Warren Kotzer has been a Director since November, 1993. He is part owner of the Case I.H. dealership in Langenburg, Preeceville, and Yorkton. He has been a councillor for the Town of Langenburg for several years.
Warren is a former President of the local Chamber of Commerce, of which he is still a member. He is a member of the Family and Friends Community Foundation which was set up in 2003 and he is also on his church council.
While a sizable gap still exists between the number of self-employed women and men, it hasn’t stopped enterprising rural women from forging their own paths. On a global scale, Canadian women hold the number-one spot when it comes to creating and running their own businesses; rural Canada is no exception.
Women entrepreneurs need access to financing that enables them to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. Community Futures (CF) offers various lending options for women-owned and women-led businesses in rural Saskatchewan. CF provides additional support in the form of expert advice and high-quality training sessions.
More than half (56%) of Indigenous entrepreneurs have established their business on reserve and/or in rural areas. Getting resources to start a business in a rural area is a bit more difficult. According to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, four in 10 Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada either have no internet connection or a non-reliable connection. Access to resources is a challenge faced by those living rurally.
According to the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, Indigenous economic development is an integral component of reconciliation, holding huge potential to fuel Canadian economic growth.
Community Futures (CF) offices across rural Saskatchewan are committed to supporting to self-employment for people with disabilities or health conditions.
Through the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP), CFs have been involved in capacity-building projects aimed at increasing the participation of individuals with health conditions or disabilities in entrepreneurship in rural Saskatchewan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly influenced the lives of most people on the planet. Rural areas have not been spared from the profound impact the pandemic has on daily activities.
Many rural businesses shut down or changed to accommodate social distancing. New patterns of consumer and worker behaviour and expectations have already emerged. COVID-19 represents a tremendous economic shock and burden, and rural businesses have had to find ways to address health and safety risks while also accommodating an appropriate level of economic activity.
Community Futures Sunrise has been a mentor for the Junior Achievement (JA) classes at Weyburn Comprehensive School for several years.
This year’s Junior Achievement crew, Soup’R Snacks, had a very successful year, claiming many individual awards as well as Product Design and the exceptional title of Company of the Year for JA Saskatchewan.
Andria is the regional economic development coordinator at Community Futures (CF) Sunrise. This critical rural development work is aimed at providing educational opportunities to individuals, businesses, municipal representatives who are working to build rural economies.
CF Sunrise received funding under the Canada Coal Transition Initiative to work with businesses and communities in the region affected by the transition away from using coal-fired power plants. The team has completed extensive surveys in the region to learn what supports are needed.
Brenda Airth has been the office administrator at Community Futures (CF) Ventures for the past 15 years. She is the first person clients talk to when they call or visit the office and she makes an extra effort to make their experience a pleasant one. Her other duties include accounting, working on projects with the office in addition to formatting business plans and keeping the social media up to date.
In the last four years Brenda has seen an increased number of immigrants moving to the CF Ventures region and wanting to set up businesses in the community. Supporting entrepreneurs is the Community Futures mandate with specific programs designed to support newcomers and/or long-term immigrants.
Connie Ruston is the Executive Administrator at Community Futures (CF) Newsask, a position she has held for over four years. In this role, she oversees accounting, reporting, loan processing, projects support and advising business clients.
Connie has witnessed rural businesses adapting to developments in marketing strategies. “Some of the new entrepreneurs have very creative ideas to promote or expand their business. When we get past the pandemic, I hope to see this trend continue and flourish.”
Introducing the vice-chairperson of the Community Futures (CF) Sunrise Board, Heather Frederickson! From Wawota, Heather is an entrepreneur herself and loves “feeling that same exciting feeling of starting a business.”
Heather consulted CF Sunrise a few times for assistance with her various business ventures before joining the board.
Holly Marshak is the Business Development Officer at Community Futures (CF) Sagehill. Starting her CF journey back in 1999 as a Small Business Specialist with CF Sagehill, and after some time away, it is her belief in the programs and services that Community Futures provides, that drew Holly back to continue the work of developing the rural economy.
Her role has a strong client focus. Providing loans, advice and support to small business owners is the core of CF Sagehill. Whether it be working with a client through a financing application, providing support and guidance for people aspiring to start new businesses and become self-employed or helping to develop a solid business plan, Holly will work with clients to get the job done.
Jack Cherewyk is the Estevan ambassador on the Community Futures (CF) Sunrise board.
After sitting on various other boards over the years, Jack joined the board several years ago and shared that he is proud to be part of an organization that provides new entrepreneurs with a competitive advantage in the business environment.
For the past 11 years, Jenny Glessman has been the Office Coordinator at Community Futures (CF) Sagehill.
She is the first point of contact for all new and existing rural business clients. She is readily available to answer client’s questions about the programs and services Community Futures offers. Jenny helps clients with research on what they need to start their business and matches them to programs that best fit their needs. In addition, she assists small business clients with developing business plans and completing cash flow statements.
Kathy Lindsay is the Board Chair at Community Futures (CF) Newsask. She has occupied this voluntary position for a year and a half.
Being chair of the CF Newsask office involves chairing all board meetings as well as providing business support when and where needed. Kathy says, “We have a very good CEO and board and the organization seems to operate very smoothly with minimal direction.”
Community Futures (CF) South Central’s service area extends over 31,000 square kilometers in Southern Saskatchewan and covers 32 rural municipalities, 40 urban municipalities and one Indigenous Community, serving a total population of 58,200.
CF South Central support services focus on three main avenues of assistance:
- Small busines loans and financing options
- Business counseling to new and existing businesses
- Assistance with bookkeeping and payroll inquiries
Marion is the office administrator with Community Futures (CF) Sunrise, a role she has been fulfilling for the past nine years. In her position, she is usually the first person that entrepreneurs interact with. She answers all their initial questions and, based on their needs, goes on to forward inquiries to her coworkers.
She has developed an organized system to create profiles for each new client, followed by an activity log outlining the nature of the inquiry and response. After each and every interaction with a client, the activity log is updated to make sure all staff can track the progress of each case.
Mary Campbell is a board member of Community Futures (CF) Sagehill and loves to contribute to meetings by being full of questions and ideas. She brings her experience as an innovative businesswoman to the board.
Mary has a unique business where she and her team grow fresh shoots (microgreens) and leafy greens in an organic aquaponic facility. It was one of the first of its kind in Western Canada. She hopes that her ability to think outside of the box is a benefit to CF Sagehill.
Taylor Watt is the CEO at Community Futures (CF) Newsask, where he oversees the day-to-day operations while keeping in close contact with the board of directors.
Taylor gets quite passionate when he describes the resourcefulness and creativity that rural businesses in this region continue to show through the highs and lows of setting up successful enterprises. As key commodity prices fluctuate, rural entrepreneurs find innovative ways to continue to make on-demand products.
Verna is the vibrant general manager (GM) at Community Futures Sunrise. She has worked for Community Futures (CF) programs for most of her career, both as an employee and as a contractor at different points. She has been the general manager since 2013.
Her day-to-day work centres around driving the CF corporate mission to support the development of rural entrepreneurs. She loves being a part of CF Sunrise, an exciting organization with a team that works very hard to assist small businesses as they reach for their business goals.