BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Friends of Granville Island is led by a Vancouver-based, volunteer Board of Directors. FGI Board of Directors is designed as a round-table urban think-tank to help facilitate progress. FGI Board members are inspired by the possibilities of re-visioning; are community and solution-oriented; and can see a gap in the current notion of ‘public realm’ which needs stewardship and re-imagination.
FGI is recruiting Board members from diverse fields of interest to help lead the re-visioning of Granville Island, a significant Vancouver public place. Granville Island is in a unique position, at this particular time, to be a model for the values, beliefs and change we want to see across the country, but it needs visionary leaders to come together.
Please contact us if you or someone you know would be a good fit for the Board.
BOARD DIVERSITY STATEMENT
FGI’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive organization begins with setting the tone from the top, starting with the Board of Directors, whose governance criteria will include a Board Diversity Policy.
We acknowledge that good governance principles require independence, transparency, flexibility and diversity at the Board level. The FGI Board strives to ensure that its membership reflects diversity in its broadest sense.
A combination of culture, demographics, skills, experience, race, age, gender, education, professional background, and lived experience are important for providing a range of perspectives to overcome challenges, improve the organization, and support good decision making.
MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sonia Strobel | President
Sonia Strobel is co-founder and CEO of Skipper Otto, one of the first Community Supported Fisheries in the world. For the past 13 years, she has worked to build a just and equitable seafood system, supporting 40 fishing families in coastal and Indigenous communities, providing traceable, sustainable seafood to thousands of members across Canada. Sonia’s strong core values and vision, and her ability to rally a team through her collaborative, progressive leadership style are powerful tools for bringing about social change. She is a creative problem solver, enthusiastic innovator, and champion of social and environmental justice.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Sonia’s life-long love of Granville Island is coupled with extensive life experiences and connections she has built with her diverse portfolio: co-founder and CEO of Skipper Otto, high school art and literature teacher, volunteer, world traveler, parent, and community advocate. Sonia is on advisory committees with the Fisheries for Communities Coalition, the Local Catch Network, and Slow Fish Canada. She is a fellow with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a business mentor with The Forum. She is eager to bring her skills, connections, and experience to Friends of Granville Island to help co-create its inspiring future.
Cloe Aigner | Vice-President
Cloe is the co-founder of FGI and served as the Interim President in the first two founding years on the Board of Directors. By trade, Cloe is a creative and a communications specialist. She works on specialized projects in writing, design, photography, research and teaches as a college instructor, psychotherapist and health educator. Cloe was project manager and art director of the Granville Island Works initiative (2009-2015) in collaboration with the Granville Island Business and Community Association (GIBCA) and co-founder of the Granville Island Vision Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and communications, and a master’s degree in education from Simon Fraser University.
Cloe’s artistic upbringing and training in her father’s stained glass studio was formative and her first fine art book, Artistic Glass: One studio and Fifty Years of Stained Glass was released in 2020. She has a passion for arts, culture, community and creating space and place for these to flourish, aware that at the core of any creative community is the wellbeing and care of the community. She would be delighted to continue on the Board for another term to offer her previous experience, along with her dedication for FGI and Granville Island.
Mat Cocuzzi | Secretary
Mat Cocuzzi is Facilities and Project manager at SFU, where he is able to develop and create engaged multi-use spaces that speak to their users. His portfolio at SFU encompasses all of the Vancouver Campus, including SFU Woodward’s School for Contemporary Arts, as well as SFU at 312 Main. He has also worked on committees and strata organizations, identifying issues, encouraging collaboration, and turning conflict into cooperation.
Mat is also an art hobbyist and local creative. He connects with the board’s mandate for supporting local creative control of Granville Island. He believes that Granville Island, as cultural and artistic hub of Vancouver, is a very unique and special place in the City of Vancouver, with a lot of unrealized potential. Mat feels that as the space develops and continues to evolve, it is important that this is done strategically, through a local lens that allows the talent, charisma, and genius of Vancouver to ruminate, emerge, and flourish throughout Granville Island, the city, and beyond. His skillset is varied and wide-ranging.
Rowan King is the co-President and Director of Communications of all•Access, an initiative focused on working with business leaders and developers to make their digital presence accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or disability, economic status, or lived experience.
He started his career in the non-profit sector as a Social Media Professional for 100 Braid St. Art Studios, and later as the Communications Manager at Vantage Point, serving BC’s non-profit sector. Aside from Rowan’s current work with all•Access, he also provides consulting and educational support services to Homelessness Services Association of BC.
With a diploma in Library & Information Technology, Rowan is passionate about sustainable and accessible community spaces, and recognizes Friends of Granville Island as a key contributor to an inclusive, accessible, decolonized, and equitable vision of Granville Island.
Gurjashan Singh Dhummi
Gurjashan has been a part of the Granville Island community for little over two years and considers himself privileged to have found comfort and home amidst the colorful, repurposed industrial plants, railroad tracks, and numerous studios. He has a desire to work with marginalized communities to build understanding through cross-cultural programming, community building, decolonization, and developing new opportunities. He admires the grassroots approach and ideas behind FGI’s initiatives to transform Granville Island.
As Community Development Coordinator at Columbia College, he has led many community and alumni engagement events for the organization. This position also gives him opportunities to work closely with the Institute for Equity and Advancement at Columbia College charity, which helps him grow his skills in donor stewardship and communication strategies.
Luthfi Dhofier is a Research and Policy Analyst at the Canadian Urban Institute, a non-profit that focuses on addressing urban issues and advancing urban policy agenda in Canada. He has worked with governments and local communities across the country to design and implement solutions to some of the most complex policy challenges, including housing and post-COVID economic recovery. He has contributed to National Observer, The Vancouver Sun, The Hill Times, and the Hamilton Spectator. He also co-founded Global Water Rights, a non-profit organization with a mandate to research and educate the public on water rights and sustainable water management. Luthfi holds a Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs from the University of British Columbia.
Veerpal completed her degree in Bachelor of Business in Energy Management. She hopes to bring her passion for energy management to assist Granville Island in becoming a leader in environmental sustainability and minimizing its carbon footprint. She has cultivated a series of skills from innovative problem-solving, policy development, research, reporting, leadership, energy management solutions and fundraising. She is inspired by innovation and thrives on experimenting with thought-provoking concepts and ideas. Veerpal strives to contribute to an energetic, enthusiastic and team-driven work culture. She is inspired by FGI's mission and is excited to bring her many skills to contribute to the society's continued growth and success.
Born and based in Vancouver, Faizah's fondest memories on Granville Island began at Arts Umbrella. Faizah has an MBA from Cornell University and is an industry leader in apparel, contemporary design, fabrication and merchandising, running her family business, Monaliza’s Lingerie. Having Fijian parents, makes her an islander at heart. Faizah is familiar with the heartbeat of an island culture and is excited about reimagining Granville Island in a way that highlights its urban diversity and value. Her experience as a board of director for the Kerrisdale Business Association has given her insight into how community-led engagements can benefit local trade and fortify relationships. She believes that through a deeper understanding of art, culture and commerce in Vancouver we can maintain the charm of Granville Island while keeping pace with changing community values.