Executive Director Appointment Announcement

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Community Impact Real Estate Society’s Board of Directors (CIRES) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Steve Johnston as the next Executive Director.

Steve began his career in community economic development at Dixon Hall in Toronto, where he played a key role in building and supporting innovative programming for at-risk residents in the inner city. He relocated to Vancouver in 2014 to lead Tradeworks Training Society, where he guided the growth and revitalization of the agency’s critical employment and social enterprise programs.  

Steve currently serves as Director of Exchange Inner City, a collaborative network of over 55 organizations and individuals working in Vancouver’s inner city to foster a vibrant and inclusive local economy. He also works concurrently at the City of Vancouver’s Social Planning Department and led the development of Vancouver’s Community Benefit Agreement policy. He serves on a number of community boards, including the Advisory Board of the Binners’ Project, and is a mentor to many organizations in the Downtown Eastside. 

CIRES Board member Mary Clare Zak said, “Steve’s passion for community building, his experience in social enterprise, and his ability to bring people together from all walks of life are exactly what we need to lead CIRES forward.”

Steve will succeed CIRES’ founding Executive Director David LePage and Managing Director Shaugn Schwartz. David and Shaugn are respected social enterprise leaders and community builders who were recruited to take CIRES from a concept to a thriving start-up social enterprise.  

“On behalf of the Board, I would like express our profound gratitude to David and Shaugn for having made CIRES a reality. They are leaving a strong foundation to realize our vision for CIRES as a catalyst for building a vibrant, inclusive economy in the Downtown Eastside,” said Mary Clare Zak. 

Steve was recruited through an extensive national search led by Realize Strategies, an award-winning B Corporation boutique consulting firm based in Vancouver that provides trusted business insights and customized solutions to purpose-driven organizations.  

Steve will formally assume the Executive Director role on June 10, 2019.

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