About our network

Call toll free in Alberta 1-877-482-3672

About our network

The Community Futures Network of Alberta is a non-profit organization that supports Alberta’s 27 Community Futures member offices. We are guided by an 11-person Board of Directors made up of Community Futures representatives from across the province.

We are engaged in three main areas:

  1. ADVOCACY AND LEADERSHIP – We partner with provincial and national decision makers to work to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Community Futures program in Alberta, and we initiate cost-saving programs and progressive policy ideas to maximize the impact of our members’ rural economic diversification efforts.
  2. TOOLS AND RESOURCES – We provide a wide range of member services include customized web applications/programs, specialized professional development and training, direct business support and group discounts.
  3. COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION – We actively work to gather and share information between Community Futures offices within and outside the province in the interest of building valuable links and networks that help us serve our clients better. To join the conversation sign up for our blog in the sidebar.

Want to know more about our Network?

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Our purpose

We abide by the following vision and mission, and reconfirm our goals every year at our Annual General Meeting.

Mission

“The Community Futures Network of Alberta provides advocacy, leadership and stewardship for the network of Community Futures organizations in Alberta.”

Vision

 “Alberta Community Futures Organizations are respected leaders in Rural Economic Development” 

GOALS 2017 -2018:

  • CFNA is a leader in the use, management, and promotion of technologies, tools, and best practices
  • CFNA has modern and well developed Policies and Procedures
  • CFNA has effective communications to ensure our programs and services are relevant to stakeholders
  • CFNA has strong working relationships with strategic partners
  • CFNA has an effective education strategy for boards and staff

Our Board of Directors

The Board of Community Futures Network of Alberta is made up of highly motivated and skilled individuals who are dedicated to the economic growth of the province and who envision "A strong, diversified and entrepreneurial rural Alberta." Board members have access to exceptional professional development tools through Community Futures Pan West's Leadership Institute.

Board composition and election process

The Community Futures Network of Alberta (CFNA) Board is made up of 11 representatives from Community Futures (CF) offices. Board members are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Terms of new or returning board members commence immediately following the AGM, and terms of outgoing members end at the AGM.

Each of the three (3) Alberta CF regions elects representatives from the Community Futures organizations in their region. The Northeast (NE) and Northwest (NW) CF Regions each elect three (3) representatives to the Board. The South CF Region with a greater number of Community Futures organizations elects a total of five (5).

CFNA Articles of Incorporation stipulate that the NW and NE Community Futures regions each appoint two (2) CF board members and 1 CF Manager each. The South CF elects three (3) CF board members plus two (2) CF Managers as their representatives to the eleven (11) person Board of Directors

Our Board Members:

Executive Committee:
Chair, Chris King  
Vice-Chair, Randy Hodgkinson
Treasurer:  Matthew Creigthon

Directors (CF Managers/Executive Directors):
Sean Blewett, Brad Gara, Patti-Jay Powell

Directors (Volunteers)
David Vanderwell, Chris Curtis, Tim Sawarin, Lynn MacWilliam and Lloyd Kearl

2016/2017 CFNA Board of Directors
Back row (l-r):  Lloyd Kearl, Sean Blewett, Lynn MacWilliam, Patti-Jay Powell, Matthew Creighton, Brad Gara
Front row (seated, l-r): Tony Stolz, Tim Sawarin, Chris King, Randy Hodgkinson, Chris Curtis
Missing:  Dave Vanderwell

 

 

 

 

 


Our Staff

Tony Stolz

Executive Director
403.851.9995 ext. 2

Tony is a Certified Management Consultant and also holds a BA degree from the University of Calgary.  He has proven experience with Community Futures (six years with Community Futures East Parkland; first as a Program Manager and then as Executive Director).  Additionally, Tony has owned his own management consulting business for the past 16 years. Tony brings to the role his sound and proven skills in financial management, lending and investment fund management. He is committed to rural Alberta economic development and will continue to strengthen the CFNA, expanding its ability to support the CF network in this province. 


Judy McMillan-Evans

Project Contractor (EDP, BizStream)
403.851.9995 ext. 4
Judy holds a Master’s degree in Education, certificates in both Adult Education and Group facilitation from Mount Royal University. In 2006, Mount Royal University awarded Judy with their Distinguished Faculty/Teaching Award for instructors, based upon her excellent student engagement and program results.  Judy offers passion, experience, knowledge and creativity with a focus on building the capacity of people and organizations.

Margi Storey

Project Coordinator (Elevate)
403.851.9995 ext. 5

Margi's experience is as a Human Resources generalist and Business Administrator in Alberta's energy sector as well as a few of her own business ventures along the way.  In the course of her career, she's owned 3 separate businesses (oilfield transportation, home renovations, staffing agency) so she does have first-hand experience with a lot of the issues most Alberta entrepreneurs face in our ever-changing economic climate.  Margi oversees the Elevate program in Alberta, part of our Entrepreneurs with Disabilities platform of programs.


 

Our Location

Suite 3209, 101 Sunset Drive
Cochrane, AB  T4C 0B4
1.855.857.1846 or 403.851.9995

Our Partners

Our history

In 1985, Community Futures was launched as part of the Canada Jobs Strategy. Community Futures remains a national program with overall program aim to:

  • Support to local rural communities and small and medium-sized enterprises in meeting their economic needs
  • Help to rural communities to develop and implement long-term community strategic plans leading to the sustainable development of their local economies
  • Provide support for the building of community capacity as a means of helping rural adapt to and manage change

The aim of the Community Futures program in Western Canada is to:

  • Support Community Economic Development (CED)
  • Diversify the economy
  • Support the creation and expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Maintain and create new employment
  • Maintain Canada's capacity to deliver business services to rural communities in Western Canada.

In 1995, the responsibility for Community Futures was transferred to Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). With core funding assistance provided by WD, the Community Futures program is delivered through a network of 90 non-profit Community Futures organizations:

  • 34 in B.C.
  • 27 in Alberta
  • 13 in Saskatchewan
  • 16 in Manitoba

These are supported by four provincial associations, including the Community Futures Network of Alberta (CFNA). These associations, and the 90 Community Futures offices they represent, work in partnership through the Community Futures Pan West organization.

The history of the CFNA stretches back to 1994, when the province’s Community Futures organization decided to form a provincial association that would speak with a single voice and create opportunities through a common network. Since then CFNA has evolved into an incorporated not-for-profit that advocates on behalf of its membership and provides a wide range of member programs and services.

For more information, please watch the CFNA Legacy Video below, with former Executive Director, Jon Close.

 

Careers

Each Community Futures office is made up of a number of core staff positions. See chart below for skills requirements for each position.

Community Futures core positions are supported by on-the-job and other forms of training designed to ensure career advancement within the local Community Futures office, or the Community Futures family in Alberta (27 offices) and across the rest of Canada (268 offices from coast-to-coast-to-coast).

 

Core PositionSkill Requirements/Job components
General Manager or Executive DirectorProven leadership experience as a developmental lender and working with not-for-profit boards.
Business Analyst/Business OfficerExpertise conducive to providing lending advice to and coaching/training for start-up and expanding small and medium-sized enterprises within targeted industry clusters.
Community Economic Development OfficerExpertise conducive to supporting and promoting entrepreneurial communities especially in the areas of identified industry clusters. CED Officers work in collaboration with Regional Economic Development Alliance or REDA staff and municipal economic development officers.
AdministratorExpertise conducive to managing bookkeeping and accounts receivable/payable, providing project management assistance, supporting CF board and management.

 

Career opportunities

 

Although we currently have no open positions, please feel free to send in your resume for future opportunities, if you feel you may qualify for one of the above-noted positions.  As well, Community Futures is proud to support all rural community economic diversification opportunities. If your organization is not a Community Futures office but has an opportunity available, please feel free to submit your listing for posting.

Please submit all resumes and opportunities (along with the date for the submission to be removed) to: hratalbertacf.com (hratalbertacf.com)

Related careers with Community Futures partner organizations

Community Futures in Alberta are proud partners in Western Economic Diversification's (WD) WCBSN network (Western Canada Business Service Network). The WCBSN is comprised of the 90 Community Futures organizations, the Women Enterprise Initiatives, Canada Business Service Centres and the Francophone Economic Development Organizations serving the 4 western provinces.

Benefits provided to Community Futures Offices

Group RRSP/Pension

About

The CFNA has secured aGroup RRSP Plan for CFs through RBC.  

Benefits/key features

  • Staff retention benefit
  • Flexible plans
  • Competitive management fees
  • Employer contribution (% match)
  • Online portal

Learn more

Details of the RBC contact information can be found on the secure Members site under "Programs". If you have additional information on the program please contact mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey).

Community Futures Lending & Investment Pool (CFLIP)

About

Since 2000 the Community Futures Lending and Investment Pool fund has been:

  • Providing a low risk/highly liquid investment fund for CFs with investment fund cash flow surpluses
  • Providing access to low cost/flexible CF investment funds for CFs needing additional investment dollars to meet local demands

Benefits/Key Features

  • Serves all Alberta CFs (no operational fees for members)
  • Offers good returns and security (CFs retain title of investment)
  • Professionally and independently managed, reports to elected CFNA Board
  • Currently manages $20.5 million and administers 10 authorized Lines of Credit ($ 11.2 million outstanding)

Learn More

Go to the Programs page or contact tstolzatalbertacf.com (Tony Stolz)

Revenue Generating Opportunities

About

The CFNA has been exploring revenue generation programs in response to input from CFs. The key areas that will be looked into are:

  • Student Post Secondary Entrepreneurship Training
  • Customer Service Training
  • Financial Literacy

The Financial Literacy program was launched in the spring of 2014 and the program Modules and Flip Book can be found on the Members Section of the CFNA Website.

Benefits/key features:

  • Revenue for individual CF’s
  • More services for CF clients
  • Additional services/education for local communities
  • More awareness of the CF program

Learn more

For more information contact tstolzatalbertacf.com (Tony Stolz)

Alberta EDP (BusinessAble)

About

This program is an initiative of the CFNA and the government of Canada through WD and Service Canada. It is designed to support CFs to provide incremental levels of training and funding to entrepreneurs with disabilities seeking to start or expand a SME. 

Benefits/Key Features

This program supports CFs to help their clients. The BusinessAble Program also provides CFs with specialized marketing and promotional materials to expand the reach of the program, and offers EDP related capacity building supports for CF professional staff.

Learn More

For more information contact jmcmillanevansatalbertacf.com (Judy McMillan-Evans) or mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey)

Group Employee Benefits

About

Encon is our Benefits provider as of April 1, 2017. Our group policy includes: Health & Dental, Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Dependent Life, Long Term-Disability – Taxable, Long Term Disability – Non Taxable, and Short Term Disability.

Benefits/Key Features

  • Optional participation
  • Flexible plans to meet individual CF/CF employee needs
  • Stability in pricing
  • No medical requirement
  • Online members area
  • CFs can join program at any time.

Learn More

The CFNA’s group policy broker is Brian Ganden at Granville West Group.

For more information contact mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey)

Provincial Marketing Campaign

About

Alberta CFs have asked the CFNA to coordinate an effective province-wide marketing program. We are rolling out Phase 2 of the What-if campaign in 2017/2018 fiscal.

Benefits/Key features

  • AB CF Program Awareness
  • Cost efficiencies
  • Time efficiencies
  • Larger coverage

Learn more

For more information contact tstolzatalbertacf.com (Tony Stolz)

Travel Insurance

About

The CFNA has been providing members with a group accident plan for travel insurance since 2008. Recent tendering increased coverage and reduced premiums by 25%. The new cost per year is $15 for each insured board and staff member. 

Benefits/key features

  • Insurance (disability/life) coverage for CF officers (Board/Staff) while on CF business
  • Higher benefit maximums than available under an independent policy
  • No medical requirement
  • Eligibility: up to 80 (prior to 65)
  • Coverage: $100,000/life
  • Aggregate limit: $ 1.0 million

Learn more

The insurance broker is Arthur J. Gallager (formerly Fraser & Hoyt).

For more information contact mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey)

BizStream Small Business Program

                         

We can help entrepreneurs in Alberta’s competitive business environment get in the game.

As a local company, you may be able to provide a product or service, but standardized health, safety and insurance requirements may prevent you from being eligible to bid on the contracts you want. BizStream Small Business Program can assist you in meeting industry requirements so you can compete for contracts and get in the game.

BizStream Small Business Program provides information and mentoring to rural Alberta businesses with the potential and desire to engage in contracts with the energy sector.

The energy sector requires all companies to demonstrate the following competencies before a direct contracting relationship can be established:  

  • Health, safety and environment (HSE) compliance
  • ISNetworld membership* (see more details below)
  • Related company experience within the energy sector
  • Qualified human resource management personnel
  • Management strength
  • Financial stability, both historical and current
  • Project management abilities for mobilization and implementation planning
  • Supply chain management
  • Local economic engagement
  • Technical solutions and specifications related to the project

To meet the membership requirements of ISNetworld businesses must demonstrate that they possess:

  • Insurance certificate
  • Safety manuals
  • Safety training
  • WCB coverage

If your company has the expertise, skills and ambition to engage in contracts with the energy sector, but lacks some of the competencies required to secure these contracts, BizStream Small Business Program could be for you.

BizStream supports the online safety training required for ISNetworld membership and provides access to related online management training. It also connects you to mentors whose valuable knowledge and expertise can help you develop opportunities with Alberta’s energy sector.

Cost:

Program fee: $2,500 + $125 (GST) = $2,625
ISNetworld membership: varies according to business size
Safety manual costs: as required

To find out more about BizStream Small Business Program, contact us today!

Community Futures West Yellowhead
221 Pembina Avenue
Hinton, AB T7V 2B3
(780) 865-1224
http://westyellowhead.albertacf.com

Community Futures Yellowhead East
Unit #1, 5023 – 50 Avenue
Box 2185
Whitecourt, AB T7S 1P8
(780) 706-3500
http://yellowheadeast.albertacf.com

Community Futures Central Alberta
5013 – 49 Avenue
Red Deer, AB T4N 3X1
(403) 342-2055
http://central.albertacf.com

Community Futures Lloydminster and Region
#5, 4010 – 50 Avenue
Lloydminster, AB T9V 1B2
(780) 875-5458
http://lloydminsterandregion.albertacf.com

Sponsored by Repsol Canada

 

Logo Repsol

Group Purchase Programs

About

The CFNA has negotiated significant group buying discounts on photocopiers, computers, cell phones and plans, and car and hotel rentals.

Benefits/key features

  • Bell cellular: competitive packages, discounted hardware and free upgrade every 2 years
  • Toshiba photocopiers: 65% discount off photocopiers, other discounted devices (e.g. laptops), member access to affinity program, data/document security
  • Business prospect weekly reports made available to all Alberta CFs
  • Equifax national discount program
  • Budget Car Rental: Up to 25% discount off each booking, unlimited kilometers, no additional driver fee, part of the Frequent Traveler Program
  • Delta Hotel Discount: 10% off room rates, free upgrades

Learn more

For more information contact mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey)

Technology and Marketing

About

The CFNAs offers a comprehensive technology & marketing program that includes a branded website, shared email exchange server and cloud storage, as well as marketing tools and technical support. These components increase professionalism and efficiency, enhance public awareness and participation, and significantly reduce management and maintenance costs.

Benefits/features

  • Common and consistent brand experience for clients, and common branding tools
  • Modern, responsive CMS web based platform with responsive design and web support
  • High level security and back up/archival services for email and data
  • "What if" Marketing Campaign and Toolkits
  • Effective use of the Adobe Connect webinar platform for meetings/training for client

Learn more

The CFNA provides a wide-array of services designed to support CFs and CF staff.  Get in touch with website, Adobe Connect and other questions. Contact tstolzatalbertacf.com (Tony Stolz)

Leadership & Management Support

About

The CFNA promotes Alberta CFs to national and economic partners (including CF Pan West, CF Network of Canada and Western Economic Diversification) in order to secure resources and tools. The CFNA also provides key management support services to Alberta CFs including:

  • HR support to CF Boards, Management and Business Analysts
  • Governance training/support for Boards/Management
  • Training priorities reporting for CFs
  • Operating and annual employee compensation surveys
  • Best practice harvesting and dissemination
  • Advocacy on behalf of the CF program

Benefits/key features

  • Significant cost savings compared to hiring external temporary consultants (no fee charged to members)
  • Access to staff with 25+ years in CF management, governance and operations, and 30+ years in commercial/developmental lending
  • Ongoing access to reports, survey results and best practices
  • Opportunities for learning, networking and liaising with WD at annual CF conference

Learn more

For more information contact tstolzatalbertacf.com (Tony Stolz)

Learning and Networking

About

The CFNA is committed to capacity building and ongoing learning for CF Board and Staff members. Learning and networking opportunities are offered at no cost or for a small fee. Training is delivered at the Annual General Meeting, Spring Training, hosted CF training events, on-line and through a series of webinars.  

The CFNA currently hosts professional staff networking/training opportunities fof Manager and Business Analysts.  

Benefits/key features

  • Training developed/delivered to meet unique CF training needs and training preferences
  • Programs include Leadership Institute, Core Competencies, Coaching Business Skills, Rural Diversification, Business Cluster Development, Project Management, CF Lending, and Manager and Board orientation sessions
  • Subsidized pricing for CFs

Learn more

The CFNA Monthly Newsletter features updates on learning and networking opportunities. If you have not registered for this newsletter contact mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey)

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

About

This program provides CF officers with combined Directors & Officers Liability coverage and Errors & Omissions coverage.  The average annual cost saving is $1200/CF. The insurance provider is Northbridge Insurance.

Benefits/key features

  • Aggregate Coverage Limit: $10 million
  • Cost per CF Office: $ 1100.00
  • 0% Deductible
  • Includes Employment Practices Liability
  • Includes Pension Fiduciary Liability
  • Includes risk management services

Learn more

The CFNA’s insurance policy broker is David Larder at Fraser & Hoyt Insurance Ltd.

For more information contact mstoreyatalbertacf.com (Margi Storey)

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Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta

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