Our Co-Founders

Ed Georgica

An East Vancouver native, Ed began his 28 year career in professional sports with the BC Lions back in 1980. After the Grey Cup win in 1985, Ed moved into hockey as the Equipment Assistant with the Vancouver Canucks for six years and then moved to the Ottawa Senators for their inaugural year as the Head Equipment Manager where he contributed in this role for over 10 years.


On the international stage, Ed worked for Team Canada at the 1993 and 1996 World Championships resulting in a silver medal win. He was then selected to represent the world team in the 2000 NHL All Star game in Toronto. Ed served four years on the executive board for the Society for Professional Hockey Equipment Managers (SPHEM), with one year in the role of President. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Larry Ashley Award presented to the trainer that best exemplifies the character and commitment to excellence displayed by Ashley throughout his career. In 2002, Ed made a change from hockey and moved to back to the West Coast where he enjoyed sports consulting for two major motion movies and then pursued a business opportunity patenting a unique technology for a compression garment. Five years later, a licensing deal was finalized with a global performance sports apparel leader and this technology is now global and in multiple products.  In 2011, Ed stepped back into professional sports, with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, as the Head Equipment, Logistic & Facilities Manager and enjoyed a rewarding 11 years with the club.


Ed is passionate about maximizing the sports platform to make a difference in the lives of others and is committed to providing access and opportunities to Indigenous children and youth, inspiring them on their own individual path of greatness.

William Yoachim

William Yoachim is a proud member of Snuneymuxw FN, born and raised in Nanaimo. Currently the Executive Director Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services. Bill received his Bachelor of Arts from Vancouver Island University (VIU) and Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria.

A former and current elected member of Snuneymuxw Chief and Council (2002-2014 and 2018-current), former VIU Board of Governor 2008-2014 and as the first Indigenous person elected to City of Nanaimo Council, 2014-2018, Bill has always maintained a focus on service to his community, leveraging overcoming his own adversity in the leadership and betterment of others. He was recognized for his contribution as the recipient of the MLS Works Community MVP in 2014 and a BC Achievement award in the category of community in 2022.


He his a proud father to his daughter, Samantha, and two sons, Joshua and Liam and lives in Nanaimo with his partner Shawn.

James Merriman

Born and raised in Cedar, BC, James excelled and pursued soccer early becoming a Youth Provincial and National level Player. As a NCAA DIV1 Athlete, 4 Year Letter Winner, he completed a Business Administration Degree at the University of Denver. James then moved on and played in the Professional Arena Soccer League & Premier Development League in Colorado, along with European experiences as he trained & studied in Germany, Turkey and England while he transitioned into coaching. He then contributed five seasons as an Assistant Coach at the collegiate level CCAA Vancouver Island University and NCAA Simon Fraser University. James formerly a Youth Coach for Vancouver Whitecaps FC and stepped into the role of Technical Director and Assistant Coach with Pacific FC (Canadian Premiere League), based out of Victoria, BC for two years and then was named Head Coach in 2021.


Jamie loves fishing, art and spending time with family & friends on Vancouver Island!

Deana Gill-Georgica

Deana Gill, MSW, has been leading capacity building and organizational development initiatives for over 20+ years in a variety of settings, from public service to non-profit to global corporations.  She started her career as a front line social worker and child and youth mental health therapist and then moved into supervisory and leadership roles driven by her passion to make a difference on a larger scale. Deana crossed into the corporate world (PwC and Ritchie Bros. and PHSA) to strengthen her leadership skills and business acumen and also founded an advisory company (Dreammaster) where she specialized in Aboriginal service agencies, partnering to strengthen governance, leadership and providing culturally safe and relevant services.


Deana was recognized nationally in 2013 as the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Work “Distinguished Service Award” for outstanding contribution as a social work professional. Deana believes that identifying and building on strengths and inviting people to lead from where there they stand contributes to vibrant and sustainable outcomes in all situations. After a lengthy career balancing corporate leadership roles alongside the creation and growth of Hope and Health, Deana has now moved into the role of CEO of Hope and Health and focusing on this exclusively with the vision to maximize the impact across BC communities.