BALTA - B.C.-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance

Management Team

The lead agency for the B.C.-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA) is the Port Alberni, BC, based Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. CCCR is a non-profit organization with a long history of supporting initiatives to strengthen community economic development and the social economy.

The BALTA Office on Beardale Farm, outside Port Alberni, BC.

Mike Lewis. BALTA Director and Lead Investigator.

Mike Lewis
BALTA Director and Lead Investigator

Mike has played a leading role in community economic development and the social economy for over 30 years. He has worn many hats including advocate, advisor, analyst and trainer in a vast range of community economic development tasks and projects across Canada and internationally. These projects have included strategic planning, organizational development, venture development, entrepreneurial and small business development, feasibility analysis, research and evaluation, and the structuring of joint ventures. Mike is Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal.  Mike has played a key role in building several CED organizations and social enterprises and has provided technical assistance to many more. He is a very active member of the Canadian CED Network. He also currently chairs the board of a joint venture involving the First Nations of Clayoquot Sound and Coulson Forest Products; together they manage a Tree Farm License in one of the most ecologically and economically challenging forestry environments in North America.

Stuart Wulff. BALTA Coordinator.

Stuart Wulff
BALTA Coordinator

Stuart has worked for almost 30 years as coordinator and CEO for a wide range of education, policy and advocacy oriented coalitions, mostly in the fields of international development and human rights. His work has also focused on environmental issues (e.g. climate change), conflict resolution, and community based economic and social development. Stuart's work has taken him to many countries, including periods living in Africa, Europe and the South Pacific. An important aspect of Stuart's work has been the building of links between organizations and communities in other countries and their counterparts in Canada, including with First Nations and Indigenous Peoples' organizations. Stuart served for nine years as editor of Tok Blong Pasifik, an international magazine on Pacific issues with subscribers in over 40 countries, and was associate producer for P.O. Box Africa, a television series on community development set in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Lena Soots. Student Program Coordinator.

Lena Soots
Student Program Coordinator

Lena is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education and an Instructor/Researcher with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University. She has worked with BALTA as a student researcher on various research projects since 2006 and is also working with a BALTA project to develop a new foundation course on the social economy. Lena's doctoral research brings together ideas in the areas of sustainability, the social economy, social enterprise, organizational learning and social innovation.  Lena’s student program role involves providing a range of orientation and other support to BALTA’s student researchers.

Don McNair. BALTA Communications Specialist

Don McNair
BALTA Communications Specialist

An editor, writer, and illustrator, Don McNair is responsible for the publications of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. He has 25 years experience in the design, production, and distribution of publications concerning community economic development (CED), 15 years of those as managing editor of Making Waves: Canada's CED Magazine. Don's continuing responsibilities in research, editing, and publishing experiences in community practice keep him in touch with community practitioners, initiatives, and resources across the country.  Don provides support to some of BALTA’s communication initiatives.

Royal Roads University

The other part of the BALTA Management Team is based at Royal Roads University. RRU provides some administrative activities, such as ethical reviews and support for development of SSHRC CVs for new BALTA members.  Funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for BALTA also flows through RRU.

Royal Roads University.

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