Bios

Meet the Team

With a diverse background of entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, and outspoken citizen advocates, RADIUS is fortunate to work with some of the best & brightest in the social innovation space. 

Alia Sunderji

Instructor

Alia is a social entrepreneur and lecturer at Simon Fraser University where she teaches Sustainable Innovation and Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Passionate about the fields of sustainability, poverty alleviation and impact investing, Alia is the Founder of Luv The Grub an emerging social enterprise that operates at a number of levels in the food system by capturing produce seconds that would otherwise go to waste, hires newcomer refugees and immigrants through a paid employment training program and produces delicious chutneys and spreads for the local market. In addition, Alia is also the Co-Founder of Liv & Lola; a fair trade home decor business which works with artisans in rural areas of Nicaragua, Guatemala and Thailand where employment opportunities are scarce in an effort to lift them, their families and their communities out of poverty.

Annelies Tjebbes

Venture Activator

Annelies is a RADIUS Venture Activator supporting dozens of incredible entrepreneurs that take part in RADIUS’ accelerator and business launch programs. She has a passion and drive to enable positive systems change and is fired up about improving livelihoods in her local and global community through entrepreneurship. She loves working with and investing in people, and collaborates across race, age, gender, culture, religion and class boundaries.

Annelies’ background includes designing medical technology as a biomedical engineer with StarFish Medical, leading community engagement strategies with Engineers Without Borders and providing strategic oversight to several boards and advisory committees globally. She believes in a world where everyone has access to the services and supports to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, and works tirelessly to enact this vision. In her spare time Annelies loves staying active playing soccer and cycle touring!

Bonnie Arthur

Associate Director, Operations

Bonnie Arthur has been with RADIUS since 2018, generally managing most of RADIUS’ needs in the fields of HR, finance, operations, and organizational project management. Previously, Bonnie spent 10 years in post-secondary education at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Leadership Programming area. Bonnie’s introduction to high-paced logistics, communications, and operations came from her days as a licensed aeronautical radio operator with the Government of Alberta, spending several wildfire seasons at the Provincial Forest Fire Centre as an Aircraft Operations Dispatcher, and in the northern boreal forests as a Wildfire Radio Operator when crisis called.

Bonnie is new to these unceded Coast Salish lands, and is grateful to call them home. She has a music degree from Western University and sings with Elektra Women’s Choir. Bonnie is currently pursuing an Executive MBA with the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University.

Camille Dumond

Advisor, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Camille launched and co-designed the Refugee Livelihood Lab at RADIUS. The lab aims to increase the social, political and economic capital of diverse racialized migrant communities. Camille’s role includes supporting the lab to amplify initiatives emerging from communities with lived experience of forced displacement and migration. She also works with an incredible team to surface systemic patterns that cause harm, and support new patterns which value the dignity, experiences, skills, and dreams of racialized migrants. She brings 18+ years experience in community-based facilitation, program design, conflict mediation and healing centered engagement.  

In addition to her work at RADIUS, Camille practices somatic therapy. She has a rich connection to the dreaming world, loves poetry, spontaneous dance parties and her two sisters.

Candice Day

Manager, First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program

Candice is the manager of the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program (FPEAP). This program works in partnership with Indigenous-led organizations to co-create entrepreneurship programming that will best serve their communities. The FPEAP is committed to delivering entrepreneurship programming with an Indigenous lens, upholding Indigenous knowledge and worldview. Candice believes that an economy that is dynamic, just, sustainable, and resilient is one that supports and is informed by the wisdom of Indigenous entrepreneurs. She wishes to centre this wisdom and strength within the FPEAP, and work with partners who do the same. Candice brings a background in social enterprise development within urban Indigenous organizations to her role, as well as an MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

Candice is of Secwepemc, Chinese and European ancestry. Growing up in northern BC has given her a deep appreciation for the wild parts of this province…and within herself 😉 She lives for exploring both while on her DRZ400.

Carnation Zhuwaki

Indigenous Business Stories Project Casewriter

Carnation is a native of Zimbabwe who came to Canada at the turn of the century. She has the privilege of serving and living in First Nations communities delivering health care services and capacity building as a Registered Nurse and a Band Administrator. Through both of these roles, she has witnessed the power of storytelling to heal, reprimand and motivate people. First Nations communities have traditional ways of knowing that are embedded in their culture and she believes it’s important to highlight these stories to decolonize dominant frameworks so that minority frameworks are also given the spotlight.

Carnation was drawn to RADIUS because of the principles that the organization upholds— they resonate with her passion for advocating for marginalized groups to have better access to services and equal community development. As a case writer, Carnation will bring exciting skills and experience to the RADIUS team, including a lifelong writing passion since grade school, her ease with writing academic papers since undergraduate studies, and her current studies as part of her MBA program.

During her limited leisure time, she enjoys listening to podcasts and TED Talks, watching period dramas, hiking, and making Jeff Bezos rich bargain hunting on Amazon.

Domunique Lashay

Fellowship Co-host

Domunique is a writer, entrepreneur, and community builder born and raised on Coast Salish Territory. She is passionate about health and wellness, social justice, and of course, social entrepreneurship and innovation. She is a co-founder and the COO of Somedays and the co-founder and ED of For Everyone By US Foundation. Somedays is a wellness company that creates products designed specifically to relieve period pain and other symptoms. For Everyone By Us is a not-for-profit organization committed to showcasing Black culture and uplifting Black people in Canada through artistic expression. When she’s not working, you can find her cooking, going for walks or playing around with new apothecary recipes.

Ervin Wong

Communications and Engagement Coordinator

Born and raised on Coast Salish land, Ervin is a digital storyteller at his core. Whether it is a riveting article, or compelling photography and videography, he is passionate about mobilizing a variety of media formats to highlight and uplift marginalized voices and stories that deserve to be told. Ervin has marketing and communications experience with various sectors and industries, from non-profit arts and culture to corporate tech, and always seeks to center his work around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

An alumnus of UBC’s Sociology Honours program, Ervin is passionate about various social justice topics, particularly around the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and digital media.

You can find Ervin playing the piano and guitar or spiraling down a YouTube/TikTok rabbit hole in his free time.

Halah Zumrawi

Coordinator, Health Promotion Lab

Halah is gradute student in clinical counseling with a keen interest in the biopsychosocial and spiritual aspects of addiction and recovery. She’s spent the last few years in the biotech startup world as well as working in her communities to lower barriers to epistemologically relevant mental health care. She is grateful to live on the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh nations. Halah always makes time to read, cultivate her love of languages and be near the ocean.

Ilhan Abdullahi

Manager, Health Promotion Lab

Ilhan is a Somali-Canadian whose parents’ migration journey brought her to these unceded Coast Salish Lands at a very young age. Stemming from her family’s experience of being racialized newcomers, Ilhan has been passionate in addressing social and health inequities and developed a commitment to social justice. Having spent some time in community activism, youth work and health promotion in the Lower Mainlands of Vancouver, Ilhan then moved to Toronto to pursue her Masters in Public Health and gain a critical intersectional analysis on what promotes vulnerability to health inequities. She has recently returned to BC and is ecstatic to get involved in health equity and community work. When she’s not working, you can find her embarking on solo travels somewhere in the world.

Jacqueline Jennings

Venture Activator

Jacqueline is an entrepreneur and leadership coach, group facilitator and business consultant of mixed Cree, Anishnaabe, Métis and European heritage and she was born and raised between the mountains and the ocean in the unceded territory of Squamish territory of coastal B.C. Jacqueline is currently leading the facilitation of the Indigenous Housing Solutions Lab.

With a background in retail, fashion and tech she has worked closely with entrepreneurial leadership in organizations including Microsoft, Aritzia, Lululemon. With over 10 years of industry leadership and management experience, Jacqueline uses her extensive knowledge of best practices and forward-thinking leadership development theory to create custom decolonizing leadership experiences and facilitate high-impact dialogues, workshops, retreats and programs. 

Joining the RADIUS team in June 2019, brings experience developing and leading programming for industry agnostic venture accelerators serving both youth founders and Indigenous entrepreneurs over the past 4 years. She is a traditional & herbal medicine enthusiast (witch), forest bather, avid dinner party host and a horse person. 

Jessie Bennett

Manager, Communications and Recruitment

Jessie is a passionate communicator and lifelong learner who joins RADIUS after devoting the last ten years to marketing consulting and business development for a national LGBTQ2IA+ media organization.

Jessie’s interest in sustainable food systems led her down various paths over the past five years, supporting poverty reduction organizations and launching a small-batch, bottle-exchange kombucha company.

Jessie is an alumnus of SFU with a Bachelor in Communication and a Minor in Women & Gender studies. She is a white settler of Belgian and French heritage and calls the Northwest Territories and British Columbia home. You can find Jessie at live music venues around the city (when allowed again) and out supporting local shops and vendors at markets on the weekend.

Kate Nickelchok

Manager, Education & Training Programs

Kate is a scholar-practitioner in the world of social impact and critical global citizenship development. A whole-hearted life-enthusiast, Kate has followed her passions towards an international and multi-sector career in higher education, start-ups, and advocacy across five continents.

Kate holds an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Higher Education and Global Leadership from Royal Roads University. She enjoys highly collaborative and creative approaches for reimagining a more equitable and empathic world. As a settler in the unceded territories of S’olh Temexw, much of Kate’s work uses embodied and participatory learning to unpack and action decolonial, intersectional systems change.

In and out of the office, Kate is a CouchSurfing-evangelist who delights in new adventures, creating meaningful connections, and the occasional spontaneous dance party.

Katie Miller

Business Development Strategy and Implementation

Katie supports RADIUS’ business development strategy and implementation, discovering opportunities to expand our impact. Katie brings a business background and a passion to see business used for good. Having previously held roles as the Director of Operations and Finances, the Director of Learning Development, and the Managing Director of a co-working and incubation space focused on inspiring action for a more just and sustainable world, she believes in the power of community and collaboration.

In addition to her work with RADIUS, Katie is a Board Member of Impact Hub Global and supports the design and delivery of digital programs with Future of Good. Katie is also a recipient of the Ottawa’s Entrepreneurial Rising Star and part of the Responsible Leaders network of BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt. Currently living on the unceded and traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people, Katie is of mixed European and Algonquin heritage. In her down time, you can find Katie relaxing behind her knitting needles or piano.

Katya Potapova

Fellowship Co-host

Katya is a settler of colour on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories from Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha, Russia. She spends most of her time imagining and mobilizing for collective liberation and just futures. Moved by love and dreaming, Katya centres people in everything she does – whether it’s reimagining philanthropy for the not-for-profit, Hollyhock that she works at, or scheming climate justice actions with Our Time Vancouver, or building communities through COVID response mutual aid groups. She is an INFJ, Enneagram 2 & Pisces in both Moon and Sun, in other words, just a big softy.

Kim Howson

Partnerships Strategy and Implementation

Kim is a systems-disruptor who seeks out opportunities to work across all sectors to solve complex social problems. With experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors, Kim seeks to create opportunities for multiple perspectives to come together to build more inclusive, resilient and equitable systems. She brings expertise in cross-sector collaboration and partnership development, stakeholder engagement, social policy, strategic planning and project organization to her work. She’s excited to be working with the RADIUS team on Partnership Development for the Labs and Venture portfolio. Kim has an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies from Carleton University where she wrote her thesis on immigration and human rights in relation to survivors of human trafficking in the European Union. In her spare time, you can find Kim planning a road trip, reading great books, playing ultimate frisbee and getting outdoors as much as possible.

Laura Gaaysiigad Cuthbert

Social Innovation Canada Weaver, Fellowship Co-Host, Activator

Gaaysiigad hín uu díi kya’áang

I’m from the sands of Brunette Creek in New Westminster, where I learned to skip stones, catch fish, and tread lightly on unceded land of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ, S’ólh Téméxw, Stz’uminus, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. The creek bed and city have been a connecting place for thousands of years, and I feel a part of those connections.

Those connections have been best felt when organizing in community around sense of place, isolation, language preservation, heritage reform, and Indigenous sovereignty. These connections have also woven themselves into roles and opportunities: as Curator and Co-Founder of Kudoz, Director of Organize BC, and Director of Populous Map.

I learned to use my Masters of Anthropology to document these connections, but I honour and evaluate them by sinking back into the creek’s soft sand. Reciprocity in community and home are what I innovate for.

Thanks, I’m happy to be here. Hawa’a! Aatl’an hl is ahl díi guudangáay ‘láagang.

Leah Sanford

Associate Director, Education & Training

Leah is the Associate Director for the Education and Training Programs at RADIUS. Her leadership includes community and government partnerships on social innovation lab projects, social innovation education and training activities, and oversight of RADIUS social venture development, curriculum, and facilitation.

With over 20 years in the business, community, and educational sectors, Leah’s big-picture dream is to see innovation and creativity embedded into every corner of these sectors, while centering justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. She has experience as a director, program manager, facilitator, faculty member, and consultant and has led the development, implementation, and assessment of multiple major institutional projects. Her work experience, research & publication areas, education, and passions are all grounded in understanding and advancing social innovation, equity, social-justice, intersectionality, and anti-racism.

Leah is a bi-racial, cis-gender woman who has spent the past 10 years raising her amazing daughter and working on the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) peoples. Her career and family has brought her back to the unceded Coast Salish Lands, and when she is not working, you can find her spending time with her daughter, exploring the beautiful lands on which we live, and continuing her research and learnings on all things social innovation and social justice!

Melanie Matining

HR Advisor

Melanie Matining is a queer pinay activist, community organizer, and settler on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Her work focuses on the importance of social spaces in movement building and the necessary intersections of community-determined access, placemaking, and solidarity building. She convenes communities to create platforms for celebration, healing, and just dancing it all out. Melanie makes up one half of the duo that brings us Denim Vest, a queer sweaty dance party for the people. In the recent past, she also worked as the Community Development Manager at Heartwood, a social space that was centred on community and movement building. Amidst the towering cranes, she continues her work in advocating for accessible and inclusive spaces in the city. Melanie walks everyday in love and liberation alongside her communities working towards queer rights, Indigenous solidarity, and migrant justice.

Nada El Masry

Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Nada El Masry (she/her) is a Libyan-born Palestinian who came to the unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples just over 10 years ago. Due to her life experiences and education, Nada has fostered a deep passion for social justice and has shaped her life goals around values rooted in that field. She has been working with and engaging newcomers for several years, and currently manages the Refugee Livelihood Lab, which aims to build social, economic, and political capital for racialized refugee and migrant communities.

Nada is pursuing a Master’s in Equity Studies in Education at SFU, and was recipient of a 2019 BC Anti-Racism Award. She has also been nominated by the Future of Good as a 2020 Top 21 Founders to Watch, and received a 2018 Leadership Award from Voices of Muslim Women. In her free time, Nada enjoys playing and watching soccer.

Nigel Mojica

Fellowship Co-Host

Nigel Mojica is a Filipino-Canadian artist, facilitator, and counselling psychology masters student born on Coast Salish territory. His recent work has largely been in mental health support, media and communications, social innovation, and the arts and culture. Nigel is currently a therapist in training at Adler University and is thrilled to be co-hosting the 2020 RADIUS Fellowship.Creatively, Nigel is a hip hop vocalist, radio host, writer, event MC, and arts-based facilitator who works from a place of enjoying language, nurturing interpersonal connections, and inviting new (un)learning opportunities. His favourite pastimes include music, friendship, and being in or near bodies of water.

Shawn Smith

Director

Shawn Smith is the co-founder and Director of RADIUS, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Beedie School of Business and Director of Social Innovation for Simon Fraser University. Having spent the last 15 years working with, in and on social impact organizations on three continents, he is also a founder at several other organizations including IMPAQTO (Ecuador), Global Agents for Change and Education Generation, co-led the ALT/Now Economic Inequality systems change program at the Banff Centre, and speaks and consults regularly on social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Shawn is a top rated educator, Business in Vancouver top 40 under 40 recipient, and completed his MBA at the University of Oxford in 2010 as a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship.

Shikhank Sharma

Venture Activator

Shikhank has been actively involved in the social impact space academically and professionally for a number of years in areas of social innovation, impact investing, education, and sustainability.
 
His journey to grow and learn led him from his home in the vibrant city of Delhi in Northern India to North America over ten years ago. During this time, Shikhank has been grateful for the communities that he has been a part of, his own lived experiences, and the shared knowledge of those around him for helping him better his understanding of the world in all its brilliance and juxtapositions. Over the years, Shikhank has collaborated with various impact organizations – nonprofits, universities, and social enterprises – in roles and projects related to strategic planning, community engagement, capacity building, and research. 
 
It brings Shikhank utmost joy when he is able to help individuals and groups facing a sticky issue related to an idea or a project have the “a-ha” moments where they are able to figure out a path forward.

Tamara Connell

Instructor & Facilitator

Tamara is a queer white settler woman who has called British Columbia home for much of her life. She is a partner, friend, daughter, sister, auntie, colleague and enthusiastic pumpkin-carver. Tamara’s background is diverse, but for her, nothing compares to teaching, coaching, and mentoring within educational settings. Through facilitated trainings, games, simulations, and workshops, she aspires to create engaging learning and engagement opportunities. Tamara is a former RADIUS SFU staff member and is the founder of her own consulting company. She is a certified personal coach and a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods facilitator.

Véronik Campbell

Associate Director, Labs

Véronik is a capacity enabler, strategy wiz, and settler on ancestral, traditional, and unceded Coast Salish lands. Véronik loves the growth and energy that emerge when we find ways for all to feel fully listened to and empowered to contribute to bold and beautiful things. 

In her role as Associate Director of the RADIUS Lab portfolio, this translates into Véronik finding her true flow when working with community leaders to find ways to grow their capacity and impact in service of systems change. She does so in a way that encourages continuous self-awareness, disrupts white supremacy culture, and ensures the priorities of marginalized communities are fundamental to guiding decisions.  

And when it’s time to slow down and re-energize, you’ll find Véronik rosy-cheeked after a day in nature, preparing a feast, surrounded by family and friends.

 

Yara Younis

Project Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Born and raised in Dubai (UAE), Yara is a Palestinian refugee who had felt detached from her ‘home’ in the Gaza Strip for the longest time. Now, having spent years contemplating and unlearning colonial narratives, she considers the meaning of statelessness, as well as how systems of power co-opt and shape refugee experiences. Prior to settling on unceded Coast Salish lands, Yara worked at the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi as a MENA research analyst and as the deputy advisor and project coordinator for the UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. She completed her MA in International Studies at Simon Fraser University, where she was a Researcher for the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies. In her spare time, Yara enjoys reading sci-fi, listening to heavy metal, and walking for long hours to nowhere in particular.