FOF was established in 2007 by communications consultant Joanne de Vries, with support from a committed group of board members and volunteers who shared her passion for building sustainable communities in British Columbia, Canada. Now a registered charity, FOF is highly acclaimed as the creator and host of innovative and interactive events, programs, and projects that enable and encourage community sustainability.
The Building SustainABLE Communities Conference and Reel Change SustainAbility Film Fest, for example, involve people from government, business, and the nonprofit and academic sectors. These events are designed to accelerate change across whole communities.
Other FOF projects aim to address particular issues or sectors. Talking DIRTy x10,000, for instance, used the award-winning documentary DIRT to promote soil ecology and conservation in the Okanagan Valley, while the Breakfast of Champions model celebrates sustainability successes in the private sector. And, the Thompson-Okanagan Climate Action Exchange showcases greenhouse gas reduction successes in communities, business, and the nonprofit and academia sectors.
Joanne de Vries, Founder & CEO
The foundation is the brainchild of Joanne de Vries, a communications consultant with almost 25 years experience in social marketing, risk communication, market research, and project design, development, delivery, and evaluation. She has worked closely with all levels of government throughout BC to help them educate and consult with their publics about sustainability issues, such as strategic and community planning, water and wastewater management, solid waste management, transportation demand management, and energy efficiency.
Don Dobson, P. Eng, Founding Director
Don is a hydrologist who specializes in watershed management as it relates to natural resource industries such as forestry and mining. He has decades of experience in the public and private sectors related to environmental and economic sustainability issues.
Dean Desrosiers, Chair
Dean is a marketing and business development specialist with local, national, and international experience. He has experience working in sales, pricing, regulatory environments, branding, education, symposium organization, and developing new technology and markets. Dean’s passion for sustainability emerged during his work in the coastal and interior forests of BC, and came full circle during his tenure working in Europe where sustainability plays a more important part of community, government and business/industry culture. Today, Dean is a full-time real estate professional and investor in Kelowna, B.C.
Greg Pratch, Board Member
Greg is a lawyer with Pushor Mitchell LLP in Kelowna, B.C. His practice is exclusively in the area of civil litigation, helping clients resolve disputes relating to personal injury, contracts, employment matters, business, and real estate. Greg’s passion for conservation and sustainability issues arises directly from his love of the outdoors and the natural world. Greg has travelled extensively, and his travels have helped provide him with a true appreciation for the importance of conservation and sustainability, within our own community and communities around the world.
Alison Shaw, Board Member
Dr. Alison Shaw is Principal sustainability consultant and organizational coach at FlipSide Sustainability. With more than twenty years of climate change and sustainability research and consulting experience, she now uses pioneering approaches to transition businesses and organizations toward sustainability. Through FlipSide, she helps public and private sector clients integrate people and planet into their business models and organizational efforts. Her mission is to advance healthy and sustainable organizations in all sectors, in order to catalyze a new era of business consciousness.
Aura Rose, Board Member
Aura is the co-owner and winemaker for House of Rose Winery. Passionate about the environment, she’s worked hard to reduce the environmental footprint of the winery through energy, toxin, and waste reduction programs. The winery won the City of Kelowna’s Environmental Award in 2014. Aura also sits on the regional Agriculture Advisory Board, is a past board member of Kelowna Women in Business, and is a member of 100 Women who Care.