Conference Schedule

Day 1 Schedule
Sunday February 25, 2024

4:00pm - 7:00pm

Registration

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Networking – Reception

Day 2 Schedule
Monday February 26, 2024

7:30am - 8:30am

Breakfast Buffet

8:30am - 9:15am

Welcome & Opening Ceremonies

Keynote Speaker – Diane Gray – President , Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan)

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Diane Gray

Diane Gray was appointed President of PrairiesCan on October 31, 2022. Ms. Gray is a recognized leader with extensive experience in business development and trade. Prior to her appointment, Diane was the founding President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc., the largest inland port in North America.

From 1995 to 2009, Ms. Gray held three portfolios for the Province of Manitoba, serving as Deputy Minister of Finance; Federal-Provincial and International Relations; and Trade.

Ms. Gray holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Manitoba.

9:15am - 10:30am

Feature Speaker - Brennen Schmidt

Making Cents of Cybersecurity: Sparking Interest in the Ones and Zeros

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Diane Gray

As a leader who has challenged conventional wisdom and transformed industries, Brennen is a self-described disrupter who can communicate across strategy, privacy, cybersecurity, and change management languages.

He has a track record of bringing together seemingly disparate ideas and teams to find solutions that bridge the gap between people, processes, and technology. Brennen dares to ask hard questions, challenging us to imagine what a crisis looks like before it happens.

10:30am - 11:00am

Nutritional Break

11:00am - 12:00pm

Feature Speaker - Brennen Schmidt

Securing the Age of Innovation: Strategies for Staying Ahead of the Game

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Brennen Schmidt

As a leader who has challenged conventional wisdom and transformed industries, Brennen is a self-described disrupter who can communicate across strategy, privacy, cybersecurity, and change management languages.

He has a track record of bringing together seemingly disparate ideas and teams to find solutions that bridge the gap between people, processes, and technology. Brennen dares to ask hard questions, challenging us to imagine what a crisis looks like before it happens.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Buffet Lunch

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Feature Speaker - Meridith Elliott Powell

Thrive in Uncertainty

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Meridith Elliott Powell

Meridith is an awardwinning author, keynote speaker, and business strategist who has been voted among the Top 15 Business Growth Experts, Top 100 Sales Influencers by LinkedIn, and Top 41 Motivational Speakers. With a corporate leadership and sales background, her career spans several industries, including banking, healthcare, and finance.

2:30pm - 3:00pm

Nutritional Break

3:00pm - 4:30pm

Feature Speaker - Sharon Koifman

Remote Management, Surviving Remote Work

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Sharon Koifman

An expert in business leadership, hybrid workplaces, and corporate culture, Sharon started DistantJob in 2009 as the first remote recruitment agency to disrupt the traditional way companies hire. Since then, he has studied and researched how to operate remote businesses and create a fantastic work culture where people love coming to work. His book, Surviving Remote Work, debuted as #1 in its category on Amazon in 2020.

4:30pm

Dinner

Venue

On Your Own

Day 3 Schedule
Tuesday February 27, 2024

7:30am - 8:45am

Breakfast Buffet

9:00am - 10:00am

Feature Speaker - Nikolas Badminton

Future Trends and A.I.

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Nikolas Badminton

A world-renowned futurist, Nikolas mentors leaders toward creating more connected, curious, and creative teams - ready to anticipate and embrace the future. Nikolas' passion, experience, and positive activism inspire clients to scan and understand signals of change, build resiliency by anticipating unforeseen risks, strengthen strategic planning, and create bold visions of the future.

10:00am - 10:30am

Nutritional Break

10:30am - 11:30am

Feature Speaker - Nikolas Badminton

Future Trends and A.I.

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Nikolas Badminton

A world-renowned futurist, Nikolas mentors leaders toward creating more connected, curious, and creative teams - ready to anticipate and embrace the future. Nikolas' passion, experience, and positive activism inspire clients to scan and understand signals of change, build resiliency by anticipating unforeseen risks, strengthen strategic planning, and create bold visions of the future.

11:30am - 12:00pm

Troy Dungate, Chair of Community Futures Pan West Network

The “Future” In Our Community Futures

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Troy Dungate

A warm welcome from all of us at Community Futures Pan West! We’re pleased so many of you can be here with us in beautiful Kelowna for the next few days. Many thanks to the committees and individuals who helped make this event happen, but most of all to you. It’s not easy to get away, so we promise your time here will be well worth it.

When planning this conference, we aimed to provide you with engaging, relevant, and timely information presented by respected thought leaders who focus on the future. All speakers offer insight and expert suggestions on how to meet today’s challenges and recognize and grasp the opportunities for tomorrow that come with them. We’re excited to learn from these insightful professionals and hope you are too.

You’ll also hear from several CF colleagues who will share details of some truly inspirational community economic development projects. I encourage everyone to engage in these valuable sessions and consider their potential for your own region. Finally, let’s make this a time to get together between sessions, speak freely, share best practices, and look for ways to connect, collaborate, and encourage one another as we move forward. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, once said, “None of us is as smart as all of us!” I agree. Let’s focus on the future by exploring possibilities together.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Buffet Lunch

1:00pm - 4:30pm

CED Projects - Western Canada

Lemonade Day

Community Futures Tawatinaw Region, Westlock Alberta
Presented by Amanda Robinson

Meeting room: Chilcotin
1st Session: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
2nd Session: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Lemonade Day is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches youth how to start, own, and operate their own business – a lemonade stand. Lemonade Day aims to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow.

This youth-focused program was first introduced to Northern Alberta in 2018 by Community Futures Tawatinaw and, since then, has been offered by 12 other CF regions. Each registrant receives a backpack with an entrepreneur workbook or access to the My Lemonade Day app and attends Lemonade University. CF instructors teach how to create budgets, set profit-making goals, serve customers, repay investors, and other essential business skills. Participants acquire skills in goal setting and problem-solving and gain self-esteem critical for future success - all while having fun and being creative.

Lemonade Day participants keep all the profits they make, but the program encourages them to spend some, save some, and share some. In 2019, our Lemonade Day cohort donated over $9,000 to local charities of their choosing; in 2021, they donated over $7,000, and in 2022, over $12,000.

Amanda will discuss how to bring this program to your community and use it to engage community members, help today's youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow, and increase CF name recognition in local areas.

Venture Connect

Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot, Port Alberni, British Columbia
Presented by Darrell Goertzen

Meeting room: Skaha
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Venture Connect is a Community Futures initiative that has been providing business succession services since 2011. With priority on rural and remote communities in Western Canada, our focus is business retention during unprecedented demographic shifting and business transitions. While many focus on labour shortages, we focus on entrepreneur shortages. With economic development as our foundation, Venture Connect occupies a unique space within the business buy-and-sell marketplace. We recognize the importance of local knowledge and experience and maximize our collaborative relationships with Community Futures, economic development agencies, immigration consultants, real estate agents, brokers, and the government to achieve mutual goals.

Darrell will share how Venture Connect can elevate your CF reputation and success in the provision of business succession services:

  • Support business owners in preparing for the sale of their business and understand their position in the buy/sell marketplace.
  • Assist business buyers, both local and foreign, in identifying and acquiring appropriate enterprises.
  • Help listing agents, business sellers, and economic development agencies to highlight their opportunities and connect with buyers.
Senior Centre & R Store Community Coop

Community Futures Westman, Brandon, Manitoba
Presented by Wendy Petersen

Meeting room: Cassiar
1st Session: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
2nd Session: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


When a few engaged and passionate residents decided they needed a place for older adults in the Hamiota area to gather, socialize, learn, and share, the answer was clear: a cooperative senior centre. Forming a co-op held many benefits, especially building a sense of ownership and involvement. Each member had a voice and a vote on what the centre would look like and how it would operate.

Since August 28, 2022, the co-op has grown to 140 members, and the centre averages 250 visits a month. In addition to programs and events, including cards, pool, shuffleboard, exercise, bingo, intergenerational events, and entertainment evenings, the centre provides space for the Support to Seniors program, which offers health care clinics and mobility aid lending to the area. The centre also operates an R Store, where volunteer members check and repair furniture and household item donations, then resell or repurpose them, generating an average of $1,500 per month and reducing landfill waste. Currently, the co-op is pursuing the purchase of their rented building from Fusion Credit Union. The centre has become a hub of activity, and community members are pleased to have a place to call their own.

Wendy will speak on how Community Futures Westman was instrumental in helping the steering committee establish their co-op and set up governance roles. Community Futures Westman has continued to support the centre with resources, advice, and follow-up.

SMARTstart Program Expansion

Community Futures Centre West, Cochrane, Alberta
Presented by Patti-Jay Powell and Laurie Kubik

Meeting room: Cascade
1st Session: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
2nd Session: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


SMARTstart is a proven entrepreneurial training program offering tools, mentorship, business planning, real-world business skills and access to tailor-made advice – setting startups and new businesses up for success. The program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs with a business idea and owners in business for less than three years looking to grow.

First offered in the CF Centre West area in 2012, SMARTstart is now available in several other CF Alberta regions. The program consists of three main components: online learning via the GoForth Institute, a professional platform offering the 100 Essential Business Skills™ program, in-person/virtual group sessions, and one-onone mentorship with an experienced local business owner.

Communities who decide to offer SMARTstart become license holders with access to a comprehensive guide and templates for all aspects of the program via a digital toolbox.

Patti-Jay and Laurie will provide a complete program overview, including program statistics, lessons learned, opportunities, best practices, and success stories from past participants. They will share how the program is more than a training program – it builds collaboration and robust and engaged business communities and how the potential expansion of SMARTstart to other provinces can benefit your region. Early participants and mentors have gone on to become sponsors and presenters and actively support the program.

Economic Resilience Meet Climate Adaptation – How CFBC is providing support to BC Communities

Community Futures Boundary, Grand Forks, British Columbia
Presented by Chris Marsh and Paul Edmonds

Meeting room: Selkirk
1st Session: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
2nd Session: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


British Columbia is at the forefront of climate-related emergencies, which have devastated communities in BC, including Lytton, Merritt, Princeton, Grand Forks, and several First Nations. A common thread through these disasters and their associated recovery efforts has been the need to support and assist business communities, supporting overall community recovery.

Community Futures BC has provided a high level of technical support to disaster-struck communities. They are now looking to formalize their role as economic disaster recovery experts and provide an expanded suite of services to the 34 BC-based CF offices. Clear Sky Consulting (CSC) and Red Dragon Consulting (RDC) are leading BC based emergency management consultants. Both organizations have supported BC communities and businesses during recovery following major disasters.

Chris Marsh of CSC and Paul Edmonds of RDC will describe the projects underway in partnership with CFBC to bring more economic recovery support to BC-based businesses – including the development of a how-to disaster recovery handbook for CFBC offices, providing immediate deployment teams to support BC businesses, and exploring options for continuing education in disaster recovery for CF staff.

Establishing or Acquiring a Business to Operate as a Social Enterprise

Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot, Port Alberni, British Columbia
Presented by Lori Camire

Meeting room: Skaha
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm


Business, economic, and community impacts were at the forefront of Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot's strategic decision to establish two social enterprise subsidiaries - one as a startup and the other as a business acquisition. Being solidly comfortable with why and how to create a social enterprise or buy a business is key to the justification to proceed and the energy it will take.

Lori will present her CF startup (Venture Connect Inc. 2011) and business acquisition (Coombs Country Candy 2020 Ltd) and discuss a full spectrum of considerations from the perspective of a CF manager, succession specialist, and lawyer, followed by a Q&A session.

Key content includes:

  • How creating a social enterprise or acquiring an existing business benefits a CF office.
  • Essential considerations such as ensuring the enterprise doesn't tax internal CF staff.
  • Legalities of establishing a subsidiary and the purchase process.
  • Overview of resources available to support CFs in the process, including the Pathway to a Successful Business Purchase adapted for Non-Profits and Charitable Organizations workbook and Venture Connect services.

1:00pm - 4:30pm

Concurrent Sessions

1. Introduction to the CF Program

Meeting Room: Monashee
1st Session: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
2nd Session: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


The purpose of this session is to provide you with an orientation to your role as a Director on a Community Futures Board. We will cover the following content.

  • The history of the CFP in Western Canada.
  • The structure and functions of the typical local CF organization, its provincial Community Futures Associations, the regional Community Futures Pan West Network Inc., and the Community Futures Network of Canada.
  • The governance and operational framework that guides the operations of the CF organizations.
  • The variety of programs and services provided by CFs and how they are funded.
  • The contractual requirements of CF organizations.
  • The board development resources that are available to you as a director and how they can be accessed.
2. Operations Board & Staff

Meeting room: Vaseaux
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Board members fulfill five major leadership functions: decision maker, advisor, trustee, and leader. This module examines these functions and the critical principles underlying them. Participants will:

  • Distinguish between board and management authority and accountability.
  • Identify the relationship between board, management and the staff; and
  • Be aware of the organization and structure of a board.
3. Indigenous Relations

Meeting Room: Kootenay
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


ICT IndigenousRelations Agenda 2024 Thumbnail

ICT Indigenous Relations Agenda 2024 (PDF)

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Network – Open Bar

 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Gala Dinner

Meeting Rooms Map

Event Sponsors

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