James Lombardi

Forty under 40 Winner 2016: Founder, Minded Projects, Age 32

Influenced by his father’s drive and his mother’s strength, James Lombardi has used his career to create positive social change. Working as the head of global business development for Free the Children, a non-profit organization aimed at youth empowerment, Lombardi learned the importance of community members working together to enact change.

“If you’re serious about driving social change you need to have everyone at the table,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi has spent his career working with organizations to effect change. During his time at Free the Children, he was responsible for fostering partnerships and bridging the gap between non-profit and for-profit organizations. His experience working with and raising money from the business community taught him the important roles businesses can play in making the world a better place, and the need for social-minded businesses.

“Sustainability has to be woven into the fabric of the organization,” he said. “We are now seeing the proof that you can do well and perhaps even do better by doing good. It’s the companies that focus most on a triple bottom line – social, environment and financial – and sustainability that are ultimately having the most success when it comes to revenue and their other business objectives.”

This principle led Lombardi to start Minded Projects, an organization that works to create strong relationships between charities and companies. As he did in his position with Free the Children, he works with all types of businesses and various non-profits to help them work co-operatively to create positive change by driving revenue for both.

Lombardi says that institutional might is needed to make a difference. He intends to help foster that strength with projects that both create social change and make a profit.

With his desire to work towards community improvement, it is perhaps no surprise that Lombardi is now seeking a new job as a public servant. Lombardi was nominated as the BC Liberal candidate for Vancouver-Point Grey earlier this year and will seek the seat in the 2017 provincial election.

 Join us to celebrate the 2016 Forty under under 40 Awards January 25, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.