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Our Team

Paul Nichol- General Manager Paul Nichol, General Manager

Born and bred on a 5th generation farm in Morris Township near Brussels, Paul Nichol has always appreciated life in rural Ontario. After obtaining his Bachelor of Agriculture and Masters of Rural Development degrees from the University of Guelph, Paul returned home to practice in his chosen field of community economic development.

Since 1993, Paul has co-managed Community Futures Huron, a private, not-for-profit economic development agency with a mandate to help entrepreneurs make good things happen in Huron County. Over the span of the last 20 years, the CFH and its partners have been the recipients of 27 national, provincial and regional awards for their efforts to grow the local economy.

Over the years, Paul has worked with over 200 partner organizations on over 400 different community projects, including piloting many new rural development tools such as 10 Steps to Community Action; Business Retention & Expansion and 1st Impressions. In addition, Paul has been instrumental in building new rural development vehicles such as the Lake Huron Learning Collaborative, the Huron Economic Development Partnership; and most recently, the Gateway Centre of Excellence In Rural Health.

As a self-professed champion of rural Canada, Paul has always been eager to share his experience with visitors from abroad. Over the years, Paul has mentored rural development students and practitioners from a wide range of jurisdictions, including the Ukraine, Japan, Australia, France, Mexico, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, China, Iran and the U.S. Closer to home, he currently serves on the OMAFRA-sponsored Ontario Rural Policy Expert Panel that provides advice to the provincial government on rural priorities and challenges.

With the general direction of the Board of Directors, the General Manager provides overall management of corporate operations. The General Manager oversees the day-to-day administration of the organization; manages the Corporation’s investment portfolio; monitors community economic development activities and promotes the Corporation throughout the County of Huron. E-mail: pnichol@smallbusinesshuron.ca.

Tina Heather, Business and Online Training CoachTina Heathers- Business and Online Training Coach

Tina Heathers specializes in small business training and development.  She has been working with business coaching and training for the past 25 years.  A business owner herself for many years, including owning and operating a chain of fashion retail stores, and running her own international training company, Tina now works with Community Futures Huron to assist business owners to grow and develop successful businesses in Huron County

She has a passion for discovering personal and professional greatness.  Her background includes many years of corporate management, professional business training, personal business coaching and entrepreneurship development. 

Her journey began in Stratford Ontario and she followed her career into London Ontario, Kitchener Ontario, Edmonton Alberta, Sint Maarten in the Dutch West Indies and back to Ontario where she began working for the Community Futures Organization.

Tina loves the creative process of growing and developing a small business.  With Community Futures Huron she is responsible for helping business owners become more profitable and create successful enterprises. If you are looking for business training or coaching or perhaps you are looking for a business loan, contact Tina at tina@cfhuron.ca

Brenda McGregor- Office AdministratorBrenda McGregor, Financial Officer

Born and raised in Huron County!

Brenda provides Administrative support as the Office Administrator for the Community Futures Huron. She started new career path in 1999 due to closer of Pfizer Canada after 8 years of service. Pfizer Canada provided re-training and career development to all employees wishing to change or enhance their education. She took advantage of the opportunity to change careers. 

She moved back to Huron County to find employment and after about three months started working as a Temp-Ted employee for Community Futures Huron, which turned into long-term employment for the past 17 years. In October of 2000 she was hired on full-time as Office Administrator and throughout her career has continued development in the areas of Accounting, Excel Spreadsheets, Payroll and Customer Service and has received many certificates over the years. Her qualifications include ; Completed Payroll Compliance Practitioners Certificate, PCP from Canadian Payroll Association in 2007, Bookkeeping certificate, Microsoft Office certificates, QuickBooks, MYOB, Customer Service Excellence certificate and many more.  

Brenda’s many interests include all forms of artistic expression, long walks on the beach, enjoys gardening, but can kill a cactus!

Brenda feels privileged being able to work for an organization which provides Economic Development and Small Business Loans in the community I grow up in!

The Office Administrator is responsible for the payroll, tracking projects, banking, taking minutes at the board meetings, financial administration on accounts and loan amortizations. Write to Brenda at bmcgregor@cfhuron.ca

Heather Little- Loans MonitorHeather Little, Loans Monitor 

As a resident of Huron County, Heather is the Loan Account Monitor who provides direction and support to our many loan clients, as well as the Health, Safety and Wellness Officer for Community Futures Huron.  She started her new career path after 30+ years with the closure of Volvo Construction Equipment in Goderich as Executive Assistant and extensive experience in various Marketing, Sales, and Engineering positions.

Heather began her career in 2009 as the Administrative Assistant for the HealthKick project, Loans Administrator and Customer Service Representative for the Huron Business Development Corporation.  She has continued development in Accounting, Microsoft Office, Health and Safety, CPR / First Aid, Customer service, along with many other certificates.

Her involvement in community activities and events, and passion for music allows her to relate to and understand a wide variety to which our loan clients engage in, as well as enhancing community support.

The Loans Monitor is responsible for overseeing loans, working with and visiting our loan clients,  directing inquires to the appropriate staff, maintaining the multi-line phone system, and providing clerical support. Write to Heather at hlittle@cfhuron.ca

Lisa Houthuyzen- Customer Service RepresentativeLisa Houthuyzen, Office Communications Administrator

Lisa Houthuyzen works for Community Futures Huron as the Office Communications Administrator. Hers is the first voice you hear and the first smile you see when you come through the door.  Along with seven years of experience in customer service, Lisa has earned her certificate in Human Resource Management, a Fanshawe College program which included courses in Human Resources Management (HRM), Organizational Behaviour, Occupational Health and Safety, Training and Development, Labour Relations, Recruitment and Selection, Compensation and Business Communication.   As a promoter and supporter of Lifelong Learning, Lisa also enjoys attending workshop sessions, such as Communicating Proactively, AODA Customer Service Training, Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks and First Aid.

Prior to joining Community Futures Huron, Lisa was a project assistant for HealthKick and a customer service representative/ installer for Barend’s Overhead Doors, where she learned how to relate to a variety of people. On the ground training is definitely a plus!

Lisa has many varied interests such as reading, love of the outdoors and of simply learning. She feels that these interests have assisted her in her role with Community Futures Huron because they help her relate to the varied clients that she assists. Most people enjoy sharing their own interests and Lisa enjoys learning about them.

A quote that accurately describes Lisa is: “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln.

The Office Communications Administrator is responsible for the daily routines of the office, addressing general inquiries, directing inquiries to the appropriate staff, maintaining the multi-line phone system, sending out communications newsletters and providing clerical support. Write to Lisa at lhouthuyzen@cfhuron.ca