Confirmed Speakers – the Excitement is Building…

As our upcoming Enterprising Spirit: Creating Value and Social Good conference takes shape, we are gathering a unique group of thinkers in the social enterprise space.

Planning, practicing and fine tuning social enterprise are the themes of the conference.  Our speakers, session leaders and panel participants bring a rich knowledge and professional expertise to the social enterprise movement. Over the next several weeks our blog will highlight individuals participating in our one day conference.

The first two individuals we would like to tell you more about are David LePage and Derek Gent. During the Enterprising Spirit Conference, David is leading “The What and Why of Social Enterprise” session.  Derek is participating in two sessions, which are titled “Business Solutions for Social Enterprise” and “Profits and Purpose: Demonstrating Value.”

David LePage

David LePage has been working within the non-profit sector for over 30 years, including inner city economic development, housing, community media and social enterprise. He is currently Program Manager of Enterprising Non-Profits, enp, a unique collaboration of funders who provide support for social enterprise development; including development grants, marketing opportunities, access to capital, and public policy advocacy.  David is a member of the Social Enterprise Council of Canada, the Policy Council for Canadian Community Economic Development (CCEDNet), the BC Social Economy Roundtable, and co-chairs a Social Economy Research Committee in the provinces of BC and Alberta.  David is the former CEO of Fast Track to Employment (FTE), a key developer of the Social Purchasing Portal, which is a relationship framework that creates social value from the purchasing power of the private sector. David served as Vice-President of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters in the US from 1987 through 1995. He has done organizational development and social enterprise development consulting across North America and internationally.

Derek Gent

Derek proudly serves as Executive Director at Vancity Community Foundation, an arms-length public foundation associated with Vancity Credit Union in Vancouver. The Foundation includes more than 110 different donor advised funds as well as a core endowment, modeling a progressive approach to investing the assets, making grants and delivering programs with a focus on longer term development rather than aid. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has pioneered a number of innovations in Canadian philanthropy and is recognized as a leader in our support for a broad range of local organizations achieving impact through social enterprise, community owned real estate, and collaborative approaches to change. 

Prior to his current position, Derek worked for more than 7 years within the venture capital arm of Vancity, where he grew and managed a portfolio of investments specifically focused on social enterprises, non-profit organizations and sustainability oriented businesses. He has worked in a variety of roles in the financial services sector, including retail and commercial banking and he served as the first manager of Social Responsibility at Coast Capital Savings.  Derek has an MBA from Queen’s University, and has worked for a management consulting firm, while also gaining international experience with a microcredit organization in Bangladesh, community development initiatives in Brazil, and cooperatives in northern Italy. In addition to his role at Vancity, Derek also currently serves in a variety of volunteer roles, including as director for the Cooperators Foundation, SPARC-BC, the national policy committee of Imagine Canada, and through his active involvement in the East Vancouver neighbourhood where he lives with his wife and three young children.

Please join us on November 17, 2011 for a day of interactive workshops, experimental problem solving, and open exchange among people working on or interested in social enterprise and the non-profit sector. Join us for the first annual awards reception where we will distribute the Social EnterPrize Awards – annual grants to grow and sustain social enterprises, provoke innovation and build capacity in the non-profit sector.

Conference registration is ongoing and limited.  Early Bird registration continues until September 15th.

Our web site continues to have updates on session information, session speakers, and how to register. Other session speakers will be confirmed shortly.  Check our Program page regularly for more information.

We look forward to seeing you on November 17th, 2011, in Calgary, Alberta.

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