‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’
As one of the original voices of the coworking movement, Ashley has been building collaborative communities since 2003. As an artist and serial entrepreneur, Ashley is in her element while destroying the term ‘impossible’ and creating opportunities for unexpected and meaningful human connections.
Ashley now resides in Vancouver to focus her energy on the 312 Main project, yet she also manages coworking communities, artist studios and event spaces in Toronto, ON and Seattle, WA. Through her organizations Foundery and Creative Blueprint, Ashley has been recognized as a leader in the coworking industry and she mentors emerging collaborative networks around the world to help create impactful community initiatives.
Ashley is the Executive Producer of GCUC Canada (Global Coworking Unconference) and as one of the founding members of the Coworking Toronto and Coworking Ontario collectives, Ashley also created COHIP — the world’s first Coworking Health Insurance Plan — providing accessible health and dental benefits for all independent workers in Canada.
Ashley is regularly invited to speak at international conferences and although she loves the opportunity to travel, she is happiest when leading a passionate and innovative team to inspire and empower creatively.
Real Estate Manager
Thomas is passionate about transforming real estate for the benefit of community. He first became involved with the 312 Main project after meeting Bob Williams in a UBC architecture class. Thomas helped to cofound the idea for 312 Main while completing his Master’s in Urban Planning.
Although driven by sound financial analysis, the root of his professional mission is to make cities more beautiful and whimsical places. Thomas developed his curiosity to look beyond the blemished while working with landscape architect Michael Luco.
In the evening, Thomas draws inspiration from books such as A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, the Well-Tempered City by Jonathan Rose, and Small is Beautiful by E. F. Schumacher.
Thomas went west from Guelph, Ontario, where he completed his Bachelor of Commerce in Real Estate and Housing. Currently, he is completing the Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute destination at UBC, to better understand the drivers of real estate value.
Vanessa Richards, born in Vancouver, first started working in the heart of the city in a Gastown restaurant while in high school. The DTES’s independent music and art scene of the 1980’s is where she began as a musician to understand the relationships between city planning, social change, and community. These days her practise is interdisciplinary and focuses on creativity and participatory culture as central to sustainability.
As a community engagement facilitator Vanessa has devised and delivered initiatives with The Portland Hotel Society, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Coastal Health, Public Dreams Society, Broadway Youth Resource Centre, The Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Capilano University, and Vancouver Park Board, among others. She is the founder and song leader for the Woodward’s Community Singers, a drop-in, no-cost, low-barrier choir, and director of Creative Together, a song based facilitation process.
Director of Technology
Jacob Sayles is our Director of Technology. With 20 years experience in software development and network administration, Jacob brings a wholistic problem solving strategy, a human-centered design philosophy, and a commitment to open source software to his role.
Jacob is a co-founder of Office Nomads and Coworking Seattle (now The Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance) and keynote alumni of Coworking Europe. In early 2012 he founded Open Coworking, a non-profit dedicated to promoting and facilitating greater collaboration between coworking spaces around the world. Open Coworking supports projects that demonstrate and emphasize the core coworking values of collaboration, openness, community, accessibility, and sustainability.
Jacob loves nothing more than acting as a coworking ambassador, both internationally and locally. It allows him to combine his love of travel with his passion for coworking. He has visited spaces all over the world, forging connections and sharing experiences with each coworking community.
We’re building a diverse team of staff and volunteers at 312 Main who are committed to community economic development through collaborative social innovation.
Want to join us? Check out the opportunities below.
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