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Partying with the Board of Change at Vertality 3

Photo courtesy of Andrew Annuar Photography


On Thursday March 14th,close to one thousand of the movers and shakers in the Vancouver environmental, innovation and business community came out to mingle at Club 560. When I walked into the room, I was greeted by the President of Board of Change, a very friendly Sonny Wong.  Sonny is an iconic business leader, running the Hamazaki Marketing Group (  The place was packed with people, with plenty to see and do.  At the entrance there was a photo corner where you could dress up as a super hero, with funky coloured wigs and colourful costumes. You could also make your own funny sayings, if I were a superhero I would eliminate pollution and ocean acidification. There were also two clowns on stilts are walking above the people for entertainment, and of course there were delicious nibbles served by beautiful waitresses.  The stage was a hub of activity as people shuffled in and out to grab chocolates and roast beef.

Elias Arjan from Business Brain was the Masters of Ceremonies.  He introduced one First Nations singer who sang a traditional song to signal the welcome and start of the event. Joel Solomon,  co-founder of Renewal Partners, Social Venture Institute and Hollyhock came on to the stage as keynote.  His speech was short and sweet, and he sounded like a soccer coach giving a pep talk. He encouraged everyone to be “change makers” and  to keep the petal to the metal in terms of their work in the world.  

I had a very nice conversation with Donna Chan, who is the program manager for Bike Friendly Business Program at HUB.   The Bike Friendly Business Program is a non-profit organization that promotes bicycling.  They offer free bike tune ups at farmer’s markets and other community events. 

On my way to grab my complimentary chocolate sample, I saw a fellow in line behind me wearing a wooden tie held together by internal elastics.  This sharp dresser turned out to be Jeremiah Benskin, of Dore Productions, which is making a documentary about the homeless situation in the Downtown East Side. 

I met Board of Change member Robin Clark, who said he is an environmental consultant for First Nations people up North.  I also talked with Olivia Cheng,  co-founder of One Asian, a personal development company that works to empower Asian women in all aspects of their lives.

The purpose of Board of Change is to engage positively with the business community, government, institutions, and society to advocate for policies and change that provide for responsible and sustainable economic prosperity.  Memberships range from $25-$499 a year.  Go to for more information.  

Vertality 3 was sponsored by VanCity, TidesCanada, Taste, SAP and Vancouver Observer was the media sponsor.


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