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Introducing Lesley Sterling, New General Manager of Northwest Community Futures (and Successful Entrepreneur!)

  • April 8, 2017
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

Entrepreneurs deal with some unique challenges on the road to starting and growing their businesses. Who better to guide these small business owners to success than someone who has walked in their shoes?

Meet Lesley Sterling, the new General Manager of Northwest Community Futures, located in North Battleford. After succeeding as a communications director and manager with various organizations, including the International Association of Business Communicators, Lesley started a communications consulting business and founded MountieWife Websites.

“My family was growing, so I decided to work from home and build my own company based on years of experience,” says Lesley. “I know the excitement of finally launching a business you’ve been dreaming about and watching those first cheques roll in, which is why I love helping Community Futures’ clients experience the same thing. Helping them grow their companies and seeing them succeed… it’s an incredibly rewarding experience.”

It is a role that Lesley has spent decades preparing for. She began her career in the communications department at a window manufacturing company and was the only member of her seven-person team retained after corporate downsizing. Later, Lesley became a Client Services Manager with ChangeMakers Marketing Communications, where she managed prominent accounts for crown corporations, private companies, and unions.

Oh, and did we mention that Lesley also made her way into the non-profit sector? “In 2010, I accepted the position of Director of Kipling Kidcare Co-operative Ltd., where I gained experience managing a non-profit organization, managing staff and a facility, and working with a board of directors. After having my third and fourth children, I opted to work from home as a consultant and as Executive Director of Moose Mountain Community Literacy Group, which distributed more than $15,000 worth of books to children in 2015! I also chaired the Kipling School Community Council. As a mother, it meant a lot to be able to support the kids in our community.”

All of this experience—from coordinating large client accounts and managing a non-profit to starting two businesses of her own—has taught Lesley what makes a company successful, and how important great communications and relationships are to small businesses. Now, she can use these skills and knowledge to help entrepreneurs in her new community succeed.

“The number of entrepreneurs passionately involved with Northwest Community Futures is inspiring. The level of participation really demonstrates the community’s dedication to economic development and commitment to helping everyone thrive. And it doesn’t hurt that the Battlefords have the amenities of bigger cities but a great small town feel—everything is within a five- to ten-minute drive, including my commute!”

Minimal traffic gives Lesley more free time to spend enjoying the company of her husband and children. The tightly-knit community in The Battlefords also means that Lesley can work closely with the Community Futures staff and clients. She can share what she’s learned during her time as an entrepreneur (“Know a good accountant and keep every receipt for business expenses!”) and inspire other potential small business owners.

“When talking to aspiring and current entrepreneurs involved with Community Futures, I like to share my favorite quote from Phil Libin, the CEO of Evernote: ‘There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is—it’s to change the world.’”

We’re thrilled that you’re helping us change the world one entrepreneur at a time, Lesley. Welcome to the Community Futures team!