Meet The Team

These are the professionals who make CIRES possible

  • Steven Johnston - Community Impact Real Estate Society

    Steven Johnston

    Executive Director

    With extensive experience in senior leadership roles within the non-profit and social enterprise sectors, Steve has actively contributed to addressing community challenges in Toronto’s Regent Park and Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Additionally, contributing to policy work with the City of Vancouver focused on community economic development. At CIRES, Steve’s role involves comprehensive leadership, encompassing organizational management, strategic planning, growth initiatives, government relations, and community stewardship. His commitment to community-oriented work is rooted in the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive. Steve advocates for inclusive, thriving communities that harness the untapped potential of their members. Social enterprises and employment programs empower individuals, allowing them to contribute their talents, participate in the broader economy, and secure a sustainable future for themselves and their families.

  • Hope Hart - Community Impact Real Estate Society

    Hope Hart

    Program Manager

    Hope Hart holds a BA in International Development and a MA in Community Development in the school of Public Administration. Her career encompasses roles in social service organizations, project management, and social impact initiatives. As part of her current position at CIRES, she oversees all Community Economic Development projects, facilitating subtenants in achieving social benefits through initiatives like social procurement, local employment, and food programming. Additionally, she manages the Coordinated Community Response Network (CCRN), fostering collaboration amongst DTES stakeholders to advocate and support the neighborhood. Hope has a strong believe in the transformative power of community building and connection-making as catalysts for social change.

  • Shaugn Schwartz - Community Impact Real Estate Society

    Shaugn Schwartz

    Director of Portfolio Management

    Shaugn combines a strong educational foundation with a passion for community-focused work. Currently at CIRES he oversees the commercial property portfolio and drives social enterprise business development. Responsibilities include lease negotiations, relationship management with BC Housing, marketing vacant units, and implementing space enhancements to benefit subtenants. Alongside these roles, he also oversees the operations of the Washington Community Market. Beyond business, Shaugn is committed to making the community that he works, lives and plays in a better place. He believes in making the market economy inclusive, offering opportunities to those left behind, and finding fulfillment in the smiles of those they've helped. His work serves as a model for future social entrepreneurs, demonstrating that joy stems from meaningful endeavours.

  • Yazmin Machuca

    Project Manager

    Yazmin brings over 20 years of expertise in business operations and administration, complemented by a decade of dedicated service to non-profits and social enterprises. A lifelong learner, she has immersed herself in digital marketing for the past six years. Currently serving as a project manager for CIRES and the Washington Community Market, Yazmin plays a pivotal role in business operations, social media management, and governance logistics. Collaborating closely with the Portfolio Director, she contributes to various projects within CIRES' portfolio. Yazmin's commitment to social enterprises began in 2013, finding the work both meaningful and rewarding. Witnessing the impactful contributions of organizations like Community Impact fuels her passion for service and her dedication to creating positive change in the community.

  • Evangelina Magdaleno - Community Impact Real Estate Society

    Evangelina Magdaleno

    Finance and Operations Administrator

      Having originally hailed from Mexico City, Evangelina has spent the past 33 years residing in Canada. Her professional journey is rooted in the fields of Accounting and bookkeeping, where she has lent her expertise to various organizations. Evangelina holds a diploma in Information Processing Systems and underwent training at Langara to become a certified professional bookkeeper. In her current role, Evangelina plays a pivotal role in supporting the CIRES office, particularly in addressing our financial requirements and ensuring smooth day-to-day operations. Transitioning from a corporate background, she brings with her an enthusiasm to work at an organization that focuses on local community and utilize her skills for the betterment of community.

    • Rakesh Thallapally - Community Impact Real Estate Society

      Rakesh Thallapally

      Washington Market Manager

        Rakesh Thallapally, an MBA graduate with a focus on Canadian business, currently serves as the Market Manager at WCM since 2021, following over 7 years managing three stores in DTES. He passionately leads WCM, a community-oriented market in Vancouver's DTES, prioritizing affordability, hygiene, and a welcoming atmosphere. His commitment to social enterprises stems from the profound community impact witnessed at WCM, aligning with his values of community focused goods and services.

      • Eileen Wang

        Financial Officer

          With over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector, including at social enterprises, Eileen has managed all of CIRES’s financial functions, including budgeting, cashflow management, and financial reporting to funders and the Board of Directors. Her exceptional performance and meticulous attention to detail ensure that CIRES maintains its finances and keeps them in superb condition. Eileen’s commitment to social enterprise stems from a belief in giving those with barriers a second chance at success and loves being apart of the work at CIRES.

        Board of Directors

        Leaders at the intersection of social impact, real estate, finance, and community health

        • Duncan Wlodarczak

          Chair - Onni Group of Companies

        • Suky Cheema

          Suky Cheema

          Treasurer - BDO Canada LLP

        • Irene Gannitsos

          Irene Gannitsos

          Director - Vancity Community Foundation

        • Jennifer Breakspear

          Jennifer Breakspear

          Director - BC Housing

        • Leslie Bonshor

          Leslie Bonshor

          Director - Indigenous Consultant

        • Mary Clare Zak

          Director - Consultant

        Property Management

        CIRES holds a service management contract with Atira Property Management Inc. (APMI) to perform rental property management duties, as outlined in the Rules and Regulations of the Real Estate Services Act. These activities include collecting rent, holding deposits, managing third-party vendors, preparing budgets, annual reconciliations, and other duties. 

        APMI is a social enterprise, wholly owned by Atira Women's Resource Society, which funds transition housing and support services for women affected by violence and abuse. This transition is also inline with CIRES’s mandate to support our partners in community economic development.

        Enter your email to stay informed

        Get notified of special announcements, community events, or news at the intersection of social impact and real estate.

        We do not send emails often, and you can unsubscribe at any time.