Community Futures Huron is a not-for-profit organization serving the communities of Huron County since 1993. As a Community Futures Development Corporation, we are mandated by and partially funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (a.k.a. FedDev Ontario).
CFH operations are overseen by a 12-member volunteer Board of Directors (plus 1 County of Huron Councillor appointed by the Warden). These individuals represent the various communities and economic sectors of Huron County. In addition to possessing financial, strategic planning and community development skills, board members are committed to improving the local economy through their involvement in community-based business and economic development initiatives.
Our 2020 Board of Directors
Alison Lobb was involved in economic development in Huron County before Community Futures Huron came into existence. It was through
that involvement that she came to be the founding director of Huron Business Development Corporation, now known as Community Futures Huron.
Alison takes community involvement seriously. As well as being a founding director of Community Futures Huron, she sat on the Marketing and Policy & Procedures Committees at the Blyth Festival and held the position of treasurer at the Festival for 10 years. She was treasurer for 3 years and is currently a director of the Centre for Coastal Conservation. Alison was actively involved in both the Centennial Celebrations for Goderich Township in 1967 and was on the executive committee for the Sesquicentennial celebrations in 1985. She has edited and written books on Goderich history, and served as co-chair of the 175th Celebrations of Goderich Township. Alison has served 25 years as a Municipal Councillor.
Alison was born and raised in Toronto and married into rural life in Central Huron. She has five great kids and 6 fantastic grandchildren.
Following an extensive career in the private sector, Jan Hawley entered public service through the Huron County Branch of Community Futures Ontario in 2007, leading to the appointment of Economic Development Officer for the Municipality of Huron East the following year.
Keenly interested in heritage conservation and business development, Jan has long been an innovator and connector, who believes in putting together the right team to achieve success.
Her most rewarding undertaking has been the award-winning business recruitment initiative “Win This Space”, which has helped fill empty storefronts, not only in her own community, but in others across the province. Born and raised in London, Ontario, Jan has called Huron County home for almost 40 years.
Maureen Agar and her husband Merv raised four fantastic children on their dairy/cash crop farm in McKillop Township until retirement.
Maureen was born in Stratford and learned all about farming ‘cold turkey’ when she and her husband married. A few mishaps during the initial years of transforming the city girl to a country girl kept many of the ‘seasoned’ farmers entertained.
After taking the Canadian Securities Course, Maureen helped form the ‘Pick Up Investors’ Club’ in the late 80’s, and for over 20 years a group of farmers met to discuss crop pricing, management practices, and financial issues important to agriculture.
As a passionate community volunteer Maureen Agar has been President of Seaforth Minor Hockey, Chair of School Parent Councils, and Director/Secretary of Huron East/Seaforth Community Development Trust.
Maureen now is Chair of the Seaforth Country Classic, Secretary of the Seaforth BIA, and a Director of Community Futures Huron. Maureen loves the community she adopted and recognizes that to have a vibrant community it is very important to be involved.
John Kiser has worked in the financial services industry since 1986, and joined the Libro Credit Union team in 2012. He graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education (BEd ADED) from Brock University and holds a Business Administration & Marketing Diploma from Fanshawe College. As a Coach, John focuses on helping Owners achieve financial prosperity.
Now retired, Keith Roulston was the founder and long-time publisher of North Huron Publishing Company Inc., a community-owned company that publishes The Citizen, The Rural Voice and Stops Along the Way. He was co-founder of the Blyth Festival.
Breanne Stafford is the Branch Manager at Libro Credit Union in Wingham; one of Ontario’s largest credit unions in southwestern Ontario. Libro Credit Union has been recognized as a rewarding, attractive place to work, winning four AON Hewitt Platinum Level Employer awards.
Breanne has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry with 5 of those years in a credit union environment. From working in a variety of roles in the financial services industry, Breanne has a strong background in account management and financing solutions, which have awarded her a unique set of skills that she applies in her role to oversee branch operations, owner-customer support and building strong community partnerships. Breanne is a strong community supporter, sitting on the board of directors for the Wingham and District Community Living as well as Community Futures Huron. In addition she supports many community initiatives and is passionate about providing positive impacts to our local community and economy.
Breanne resides in the country outside the village of Londesborough with her spouse Chris and daughter Sloane.
Matt Cardiff is a purchaser at Molesworth Farm Supply, farms north of Brussels and also helps out with the family catering business. He graduated from the University of Guelph in 2015 with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Agricultural Business. Matt likes to keep busy working on the farm, garden, skiing, curling or volunteering in the community.
One of Bernie Bailey’s passions is seeing small business ideas develop, work through the planning, and then succeed, especially in small communities. He is familiar with the challenges and rewards of small business ownership because he co-owned the last fluid milk processing dairy in Huron County. During this time, although small and independent, he changed the Ontario laws governing milk processing and distribution. At the same time he created the Independent Dairy and Ice Cream Association; he became the spokesman at government levels about regulations.
From there, he had the opportunity to work for Canada’s largest farmers’ co-operative dairy. He learned a lot about the similarities and differences faced by small and large businesses. He then worked for another large company, an instant quick freeze meat processing plant in Waterloo. Here he was the general and logistics manager. It was another great learning opportunity.
For the last 15 years he has been back to running his own business, an appliance repair company. He developed it over the years, while a small business he is connected to global-sized appliance manufacturers, doing warranty repair work. From 2010 – 2014 he was a councillor for the Municipality of North Huron. In 2018 he was elected as Reeve of the Municipality of North Huron. He is a member of the Huron County Council and is a member of the Community Futures Huron. All of these experiences give him the opportunity to hone another passion, that of working hard to see small businesses, larger businesses, and his community to thrive.
Anita van Hittersum
Anita van Hittersum and her family immigrated from the Netherlands in January 1999 where Anita used to work as a registered nurse.
Together with her family she now owns and operates a dairy farm in North Huron.
Through a variety of volunteer work, courses, and other opportunities Anita has gained a broad knowledge and interest in the rural community.
Anita was elected councilor for North Huron in 2018. She is the council representative at the North Huron Economic Development Committee, the Wingham and Area Health Professional Recruitment Committee and the Cross-Border Service Committee. She is also a board member for the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority.
Anita looks forward to continuing to support the well-being, economic growth and prosperity of farmers and rural residents in Huron County.
Biography to be added soon.
Please note: the remaining board member bios will be added soon!