We’re a dedicated community choosing to support the work of Hollyhock. United by a desire to serve and support those who are helping to make the world a better place, our staff and board members work collaboratively to ensure the magical experience that our guests and presenters have come to know and love. Our Board of Directors are volunteers who support Hollyhock’s mission.
Mike first visited Hollyhock in 2009, when he discovered a community of entrepreneurs who see business as a vehicle for social impact and environmental sustainability. He believes the learning and insight that Hollyhock shares plays a vital role in shaping ‘the change we seek.’ Mike is Principal at Junxion Strategy, and his work has reached multiple continents, dozens of clients, and thousands of people.
Aki discovered the magic of Hollyhock in 2013, having had the opportunity to attend SVI on a scholarship after learning about it through Vancouver’s social enterprise community. She lives in Whistler, where she manages her family’s restaurant group.
Erle is an entrepreneur, author, and off-premises thought leader for the global foodservice community. He earned his MBA at Simon Fraser University, and lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife and children.
Erle first discovered the community of Hollyhock more than two decades ago through family, and has been a frequent visitor since. His three children have spent their summers on the grounds of Hollyhock and he has always felt grateful towards the land and programming that happens at Hollyhock.
Karen first came to Hollyhock in 1997, and on that first visit she knew that she would organize her life so that it would keep winding back to this magical place. Currently, she is the Canadian Director at Forest Ethics Advocacy and previously worked as the Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada.
Mark was “Hollyhock’ed” in ’83, when he landed upon Cortes shores from the far away lands of Nashville, and found his way onto the grounds and into the community. Through the years, he has found much healing, life, and love at Hollyhock, returning regularly and often. He is the founder and CEO of Village Real Estate.
Steve, who is publisher for the investigative reporting publication Mother Jones, came to Hollyhock for the first time in 2012, joining others interested in creating journalism that matters. He thought he was attending a retreat, but instead discovered a whole way of looking at the world, at personal practice, and social change.
Deepa came to Hollyhock in 2003 and got involved with islanders trying to save land from being clearcut and now lives part time on the island. She likes to problem solve across sectors with poor communities and policy makers across the globe, previously as Senior Advisor in the World Bank. Author of 17 books, she focuses on inequities and across gender and race. Her most recent book is called Chup which means be quiet. She continues to work with NGOs on strategy and program design issues.
Karri first came to Hollyhock on a scholarship from Vancity in 2003. She is the owner and co-founder of Chambar Restaurant in Vancouver, and co-founded Café Medina, and The Dirty Apron Cooking School. Karri is also on the Board of the Vancouver Economic Commission and directing the Greater Vancouver Innovation Capital Project to create a regional infrastructure masterplan for the region.
Jessy works as the Global Director of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Development for two multi-national automakers, and consults with the Working Families Party. Her work focuses on creating massive shifts in the auto-industry with an eye towards ensuring a more sustainable planet. Most recently Jessy served as Citizen Engagement Labs’s Co-Executive Director. In 2008, Rolling Stone Magazine named her one of the “100 Agents of Change in America”.
Barend van der Vorm
Barend first came to Cortes island in 1984, and became part of the Hollyhock community in 2011. He believes in Hollyhock’s commitment and ability to enable and inspire essential change in people’s daily lives, their environment, and the systems they work in. Barend is the founder of Helder Ventures and serves the growth and broader adoption of impact investing at NSVF, Vancity, UBC, Grassroots, and IFHA.
Victoria became Hollyhock’s closest neighbour after visiting for the first time in 2007 and falling in love with Hollyhock, its community, and Cortes Island. She is a fundraising consultant, philanthropist, wife, and mother who is passionate about the climate emergency, raising money as a tool for transformation, youth, and a world that works for everyone.
Denise is a prominent Indigenous executive leader known for her visionary and transformative impact on the First Nations Technology Council. Named Top 40 Under 40 by BC Business, Denise also proudly serves as the President of the Urban Native Youth Association, advisor on innovation to the Governor General of Canada, Status of Women Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Circle, on the board of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, Vancouver Economic Commission, and on the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2015.
Hollyhock Management & Year-Round Staff
Dolly was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Vancouver in 1989. She and her husband became full time residents on Cortes Island in 2005. Dolly has been chasing down staff for receipts since 2016.
Peter first came to Hollyhock in 2007 while working at Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver. Over the next decade he returned to Hollyhock many times for learning, inspiration, and connection. Peter is an expert communicator, a bold fundraiser, and a strong organizational culture builder. He brings more than 10 years of social change leadership to his role at Hollyhock.
Andrea joins Hollyhock with 12 years of leadership experience in wellness. Her passion for connection, community, and celebrating the wild west coast of British Columbia brought her to the Cortes Campus in 2019. As Campus Director she welcomes guests to pause from daily life and connect with the vitality of themselves, the natural elements, and the company around us.
Jonathan (or JCC, for short) is an Ontario implant, originating from Scarborough, and joining the team in 2018. With an extensive background in food security work and community gardening, he works to make food disparities and its affect on our environment a thing of the past. When he’s not sharpening his digital skills, JCC can be found writing, performing at poetry slams, and hitting the bag in Muay Thai.
Loretta joined the Hollyhock team in 2016 and has a diverse background in social entrepreneurship as a co-founder of Shift Delivery, as well as over 10 years of experience in the wellness industry. When they are not at their desk at Hollyhock’s Vancouver office, they are teaching classes and workshops in yoga, fitness, dance, and social justice. Loretta is committed to providing marketing support to our exceptional Hollyhock presenters and growing Hollyhock’s unique brand and impact.
A new addition to the FUNdraising team at Hollyhock, Kate brings event production and community organizing experience, in addition to a deep passion for climate justice and sustainable living. She is fuelled by people, collaborations, and ideas. In her spare time, Kate likes spending quality time with nature and friends, going to movies, and cooking.
Penelope joined Hollyhock in 2016 as Hollyhock’s first full-time fundraiser. With more than two decades of communications and relationship management in tourism and real estate, she brings with her a passion for story-telling and a deep connection to the work and mission of Hollyhock. Penelope lives on Bowen Island and works out of Hollyhock’s Vancouver office.
Holly has more than two decades of gardening and farming experience. She was the co-owner, creator and manager of an Organic CSA farm in Ontario, providing veggies, fruit, culinary herbs, and cut flowers for 120 households. Holly studied at the University of Ottawa and completed a five-year apprenticeship with Farmers and Master Gardeners.
GUEST SERVICES MANAGER
Silvia worked in the hospitality industry in Austria for over a decade before moving to Cortes Island and starting with Hollyhock Guest Services in 2014. She is also a Paramedic with BC Ambulance Service. Silvia feels most at home exploring the wilds of Cortes whether hiking, biking, or swimming.
GUEST SERVICES REGISTRAR
Jolaine first joined Hollyhock as a housekeeper in 2016 and is now part of our dynamic registration team. She has a diverse background in customer service, teaching yoga, and adventure guiding. She is a passionate advocate for the continuous growth of our minds, bodies, and souls and loves to hear from guest about their transformative hollyhock experience.
GUEST SERVICES REGISTRAR
Madison grew up in Vancouver, spending most of her time working with horses. After many years of visiting Cortes and growing up with the younger generation of locals, she found herself moving to the island to live on a farm with her horses and partner. Before Hollyhock, Madison worked in the veterinary field for 5 years, learning the ins and outs of communication in all types of circumstances. To Madison, Hollyhock represents a chance to welcome others to the beautiful place she calls home.
HOSTING & RESIDENT SERVICE PROGRAM MANAGER
Carmen has been greeting guests and sweeping the Hollyhock Lodge floor since 2010. As a writer, graphic designer, ardent Zennie, bicycle evangelist, and community activator, Carmen is fully dedicated to joyful service and radical hospitality.
Shirley first visited Hollyhock as a teenager when she attended the Power of Hope Youth Camp at a critical time in her life. Her experience led her to her work as Hollyhock’s resourceful Housekeeping Manager where she now has the privilege of providing the same care and support to guests that she once received.
Aaron is Hollyhock’s dedicated, detailed, and communication-savvy Maintenance Manager. He has always loved nature, and wanted to live a more environmentally-aware life. He is currently building his own home surrounded by garden and forest on Cortes Island. His need for connection with nature is being fulfilled not only with his home life, but also at Hollyhock, where he is proud to work.
Ling (Charlene) Lo
Ling joined Hollyhock in late 2016, after a cross-country move from Toronto. She is passionate about alternative approaches to leadership and building equity into systems change. In January 2020, she joined the board of the Holistic Centers Network. After spending all of her professional life known as ‘Charlene,’ she is exploring the reclamation of her given Chinese name ‘Ling’ (read more here). Her happy places are paddle-boarding with her partner, playing with her two rescue budgies, and tinkering around her Tiny House on Cortes Island.
PROGRAM PLANNING MANAGER
An experienced and intuitive program planner, KK (Karen Kazumi) brings nearly a decade of community development and programming experience to her role. She has been working with Hollyhock’s planning team since 2017. KK lives in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island with partner Alex, daughter Thea, and the cat with four names.
SOCIAL INNOVATION MANAGER
Laurel produces the annual Social Venture Institute in Vancouver, at the Hollyhock campus on Cortes Island, in Banff, and in the Bay Area. The Social Venture Institute attracts social change business leaders from around the world to develop skills, expand professional networks, and deepen personal practice. Laurel is passionate about transformational programming, with her work taking her from the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, to THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam, and now to Vancouver with Hollyhock.
STORE & BODYWORK MANAGER
Elizabeth has been working at Hollyhock since 1993, starting off as a chef in the kitchen where she gained a reputation for her tasty Mexican, Greek, and seafood dinners. She then served as assistant store manager before taking over the mantle as manager with emphasis on locally produced and sustainable crafts and art. Elizabeth is an avid world traveller and loves everything Indian.