Category Archives: Change Makers

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner

via Junxion 

Mary Waldner had been sick most of her life without knowing why. When she was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease in 1994, it was a life-changing relief—and was soon to be the ‘aha moment’ that sparked an entrepreneurial journey.

“I developed a cracker recipe for myself so that I could have something to eat, especially when going out. And then I saw other people eating them and I watched how much they loved them!”

So in 2004, not knowing she was going to hit the wave of consciousness that was beginning to sweep the food industry and consumers, Mary launched her company. Since then, poetically, “it’s taken off like crazy!” Today, Mary’s Gone Crackers ships its  organic and vegan crackers, cookies and pretzels across the US from their plant in California, and north to Canada. Continue reading Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner

Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Sharon Gregson

Via Junxion

Having had four kids as a working mother while struggling to finish university, Sharon Gregson knows first-hand “there aren’t enough quality childcare spaces for children, fees are too high for many families, and wages of early childhood educators are below a living wage.”

Since she was a young single mom in the late 80s, Sharon Gregson has been a longstanding childcare advocate, focused on women’s and children’s rights, and the need for a high quality and affordable childcare system in Canada.

“Access to quality childcare shouldn’t be a matter of luck!”

Continue reading Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Sharon Gregson

Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Dr. Courtney Howard

Content & Feature Photo Via Junxion

“Here in Yellowknife, we’re over 2º warmer than we were in the 1940s. My patient population is already affected by the changing climate—the ice is more dangerous to travel on, so people fall through; caribou herds are dwindling; permafrost is heaving and making buildings less stable; and we spent the whole summer of 2014 cloaked in wildfire smoke.”

Climate change is here. And Dr. Courtney Howard’s patients are feeling the effects: “As you can imagine, change this rapid is stressful, particularly because many aboriginal people in the north still live very close to the land.  It has real effects on culture and on people’s way of life.” Continue reading Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Dr. Courtney Howard

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Carla Heim

via Junxion

Carla Heim works with social entrepreneurs in BC to provide the tools and funding to grow their businesses. She knows that entrepreneurs can hit the limits of their skills and capacity, and her passion lies in helping them push through those challenges.

Carla is a Senior Account Manager at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Along with her colleagues, she supports social entrepreneurs not only with capital, but also with planning, certification, operational systems and more.

Continue reading Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Carla Heim

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Sonia Strobel

Via Junxion. This and other ‘Impact Bio’s’ will profile the leaders and leading thinkers who attend this year’s Social Venture Institute conferences.

Sonia Strobel’s father-in-law, Otto Strobel, has been fishing the British Columbia coast since the 1960s. He’s seen the number of independent fishing vessels like his reduced to a skeleton fleet. Sonia and her husband Shaun started Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery (CSF) to make it possible for Otto and a few of the hold-out independents to continue fishing.

Skipper Otto’s CSF was the first CSF in Canada, and among the first in the world. It now supports a growing number of fishing families and provides an ever-growing number of sustainable, wild, local seafood products to customers across western Canada.

Continue reading Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Sonia Strobel