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Community Futures Volunteer of the Year 2018 Award

The nominations are in! Below are details of all the Volunteer of the Year Award Winners from across the Community Futures Network. We thank all of our volunteers, who work tirelessly for our organization and contribute to our success! We couldn't do it without you all.

Community Futures Central Island

Nominee Name:  Adam Hawryluk

Adam joined our Board in October of 2011 representing youth through the Young Professionals of Nanaimo of which he was President in 2013.  He served as our Board Treasurer for two years, Vice-Chair of our Loans Committee for three years and is currently Chair of the Loans Committee.  Adam also served on our Marketing Committee for several years and on our Audit Committee when Treasurer.   He is a past member of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Board, chaired the “Connect VI” conference in 2012, and facilitated an access to capital session representing Community Futures at the SOHO Summit in 2017.  As a mortgage expert at DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts, Adam understands what business owners are facing today, especially young entrepreneurs.  Adam and his wife Michelle were thrilled to welcome their daughter, Frances, into this world on Valentine’s Day of this year.  

Community Futures Peace Liard

Nominee Name:  Cameron Schulz

Cameron jointed Community Futures Peace Liard Board in 2015. In that time Cameron has been a very dedicated volunteer to our organization. His wealth of business knowledge and experience has been very valuable to our board of directors, as well as a strong voice on our Loans Committee. Cameron’s volunteer work doesn’t end here. He also sits on other board of directors in the community of Dawson Creek as well as commits time to the Bear Mountain Ski Hill. In all of this Cameron has a busy family life and him and his wife Tawnya run three very successful businesses in Dawson Creek as well as business partnerships in Hudson Hope and Fort St John. Just recently Cameron had to resign due to commitments to his business and family and there will definitely be a noticeable void at our meetings.

Community Futures Greater Trail

Nominee Name:  Gerald Klassen

As a young man in his 20s, Gerald’s love of endurance sports led to the opening the first Gerick Sports store in Trail in 1983, and its success allowed for expansion into other communities.  He may have “retired” from the retail business but the legacy lives on through 3 independently owned/operated Gerick stores located in Trail, Nelson, and Cranbrook. 

His strong entrepreneurial spirit and community devotion fit naturally with Community Futures and we were thrilled to welcome him to the Board of Directors in 2015.  True to his nature, Gerald sits on numerous CF committees – Loans, Projects, Self-Employment Program, and Recruitment – and is an avid participant, supporter, and ambassador for Community Futures. 

Gerald continues to maintain close relationships in the business community by providing valuable mentorship to up-and-coming entrepreneurs, as well as succession planning advice to business owners who are ready to pass the torch.

Community Futures Nadina

Nominee Name:  Jean Gerow Marr

Jean Gerow is our President at Nadina Community Futures. As president she has demonstrated superior leadership skills, participated at the highest level at Community, Regional and Provincial Community Futures events. Jean sits on several committees within our organization. She is the past President of the Burns Lake Rotary Club, Pas President of the Houston Chamber of Commerce ad site on the Houston Curling Club Board. Jean has been a Guest Speaker at a number of events, including The International Women’s Day. Jean Gerow Marr is an entrepreneur herself, having purchased a local Houston newspaper which she has subsequently expanded to become a regional publication.

In spite of her very busy scheduled, Jean is the first to volunteer for any community event.

Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot

Nominee Name:  Jennifer Collette

Jennifer was involved with CFAC as a committee member on both the Investment and Self-Employment committees.  A diligent and enthusiastic member, her commitment to the CF philosophy and her background in Business and Financial Services, proved to be a valuable asset to our organization.  Her assessment of Business Plans and client proposals was always thoughtful and focused and she never attended a meeting unprepared. Jennifer is a believer in community service and in addition to CF participation, has been involved in youth sports, PA Hospice, Chamber events, and is currently the Board Chair of Pot Luck Ceramics, a for profit for charity within the PA Fundraising Co-op.  We are thrilled and pleased to nominate Jennifer Collette as our Volunteer of the Year.

Community Futures Okanagan-Similkameen

Nominee Name:  Brenda Gould

Brenda was originally one of our business loan clients, who subsequently became a board director representing the Similkameen region.  Brenda has worked tirelessly in her community for many years, especially with the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian bands.  In 2017, Brenda joined the provincial Community Futures BC board.

Community Futures North Cariboo

Nominee Name:  Debbie Wiens

Debbie joined our Board in 2014; she is, without a doubt, an asset to our team.  Debbie is community minded.  She supports and promotes CFNC, small businesses and entrepreneurism.  Debbie is a partner in an accounting firm.  She comes with a wealth of knowledge and skills and she share these with us as needed.  She is incredibly dependable, friendly and approachable – she consistently makes herself available whenever we need her!  Debbie is also an active member of the Rotary and volunteers her time and skills to other charities and groups throughout our community.  We are incredibly grateful that Debbie has joined our team and remains a dedicated member.

Community Futures Boundary​ 

Nominee Name:  Leigh Wilson Starchuk

Leigh Starchuk joined the Community Futures Boundary Board in November 2014.  She is a co-owner of Tool Time Supplies Ltd. a retail rental company in Grand Forks.  Leigh has been involved in the Community for many years in a volunteer capacity.  Most recently she is Chair of the Grand Forks Curling Club and has been involved with the junior curling program provincially. Before she joined the Board she had worked with Community Futures in the past and brings first hand knowledge of local trends, attitudes and the challenges facing small businesses in rural British Columbia     Currently, she is “secretary” of our Board and an active member of our organization

Community Futures North Okanagan

Nominee Name:  Bryon Brandle

Bryon is a Lawyer, Realtor and Developer.  He practiced law for several years with a major Vancouver law firm and is the former Broker Owner of several RE/MAX real estate brokerage offices in the North Okanagan and Shuswap area, along with a substantial General Insurance Agency.  He is a member of Law Society of BC, Canadian Bar Association, Real Estate Institute of Canada, Real Estate Institute of BC, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.  He has sat on various Provincial and local boards including, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, Teen Junction Initiative Society and Vernon Winter Carnival Society.

Bryon is presently a director and Vice Chair of the British Columbia Real Estate Errors & Omissions Insurance Corporation and a Director and Vice Chair of the Community Futures of the North Okanagan, along with being an active member of the Governance, HR and Executive Committees.

Community Futures 16/37

Nominee Name:  Calvin Carlick

Calvin Carlick joined Community Futures 16/37 on May 18, 2010 as an Alternate Director.  On July 13, 2012 he was elected Director representing Iskut and area.  Currently Mr. Carlick holds the position of Vice Chair.

Calvin is 33 years young.  He is a member of the Tahltan Nation and a Royal Roads University alumni.  Calvin is a passionate community servant.

Community Futures Central Kootenay

Nominee Name:  Chris Bell

Chris Bell has been a Community Futures Central Kootenay Board Director since February 2015 and the Board Chair since June 2015.

During his time with Community Futures, Chris quickly went from the role of new Board member to Board Chair. He is an active member of the Loans Committee, Self-Employment Committee and the Nominating Committee, providing mentorship to the Executive Director and recruiting new Board members. He also volunteers as a Judge for Junior Dragon’s Den.

Since 2010, Chris has chaired the Castlegar-based Kootenay Business Exchange, a Peer Mentoring group established in 2006. Chris’ other volunteer work includes or has included sitting on the Board for Castlegar Sculpture Walk, Castlegar Rotary, Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce and the Castlegar Golf Club. 

Community Futures Shuswap

Nominee Name:  Jeff Tarry

Jeff resides in the community of Scotch Creek and has represented the North Shuswap region on Community Future Shuswap’s board of directors for the past 5 years. He has enjoyed a very successful real estate career with Century 21 Lakeside Realty and also finds the time to serve his community as a “volunteer at large”. Jeff has held executive positions on the board of directors for the North Shuswap Chamber of Commerce and has played an instrumental role in bringing the Shuswap Tourism branding to the North Shuswap. We value Jeff’s insight and contribution to our organization and the passion he brings for the success of the North Shuswap

Community Futures Thompson Country

Nominee Name:  Ken White

Ken is a founding Board Member of the Community Futures movement since 1988. Ken served as the CFTC Chair from 1996 – 2001 and Chair of Community Futures British Columbia from 2004 – 2007. He has served as the Pan Canadian Chair from 2007 – 2009. CF’s across Canada have relied on Ken’s interest, expertise, and leadership he has provided. Ken has provided in excess of 10,000 volunteer hours to the CF movement. As Community Futures Thompson Country celebrates its thirtieth year in operation it only makes sense that Ken is nominated as our volunteer of the year.

Community Futures Powell River

Nominee Name:  Lori Brown

For Lori Brown, Powell River is not just, what she calls home, but it is the heart and soul of who she is.  Her desire to see her community grow and thrive has led her to become involved in numerous organizations.  Lori sits on the boards of Powell River Community Futures, Powell River Community Forest, Powell River Christian School as well as her church, Westview Baptist. 

     Lori is an integral part of every organization she chooses to invest her time in.  At Powell River Community Forest, she has thrown herself into learning about the logging industry and using her business expertise to note where funding could be best invested within her community to make an impact for all generations.  At the Christian School, it is not Lori’s skill with numbers that they draw upon but her heart to give, to continue to learn and her desire to enable and equip the next generation.  Lori’s heart for the community and children extends into this next generation.  Desiring them to understand the blessings and opportunities, they have been given and in turn teach them to give back. 

     Lori has been an integral part of Community Futures Powell River for many years serving well past her mandatory 5 years that she originally signed on for.  Her experience as a business owner and her flair for “Numbers” have made her an integral part of this organization.  Volunteering tirelessly, she commits many hours to ensuring that her community grows economically and that the best interests of the local community are served.  Lori is the Board Treasurer and Chairs the Self Employment Committee.

Community Futures Cowichan

Nominee Name:  Sarah Morden

Sarah Morden has been a board member with Community Futures Cowichan since 2012. Her experience as a self-employed consultant with local governments throughout the province on a range of local initiatives and projects has been an excellent fit with Community Futures. Sarah has been a valuable resource to our organization in our grant writing and project management activities. With her guidance, we have been successful in receiving funds and administering a number of community development projects. Sarah believes strongly in the value of collaboration and partnerships as a means to strengthening our local businesses. She is a supporter in raising social consciousness, particularly amongst the youth and community initiatives aimed at improving local quality of life and long-term sustainability. 

It would be nearly impossible to do the great things we do without amazing individuals like Sarah.  She is a great asset to Community Futures Cowichan and we are very happy that this is where she wants to volunteer her talent.  

 Community Futures Sun Country

 Nominee Name: Victor Smith

 Victor joined the team in 2015 and we have not looked back since. His energy is contagious and an individual that becomes engaged IMMEDIATELY with whatever he is participating in. Within the first year with Community Futures, he was elected as Chairperson. We discovered very quickly his mind does not rest and has a positive energy that fills the room. He has a reputation in the region of being energetic and always thinks of community first. There are too many organizations that he has been involved in to list and they are grateful to work beside him as projects are moved forward for the good of everyone. If there are initiatives that are being worked on, you can guarantee Victor is involved in some capacity…. We often hear “someone” should…..Victor has “someone” stamped on his forehead!

Community Futures Mt. Waddington

Nominee Name:  Warren Beatty

Warren Beatty joined the CFMW Board in 2013.  As the Vice-President of Neucel Specialty Cellulose located in Port Alice, Warren brought a wealth of management and human resource experience.  Warren quickly volunteered for a Board executive position as our Vice-Chair.  He has been generous with his HR and management experience helping our CF edit and update many of our policy manuals, most notably the HR manual.  Warren maintains a keen interest in economic development within our entire region and has been an avid participant in a number of development initiatives around the region. 

It is with pride that CFMW names Warren Beatty as our “Volunteer of the Year.”

Community Futures Nicola Valley

Nominee Name:  Jack Polmans

Jack Polmans and his wife Mavis moved to Merritt in 2005 to retire after working as a manager in the automotive industry. He quickly became involved in the community being appointed to six city committees after the 2008 election: City Centre Board, Façade, ATV Taskforce, Spirit of BC Olympic Committee, Olympic Taskforce, and Directional Signage Committee.

Jack has been part of Community Futures Nicola Valley as a Director and Lending Chair since 2012.

He has also been involved with the Nicola Valley Museum as Director, and Co-chair for Country Christmas, volunteers at The Historic Baillie House and many other organizations and events.  He has been a major supporter for our community and he is well respected and admired by all of us.

We are excited to have Jack honoured for his years of service and dedication to the CF community!

Stó:lō Community Futures

Nominee Name:  Jason Campbell

Jason Campbell, a member of Seabird Island Band (Seabird) and has served on the Stó:lō Community Futures (SCF) Board since July, 2016.  In addition to working as a Programs Facilitator for the Correctional Services of Canada, Jason has served as Councillor for Seabird for two terms; he is a Director of the Lands Advisory Board; he sits on the Land Code Committee for Seabird; and, is a Member of the Seabird Business Development Board.   Jason is dedicated to helping people become self-sufficient and become the economic force that will enable the Stó:lō Communities to be involved with the global economy.  As a former football player, Jason brings his leadership skills as a Coach for the Valley Huskers and to the SCF Board.

Community Futures Howe Sound

Nominee Name:  Tanya Goertzen

Tanya has been a model CF Howe Sound volunteer ever since she joined up with us in 2010.  She first began volunteering with us as a member of our lending committee and two years later she was a full-fledged member of our board of directors in addition to keeping her duties with our lending committee.  Today Tanya is our Vice Chair and in 2019 she will take over the entire organization as Chair.   

When she is not assisting Community Futures, Tanya is the engaging and active owner of the Upper Village market in Whistler.

Tanya has been a resident of Whistler for over two decades and has been an active Chamber member in the community for 10+ years now.  She also volunteers in too many other places to count!!

Tanya’s high energy, sound intellect and perennial smile are all key reasons that our organization has flourished for the past many years. Her husband Rod and two sons are immensely proud of her, as are all of us at CF-Howe Sound.

Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin

Nominee Name:  Wayne Reeves

Wayne began volunteering at Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin as a Board of Director in 2014. He is presently Treasurer for the CFCC Board of Directors and is a member of the CFCC Loans Committee.

Beyond volunteering with Community Futures, Wayne is the Treasurer for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139, a volunteer for Partners in Assisted Learning and a member of the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal of British Columbia. Wayne has volunteered as a Director and President of the Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club as well as spent many of his volunteer hours with the Williams Lake Sally Ann.

Before retirement, Wayne was the Super Intendant of Jacobson Brothers Forestry Products and a Director and Chairman for the Cariboo Regional District.

Community Futures Sunshine Coast

Nominee Name: Christine Younghusband

Christine has served on the Community Futures Sunshine Coast Board since 2012 and is currently the Nominations and Corporate Governance Committee Chair. She is excited about the progress Community Futures has made and looks forward to more in the future. Christine is invariably an enthusiastic, dedicated and reliable volunteer. She has gone above and beyond the basic duties.

Wildfire Transition Project



Community Futures support available for
rural businesses impacted by the 2017 wildfires

April 9, 2018 --- Rural small businesses that have been impacted by the 2017 wildfires in British Columbia can access help in the recovery process from their local Community Futures office. Five Community Futures offices in the areas affected by the wildfires – Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin, Central Interior First Nations, North Cariboo, Sun Country, and Thompson Country – are providing targeted support to help small businesses rebuild as part of the Wildfire Business Transition Project.

Assistance provided includes:

  • Outreach and advisory services
  • Business coaching, training and/or peer mentoring
  • Employee training and recruitment
  • Business continuity planning and risk assessment
  • Marketing opportunities
  • Access to financing

The 2017 wildfire season was the worst in BC’s history and had devastating economic impacts that continue to be felt today. An estimated 15,000 businesses were affected by the wildfires. In addition to the immediate impacts of property damage and loss of business due to evacuation orders, businesses are now grappling with the longer-term effects of the fires on business continuity. Businesses across all sectors have had to deal with the loss of employees, customers and cash flow, among other things, and many are still struggling to recover.

Community Futures can help. If you and your business were impacted, call the nearest Community Futures office in the following regions:

Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin
Williams Lake
Tel. (250) 392-3626 or toll free 1-888-879-5399

Community Futures Central Interior First Nations
Tel. (250) 828-9833

Community Futures North Cariboo
Tel. (250) 992-2322 or toll free 1-877-992-2322

Community Futures Sun Country
Tel. (250) 453-9165 or toll free 1-800-567-9911

Community Futures Thompson Country
Tel. (250) 828-8772 or toll free 1-877-335-2950

Funding for the Wildfire Business Transition Project has been provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Community Futures Development Association of BC. This augments previous funding provided by Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition for the northern communities.



Supported by/Avec l'appui de :


Stó:lō Community Futures bringing the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program to S’ólh Téméxw

Stó:lō Community Futures (SCF) has formalized a partnership between SCF and Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s Beedie School of Business, to bring the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program (FPEAP) to S’ólh Téméxw.  Press Release

Greater Trail - Executive Director Appointed

Community Futures Greater Trail's Board of Directors and Staff are pleased to announce that Erik Kalacis has accepted the position of Executive Director.  Erik's first day with Community Futures Greater Trail will be Monday, September 11, 2017.  Click Here to read the full announcement.

Local Crowdfunding Platform to Assist Fire Ravaged Communities

Local Crowdfunding Platform to Assist Fire Ravaged Communities

Vanderhoof, BC. – As devastating wildfires continue to tear across the province of British Columbia many small and medium sized businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations are seeking solutions to make rebuilding easier. Local crowdfunding platform, InvestLocalBC feels it can assist in some small way.
“Sourcing funds to assist with the recovery from the wildfires is an excellent example of what the InvestLocalBC platform was created to accomplish.” said Graham Stanley, the Manager of Community Futures Stuart Nechako which created the platform. “Local solutions to local problems.”
With so many rural communities being impacted by the wildfires, this local perspective has taken on a whole new significance. “Right now we are just seeing the emergency portion of this disaster,” said Stanley, “the rebuilding of our communities will be going on for years to come. With this in mind and with our mandate to assist local communities InvestLocalBC waiving the service fees for any campaign involved in the rebuilding from these horrific fires.” InvestLocalBC operates under a “fixed funding” model. Fixed funding assumes administrative fees of a 5% commission. This commission will be waived for all vetted projects and campaigns, removing at least one financial barrier to reconstruction.
To further the cause InvestLocalBC has partnered with Fundrazr a crowdfunding pioneer in BC to “increase our reach on the nonprofit side and FundRazr has an extremely large audience,” stated Stanley.
Anyone looking at a wildfire recovery or community redevelopment campaign can visit the website at or contact local manager Tom Bulmer with any questions or concerns. Call 1-800-266-0611 or email
About Community Futures Stuart Nechako:
Media Contact:
Graham Stanley
Media Contact:
Tom Bulmer
Community Futures Greater Trail

July 26, 2017

Community Futures Greater Trail would like to take this time to announce the resignation of our General Manager, Don Freschi. 
Don joined the Community Futures Greater Trail team as General Manager in February 2013 and has spearheaded several exciting and innovative projects in the Greater Trail area. Some of these successes include the start up of the MIDAS Fab Lab located in Trail, partnering with Columbia Basin Trust to deliver the Impact Investment Fund (IIF), and introducing the Junior Dragons’ Den competition for local youth entrepreneurs.
The MIDAS (Metallurgical Industrial Development Acceleration Studies) facility, located at 2970 Highway Drive in Trail, is a hub for hands-on skills training in digital fabrication using state-of-the-art rapid prototyping tools such as 3D scanners, 3D printers, and CNC machines. Since its grand opening in 2016, hundreds of individuals have been trained to use these advanced tools and it has become a draw for people of diverse interests and abilities from all across the region. Under the mentorship of Don Freschi as GM, Community Futures Greater Trail donated time, money, and expertise to the project; it is largely his passion and unwavering support for MIDAS that led to the creation of this technology hub in Trail.
The Impact Investment Fund is a Columbia Basin Trust funded program administered through Community Futures offices in the Basin. The funding program is intended for businesses and organizations considered high risk by conventional lenders or may not be able to provide adequate returns to be attractive to investors; however, success will have a demonstrable positive effect on the local economy, such as keeping jobs in the community, re-purposing a vacant building, supporting local arts and culture, etc.
The Junior Dragons’ Den competition is an annual event open to youth entrepreneurs. The competition was started through the CF Greater Trail office, in partnership with CF Central Kootenay and CF Boundary, and has expanded to include the East Kootenays and Revelstoke. Youth pitch business ideas against other competitors within their age class and winners are determined through a combination of panel judges and live audience voting. Since its inception in 2013, the competition has steadily grown in popularity within local schools, the public, and sponsors alike. Year after year, people are blown away by the calibre of business ideas brought forward and several winners have taken their ideas into operation after taking away the prize money. The competition has become a fun and effective tool for getting youth involved in business, innovation, and
The Board and staff of Community Futures Greater Trail wish Don all the best in his future endeavors. Please join us to thank Don at an open house in his honour at Community Futures Greater Trail, 825 Spokane Street, Trail, BC on Thursday, August 17th from 11:30am to 2:30pm.
The Board of Directors
Community Futures Greater Trail
Community Futures British Columbia Executive Director Retires

On behalf of Community Futures BC Board, please find attached announcement regarding Marie Gallant, CFBC Executive Director’s retirement.

Marie has been with the CF program for over 19 years in the roles of volunteer Board member, Business Analyst, General Manager and most recently as CFBC’s Executive Director. 

Through her time with CF, Marie has significantly improved the asset base and financial stability of the organization through the successful negotiation and delivery of a variety of initiatives and leaves the organization financially positioned to address future needs of the program in BC.

Although Marie Gallant will be retiring from her current full-time position with CFBC she will continue to be available to the Community Futures program and other non-profit organizations delivering Board and staff training and support services through the Community Futures Leadership Institute and her own private consulting organization. Marie’s last official day with CFBC will be January 31, 2017 but she will be using up vacation time between now and the end of January and as such will not be in the office.

I’d like to express great appreciation for the hard work that Marie Gallant has done for our network over the past decades and for the deep passion she has always held for the Community Futures movement.

Please join me in wishing Marie the very best in her next chapter.  

Yours sincerely,

Robert Annis

Chair, CFBC


Press Release

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About Community Futures

For over 30 years, we’ve been fostering entrepreneurship in rural BC. We offer small business loans, business counseling and specialized programs to help you start or grow a business, and to help communities become more resilient and dynamic. Find out more…

Contact us

#C230 - 7871 Stave Lake St.
Mission, BC  V2V 0C5

T: 604-289-4222
T: 1-888-303-2232


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