Vancouver networking group Impactful People NW ends with a crash

first_imgImpactful People NW board meetings have often been a mixture of business and frivolity. The April 15 meeting, however, was all business.That’s because it was time to dismantle the fledgling Vancouver-based business networking organization.“It was somber,” said board member Angela Engstrom, a Vancouver lawyer.Board members had learned the nonprofit organization’s founder, executive director Erika Laws, was under criminal investigation. “There’s some suspicion of co-mingling of funds and some financial issues,” Engstrom said, declining to elaborate.Within a few hours, the board voted to remove Laws and begin the process of dissolving the 5-year-old group. Laws, who earlier this year sought appointment to the Vancouver City Council, was not at the meeting, having been told to not attend.In short order, the Impactful People NW website was scrubbed of content, save the board’s statement about the organization’s end. Its Facebook page featured the same statement — along with dozens of photos of smiling people, suggesting that at one time Impactful People NW meant more than the alleged malfeasance of its executive director and president.“It was a social networking group for up-and-coming small business entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses,” said Sunny Parsons, owner of Heathen Brewing, whose Feral Public House in downtown Vancouver and Heathen Estate near Brush Prairie served as donated meeting space. “Kind of a grassroots community thing. It was a good group of people.”Laws started a group called Impactful Women NW in February 2014. After assembling a board of directors, she launched Impactful People NW and Impactful Men NW. The three organizations did business under the umbrella of Impactful Women NW, which attained nonprofit status in April 2017 from the Internal Revenue Service.last_img

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