Joel Solomon has had an extraordinary career as Canada's best known ethical business developer;  he is also a leader in holistic education and conscious philanthropy.  He has been an Avalon advisor in matters relating to strategic business planning and ecovillage development, especially with respect to holistic programming, marketing, capitalization and operational systems. 

Joel has a diverse background in investment seed capital, politics, real estate, and philanthropy. His career has consistently reflected his life-long commitment to the creation of a progressive society that sustains both the environment and its inhabitants.  While obtaining a degree in Political Science from Vassar College, Joel became directly involved in politics through political campaigning. Still in his early twenties, he became the National Youth Coordinator for the campaign and was a member of the congressional liaison staff.  Joel then served part time in the Jimmy Carter administration for three years, an experience that reinforced his understanding of the importance of public service and political involvement. 

In the 1980s Joel became more directly involved in the environmental movement, spending three years studying orcas with the Pacific Killer Whale Foundation.  Afterwards, he turned his attention to encouraging and investing in businesses that operated in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.  In addition to supporting the growth of a number of natural food companies, he helped to develop the Threshold Foundation, an organization that supports and encourages philanthropists, and served as President of the Tennessee Environmental Council, Tennessee's leading network of environmental organizations.

Beginning in the 1990s, Joel was invited to participate in the founding of Renewal Partners and the Endswell Foundation.  Their complementary missions are to utilize early stage investing and charitable grant-making to promote the development of a sustainable economy in British Columbia. Endswell is currently British Columbia's largest private foundation focused on environmental issues.  Through Renewal Partners, Joel has helped to finance and grow some of the best known social purpose companies in Canada including Happy Planet Foods, Small Potatoes Urban Delivery, Real Assets Investment Management, Communicopia.net and Capers Markets.  To date, Renewal Partners has invested in over fifty companies that share its commitment to socially responsible growth. Joel is also a founding member of the Renewal Land Company, which promotes conservation-based land use and works to create viable models of forest conservation on private land.  As a businessperson, he also has experience as an owner and operator, having managed a large real estate and development company for many years. 

The development of Renewal and Endswell was later followed by the launch of the Tides Canada Foundation, a national public foundation focused on growing funding for social and environmental charities.  Built on the model of the Tides Foundation in the United States, on whose board Joel has served for seven years, Tides Canada supports an expanding network of donors with administrative, investment and advisory services to help further their philanthropic goals. Joel has also worked with the residents of Cortes Island, BC, for over twenty years, helping to develop rural models that allow communities to grow in a post resource extraction economy. 

Joel is the President of Hollyhock, Canada’s leading educational retreat centre on Cortes Island.  Hollyhock’s goal is to cultivate human consciousness, well-being, and social impact.  Joel also serves as a board member of a number of corporations (both for-profit and not-for-profit), foundations, and charitable organizations and was until recently, a member of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.  He is a founding member of the Social Venture Network, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility and the Sage Centre.