Meet the board of the Project Change Foundation

I’m very pleased to introduce the board of the Project Change Foundation, a new public foundation and registered charity that invests time and money in Canadian change makers who are endeavouring to make the world a better place.

Joining me on the board are the amazingly talented Jessica Bouchard, Gordon Johnson, Robin Turnill, and Holman Wang. Collectively, the group brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in management, operations, human resources, fundraising, media and communications, and legal affairs.

Every year the Foundation will provide financial investments, as well as free advisory support, to help kick-start early-stage community-based organizations in Canada with significant potential for creating social or environmental change. For more information, or to apply for support, please click here.

Board of the Project Change Foundation

Jessica Bouchard

Jessica BouchardA creative and resourceful development professional, Jessica Bouchard has enjoyed over a decade of fundraising success in both the public and private sectors. She has worked as senior-level fundraising executive for the largest arts organization in Western Canada; crossed over to the private sector and successfully raised a real estate private equity fund of $120 million; and is currently Campaign Director for Presentation House Gallery’s new facility (the future Polygon Gallery), which has just recently announced its lead gift and future name. Jessica is passionate about raising money for the arts, and is Immediate Past President of Electric Company Theatre and a member of the Fundraising Committee of the Vancouver Public Library Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia.

Gordon Johnson

Gordon JohnsonAfter 37 years of experience in the Canadian hospitality sector, Gordon has recently embarked on a new career in the seniors housing industry, currently holding the position of Vice President, Operations Western Canada for Revera Living. Gordon held senior roles with Delta Hotels and Resorts over the last 30 years with postings from Halifax to Whistler and many points in between. Most recently, Gordon was Regional Vice President for Delta in British Columbia overseeing multiple hotels across the region and was also the General Manager of the Delta Burnaby Hotel. Gordon has been an active member in industry affairs and has served in leadership roles for various organizations including Tourism Vancouver, most recently as Chair, Tourism Calgary and is a past Director of the Hotel Association of Vancouver and Tourism Burnaby. He has a Bachelor of Hospitality from Vancouver Community College.

Joe Kelly

Joe KellyDr. Joe Kelly is an educator and innovator in environmental and social change for communities, organizations and individuals. He has 20 years of experience providing consulting and advisory services to a wide range of businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. Since 2009, Joe has served on the Faculty of Global and Community Studies at Capilano University in Vancouver, Canada. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University. He teaches university courses and corporate workshops on how to think and act like a change maker, has authored numerous articles in mainstream media and academic journals, and has presented to audiences around the globe. He holds a doctoral degree in resource and environmental management, and bachelor and master’s degrees in statistics. Personally, Joe is actively involved in community service and has led several volunteer committees and initiatives.

Robin Turnill

Robin TurnillRobin Turnill has 15 years of management and consulting experience in both the public and private sector. She was the previous Chief Operating Officer of Greater Vancouver Community Services Society, and has held a number of senior level Human Resources and Labour Relations roles in her career. She is currently an Instructor in the School of Business at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and owns a private Human Resources consulting practice. Robin serves as a Board Director for four non-profit organizations that include Greater Vancouver Community Services Society, Kids Up Front Foundation, Electric Company Theatre, and BoardVoice. She is the Chair of the Human Resources and Governance Board Committee at Kids Up Front Foundation and the Vice-President of the Electric Company Theatre. Robin has a Master of Human Resources Management from York University, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia, and holds her designation as Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).

Holman Wang

Holman WangHolman Wang is a former teacher and lawyer. After practicing law for seven years (including five years with Bull, Housser & Tupper), Holman left the legal profession in 2012 to become a full-time children’s book maker. He and his twin brother, Jack, are the authors and illustrators of the popular board book series Cozy Classics, which abridges beloved novels like Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick into word primers with just 12 words and 12 needle-felted illustrations. The series has been featured in the New York Times, People, The Wall Street Journal, and Parents. Their latest series is Star Wars Epic Yarns, which adapts each film in the original Star Wars trilogy into the Wang brothers’ innovative board book format. Holman currently serves on the board of Boca del Lupo, an innovative Vancouver theatre company. He has a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and a B.Ed., M.A. and J.D. from the University of British Columbia. He speaks frequently about his work and career transition, including talks at Google, Lucasfilm, SXSW, Star Wars Celebration, Maker Faire and Comic-Con.

Introducing the Project Change Foundation

It gives me great joy to announce the launch of the Project Change Foundation, a new public foundation and registered charity in Canada that will act as a catalyst for creating positive change in communities across our country.

Every year the Project Change Foundation will invest time and money in Canadian change makers – those endeavouring to make the world a better place by creating positive social or environmental change. The Foundation will focus on supporting emerging Canadian organizations who think big, connect with community, engage and inspire, make a difference, and respect the planet.

Apply for Support

Expressions of interest are welcome from early-stage community-based organizations in Canada with significant potential for creating social or environmental change. In its inaugural year of 2016, Project Change Foundation will be awarding investments of $1,000, as well as providing free advisory support, to help kick-start projects that produce specific and measurable impacts while contributing to community or the environment.

Please begin the conversation by telling us a little bit about your organization and the very special project you would like to put forward for funding and support. The more specific you can be about your project goals and its measurable impact, the better. For consideration in 2016, please submit your expression of interest no later than October 31, 2015. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Project Change Foundation is a public foundation and registered charity in Canada (BN: 817850381RR0001). As a public foundation, we can only support qualified donees (e.g., other Canadian registered charities).

Make a Donation

I invite you to support our work by making a donation to the Project Change Foundation. The Foundation is run by a volunteer board of directors, and is operated with almost no overhead. This means your donation will be invested directly in Canadian change makers who are working hard to make the world a better place. As well, when you make a donation, you will receive an official tax receipt by email that is accepted by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Thank you for partnering with us to create positive change in the world!

With appreciation, Joe.

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes: An event in support of imagine1day

Imagine a child having to walk one and a half hours every single day just to attend school. Then, having to walk for another hour or more to do simple household chores, like getting fresh water or going to the market for food. That’s the reality for most children living in rural communities in Ethiopia.

Want to help change this reality? This week, I invite you to take part in Walk a Mile in Their Shoes to help support imagine1day’s educational projects in Ethiopia.

imagine1day works with rural communities in Ethiopia to build schools and infrastructure so children can get a quality education close to home. This gives Ethiopian children more time for their studies, more time with their family and friends, and simply more time to be a kid. With easier access to quality education in their community, children are better able to blossom into their full potential.

During the week of September 23rd – 27th, I invite you to join me for Walk a Mile in Their Shoes to help raise funds and build awareness for imagine1day’s work in Ethiopia. Each day, Monday through Friday, we will be holding a fun and social walk at the end of the workday. Each day’s walk will be of varying distance to help raise awareness for some of the challenges facing school children in Ethiopia. Join me for any or all of the days! The walks are by donation.

If you’re not able to take part in a walk, but would still like to support imagine1day’s goal to ensure all Ethiopians have access to quality education funded free of foreign aid by 2030, please donate here. 100% of your donation will support education projects in Ethiopia.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Join us on a walk! Each day, we will leave at 4:30pm from the imagine1day office located at 2108 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver (please meet on the sidewalk on 4th Avenue at 4:25pm). The route will vary each day, but we will always end up where we started. The walks are by donation.
  • Donate – if you would like to support imagine1day’s goal to ensure all Ethiopians have access to quality education, please donate. 100% of your donation will support education projects in Ethiopia. Click here to donate!
  • Spread the word – please tell others about our walks. Everybody is welcome!

The Details:

When: everyday at 4:30pm, from Monday, September 23rd through Friday, September 27th

Where: meet at 2108 West 4th Avenue at 4:25pm

Your Guide: the walks will be led by yours truly

The Walks:

  • Monday – Average distance that children walk to get to the nearest school (in rural communities where imagine1day hasn’t yet worked) – 7km
  • Tuesday – Average distance that girls spend walking to get water – 5km
  • Wednesday – Average distance people in rural communities walk to the market – 10km
  • Thursday – Average distance boys walk to take their livestock to graze – 3km
  • Friday – Average distance a community leader walks to attend meetings with other local leaders from the district – 15km

Join me for any or all of the days. It will be a fun way to get some exercise, meet new people and learn about imagine1day’s work in Ethiopia!