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Meet The Team

Andrew Coffey
Owner & King Worker Bee

Once upon a time, Andrew recognized a need for a new style of climbing gym in Vancouver, BC. Having a genuine love for the climbing community, Andrew worked for 3 years developing the first Hive location in the heart of Vancouver and he is proud to share the realization of his vision for community-focused climbing & fitness facilities in BC and Manitoba.

Climbing, Education, and Community are the central pillars of everything Andrew brings to the Hive and he works constantly to take the Hive Climbing Community to new heights. The success of The Hive Vancouver led Andrew to open The Hive North Shore and, a couple years later, The Hive Surrey. These new locations brought an opportunity for the community to  embrace a more well rounded level of fitness, and Andrew brought this pillar of Health and Wellness into the foundations of The Hive. 

Keeping up with the growing climbing scene, Andrew is excited about the sharing the joys of climbing with as many people as possible, with new locations in Winnipeg and Port Coquitlam expanding access to climbing into new communities. Andrew can be found at all levels of the business – as the ‘King Worker Bee’ he happily helps out with setting, keeps up with the community, and continually strives to offer a 5 Star Experience to everyone who walks through our doors.

Shayne Russell
Director of Operations

Growing up in rural Ontario, Shayne spent much of his youth outside, dabbling in climbing here and there but mostly his spare time was spent paddling a canoe. Years later and after a few trips to The Boiler Room in Kingston, the fire was lit and climbing became a new passion.

Shayne is thrilled to be a part of the awesome community that continues to grow in and around The Hive. He aims to provide the ultimate experience for everyone that walks through our doors.

“Climbing has given me so much; I love being able to give back, and share the joys of climbing with so many. Contributing to the growth of a positive community around climbing is something I can work proudly towards everyday.”  When he’s not directing operations, you’re likely to find Shayne enjoying the rock outdoors, in Squamish or abroad.

Andreas Lerch
Head Route Setter

Andreas has been climbing since he was 9 and loves the open minded community it attracts. He strives to keep fit climbing and loves being in an environment where he can teach and continually learn.

Moving to BC from Ontario in 2012, Andreas has many years of setting experience and loves the creativity that comes with it, as well as the freedom it allows him to pursue his hobbies – like reclaimed woodworking, hiking and travelling. Andreas is excited to use his talents and experience Canada-wide, setting for competitions across the country. We are proud to call him our Head Setter and always look forward to seeing the fresh and fun movements he brings to The Hive’s canvas. He hopes you are enjoying his teamwork and the ever changing problems; “See you on the wall!”

Routesetting questions or interested in setting? Email andreas@hiveclimbing.com

Brad Blackwell
Port Coquitlam (he/him)

It is no coincidence Brad’s climbing career started with the doors opening at The Hive. He wandered in, looking for a new hobby, and within no time he was hooked. Over the last three years Brad has been fueling his addiction within, and on, The Hive’s walls and is excited to be part of the team.

Years spent working in the restaurant industry have given him a boatload of experience in dynamic work environments, focusing on guest experience. A competitive curler in Ontario and British Columbia, his experiences both on and off the ice have taught him the importance of teamwork, training and community within a recreation environment. All these traits, paired with his love of climbing and all things outdoors, makes him amped to share what The Hive has to offer with climbers and non-climbers alike.

Kyle Wall
NORTH SHORE (he/him)

One of the few elusive born-&-raised Vancouverites,  Kyle worked as a cook and a chef for almost 10 years before climbing invaded his life via Hive Surrey manager, Brad. Kyle wound up as our Vancouver manager after nearly a year of prodding by a couple of Hive folks, and a well timed job opening. He manages The Hive North Shore with enthusiasm, and we couldn’t be happier to have him on board!

The community resonates with Kyle because “I’m an obsessive kind of person who likes to dive head-first into my interests, similar to much of the climbing community. The sense of adventure provided by climbing is a huge part of why I love it so much”.

While he started off bouldering, Kyle has found his true love in trad climbing and has made some big progress in the last couple of years. Climbing granite cracks, cooking dinner for friends or enjoying a game of snooker, we love Kyle for his all-in, positive attitude.

Ella Dore
surrey (she/her)

Not satisfied with the rainfall in Manchester, Ella moved to British Columbia in 2017, to live in the forest and work at one of Squamish’s outdoor education schools. After spending the summer hiking, belaying, and fixing grazed knees, she moved to Vancouver and began working at the Hive. Ella’s amazing care for each guest’s experience at The Hive has made her indispensable to climbers and team mates alike.

One of Ella’s first experiences of climbing was in 2016; bouldering in the Peak District with a hot flask of tea and a packet of biscuits. Ella has worked as a ropes instructor in the UK and in BC, and is passionate about making the sport accessible to all abilities. Her favourite thing about climbing is the community – it’s a lovely way to meet like-minded people when travelling or moving to a new part of the world!

After making her mark at Hive Vancouver, you can now find Ella managing The Hive Surrey. If you have any comments or questions about the Surrey gym, Ella welcomes feedback via email or in person at the gym

Ed Parkinson
VANCOUVER (he/him)

One of our favourite resident Brits, Ed is always a friendly face at Hive Vancouver!

Ed started bouldering indoors in London, in 2013. It wasn’t long before he started climbing outdoors, and this new passion sparked the move to Canada, to be closer to Squamish. Lucky for us Ed stayed in Vancouver, but he still spends as much time as possible in Squamish and lately has developed a keen interest in rope climbing.

Ed’s love of our community revolves around the diversity of people united by a shared passion for climbing. “Where else can you find paramedics, accountants, lawyers, students, brought together by a shared love of lifelong learning — it’s an incredible connector, really special.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Kori Cuthbert
Managing Partner
Winnipeg (he/him)

Kori was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (west of Winnipeg) and grew up on a small grain farm. As Manitoba has very few rocks and very little elevation to gain, Kori’s first exposure to climbing revolved around childhood summer trips to Squamish while visiting Vancouver-based family. 

When Kori moved to Winnipeg to attend the University of Manitoba in 2007, his interest in climbing grew while going to a small bouldering wall regularly at the university, run by the University of Manitoba Climbing Club.  

After completing his Bachelor of Kinesiology in 2012, he turned his sights to outdoor climbing and began to make 3 hour weekend trips to Northwestern Ontario for sport and trad climbing. Along with his experience and expertise, Kori has a passion for movement and climbing and has been a mainstay in the Winnipeg climbing community for years.

After managing all climbing services at the U of M, Kori decided it was time to make his dream of opening a modern and spacious bouldering gym a reality. Through his partnership with The Hive owner and ‘King Worker Bee’ Andrew Coffey, Kori is thrilled to be bringing The Hive to Winnipeg and can’t wait to grow the community and get more people climbing!

Jonny Greaves
Assistant manager
vancouver (he/him)

Jonny hails from the United Kingdom and moved to Vancouver in 2015. He was first introduced to the Hive through a surprise membership gifted by his wife, and from that point on he never left. Although he enjoyed climbing in the UK, the passionate community and positive vibes that surround the Hive left an immediate and lasting impression, leading Jonny to join the team in 2018.

He has since held various management positions within The Hive, including as Education Coordinator and now as Assistant General Manager for the Vancouver bouldering gym. In this role he supports Ed with all aspects of day-to-day operations at our flagship location, and manages our brilliant customer service team.

Jonny is always on hand to connect with the community and sneak out onto the mats to say ‘hi’ to everyone whenever possible. Plus, he’s always looking for music recommendations and has a Lord of the Rings quote ready for any occasion.

Jurga Prakapaite
Vancouver (she/her)

We’ve never met anyone so psyched on climbing and playing in the mountains, and we feel it’s only fair to warn you: her enthusiasm is contagious!

Jurga (the J is silent!) grew up in the lovely flat lands of Lithuania, and started climbing “way too late” in her life. After finishing her degree in Information and Communication she went to explore what western Europe has to offer, and found out about this thing called rock climbing while living – ironically – in an even flatter country, the Netherlands. It was love at first climb, and soon grew from a hobby to a lifestyle. Years passed, climbing in a tiny basement gym in Vilnius and spending all her office-job holidays on climbing trips around Europe until Jurga decided to turn her life around and move somewhere close to the mountains… these mountains just happened to be on the other side of the world.

Ever since moving to Vancouver Jurga has been helplessly in love with the landscape of BC, and enjoying being a part of the climbing community in Vancouver and Squamish. If she’s not climbing on the Chief, you might run into her taking pictures somewhere in the forest, painting or reading a book in a hammock. She also keeps track of her Sea to Sky highway trips and says “hello” to the mountains every day.

Devon Sandhu
Education Coordinator

Totally panic-frozen, stuck on a rock face in Canmore at the second thinga-majig (did someone call it a ‘draw’? What does that even mean?), 16 year old Devon never would have guessed he’d dive so deep into climbing. Picking it up 11 years later, Devon is loving his 5th consecutive year of climbing and moves with the confidence of a well-travelled climber. After scaling rock in BC, Utah, California and India, he can say with unwavering certainty that he will be climbing for the rest of his life.

With a variety of athletic disciplines under his belt including Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Soccer, and the rare ability to shoot a three pointer, Devon has always had a keen interest in fitness and health. If he’s not outside climbing with his dog in tow, he’s at the gym teaching, or coaching one of the youth teams. Feel free to stop him in the gym for help, if you see him — he’s always excited to teach anyone who’s committed to learning.

Mario Ferreira
education coordinator
winnipeg (he/him)

Mario was born in Winnipeg and has lived there for most of his life; he is a winter enthusiast! Before climbing, Mario also played many years of basketball. After thousands of steps right past the climbing wall to get to the basketball courts at the University of Manitoba, he finally decided to stop and give it a try… and was instantly hooked. Throughout his degree in Recreation Management and Community Development, Mario spent endless hours at the wall getting homework done, climbing, and connecting with the community. This fostered his love for the sport and led him to where he is today.

Mario comes to The Hive with many years of experience running summer camps, after school programs for youth and community events. Now as his educational background, passion for climbing, and experience meet, Mario couldn’t be happier to be working at Winnipeg’s first bouldering only facility alongside amazing friends and coworkers.When Mario is not in the gym he spends his time with his wife and dogs road tripping, camping, outdoor rock climbing, and paddling in Manitoba and across Northwestern Ontario.

Kate Bell
Events, Marketing & communications Manager (she/her)

Kate grew up in Ontario with a love of the arts, but after college she started climbing and everything changed! Within a year and a half of beginning to climb, Kate decided to travel out to BC and like so many of Vancouver’s transplants, after spending time in Vancouver and Squamish, nowhere else really felt like home.

After working in a variety of environments – customer service, outdoor education, and prop construction, to name a few – Kate found her happy place with The Hive. Having managed both of the Hive’s first 2 locations, she finally combined her creative background with her passion for The Hive, the community, and our sport, taking on the events, marketing & communications for the business. When she’s not thinking about the gyms, you can find Kate climbing (on ropes or boulders), looking for the next delicious snack, or gleefully riding her motorcycle.

Franchesca Agoncillo

Fran is originally from the Philippines and grew up and different parts of the world, finally ending up in Alberta where she spent the majority of her life. She started out climbing through her university and then worked for a multitude of rock climbing gyms as well as in design, art, and marketing. In 2018 she then moved to Vancouver to pursue the mountains and her love of arts and culture, eventually joining the Hive and falling in love with the climbing community.

When she’s not at the gym, Fran is usually out having adventures with a pack of dogs, playing video games, or fiddling around with one of her ancient analog cameras.

Genny Mae Rowed

Despite growing up in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Genny Mae didn’t start climbing until 2013, shortly before moving to Vancouver. She spent her summers growing up in southern Alberta camping, and hiking to look for dinosaur bones in remote areas. Genny Mae loves climbing for the community and the intuitive movement (or at least it feels intuitive to her gymnast-cheerleader brain). Plus, it’s the perfect, seasonally complimentary sport to skiing — mountain play all year-round!

Anyone who’s spent time with this ball of energy and fun knows that Genny Mae is passionate about being zero/low waste and loves baking & creating things in the kitchen as much as she loves being active.

Bernie Gourley
Human Resources manager

Bernie came to The Hive originally as a part time, temporary HR consultant. She felt so welcomed and inspired by a team of managers who truly wanted to “make life better” that she did not want to leave! Her business degree and professional HR designation gives her the right stuff when it comes to helping the Hive with growth and organizational development. After Bernie’s first fall assessment was completed by Hive North Shore GM, Kyle Wall she felt like a natural, albeit amateur, climber and is known to schedule private sessions with instructors to introduce friends and family to what she thinks is such an empowering sport.

As a person devoted to not only her profession, but also her three kids, Bernie really feels like she has hit the jackpot.

“Working for The Hive allows me to contribute to a company with genuine, responsible goals and still maintain my busy, active Mom-life.”

We think Bernie is pretty fantastic, too; we hope she gets the chance to climb more often, and look forward to a time when her kids can join and make it a family activity!

Jeff Thomson

Jeff comes to the Hive with an extensive background in high performance sport, more specifically Gymnastics. He was a very active coach producing several national champions while coaching both in private clubs as well as the Head Coach for the UBC Men and Women’s varsity gymnastics teams. In addition to coaching, he was a also a Lecturer in the School of Human Kinetics, teaching Movement Education, Developmental Gymnastics and Qualitative Analysis of Individual Sport and Dance.

While working at UBC Jeff was exposed to climbing on a small outdoor wall and was immediately hooked.  He has now been involved in climbing for over 27 years and is known mostly for his work developing new climbs in Squamish where he and his friend Glenn Payan developed hundreds of new climbs for others to enjoy. Doing things in the opposite direction to most, he then gravitated towards indoor climbing and it wasn’t long before he was approached to work with competitive climbers, specifically in the areas of strength and flexibility development.

Jeff is very excited to be working with the Hive in the development of a happy,  healthy, holistic competitive climbing program where all participants feel supported in striving to achieve their goals.

Christian Core
Climbing Coach/ Instructor (he/him)

Christian was born and raised in Savona, Italy. He has spent 24 years as a member of the Italian National Team, where he won numerous Italian Championships, four Italian Cups, two World Cups, and was the Bouldering World Champion in 2003, just to name a few of his incredible achievements. Christian balances his love for training with climbing outdoors. He has established new boulders all over Italy including his most notable first ascent “Gioia” (rated V16/8C+) located in Varazze, Italy.

On top of being an immensely driven athlete, he is also a highly skilled climbing trainer and coached the Italian Youth National Team for over 2 years. Christian now coaches our competitive youth team, The Swarm, as well as our Ambassador team. If you’re looking to benefit from Christian’s vast experience and skills, you can check out our Training Club or contact him for a training plan and one on one coaching.


Join Our Team!

Interested in joining our team? We are growing, and would like to hear from you!

The Hive is all about community, climbing & fitness, education, and health & wellness. We are proud to offer a 5 star experience to each and every guest and member!

Being part of The Hive team requires an excellent work ethic and a positive attitude towards teamwork, cooperation, and communication. Every member of The Hive’s team must demonstrate a commitment to going the extra mile in making The Hive the best climbing gym ever. With the support of great people, working together in exceptional  facilities, The Hive aims to redefine what it means to be a World Class Climbing Gym.