2024 Women of the Year Awards: Community builder – Runner-up Alexa Pitoulis

Alexa Pitoulis, executive director of BC Family Doctors, is a runner-up of the Community builder category of the 2024 Women of the Year Awards


Alexa Pitoulis
Executive director, BC Family Doctors

AS a new Vancouverite in 2013, Alexa Pitoulis started volunteering at Fresh Roots Urban Farm with her two children. Six years later, she assumed the role of executive director, guiding the nonprofit through its pivotal evolution from startup to maturity.

Pitoulis, a change leader, started her career with the federal government, working at agencies around Canada. Originally from Alberta, she completed a bachelor’s in environmental studies at the University of Northern BC and an MBA in sustainable systems at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, now part of Presidio Graduate School  in California.

She joined the board of Fresh Roots in 2018, and in the fall of 2019 began her tenure as ED. Under her leadership, Fresh Roots was recognized through Charity Village in 2023 for two awards for small organizations with under 20 staff: best nonprofit employer for youth advancement and best individual contribution to advancing youth in the workplace.

More than operating schoolyard gardens, Fresh Roots offers programming that helps 5,000 students a year find kinship and connection as they learn about healthy eating, gardening and ecological stewardship. The organization’s schoolyard market gardens are not only the first in Canada, they also bring the broader community together to bear witness to the youths’ leadership development—and to enjoy the literal fruits of the students’ labour.

In March, Pitoulis took her leadership expertise into a new industry, stepping into the role of ED with BC Family Doctors.

“The work is always bigger than us as individuals,” she says, reflecting on her approach to community building. “It’s really about collective collaboration, getting curious about what different people are trying to do and asking, ‘What we can build together?’”