© 2023 HASTINGS CROSSING BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION
The HxBIA is a non-profit society governed by duly elected members from our local business and property owners’ community. Board members donate a considerable amount of time and effort working on your behalf, at the board as well as direct BIA funds to hire staff and implement BIA activities. Hxbia staff take care of the day-to-day management of the organization and are responsible for implementing programs as directed by the board of directors.
Food, fashion, fun. Mark Brand is an entrepreneur who is actively shaping the future of the Downtown Eastside. After being recognized as the top bartender in Vancouver Mark opened his first restaurant, Boneta in 2008, which burst onto the scene racking up an impressive 20 major industry awards that year. Not happy to rest on his laurels Mark launched Sharks and Hammers, an urban clothing line and other popular restaurants, the Diamond and Sea Monstr Sushi.
Then in 2011 Mark’s biggest profile project began when he saved the iconic Save On Meats and reinvented it into one of the busiest diners in the city complete with a local food security hub and centralized space and services for local restaurants and food carts on the upper floors.
Mark is committed to the wellbeing of the places and people that make East Vancouver a place he is passionate about. He has committed himself to hiring locally and is closely involved in food security and food access work in the DTES. Learn more at markbrandinc.com.
Caithlin began volunteering at Atira Women’s Resource Society at age 13 providing afterschool childcare for moms accessing services at one of Atira’s second-stage housing programs, as well as in the administration office filing and cleaning. She gained part-time employment at age 15 and continued to work on a part-time basis until 2003 when, after finishing a professional pastry program at the Art Institute of Vancouver, she started work as the children’s community kitchen coordinator, a job she adored.
When funding was cut for that program a few a years later, she went to work assisting Atira’s then fundraiser and over the next seven years and after completing the Fundraising Management Certificate Program at BCIT, grew into her current role as the Director, Communications, Development, Fundraising.
Working in an environment that promotes equality for women has always been her passion and she continues to work every day in the struggle to end violence against women and children.
Caithlin not only works in the neighbourhood, but is also a resident for the past four years. She is thrilled to join the Hastings Crossing BIA board of directors and is looking forward to learning from the other members as well as to contributing to the success of the BIA. She has more recently also taken on the task of being our HxBIA treasurer.
Deanna experience is a great asset to our board. She is born and raised in Vancouver, Deanna holds a masters degree in adult education from UBC. Instinctively drawn toward socially conscious organizations, she began her career in various roles at MEC and Vancity.
For the past decade, Deanna has worked for Central City Foundation and is currently their program coordinator. Her responsibilities include the coordination and management of the foundation’s grants and other programs in support of community-led solutions in Vancouver’s inner city.
Deanna is grateful that her role gives her the opportunity to constantly learn from and connect with the community and the foundation’s community partners. In her free time, Deanna enjoys the great outdoors with her family and paddle boarding to escape her introspective tendencies.
Steven Johnston is a seasoned executive with more than 15 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, working to improve the social and economic circumstances of vulnerable populations.
His career has focused on community economic development and he has held leadership positions up to and including Executive Director. The majority of his experience supporting populations facing barriers to employment including concurrent disorders and homelessness comes from working in two of Canada’s most challenged and impoverished urban communities: Vancouver’s Downtown East-side and Toronto’s Regent Park.
He has developed, delivered, and led innovative programming to provide support and solutions to improve the lives of residents with a focus on income generation and grounded in a social determinants of health perspective. 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.
Steven was motivated to join the Hastings Crossing BIA in an effort to create a healthy and inclusive community where all
residents can thrive and live healthy and rewarding lives.