Cindy’s many years of work as an Economic Development Officer has allowed her to focus on identifying economic opportunities, stakeholder connectivity, business retention & attraction, and ensuring community investment readiness. She has worked with a variety of; professionals, community groups, local business people, other communities in the region & beyond, as well as elected officials both local & provincial, Aboriginal leaders and industry/investors. She has been called upon to serve as a liaison between Aboriginal Communities and both local & provincial government representatives on various occasions for Stakeholder meetings and potential projects and initiatives.
Cindy has been involved in Economic Development and Business Development for more than 18 years and she has gained experience and knowledge in Forestry, Tourism, Agriculture, Mining and Alternative Energy among other sectors, both through collaborative projects she has been a part of as well as Forums she has organized and hosted and Boards & Committees she has sat on. Cindy has been able to assist numerous community groups and organizations through support with Business Plans, proposal writing & fundraising efforts and connections.
Cindy’s background includes playing a key role in a number of economic development initiatives with BC Provincial Government, Chiefs & Councils, AB Government, Economic Development Association of BC (BCEDA) Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and First Nations Emergency Services (FNESS) on Economic Disaster Recovery Projects and Fuel Mitigation Projects.
With Cindy and her husband Brad raising their boys in the Lakes District, she is extremely invested in North West BC and in seeing the region thrive. She has worked hard to achieve this through not only her professional life but also through her personal life with volunteering in many community and school activities.
She is very excited to have been selected as Director for the NKDF Society and is really looking forward to making a positive contribution to the Board.
Doris Fraser lives surrounded by the natural beauty of Kitimat, British Columbia. She has enjoyed 11 years with Haisla Nation Council, the last 3 years filing the role of the Finance Manager. She joined the organization after working for BC Ferries.
She has a business administration diploma and comes credentialed as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has a combined 28 years experience working in the finance field.
She is a volunteer member of the local CPA chapter, and is a member of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of B.C. (AFOA BC).
Doris was born in the big city of Toronto but was raised in Kitimat, and also spent 12 years living in Victoria. She loves spending time with her two boys and she nourishes her soul through music and the beauty of nature. She is looking forward to being a part of the NKDF board.
Tom retired in January 2018 after 27 years in local government. His local government career started in Kitimat and took him to Fraser Lake, Ashcroft and finally to Vanderhoof. A graduate of McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, he also obtained a Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of Victoria.
Born and raised in Southern Ontario, in 1981 Tom and his wife Wendy moved to Europe. In 1990 they returned to Canada and moved to British Columbia. They have four daughters and one son who have blessed them with eight grandchildren.
Tom believes that big things often start with small steps. He recognises that sustainable social and cultural well-being form the foundation of resilient communities. He is pleased to have been selected to sit as a Director for NKDF and looks forward to making a positive contribution to the communities the foundation serves.
Kathie married Bill and reluctantly moved to Vanderhoof where he was employed by the Ministry of Forests. She agreed to a two year stint, not a day longer! That was in 1978 and she is still proud to call Vanderhoof home as its been a great place to raise their family (Brett and Tye). Needless to say, its the kind of place that grows on you.
Kathie was able to transfer her employment with the Canada Employment Centre and worked with various iterations of the federal employment programs department ending with Service Canada when she retired in 2007 with 33 years service.
From there she became the Economic Development Officer for the District of Vanderhoof from 2007 to 2012. She really enjoyed this work and met many folks in the community, the region and the province. In this role, she submitted many funding proposals to the Nechako Kitamaat Development Fund (NKDF)Society.
In 2012, she was offered employment with New Gold Inc. She worked as their Community Relations Officer and learned a lot about mining and mineral exploration. She met some wonderful people in this role as well and she found that her connections from previous employment benefitted her immensely.
During her years in Vanderhoof, she held many volunteer positions including Secretary for the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Board of Directors for Nechako Valley Credit Union, a member of the original Board of Directors of NKDF Society, a member of the Organizing Committee for the Minerals North Conference and Trade Show.
In 2013, she left New Gold Inc. for health reasons and eventually decided to retire. As her health improved, she found she missed being involved in the community and having the opportunity to be able to use her skills and experience for the betterment of Vanderhoof and the region.
She decided to dip her toe into the world of volunteering again and joined the Nechako Aquatic Centre fundraising committee. This has been a very positive and rewarding experience so she has taken it a step further and recently has been appointed to both the Board of Governors for the University of Northern BC and the Board of Directors for the NKDF Society.
Over the past 38 years, she has seen many improvements in the Northern half of this province but believes that if things aren’t getting better, they are falling behind. At this stage in her life, she has the necessary time and energy to devote to all three of these organizations and their quest to make things better for this region. She looks forward to receiving your funding proposals as part of your desire to make things better in your corner of the NKDF region.
Carolyn Leigh is a mother of two and Grant Writer/Executive Director for the Nechako Valley Exhibition in Vanderhoof, BC. She was raised in the United States and England then emigrated to Canada after studying Anthropology at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. She is currently pursuing an international diploma in Fair Management.
Carolyn moved to Vanderhoof in 2012 with a vision to raise her family in an area with modern amenities and an array of outdoor recreation opportunities. She enjoys horse-back riding, hobby farming, fishing and winter sports. Her volunteer contributions began with founding the Cinderella Program, which provides assistance to young graduates-in-need and then joined the Vanderhoof chapter of the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of Canada.
As the scope of her work with the Exhibition expanded, Carolyn began focusing on community and government relations to strengthen the economic impact of events, emergency response planning, and the application of small business growth strategies to non-profit operations. In October of 2019 she was elected to the board of British Columbia Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions (BCAAFE), followed by her appointment to the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund.
Carolyn is inspired by the dedication of countless volunteer organizations who work to make a difference in their communities. As a director of Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society she appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
Mike Robertson serves as the Economic Development Officer and senior Policy Advisor for The Carrier Cheslatta Nation. Since 1981, he has assisted the Nation with various initiatives including water and sewer projects, housing, tourism, and cultural preservation and awareness and culminating in the opening of Cheslatta Forest Products Ltd. and the awarding of the Cheslatta Community Forest License in 2002. Mr. Robertson has played a key role in promoting and negotiating various First Nation/ Community partnership projects including Three Nations Water Project, Southside Community Health Clinic, and the Keefes Landing Road Upgrade. He has been involved in many ventures over the years including building and operating his own meat shop, owner/ operator of dump truck, government fencing contractor, cat skinner for diamond drilling operation and forestry contracts, partner in excavating company.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. (Rio Tinto) each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society
Tel: (250) 964-4066
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