MEET THE TEAM
GREGORY OULD, FOUNDER
Gregory, aka "Mr. Warmth", a former stage and film actor, started collecting blankets with his son Benjamin over twelve years ago. Since then, and with the help of community partners, they've managed to collect and distribute over 500,000 blankets to date! Greg's energetic 13-year-old daughter "Little Miss" Emma is also an active participant and is Blanket BC's youngest "Blanket Ambassador". Most recently Baby Zoe has joined the fold, Greg's youngest child, who joins her Daddy on ride-a-longs while providing warmth. Along with Greg's passion for helping others, he continues to coach wrestling when he can and has recently has gone back to his entertaining days becoming an Anthem Singer for the likes of Vancouver Canadians, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, BC Lions among many other sporting organizations and sings to help raise money and awareness for Blanket BC. Gregory is a passionate motivational speaker and has had the privilege to speak to kids from kindergarten to high school and to CEOs and other leaders and dignitaries. Greg's future goals include writing a children's book based on the origins of Blanket BC, the teachings of empathy, and the importance and effects volunteering has on young children.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaimed November 26 as the official Blanket BC Society Day in Vancouver!
"I am honoured to have the love and support of my family and friends...I would like to thank everyone who has helped us on our journey especially Ben and Emma! I welcome others to join in and enjoy this road to help others in need." -Gregory
BENJAMIN OULD, CO-FOUNDER, HONOURARY DIRECTOR
Ben, who recently graduated high school at Mission Secondary School in Mission, BC, was the catalyst that helped create the spirit of Blanket BC as we know it today. As a project, Ben went out with his dad helping to collect blankets for the homeless at the tender age of 2!
In February of 2013, Ben was mentioned in the House of Commons as "one of the youngest founders of a nonprofit in Canadian history!"
From the beginning, Ben has shown a unique sense of sharing and helping others. It is exactly this attitude that instills the core values of Blanket BC; generosity, pride, and altruism.
Ben's humble, quiet, and giving demeanor has been a great source of inspiration to family (including his little sister Emma) and peers alike. We continuously learn from Ben; his solid character and love for volunteering are what motivates so many to help others to do the same, which in turn creates a Beautiful Community.
Ben is an avid sports enthusiast and gamer and shares his passion for competition with his younger sister Emma. He's also an award-winning baseball and soccer player and loves spending time hanging out with his many friends.
Benjamin is the youngest recipient to receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the British Columbia Country Music Association and was honoured in an official blanket ceremony by Kwantlen First Nations for his ongoing commitment to helping people in need throughout the Indigenous communities. This is the highest honour one can receive by a First Nations community.
"I think it's important to volunteer because it makes you feel good and happy!
It also make others feel good and happy!" - Ben
CHRISTINA WEIZMANN, CHAIRWOMAN
Upon commencing her career after business college, Christina Weizmann spent over ten years supporting leaders of successful corporations in both South Africa and Canada and an Executive Assistant and eventually as Marketing Manager. Christina holds a Bachelor of Communication Degree from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. She is co-author to two Amazon No.1 Best Selling books for her collaboration in "Mom's in Business, 15 Success Stories with Soul and Pursuit 365 featuring notable Canadian business women.
As the owner of Pivotal Concepts Communication Studio for 20 years, she has worked directly with hundreds of clients in determining their values, objectives, and desired results and translating that into an effective marketing strategy with a powerful brand and online presence. She enjoys working with socially and environmentally conscious clients like Blanket BC Society by coordinating all their branding, marketing, print and web design, fundraising, and communication efforts. As of 2020, Christina has proudly served as the Board Chair.
Christina is vehemently passionate about making a difference in the world, especially for those that are disenfranchised and voiceless, including animals. She is dedicating the next half of her life to doing her part in contributing and giving as best as she can and is very humbled and honoured to work with Greg and the other talented Board members on their mission to #SpreadTheWarmth through Blanket BC.
SHAWN WILLIAMS, SECRETARY
A native of Lee County, Virginia, Shawn Paul Williams graduated from Thomas Walker High School in 1997. After graduating from Mountain Empire with a degree in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design Technology, Williams received the Dean's Exceptional Graduate Award after being nominated by Appalachian poet and novelist Rita Sims Quillen.
A theater actor, Williams studied acting under veteran film/television actor Vincent Riotta (“Under the Tuscan Sun”, “Rush”, “Captain Corelli's Mandolin”, “The Dark Knight”), at
the Nashville Film Institute. Shawn has worked with Blanket BC Society as a Blanket Ambassador for over eight years, assisting with advertising, letter writing campaigns, and supervising the annual Drive on the Line fund-raisers. In 2017, Shawn became the first international member of the Blanket BC Society’s Board of Directors when he was elected to the Board as the interim Secretary of the Board. Williams re-joined the Board of Directors in 2022, and is excited to be continuing his work with the organization. In addition to working with Blanket BC Society, Williams is a founding member of Collaborative Productions Incorporated and serves on the Middlesboro Little Theatre’s Board of Directors. Since February 2017, he has served Middlesborough Little Theatre's Board of Directors.
MARTIN O'HARA, TREASURER
Martin (Marty) O'Hara grew up in Tsawwassen, BC, where he quickly fell in love with sports. He competed at all levels, winning provincially in baseball as a player, and football as a coach. He even competed internationally as a gymnast. Professionally, he has spent the last 10 years in hospitality, most recently as the General manager of an award-winning brewery in Richmond. He is a hard worker who likes to make people laugh, drink good beer, and smile.
Always good-hearted in nature, Marty felt compelled to help his community in a different way, a warm way. Mr. O’Hara serves on the Board as Treasurer working alongside the Executive Director balancing the books and working on budgeting for daily operations.
Marty is a valuable member of our team ensuring that we are all accountable for our actionable items and monthly goals.
Courtney has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of British Columbia, with a major in Finance and a minor in International Relations. Courtney is currently a member of the Investment Counsellor Group at Orbis Investments. Within this capacity, her role has been to help build a US business. As part of her role, she focuses on business strategy, portfolio analysis, content development and client relationships. Courtney is deeply passionate about community involvement and gravitates toward projects focused on education, gender equality and social-economic issues within the Greater Vancouver region and abroad.
Courtney is a valuable member of our team ensuring that we are all accountable for our actionable items and monthly goals.
Honoured by Kwantlen First Nations - Traditional Blanket Ceremony - 2018
Humanitarian Award Winners - BC Country Music Association - 2015
Recognized in the House of Commons - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - 2013
Benjamin Ould, Co-Founder - Recognized as the Youngest Founder of an NPO in Canadian History
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - 2013
Proclamation - November 26 Blanket BC Day in Vancouver - Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, BC, Canada