Volunteer Profile: Dennis Johnston

About Dennis Johnston

Looking for a volunteer outlet, Dennis Johnston turned up at the Garden in 2017. “I’m a born Vancouverite, I love the city and gardening and working with the community, so the VanDusen seemed a good fit.” Heidi Jakop — newly arrived as our Director of Volunteer Engagement — saw an even better fit. Dennis is a software architect, and he went on to contribute his IT skills and guidance to the Program as a whole. 

Two years later, and for those same broad IT reasons, Dennis was invited onto the VBGA Board. He sits on both the Bloedel Committee and the JOA [Joint Operating Agreement] Support Committee, and finds he has a growing interest in governance as well. This fits with his professional life, where he works in large-system design and is heavily involved in business rules and business systems.  

The pandemic affects all systems, all relationships. “It means, for example, that the entities with which we at the VBGA are involved have their own pressing new challenges and priorities.” Yet, notes Dennis, it also presents us with new opportunities. 

“In 2020, we made real strides in modernizing ways to access what the Garden has to offer, and we have a new emphasis on digital strategy and presence.” He smiles, and adds the quick reminder: “Digital and physical are not mutually exclusive!” 

Written by Penny Williams, Volunteer Writer