the largest Western Martial Arts centre in the world; a model that Devon hopes to help others achieve as the Western arts grow in popularity.
Anna has always been drawn to learning about complex social and environmental issues happening in the world around her. After having worked for both non-profit and for-profit ventures, she decided to pursue a Masters in Business Administration with the aim to bridge the gap between business and social impact. As a student, Anna joined the Local Economic Development Lab, a shared initiative of RADIUS SFU and Ecotrust Canada. Working directly with Potluck Café, she explored innovative ways to build a more inclusive local economy in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. After she completed her MBA at the Beedie School of Business, Anna was hired on as COO of Knack, a startup initiative of Potluck Café Society, that connects employers who want to achieve community impact with a labour force that is experiencing barriers to employment.
Caithlin began volunteering at Atira Women’s Resource Society at age 13 providing afterschool childcare for moms accessing services at one of Atira’s second-stage housing programs, as well as in the administration office filing and cleaning. She gained part-time employment at age 15 and continued to work on a part-time basis until 2003 when, after finishing a professional pastry program at the Art Institute of Vancouver, she started work as the children’s community kitchen coordinator, a job she adored. When funding was cut for that program a few a years later, she went to work assisting Atira’s then fundraiser and over the next seven years and after completing the Fundraising Management Certificate Program at BCIT, grew into her current role as the Director, Communications, Development, Fundraising. Working in an environment that promotes equality for women has always been her passion and she continues to work every day in the struggle to end violence against women and children.
In 2014 Caithlin was accepted into the Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership program, run by the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. The year-long program is an exclusive and exciting opportunity to build on leadership skills, develop relationships with other women working in similar organizations across the country and to learn new skills in community economic development. In 2015 Caithlin participated with the United States Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs in the International Visitor Leadership Program on Preventing Violence Against Women.
Caithlin not only works in the neighbourhood, but is also a resident for the past four years. She is thrilled to join the Hastings Crossing BIA board of directors and is looking forward to learning from the other members as well as to contributing to the success of the BIA.
Gordon moved to Vancouver in June 2016 and the first event he attended after his arrival was a HxBIA meetup at Lost + Found cafe. A former lawyer in financial services, he moved here with his family to launch Brave, a platform coop to build a kinder, more resilient world through urgent acts of kindness – Brave is currently focused on how the platform can empower residents of the DTES. Gordon believes our technology can be used to drive, grow and spread innovation in impact – and that we have a moral imperative to focus our technology on the “bottom billion”. He’s also a big believer in the power of organisational structures to drive societal change – the platform coop model (where users own the digital platforms they use) being one of those. Gordon also sits on the board of StartingBloc, a US-based Fellowship program for social impact leaders. He’s thrilled to join HxBIA and discover how he can contribute to the strength of the board.
Landon Hoyt – Executive Director
As Executive Director for HxBIA, Landon Hoyt is responsible for bringing a diverse range of program streams to life and represents the organization on behalf of its Board of Directors and Members. Previously Landon worked as the Community Engagement Coordinator for SFU’s Sustainability Office, leading staff and student sustainability engagement programs, events, and initiatives on all three campuses. He also worked with the Neighbourhood Economic Development Corporation in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon, launching the Main Street program in Downtown Springfield and Hatch, a business incubator for start up businesses. He also recently completed his Master of Urban Studies from SFU, where his research focused on the Granville Street Mall and the redesign that took place with the construction of the Canada Line and 2010 Olympics.
Past Board Members:
David Duprey, Am Johal, Matt Friesen, Kira Gerwing (Authorized Representative for Joel Solomon), Anthony Taylor, Brian Smith, Marilouise Muller, Wes Regan, Brenda Reid Kuecks, Mass Abedi, Heather O’Hara, Maya Goodwill, Coco Culbertson, Katie Stewart