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.

Hollyhock Board

Joel Solomon - Board Chair

Joel activates money and business into pragmatic models for long term balance of ecology and society. Renewal Funds, RSFSocialFinance.org, Vancity.com, TidesCanada.org are important financial change agents where Joel plays key roles.

“Hollyhock has given me clarity of life purpose, my wife Dana, and my new kidney, from co-founder Shivon. What will Hollyhock give you?”

Karen Mahon - Vice Board Chair

Karen first came to Hollyhock in 1997 – and on that first visit she knew that she would organize her life so that it kept winding back to this magical place. Karen ran Hollyhock’s charitable partner organization the Hollyhock Leadership Institute. She sees Hollyhock as an essential gathering place for people who are doing incredible work in the world to create deep and lasting social change. Currently, she is the Canadian Director at Forest Ethics Advocacy. Previously, she worked as the Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada.

“The invisible architecture of Hollyhock, invites each of us who go there to live into our deepest fullest selves. We then gather in community to learn together about how to best offer our energies to the vision of a better world”.

Mark Deutschmann

Mark was Hollyhocked 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, returning regularly and often. He is the founder and CEO of Village Real Estate.

“Now, on the Board, and a shareholder steward, I will continue to support this place and the work inspired for all of my days.”

Aki Kaltenbach

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. She is also the cofounder of Fieldtripp, a marketplace that connects makers who host workshops with people looking to learn something new.

Aki is passionate about how business can be a force for good and believes in the power of innovative programs like Social Venture Institute in building capacity and compassion in the leaders of tomorrow.

“What continues to bring me back to Hollyhock is its unique mix of leadership and spirituality and I’m honored to be part of this growing community that values inclusion, communal effort, self-reliance and participation”.

Steve Katz

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.

“Hollyhock is a great place to tighten social relationships, create unexpected opportunities for new lines of connection, and to step outside of the humdrummery of everyday life. It’s a cultural and social node that has something to teach each of us, and where each of us can teach one another.”

Cara Pike

Cara is CEO of Pike Productions, an environmental communications consulting firm, and she directs the Climate Leadership Initiative’s Social Capital Project. Formerly the vice president of communications for Earthjustice and a founding board member of the Global Footprint Network, Cara speaks regularly on green marketing and social change and contributed to “Strategies for the Green Economy” published by McGraw Hill in October 2008.

Mike Rowlands

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 Hollyhock shares plays a vital role in shaping ‘the change we seek.’ As a serial entrepreneur, convener, consultant and advisor, Mike’s earned a reputation for generosity, influence, and impact. His work has reached multiple continents, dozens of clients, and thousands of people. Mike is Principal at Junxion Strategy.

“To serve on the Board of Hollyhock is to serve the ever-growing community of wisdom, insight and compassion that gathers here. It’s a privilege, and I’ll forever support this important work.”

Eduardo Schwartz

Eduardo has been a member of the Hollyhock family and a frequent visitor to Cortes for over 20 years. He is a Professor of Finance at the UCLA Anderson School.

“Hollyhock and its surroundings are an oasis of peace and wisdom in a world challenged with survival.”

Jessy Tolkan

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”.

Victoria Watson

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. Living most of the year in London, UK, she’s a fundraiser, philanthropist, wife, and mother and is passionate about transformation, youth and a world that works for everyone. Victoria is the Chair of LIFEBeat working with disadvantaged youth in the UK  using the Creative Community model.

“Hollyhock gets under your skin. A place to return to for community, for education on what really matters and for renewal of the body, mind and soul”

  • Such a glorious and exquisite haven! I appreciate the unique and totally intentional way that I have been treated with absolute care and attention by every single staff person.

    Program Participant
  • I would think I needed something…you were there, done, taken care of, with a smile, with love, and with care.

    Conference Organizer
  • The atmosphere is like that of being welcomed as the pampered guest at a good friend’s home. So welcoming!

    Program Participant

Hollyhock Staff Leadership Team

Peter Wrinch - CEO

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.

He brings more than 10 years of social change leadership to his role at Hollyhock. Peter is an expert communicator, a bold fundraiser, and a strong organizational culture builder. He is very excited to be bringing these talents to Hollyhock.

“Hollyhock is a special place. It plays a very important role in building a better society. The ripple effects of this work are vast. I am so happy to be here.”

Charlene Lo - Senior Director, Programs

As an experienced communicator, programmer and brand
marketer, Charlene has spent the past 17 years honing her skills in Canada (Toronto) and Asia (Hong Kong). As a dedicated yogini, lover of the natural world and spiritually-curious, Hollyhock represents the perfect intersection of her professional skills, personal passions and life’s purpose.

Charlene is honoured to be heading up programming and communications for Hollyhock, and thrilled to make Vancouver and Cortes Island her new west coast homes.

“Creating the right container for the magic of Hollyhock and the work of its cherished presenters – and sharing this with like-minded communities worldwide – is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. What a gift, which I humbly accept with deepest faith and gratitude.”

Penny Naldrett - Director of Development

Penny 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, Penny brings with her a passion for story telling and a deep connection to the work and mission of Hollyhock. Penny lives on Bowen Island and works out of Hollyhock’s Vancouver office.

The work that is done at Hollyhock has infinite possibilities to open hearts and minds and to connect people with positive change. I am grateful for the opportunity to do my small part for a big movement for social change.”

Danielle Weiss - Conference & Groups Manager

danielleDanielle joined us in 2011 after a decade in the adventure travel industry. With extensive international community development experience and a degree in Environmental Studies, she is passionate about the protection and preservation of the cultural and natural diversity of our planet. At Hollyhock Danielle manages our Conferences and Group Sales. She also operates her own travel company, Original Routes, with whom we’ve partnered to offer Hollyhock’s Global Journeys.

“I am so fortunate to be part of the creative and inspiring community of individuals who come to Hollyhock to share in deep learning and growth. We are part of the interconnected web that begins here and ripples out. Hollyhock is a gift to the world and I thank my lucky stars for bringing me here.” 

Elizabeth Macdonald - 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.

“I feel blessed to work in such an incredibly beautiful setting, with a great community of people, in a place that challenges me to learn and grow all the while doing exciting, inspiring work in the world.”

Holly Mackay - Garden Manager

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. The farm also hosted fundraising events, seasonal festivals, and monthly newsletters, and offered one-year intensive trainings for 2-4 apprentices. Holly studied at the University of Ottawa and completed a five-year apprenticeship with Farmers and Master Gardeners.

“I love working with plants and people. The Hollyhock garden is full to bursting with abundance and joy.”

Loretta Laurin - Communications Manager

Loretta joined the Hollyhock team in 2016 and has a diverse background in social entrepreneurship (co-founder of Shift Delivery) and wellness programming/marketing. When she’s not at her desk at Hollyhock’s Vancouver office, she is teaching classes and workshops in yoga, dance-fitness, and activism. As the Marketing Manager at Hollyhock, she is committed to providing marketing support to our exceptional Hollyhock presenters and growing Hollyhock’s unique brand and impact.

“Hollyhock represents the epi-center of my life ethos – the merging and blending of lifelong learning, activism and art, with a vision for a better world. It’s a dream come true to be working here and expanding our positive impact.”

Rebeka Carpenter - Kitchen Manager

Rebeka brings several decades of hospitality executive management experience to share with us at Hollyhock. She’s a professed lifelong “foodee”. Her love of providing a place for people to relax and breathe deeply, and fill both their soul and their belly with nourishment, feels at home overlooking the changing waters of the Pacific.

“I’m living my dream, having the time of my life and blessed to be in a place where good things keep happening for all of us and our Mothership, Gaia.”

Photo: Amanda McNaughton

Bill Ophoff - Naturalist

“I came here because I had nothing else to do and I’m still here two decades later,” says Bill. It was through Hollyhock naturalists and staff that Bill rediscovered his interest in nature, the environment and people.

“Sharing nature with Hollyhock guests is a lot of fun and that’s why I’m here.”