Our Officers and Members
Joanne Linzey (Chair)
Now retired, Joanne Linzey worked for over 40 years with non-profit organizations and communities. As a CEO, coach and trainer, she provided strategic advice on change management, board governance, strategic planning, leadership development, community engagement, and project management to not-for-profit organizations that sought to increase their effectiveness and impact. Joanne is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Award (2005) for her contributions to community life in Canada. She is also currently the Chair of the Board of the Peter Gzowski Foundation for Literacy and the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts.
From co-founding and managing a women-led public transit system in a northern Yukon community, to co-creating the national ABC Canada Literacy Foundation, Ms. Linzey worked to establish and build strong effective organizations that are important to building sustainable communities.
With a consortium of Brazilian not-for-profits (2000–2005) Ms. Linzey worked as a trainer and coach to help the leadership build their capacity to work collaboratively in low-income communities. She continued to work in Brasil until 2014. As the CEO of the United Way of Halifax ( 1995–2006) and then as the Vice-president of Community Impact for United Way of Canada (2006–2009), she was responsible for leading major change initiatives that helped United Way staff and boards transform to organizations working to change community conditions.
Mike Davis (Treasurer)
Mike Davis is a Partner with and the Managing Director of Davis Pier Consulting and the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the company’s policy lab outpost, Pier Labs. He has over 15-years of experience in consulting, having worked with government clients in Canada, and in countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia. He is well-regarded not only for his ability to design and architect strategies and solutions to complex public sector issues for clients, but also for overseeing their implementation. Mike has recently turned his efforts to helping government use more innovative approaches to policy-making and program design. His focus is on the application of behavioural insights to policy and program design and in expanding evidence-based policy methods.
Mike has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from Dalhousie University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Behavioural Sciences at the London School of Economics and has a certification in Behavioral Insights from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In addition to his Board role with Inspiring Communities, Mike is on the National Board of Directors for Kids Help Phone.
As the only publicly-funded College in the province, Jill’s role as Senior Advisor, Educational Equity includes providing a senior leadership role for School of Access programs across all of Nova Scotia, which includes 13 campuses and 3 Learning Centres, while co-managing a team of 11 Academic Chairs and a Program Manager.
Jill is currently responsible for providing a strategic culturally-enriched approach to academic programming and student supports to enhance teaching and learning and the student experience across several programs and initiatives within my portfolio. She strives to be a visionary leader using a cooperative and democratic style with an ability to nurture relationships which has generated wide-ranging impacts in providing equitable educational programming and support services.
Ryan Veltmeyer is a social innovator, entrepreneur, community builder, educator and musician. In 2012, Ryan Co-founded Youth Art Connection (YAC), bringing together his passion for youth leadership development and the arts. YAC is a registered charity that supports emerging artists, especially from marginalized backgrounds, to develop arts-based businesses and social impact projects. Through YAC Ryan has helped build a growing and connected community of young artists from a broad range of art practices, cultural backgrounds and life experience.
Ryan’s career in youth leadership started with his early experience in leadership training and outdoor adventure programming for various summer camps in NS and the USA. Ryan worked as a Teen Services Library Assistant at Halifax Public Libraries and as a Senior Program Facilitator at the HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development in Halifax. Throughout this time Ryan maintained a professional music practice as a trombonist, composer, conductor and chorister, collaborating with the who’s who of East Coast musicians and Sobey Art Award nominee William Robinson.
Ryan’s work has been recognized through various awards including the Dalhousie Legal Aid Social Justice Award (2019), the Big Brothers Big Sisters Halifax Inspire Leadership Award (2016) and being a finalist for the Halifax Assistance Fund Social Innovation Award (2017). He was selected to participate in the prestigious Banff Centre for Art and Creativity “Getting to Maybe” Program for System Entrepreneurs in 2016 and the 21 Inc. Emerging Leaders Program in 2012 and 2014.
Stephanie Pronk is a globally-minded, driven, inquisitive change-maker with a passion for social enterprise. Having worked for social enterprises in the UK and Canada, she currently serves as the Director of Operations of the Social Enterprise Institute (SEI), where she is on a mission to bring tools for transformative social change to anyone around the globe with an internet connection. In 2014 she was named by 21Inc as a Top 50 under 30 in Atlantic Canada, and has been a driving force behind numerous community organizations, including the Halifax Music Co-Op, and was an author of Nova Scotia’s 2014 Social Enterprise Census.
A leader in the social enterprise sector, Stephanie has helped lead SEI’s parent company, Common Good Solutions to where it is today. While her background is in Human Resource Management she is considered an expert in project management, workshop creation and delivery, online marketing and web design, and all things social enterprise. Stephanie has a business degree with certificates in Psych and French from Saint Mary’s University, and a certificate in eLearning from the University of Calgary. She is currently completing a certificate in Project Management from UBC, is annoyingly always taking online courses, and has worked in the Social Enterprise space in both Scotland and Canada. She’s completed consultant training from leading North American consultant Carter MacNamara, and Applied Leadership training through Bluteau DeVinney.