Our People

Board of Directors

Leo Wong

Leo Humphries Wong was introduced to the world of Social Entrepreneurship through his participation as a director for Greater Victoria Entrepreneurs’ Challenge while completing his Entrepreneurship focused undergraduate commerce degree. The experiences at GVEC eventually lead him to become the first President of Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria. Leo’s involvement in Social Entrepreneurship continued even after graduation. He served as director in various originations such as Young Entrepreneurship Association, Venture All Stars among others. He carried this entrepreneurial spirit into both the corporate and public sectors alike. While at Industry Canada, he was in charge of projects in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Sustainable Communities sections. These projects included a conference on green technologies, funding of UN-HABITAT, World Urban Forum, GLOBE Foundation and Sustainable Cities. “Intra-preneurship” is a word that best describes his corporate endeavors. This started when he was the first business undergrad hired into Yamatake-Honeywell’s R&D headquarters in Japan. As part of his duties there he contributed to a business plan for a new service offering. After his return to Canada, he took up a position at GE Capital where he helped small and medium sized businesses obtain and manage the capital they required for expansion. His current position as the Industrial Strategy Advisor at Imperial Oil ExxonMobil involves collaborating with business ventures to service client needs.

James Dale

An Entrepreneur by nature, James Dale is the Co-Founder and past President of the award winning Greater Victoria Entrepreneurs Challenge (GVEC) and Co-Founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. James has been involved in a number of start up companies and currently manages a Painting Franchise. He holds a Honours B.Sc from the University of Victoria and a Honours B.Comm from Royal Roads University.

Adrian Etchell

Adrian Etchell received his BA from the University of Victoria. During the course of his undergraduate degree he studied in the UK and France as well as at the University of British Columbia. After completing his undergrad degree he interned in the House of Commons in London, England and in the B.C. Legislature. He also worked for the Canadian Coast Guard – Search and Rescue, as a Policy Analyst for the Federal Government and the B.C. Provincial Government and worked on contract for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Southern Africa. Adrian is currently completing his JD at the University of Calgary and is working part time at Nexen, a Calgary based energy company. He will be articling in Calgary with Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer LLP Law Firm.

Jason Carvalho

Jay Carvalho After attending the 1st Skoll World Forum (2004) on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University, Oxford, UK, Jay Carvalho founded the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation, a Canadian/B.C not for profit that strives to educate, fund and celebrate Social Entrepreneurs in Canada. Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship are his life. Over the last 10 years he has been part of the management and/or Founding teams of some of BC’s most successful Startups (Indochinocom, Paretologic.com, Fortuno Lending Ltd). Despite his commitment to entrepreneurship, Jay also helped launch other not for profits such as OneGlobaltribe.org, a USA based non-profit, which was based off the award-winning PBS Series: Globaltribe. He has been an adviser and consultant for the Silicon Valley social enterprise start-up Villagethegame.com and has served as a business plan judge/assessor for the prestigious global World Bank’s Development Market Place, University of Victoria and Stanford University Business Plan Competitions. Jason has also been quoted for his various work in the Wall Street Journal, Globe and Mail, National Post, Financial Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Charity Village and WorldChanging.com. MORE HERE: http://www.crunchbase.com/person/jason-carvalho


Karim Harji (Social Impact/Metrics)

Karim Harji advises the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation on social impact and metrics.Karim Harji advises the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation on social impact and metrics. Karim Harji is the Senior Manager for Partnerships & Social Impact at Social Capital Partners (SCP), a social finance organization which provides growth financing and advisory services to businesses that integrate a social mission into their operations. Karim is also a Senior Research Associate at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University, and has taught on social entrepreneurship at the Schulich School of Business at York University. He is a regular blogger at socialfinance.ca, the leading blog on social finance and impact investing in Canada, which he co-founded in 2008. Prior to joining SCP, he was a management consultant at Aperio, where he advised social sector organizations on strategy, business planning, and social enterprise. Karim previously worked as a researcher and consultant in the areas of corporate social responsibility, community economic development, program evaluation, and social impact assessment. His international work experience includes human rights at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), microfinance in Pakistan, and community health in Kenya. Karim is actively engaged in the Canadian social innovation/finance/enterprise sector through his work with the Social Venture Exchange, Social Venture Partners Toronto, and Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada. Karim holds a Masters degree in Public Administration with a focus on International Development from Carleton University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from McMaster University.

Catarina Abreu (Online Journalist)

Catarina Abreu is 23 years old and a recent graduate of the University of Victoria with a BSc in Economics. She as born in Lisbon, Portugal and have lived in Mozambique, South Africa, Hong Kong and the United States of America. All of these locations were life changing, and have each contributed uniquely to her perspective. She is Portuguese by blood and culture, and she feels she has been very blessed to experience these different locations. Currently, she is living in Victoria, Canada and she is trying to enter the world of finance as an analyst. Her biggest passion is venture capitalism and how it can be used to bring societal change, and she hopes to find herself on this path one day.

Sachin Jain (Developer)

Sachin Jain is currently the Chief Programming Officer and Partner at Bangkok based Web Dimensions - an application development and IT consulting firm. Born and raised in India, Sachin completed his Masters in Information Technology from Nagpur, India and then moved to Bangkok to start his career with a company dealing in creating specialized web applications for the textile and clothing retail industry. 3 years later he moved to beautiful Phuket as a consultant to several companies involved in the travel and tourism industry. There he helped develop hotel and property management systems and marketing guidelines for several of the top property management companies. presently in Bangkok, Sachin aims to develop more social and consumer based applications as a non-profit projects alongside his role at Web Dimensions.

Kathyrn Kushner (Grant Researcher)

Kathryn (Katie) Kushner is a fourth year undergraduate student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, majoring in International Development and Commerce. She is very passionate about enacting tangible and sustainable social change. In this regard, she has shown great interest in the possibility of helping HIV positive children in East Africa, providing volunteer help and assistance to World Vision, and has held the position of Vice President – Promotions on the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) executive board for 2007-2008.

Katie is currently working as a Program Assistant at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, a granting agency that provides funds for a variety of cutting edge research initiatives providing her with valuable experience in how the public sector operates.

Tina Barton (Media/Marketing Coordinator)

Tina Barton, journalist and writer, has written for a number of publications in both Canada and New Zealand, and brings a host of strong media skills to the CSEF team. Tina holds a graduate diploma in Journalism and a degree in Political Science and English Literature.  Tina's media experience includes an internship in the Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, as well as writing for publications including the New Zealand Jewish Chronicle, the Ottawa Business Journal and the New Zealand International Review. A believer in strong communities, Tina was a delegate at Canada25's regional roundtable in Ottawa, 2005, discussing the enhancement of civic engagement and the role of the media. She also acted as an advertising coordinator during Canada's 2006 federal election.  Her interest in other cultures has taken her all over the world.

Craig Atkinson (Partnerships)

Craig Atkinson brings to the team nearly 10 years working in IT and 5 years of experience as a leader in non-profit organizations and business. He is a big believer in the abilities of change agents to make positive impact on the world and he has been working towards his own version of change. Fresh out of high school, he hiked the Appalachian Trail, over 2100 miles long. Overcoming many difficult obstacles, he finished in 5 months, earning valuable lessons in commitment and hard work. While earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Victoria, he came up with the concept for the award winning Greater Victoria Entrepreneurs Challenge and served as a director of the business plan competition. Craig was also very involved in AIESEC, an international student organization developing people through exchange. He really understood how powerful learning through exchange could be when he experienced it first hand in Bonn, Germany. This only doubled his enthusiasm and he found various ways to act in local and national teams, although his favourite role was as sales person for the exchange program in Victoria. His results saw the largest exchange partnership in Canada formed, earning him the Sales & Marketing Member Award from AIESEC Canada.

Davin Greenwell (Marketing and Communications)

Davin Greenwell is a proactive, forward thinking designer and marketing expert from Victoria, British Columbia. Employed full-time at CopperMoon Media, he is regularly involved with assisting social entrepreneurs in achieving clear communication methods and organizational identity.

Davin has volunteered, worked with and for organizations such as the Ministry of Education (BC), the Vancouver Island Health Authority (Volunteer Resources),IslandKidz (Harm Reduction Group), the Disability Resource Centre (Victoria), CFUV 101.9 FM (Community Radio), being a driving communications force in most and assisting with direction in others.


Advisory Council

These are individuals who have and continue to champion our organization and generously provide us with their advice, support, time and experience.


David Bornstein

David Bornstein is the author of How to change the world:Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas and The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank, which chronicles the worldwide growth of the anti-poverty strategy “micro-credit”. The Price of a Dream, which drew on ten months of research in villages in Bangladesh, won second prize in the Harry Chapin Media Awards, was a finalist for the Helen Bernstein New York Public Library Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best business books of 1996.

Bornstein's articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, New York Newsday, Il Mundo (Italy), Defis Sud (Belgium) and other publications. He co-wrote the two-hour PBS documentary series “To Our Credit,” which focuses on “micro-credit" programs in five countries.

Bornstein received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters of Arts from New York University. In addition to writing, he has worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

Coro Strandberg

Coro Strandberg is a sustainability entrepreneur and coach. She works internationally with businesses, governments and communities to inspire economic innovation that enhances quality of life and protects the environment. A Canadian leader in values-based business practices and market sustainability, Strandberg finds innovative ways to direct capital and organize business operations, locally and globally, to achieve integrated financial, social and environmental returns. As the Chair and long-time board member of Canada's largest credit union, VanCity Savings Credit Union , Strandberg was instrumental in the organization becoming a world leader in corporate social responsibility.

From early days Strandberg's actions were inspired by a belief in the power of social and environmental enterprise and venture philanthropy. She was a founding trustee of Ethical Funds Inc., the first family of socially-screened mutual funds in Canada. Later she championed VanCity's regional economic development efforts which spawned the VanCity Capital Corporation , a $25 million company that invests in economic development, green economy, non-profit enterprise and co-operatives. In addition, Strandberg's vision inspired the creation of the VanCity Community Foundation, now an $8 million foundation providing grants, loans and technical assistance to support community economic development. She also spearheaded the creation of the International Community Investment Deposit , where the investments are channeled to support micro businesses in third world countries, helping families escape from poverty.

In 1996/7, Strandberg was the lead board member on the design and release of Canada's first independently verified corporate social responsibility audit for VanCity. In 2002, VanCity commissioned her to conduct an international study of long-term trends in corporate social responsibility.

As Social Policy Director and Green Economy Policy Advisor for the BC Government from 1995 to 2000, Strandberg designed government-wide sustainable development and green economy strategies, and led the creation of a $10 million community economic development program.She has also worked for local government from 1990 to 1993 as the first Social Planner for the City of Surrey, Canada's fastest growing municipality at that time. Strandberg sits on the Boards of Directors of The Fraser Basin Council, VanCity Capital Corporation and the North-South Institute, organizations concerned with advancing sustainability, reducing poverty and restoring the environment regionally and internationally.

Joel Solomon

Joel is President of Renewal Partners and Executive Director of the Endswell Foundation. Joel was born and raised in Tennessee and has a diverse background in politics, real estate, horticulture, seed capital, and philanthropy. Beginning in the mid-1990's, Joel was invited to participate in the creation and development of a new model of strategic capital placement for social good, Renewal Partners and the Endswell Foundation, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Renewal and Endswell's missions have been to utilize early stage investing and charitable grant making to promote a sustainable, environmentally beneficial vision for the BC economy. Among the better known companies in the Renewal portfolio are Happy Planet Foods, Small Potatoes Urban Delivery, Real Assets Investment Management, Communicopia.net, Stonyfield Farms, Hollyhock, and Capers Markets. In the late 1990's, Joel's long term interests in progressive philanthropy resulted in his leading the development of Endswell's visionary program of promoting sustainable environmental practices in BC, followed quickly by the launching of Tides Canada Foundation, an effort to build a Canadian version of the structure of Tides US, on whose Board he has served for the past seven years.

Christopher Holt

Chris is presently working with Mercurial Communications a research and development outsource company in Victoria, promoting Mercurial's capabilities to companies across the globe.

Chris has twenty years in the non-profit sector in front line, management and board capacities and ten years of technology research, development and sales in the public and community sectors.

Chris was a Manager of Social Innovation and Employment Services for one of Victoria's largest and most repsected social service agencies. Chris was responsible for developing and managing a wide variety of successful community social services.
Chris co-founded LogicLynx Technologies Inc. an information technology company with a mission to bring best-in-class case management solutions to social service agencies and government organizations. LogicLynx is presenly implementing primary case management systems at the government level and in large community organizations in BC. One of LogicLynx's achievements is to have developed the first fully configurable Case Management ASP Service for Community Based Human Services Providers.

Chris was past Vice-Chair of the Board of the Greater Victoria Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO). CEDCO assists organizations to develop businesses, assists non-profits to look at alternative revenue generation, performs research into economic conditions within various community-based sectors and supports local Community Economic Development (CED) initiatives.
Past Director, Rising Tide Corporation, a commercial lending subsidiary of Pacific Coast Savings Credit Union. I acted as a community liaison, representing the interests of the non-profit sector.

Former Community Economic Development advisory member for Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the second largest Credit Union in Canada. Represented the high-tech sector for Vancouver Island.

Chris has a deep commitment to improving community services and support. He is a strong, innovative and committed leader who continues to motivate people to work together.

Mel Cooper

Mel Cooper, an outstanding business and community leader, was born in St. John's, Newfoundland. After moving west he attended the University of British Columbia. His British Columbia broadcasting career started with an announcer's job in Port Alberni 40 years ago. Mel Cooper is now President and General Manager of three radio stations: C-FAX Victoria and CKOV-AM and CKLZ-FM in Kelowna, and has served four years as President of the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters.Airwaves are not Mel Cooper's only line of business, he is also chairman of AirBC and a director of a number of other corporations.For many British Columbians, Mel Cooper will be remembered as the vice president of Expo 86, the person who developed its hugely successful corporate sales plan.

In addition to his considerable business flair, Mel Cooper has contributed his time, his expertise and his inspirational enthusiasm to local, regional and national charities, non-profit boards, foundations and community groups. Canada 125 and the Victoria Commonwealth Games are but two examples. He has been given awards too numerous to mention from business and industry and as a community leader and humanitarian, awards which include the Order of Canada. Mel Cooper is a much sought-after speaker. A title of one of his presentations is, “I've never met an enthusiastic failure”. It's a title which speaks volumes about the man himself.

Grant Storry (Internet Marketing)

Grant is a a graduate of the University of Victoria's sustainable entrepreneurship program where he excelled in his understanding and application of sustainable entrepreneurship concepts across multiple industry sectors. Mr. Storry is active in the community where he was a Director of Marketing for a project called the Greater Victoria Entrepreneur's Challenge, an annual business plan competition designed to foster and encourage the local entrepreneurial spirit. Grant also serves the Victoria community as volunteer director of Internet marketing for Victoria's Values-Based Business Network. He also consults to the Candian Government, Non-profits, and NGOs with Sustainable Valley Advisors. Prior to Sustainable Valley Advisors,Grant worked in Victoria's high-tech sector creating innovative business development and Internet marketing for several local dot-com companies and an international publishing company. Grant's interestslay in the intersection between sustainability, commerce and the Internet.

Matt Pope

With a biochemistry and microbiology background from the University of Victoria, Matt has travelled and worked his way to all the continents, including Antarctica and the High Arctic. In addition to 15 years sailing experience, Matt holds a 60-tonne captains ticket, and is an avid photographer. Matt's passion for natural history, as well as the natural environment, has led to a strong interest in bioanthropology -- specifically, its practical implications in affecting the way we perceive our connection with the earth and its resources. He is currently the founder of a web-based resource called “Philoterra”, which provides scientifically sound information intended to provoke thought about these issues.

Jesse Smith

Jesse Smith is currently the Sponsorship and Special Events Coordinator for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Jesse brings not-for-profit experience in organizing large-scale fundraising events and negotiating corporate sponsorship contracts. Jesse has a Diploma in Marketing Information Systems from Camosun College, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Entrepreneurial Management from Royal Roads University. Jesse is also one of the founders of a project called the Greater Victoria Entrepreneur’s Challenge, an annual business plan competition designed to foster and encourage the local entrepreneurial spirit. For his active role in his community the West Chamber of Commerce and Community Social Planning Council have recognized Jesse by awarding him certificates of achievement. As a young community leader and avid volunteer Jesse makes an excellent asset to this highly motivated team of Social Entrepreneurs.

Chris Coldwell

Chris founded Mercurial.ca in 1996. He has grown it to be a Canadian Profit 100 Company. His extensive experience in the IT field has been earned through a variety of public and private sector projects in Canada, the US, and the UK. As the senior technical architect and chief solutioner, his creativity is brought to projects as diverse as legacy mainframe technology to up-to-the-minute web implementation. Chris is well known for both his technical and analytical skills as well as his business and leadership skills. Chris's, whose focus is on technology planning, has a unique ability to develop innovative solutions for clients. Chris is pursuing his Master of Science (MSc) degree in Information Technology at the University of Liverpool in the UK.

John T. Van Cuylenborg

John is a Partner of Cook Roberts Law Firm based out of B.C Canada. John is a former member of the University of Victoria Board of Governors. He is a lecturer for the University of Victoria Law School and a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Victoria Foundation. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), Victoria Real Estate Section of the CBA, B.C. Branch, and the Victoria Will & Estates Section of the CBA, B.C. Branch. John specializes in wills and estate planning and administration of estates, purchase and sales of real estate in B.C., both commercial and residential, including leasing and mortgages, purchase and sale of businesses and incorporations of British Columbia companies.