Who We Are


An inclusive Downtown Eastside community where all residents can thrive and live full, rewarding lives as defined by them.


To collectively foster the conditions for a vibrant, inclusive and equitable local economy in the Downtown Eastside while influencing systemic change.

What We Do

Image c/o: Haisla Collins
  • Strengthen the Livelihoods ContinuumEIC works with non-profit organizations, social enterprises, businesses, government, allies and residents, to build a sustainable low-barrier employment ecosystem in the DTES.
  • Awareness & Advocacy: EIC is creating a diverse constituency that understands and advocates for community economic development and that specifically benefits DTES residents with barriers to employment.
  • Collaboration in the Downtown Eastside: EIC fosters relationships and brings together people across networks and organizations to strengthen collaboration, communication, knowledge sharing and effective action. 


Michelle Lackie
Executive Director

Michelle brings a wealth of experience in social change work. She focuses on influencing organizations, teams and individuals to be self-reflective, creating more inclusive systems, and ultimately an open and accessible environment where all can thrive.

She has held senior positions in non-profit organizations successfully leading departments through organizational change, managing complex budgets and developing strategic outcomes to meet organizational missions.In addition to high-level strategic efforts, Michelle was also involved in writing grant proposals and reporting, project visioning and implementation, communications and recruitment.

Michelle’s foundational philosophy is grounded in building trusting and supportive relationships based on accountability. Her expertise comes from years of managing diverse personnel to achieve success in their areas of responsibility and personal growth.

Michelle has an MBA in non-profit management from the Heller School of Social Policy at Brandeis University, a bachelor of education from McGill University and a certificate in Experiential Jewish Education from Yeshiva University.

John Zador
Community Engagement Coordinator

John is our Community Engagement & Communications Coordinator at Exchange Inner City. Over the past decade, John has volunteered and worked in the social services sector at various non-profit societies in and around Vancouver and the DTES. Examples of community engagement that John has involved himself range from creating the YOUth Got Skills Hip Hop program at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, to working at the YMCA in their Youth Employment Services programs as a Facilitator/Job Developer, as Manager of the Student Services department at Arts Umbrella, and as a volunteer facilitator at Employ to Empower in their Business Skills Building program.

John studied Broadcast Journalism at the Columbia Academy School of Broadcasting, and eventually combined his journalism expertise with his professional passion in community development as a contributing reporter to The Pulse on CFRO Coop Radio 100.5FM, where he platformed marginalized voices and highlighted genuine stories of the Downtown Eastside. John is a continual learner and has completed courses in Harm Reduction training, Mental Health First-Aid, Decolonizing Journalism & Trauma-Informed Reporting, Leadership Training for Managers (Dale Carnegie), and Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management Fundamentals at BCIT.

John's focus at EIC is to establish trusting and collaborative relationships with residents, peers and organizations within the DTES, and to deliver EIC's communications and organizational updates to the wider community.

Board of directors

Sean Miles

EIC Chair
Director, Binners' Project

Elizabeth Ballantyne

EIC Secretary
DTES Neighbourhood House board member

Chris Neale-Clark

EIC Director
Community Resident

Matt Smedley

EIC Director
CEO, Mission Possible

Sean Condon

EIC Treasurer
Managing Director, 312 Main

EIC Members & Community Partners

EIC Members and Community partners are integral to the success of Exchange Inner City’s work to create a more inclusive, vibrant and equitable economy in the DTES. 

To see a complete list of members and partners of Exchange Inner City Community Economic Development Association, click here.

To become a member of the association, or community partner, read our eligibility criteria below.

EIC Membership Eligibility

An organization or individual is eligible for membership in Exchange Inner City Community Economic Development Association if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Social enterprise in the DTES

  • Organization that provides low-barrier employment in the DTES

  • Organization that provides peer employment in the DTES

  • Organization that provides training and skills development in the DTES

  • Active advocate for community economic development in the DTES

Community Partner Eligibility

An organization or individual is eligible for Community Partner status in Exchange Inner City if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Business network connected to the Downtown Eastside

  • City Staff or Council member

  • Social service agency/housing provider in the DTES

  • Non-profit organization in the DTES

  • Vancouver-based social enterprise or community economic development organization

  • Community centre in the DTES

  • Business/institution supporting community economic development and/or social procurement

  • Foundation, donor, funder supporting community economic development and/or social procurement

To find out how to become a member or community partner, contact John Zador at: john@exchangeced.com