Lara Dauphinee is the managing director of the Fiore Group – a private firm managing a broad portfolio of private equity investments and companies. In addition to Streetohome Foundation, she serves as director of Pure Freedom YYOGA Wellness Inc., The Great Ontario Food Company, The Giustra Foundation, VGH + UBC Hospital Foundation, CKNW Kids’ Fund and sits on an executive committee at the International Crisis Group. She is actively involved in Forum for Women’s Entrepreneurs and co-chairs the annual Pitch for the Purse Competition. Prior to the Fiore Group, Lara served from 2001 to 2011 as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Premier of British Columbia. Lara has been recognized as BC’s most influential women (2016) and BC’s 100 Women of Influence (2010), and has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). Lara is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario.
Why did you join the Streetohome Board?
I think the Streetohome Foundation is an example of an extraordinary model – a private-public partnership, where key players are able to come together and provide creative entrepreneurial solutions to challenges we face as a society – homelessness, addiction and unemployment. Each partner brings their expertise and resources to the table. We’re able to implement promising practices that fill gaps in the homelessness service system in a timely fashion, and can truly measure the impact we are having and the contribution we are making to building better futures. They say: if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
You’ve served on multiple boards – Where and when did your interest in community and homelessness come about?
It’s disheartening knowing that there are so many people living on the streets here in Vancouver. I’m honoured to help find solutions and make a difference in their lives, one by one. I’ve had the unique privilege of getting to know Streetohome Foundation since its inception in 2008 when I was serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Premier. At that time, private citizens like John McLernon, Jake Kerr, Frank Giustra, Ken Dobell and John Mackay were determined that they could make a difference in helping to solve homelessness and proposed to partner with the government. They became the founding members of Streetohome, and since then, it is remarkable what they have accomplished. As a board director, I am part of a dedicated leadership team that will continue that progress.
Why do you think it’s important for the private sector to be involved in social issues and invest in initiatives to support vulnerable individuals?
Traditionally we expect governments to solve our problems, but we are learning quickly that we need more than just the government to resolve some of our most crucial generational challenges. The private sector brings a different perspective and expertise to solving social problems – we like to call it entrepreneurial philanthropy. Our social issues are no longer just “government problems”, they are ours to solve together.
What gets you up in the morning?
My alarm clock! Okay, it’s actually my to-do list. It’s never-ending, but that’s a good thing.
If you could write a single sentence to sum up your life so far, what would it say?
There is so much to do – and I’m only half way through.