Community Futures Thompson Country’s small business specialists are knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to taking the time to really understand your business ideas – and then rolling up their sleeves to help you make them happen. We can help you apply for business loans, write a business plan, understand your cash flow and access new markets. We have in-depth knowledge of the unique characteristics of this region’s local and regional economies and active partnerships with business and community leaders, local government, educational institutions, other business lenders and not-for-profits.
Blair Gray General Manager
Blair Gray joined the CFTC in the General Manager role in June 2017. His five plus years’ experience managing in Not- for Profit environments, overseeing multiple government funded contracts made him an ideal fit for the GM role. Areas of expertise include employment services, economic and partnership development, leadership, strategic planning, public communication, and workplace diversity and inclusion. His prior experience combines well with his scholastic back ground as he brings a diploma in business management as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University.
In the General Manager position Blair strives to continue the Community Futures mandate of promoting Community Economic Development by assisting and supporting entrepreneurs throughout the Thompson Country region and:
- Providing relevant and quality business services to entrepreneurs and small businesses
- Providing community economic development support to all communities and community groups
- Promoting self-employment as a good career alternative, and
- Ensuring accountability of our actions to the community and our stakeholders.
Shelagh Pemberton Business Analyst – Loans
Shelagh Pemberton started her employment with CFTC in May 2004 as the Loans Administrator. Shelagh has twenty plus years of experience in finance with a comprehensive background in banking, lending, and analyzing financial statements through a strong accounting lens. Over her time with the CFTC as the primary contact for loan processing, she has been responsible for the management and administration of a loans portfolio in the millions of dollars; all utilized in order to enhance the CFTC’s regional businesses abilities to start, grow, expand, and most importantly – succeed!
With a true passion for business, she has managed several small businesses over the years. She knows the rigors of being a business manager and thus brings that experience and compassion to those who access loan funding from CFTC.
Julie Bayman Program Manager
Julie is a business analyst in charge of Self-Employment services for our organization. Julie brings over 12 years’ of experience of employment counseling as well as over 7 years of management & supervisory experience. Most recently she was the site manager at our WorkBC site in Merritt. She possess performance management skills including accountability for targeted performance based work and has overseen and developed processes in quality management. Julie has previous experience as a site manager at the Quesnel Career Success Centre where she successfully and proactively improved and streamlined services to provide optimal accountable client services.
Julie is MBTI certified and as a Certified Life Coach provided staff training and on-going professional coaching within the organizations that she has worked with and in the community. We are excited to add Julie to our team.
Deborah Petrovitch Site Manager – Merritt
Deborah is our Site Manager in Merritt and has been with our Employment Services Centre (ESC) project since 2012. Deborah has over 5 years of experience in employment services as an Employment Advisor, Job Developer and Workshop Facilitator and over 8 years’ experience directly managing office operations, controlling office expenditures in compliance with approved budgets and coordinating of administrative functions including hiring, training, evaluating and supervising staff. Deborah also has many years of experience in office management, administration and marketing. All of these positions were highly administrative with strong fiduciary and marketing requirements which she met with determination and success.
Carmen JordanBusiness Coach
Carmen joined CFTC in January of 2018. She brings to her position 10 years’ experience in public sector employment services, and more than 10 years’ leadership experience working in small to medium sized businesses in the private sectors of corporate & tourism/hospitality. Carmen works closely with entrepreneurs, helping them to create comprehensive business plans. She facilitates workshops with current and relevant content, and connects entrepreneurs to community resources that helps them achieve their goals. Her connection to entrepreneurism runs deep as her family has operated a local business for more than 40 years.
Sherrie Manholt Executive Assistant
Sherrie joined Community Futures in the fall of 2019 with a diverse background that spans academia, construction, online and print media, workshop development and entrepreneurship. She is happy to share knowledge and to support budding entrepreneurs and start-ups. Her role within Community Futures is to support organizational operations. Sherrie’s wide array of skills and experience allows her to facilitate a multitude of business support workshops.
Kelly McEachnie Financial Administrator
Kelly started her employment with Community Futures Thompson Country in October 2019. She brings with her 20 years of Accounting, bookkeeping and Financial Reporting along with 10 years of Management and Administration experience. Kelly has experience working in small and medium businesses and non-profit organizations. Based in Kamloops, Kelly supports all CFTC programming, with significant duties related to the financial workings of the WorkBC contract. Her wealth of small business financial knowledge is a benefit to Self-Employment services, as she facilitates bookkeeping workshops with each cohort of entrepreneurs.
With a passion for accounting and small business entrepreneurship, Kelly is a true fit for Community Futures Thompson Country.
Nova Sekhon Business Analyst – Community Economic Development
Nova Sekhon joined Community Futures Thompson Country in August 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. She brings both knowledge and experience of local government economic development and of broad marketing. As our Business Development Analyst her role is primarily focused on helping foster entrepreneurship in the region. She is the principal contact for all new business development clients and helps attract, coach, manage and guide them to success.