Featured Vancouverite: Sophie Mas

Sophie Mas Hometown: Montpellier, France

How long have been a Vancouverite?
I have been living in Vancouver for 18 years. I moved from the south of France to Victoria, BC then to Vancouver. As much as I love France, Vancouver is home to me.

Occupation:
I am the Co-Founder and President of the STAND (Step Towards A New Direction) Foundation — a private foundation that helps marginalized youth in Greater Vancouver access education and skills training. STAND created a unique grant program for students from alternative school programs who wouldn’t be able to successfully compete for more traditional scholarships. This grant program offers financial assistance to those youth who come from poverty, and have experienced tremendous personal challenges, such as crime, substance use, mental illness, abuse and neglect, so that they can pursue post-secondary education and/or skills training.

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Featured Vancouverite: Sophie Mas

Featured Vancouverite: Chenny Xia

Chenny Xia

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

How long have been a Vancouverite? 18 years — to put it in perspective, about 78% of my life.

Occupation:
I’m currently running a design consultancy in Vancouver. I craft informed design directions by focusing on the ‘why’ instead of the ‘what’, while thinking consumer-first. One of my favourite projects, PaigeeWorld, is an app that connects young artists globally and provides drawing tutorials for all experience levels.

I’ve also been named as one of The Next 36 from Canada, an entrepreneurship-immersion program that offers mentorship and up to $95,000 in seed investment. I’m currently working on a venture that captures the ideas, suggestions, and sentiments of members within organizations so leaders can get a real pulse on what’s going on internally.

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Featured Vancouverite: Chenny Xia

Featured Vancouverite: Javier Puig

Jaiver Puig

Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia (born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela)

How long have been a Vancouverite? It will be 12 years on August the 12th.

Occupation:
I am a creative. I hold a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. I have a studio space in Gastown where I run Persona, a brand consultancy. The work I do there focuses on helping clients with their brands.

A typical project starts with a Discovery phase where we identify the ‘spirit’ of the brand, followed by an Insights phase where we distill what we’ve learned into a solid brand strategy. The work is completed in the Action phase, where we create tangible identity assets and brand guidelines, along with a plan to measure ROI.

For a look at our work go to http://iampersona.com.

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Featured Vancouverite: Javier Puig

Featured Vancouverite: Gordon Glanz

Gordon Glanz Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

How long have been a Vancouverite? 22 years

Occupation:
I am a distiller and the founder of Odd Society Spirits in East Vancouver. I studied distillation at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is where I met my business partner and fellow distiller Joshua Beach, who was also doing the MSc Brewing and Distilling program. Distillation is an amazing field because it combines science with creativity. Every step of the process presents a myriad of choices. For example, to make a whisky, what grain will you use, how fine will you grind the malt, what will the mashing temperature be, what yeast will you use, how long will you ferment, etc. There are accepted practices but each step in the process is open to variation and your choices will influence the final outcome in the glass. The process is daunting and exciting at the same time.

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Featured Vancouverite: Gordon Glanz

Featured Vancouverite: Chad MacRae

Chad MacRae

Hometown: White Rock, British Columbia

How long have you been a Vancouverite? Since 2001 (with a break living overseas from 2007 – 2010).

Occupation:
I’m the Principal and Senior Recruiter at Recruiting Social. We’re the only recruiting agency that helps big-thinking, innovative businesses build a better world by connecting them with the committed, talented people they need to make their ideas reality. We work with startups and companies that want to adopt startup practices, and we are committed to the idea of building a better world: 10% of our fees go to education grants for marginalized youth, through a local organization called STAND Foundation.

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Featured Vancouverite: Chad MacRae