A mentor, advisor, and board member at Groundswell, John has been a true friend and invaluable member of our community.
Mark Dance has spent the past 30 years in the Canadian high-tech community. For 11 of those years, he was at Creo Inc., a publicly traded company, where he played central roles in growing the company from USD$10 million in revenue to over USD$700 million in revenue, and from 100 to more than 4000 people world-wide. His roles at Creo included Vice President Product Development, President, COO, CFO and Board Member. Since Creo’s sale to Eastman Kodak in 2005 for USD$1 billion, Mr. Dance has worked with over 60 companies assisting with strategy, financing, and team building amongst other areas. Mr. Dance is an active angel investor and Board Member, has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering from UBC where he also taught entrepreneurship, and holds a number of patents for medical technologies.
Vancity has been a long time and important partner for Groundswell, taking their role above and beyond "funder" and acting as advisors, workshop educators, loan partners and more. Catherine Ludgate is a special person at Vancity that we are honoured to have sit on our advisory team. She holds strong ethics, compassion and business acumen simultaneously and never ceases to leave us without an "ah-ha!" moment after every meeting. Catherine manages Community Investments at Vancity, where she embodies the principles of co-operatives in all her work and relationships. Thank you for all your dedication and support, Catherine!
A dedicated co-operator, collaborator and community builder, I have a talent for translating complex tools available to government and for-profits (financial services, legal tools, communication vehicles) into accessible and relevant tools for the not-for-profit /social benefit sector, in service of social change missions and mandates.
I am committed to principles five (member education), six (co-operation among co-ops) and seven (concern for community) of co-operation. I am a strong and encouraging leader of teams, investor in staff personal and professional development, and a believer in the idea that we can do more, and make more positive changes, together. I am that person who can be counted on to say "we can do that, we can make that happen" and then commit completely to delivering on that promise.
I have strong writing and strategic planning skills, a great ability to identify system wide fixes or scale opportunities, and talent for understanding diverse points of view on any given challenge. I am a serial social entrepreneur, and a talented public speaker and story teller. I love developing workshops and training materials, with a focus on skills transfer and capacity building. I love helping others develop their own talents and step into their own leadership.
Ran Kohavi has become an integral part of the Groundswell family as a mentor, educator, board member and advisor. He is incredibly generous with his time and dedication to Groundswell's mission, learning acutely with us as we grow and evolve, adding valuable insight and a fresh perspective at every pivot or milestone. We are ever grateful for having a person as brilliant as Ran on our team.
Ran is a technology entrepreneur at heart. He is passionate about starting new businesses and helping them grow. Ran was the founder and CEO of Kidaro (acquired by Microsoft, 2008). Prior to Kidaro, he was on the founding team and served as director of product management for Kashya (acquired by EMC, 2006). Lately, Ran enjoys building a portfolio of technology companies he incubates. He also serves on various advisory roles for technology startups, investors and founders. Ran was born in Israel, and moved from Seattle to Vancouver three years ago with his family. He enjoys hiking, sailing, snowboarding and quantitative finance as hobbies.