Meet our mentors, instructors, board members and staff. 

(Click on image for full profile)


Gilad Babchuk

Co-founder, Mentor, Director

Gilad has extensive experience establishing, developing and running various progressive businesses and organizations, and has founded or co-founded numerous schools, social enterprises and NGOs.  

Paola Qualizza

Managing Director, Facilitator

Mastering the art and science of weaving ideas and people into social ecosystems that are greater than the sum of their parts, Paola brings her interests in new economic models, permaculture, and community planning to building the Groundswell community.

Isaiah Baldissera

Lead Educator, Build Program; Mentor

A social entrepreneur who has devoted himself to empowering young people through education technology. Expertise in UI/UX design, education technology, digital marketing.


Leila Fraser

Operations Coordinator

A public health and human rights advocate, Leila brings her experience in fundraising and front line social sector work to Groundswell's community to build and run our systems and program logistics.


Jim Barker

Co-founder, Mentor, Director

A serial entrepreneur with an international portfolio that includes employment training and recruitment, travel management, bars, restaurants and computer software/financial services.

Founder, Conferma Ltd.; Founder, The Metropolitain


Ran Kohavi

Mentor, Director

Technology entrepreneur passionate about starting new businesses and helping them grow. Expertise in tech, early stage product and market validation, and quantitative finance. 

Founder and CEO, Kidaro (acquired by Microsoft, 2008); Founder, Kashya (acquired by EMC, 2006)

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John Kay

Mentor, Director

Supporting impact-driven businesses with development and strategy.


CEO, Realize Strategies, CPA, CMA, MBA


Sanja Simic

 Advisor, Director

Building capacity and introducing innovation to non-profits and charities, finance and philanthropy. 

Executive Director, Robert L. Conconi Foundation

Madeleine Shaw

Advisor, Mentor

Social entrepreneur interested in product development, progressive business practices and reimagining work-life balance.

Co-founder, Lunapads; Founder, Nestworks

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David Lepage


David provides direct support, consulting, coaching and strategic advice to the emerging blended value business and social finance sectors and works to influence the related public policy environment.

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Melanie Matining


Pinay activist and community leader interested in social justice,  and specifically queer, interracial and indigenous issues. 

Former Community Development Manager, Heartwood Cafe; Co-Founder, Denim Vest

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Mark Dance


Strategic and investment planning, product development.

Former President, COO, CFO and Board Member of Creo Inc. , BEng.


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Curtis Rattray


Indigenous youth leadership educator, backcountry guide and entrepreneur. 

Founder, Edziza Trails; Former President, Tahltan Central Council