PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Community Futures Western Ontario (CFWO) elects new Chair
Priorities for next two years include ensuring members have tools they need to help local businesses thrive post pandemic
BRANTFORD, ONTARIO – September 26, 2022: As the newly elected Chair of the Board for Community Futures Western Ontario, Meghan Marshall has hit the ground running, already identifying top priorities including a modernization framework to help member offices better deliver financing and services to local businesses.
“As Chair, part of my role is to advocate for CFDC offices to ensure our Association can provide them with everything they need to help the businesses in those communities not just survive but thrive,” Marshall explains. Discussions are ongoing with CFDC funder FedDev Ontario to update the CFDC program framework, which will ultimately strengthen member offices to better serve local businesses in southwestern Ontario, Marshall adds.
Marshall, also General Manager of Perth Community Futures Development Corporation, one of southwestern Ontario region’s 21 member offices, is a proud lifelong resident of Stratford and brings a wealth of experience in retail, commercial and private banking to her new role. She has already served two years on the Executive as Vice-Chair and has been Chair of one of the CFWO’s major fund committees for several years.
In a post-pandemic world, businesses face many challenges, she notes, adding that CFDC offices are acutely aware of supply chain and materials shortages and delays as well as an array of other issues. “We want to be there to help clients any way we can, so they can do what they do best – drive our rural economies,” Marshall says.
One of the biggest challenges will be the repayment of COVID-19 government relief loans, Marshall says. “Our CFDC offices need to ensure businesses have a comfortable experience,” she adds.
Joining Marshall on the Executive are Wendy Timpano, Vice-Chair and General Manager of the Orillia Area CDC, Todd Copeland Secretary of the Board and General Manager of Community Futures Middlesex, Rick Whittaker, Treasurer of the Board and General Manager of Wellington-Waterloo Community Futures. Barb Fisher, General Manager of Bruce Community Futures Development Corporation is Past Chair.
CFWO has also confirmed the Chairs for its key working committees: Todd Copeland will lead Marketing, Diane Malenfant from Community Futures Essex County will lead Risk Assessment, Paul Nichol of Community Futures Huron Chairs Western Ontario Rural Capital Pool (WORC) and Frank Rupcic from Venture Niagara Chairs the well-known Southwestern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) committee.
Another priority for Marshall is to complete the governance project currently underway at CFWO and see it fully implemented and executed during her tenure.
Asked what makes her so passionate about the Community Futures Program, Marshall replied, “There is no better feeling in the world than to say yes to a business that has been said no to so many times.”
CFDCs in southwestern Ontario are passionate about helping rural businesses succeed so local communities grow and thrive. We are your “go to” partner, helping local businesses make a difference for 30 years. In Southwestern Ontario, there are 21 local CFDC offices to serve you.
For more information visit https://cfwesternontario.ca/.
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Shari Cole | Marketing and Communications Officer | 519-752-0381 x 3 | email@example.com