The Region We Serve
Middlesex County includes a geographic area of just under 3,000 square kilometres comprised of eight rural & urban communities that form a horseshoe around the city of London, Ontario. Our Community Futures Development Corporation organization exists to serve both individuals (who may operate businesses in other locations) and businesses located in any of these communities:
- Municipality of Adelaide Metcalfe
- Municipality of Lucan Biddulph
- Municipality of Middlesex Centre
- Municipality of North Middlesex
- Municipality of Southwest Middlesex
- Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc
- Municipality of Thames Centre
- Village of Newbury
If you live in, or operate a corporation (or not-for-profit organization) in any of these communities, and need help with your business in any way, please contact us.
Our mission is to support our communities through the fostering of business and economic development, thereby creating economic sustainability and growth.
Business Counselling & Support
We provide mentoring services, business consulting, business loans and financing, workshops, and special events to support business development in our communities.
Perhaps you may be pivoting your business into a new product or service line, new distribution channel, or new markets. Perhaps you need guidance on how to grow your business. Our Staff and Board of Directors have experience with important business transitions or stages like this and can provide support, guidance, and contacts for you and your business when needed.
Workshops are held on an occasional basis. Popular workshop topics may include:
- Starting a Business
- Writing a Business Plan
- Market Research
- Small Business Accounting Tutorials
- Digital Marketing
- Financial Management
- Business Operations
Is there a specific workshop topic that you would like to receive more guidance in? Contact us, and we will see what we can do to assist!
Business Loans & Financing
Central to our mission is the provision of creative and flexible early-stage financing for entrepreneurs and small businesses. We will do everything that we can to help you.
Community Economic Development (CED)
We work closely with community partners to champion and support joint projects that encourage economic development across the Middlesex region.
We look to support or partner with projects that:
- Provide long-term economic benefits to Middlesex County
- Do not create a dependency on government funds
- Are jointly funded by other sources
- Demonstrate the ability to create and/or maintain local jobs
If you are a part of a CED initiative that you would like us to consider supporting, please contact us!
Throughout the year, our organization both leads and supports special events to assist with our community development and business development efforts.
One of these special events is our annual International Women’s Day Symposium, which is held in March and has sold out every year to date. Please visit our events calendar for more details on this and many other community events.
Strategic Community Planning
We work collaboratively as a support and resource to the municipalities we serve in their community planning and business development efforts.
Todd Copeland was appointed to the role of General Manager for Community Futures Middlesex in November of 2019 after previously serving for more than two years as a member of the Board of Directors, with membership on both the Executive and Loans Committees. He has extensive experience supporting entrepreneurs in both the private and public sectors as an innovation, relationship and partnership champion. Todd has worked internationally across multiple industries and sectors leading teams and supporting both start-ups and established businesses engage in the research, development and commercialization of new technology, product, and service offerings.
Todd and his family have been residents of Middlesex County for the last 16 years. He is actively involved in giving back throughout the Middlesex community, currently serving on a number of committees and boards that promote the interests and needs of local business and local communities. He also currently serves as the President of the Ilderton Minor Hockey Association.
Todd holds an Honours Degree in Biology and Business Economics from the University of Waterloo.
Business and Loans Advisor
Cindy Viner is the Business and Loans Advisor at Community Futures Middlesex – The Business Help Centre.
Cindy owned and operated her own successful business for over 16 years and understands what it takes to be an entrepreneur. This first-hand knowledge and experience helps her relate well to business leaders throughout our region and to understand then provide the supports they really need.
Cindy holds a Chartered Professional Managers designation (C. Mgr.) with the Canadian Institute of Management.
Sherri Sword joined Community Futures Middlesex in 2010, and over the past decade has provided institutional knowledge, stability, policy guidance and perspective throughout the organization. She is a vital and valued part of our leadership team. Her day to day responsibilities include Financial Administration, Payroll, Project Management / Tracking, Loan Reporting & Management, Legal Documentation, Budgeting, and Office Management.
Sherri has expressed how much she enjoys supporting and collaborating with the many businesses in the region, as well as her gratitude to be part of an organization that provides economic development support and small business Loans throughout the community in which she lives.
Board of Directors
Ruth Adams worked at Canada Post for many years, with her last role as a National Customer Operations Manager responsible for all aspects of a specific product line within Canada Post. After a brief retirement she chose to reinvent herself as a business owner in Middlesex County (Independent Travel Advisor). Active in various community events and on a number of boards over the years, she has chosen to continue to give back by serving with the board of Community Futures in Middlesex County, currently serving as Chair of the Board. Ruth has lived in Middlesex County for 37 years where she raised her family (two children and four grandchildren) who live close by and continue to be the joy of her life.
Scott Hill joined the CFDC Board of Directors in 2018, and sits on the executive and loans Committees as a representative of the community of Middlesex Centre (Komoka-Kilworth). Scott is an experienced entrepreneur in the sports industry, having founded and directed Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! – the largest mass participation sports event in Canadian history. Previous to building that venture, he worked in Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations Consulting practice. Scott is currently working on a new start-up in the sports technology space. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, where he has also become a lecturer in the faculty of entrepreneurship.
Fraser Macdonald is a retired Executive in the banking industry having had a lengthy career at senior levels in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Fraser’s extensive executive management experience includes managing Branch networks, Commercial and Personal Credit, Audit, Compliance, and Operations. During his bank tenure, he also served as President of the Mutual Fund and Insurance subsidiaries of the bank and served as Vice President of the International Mergers and Acquisitions Division. Known for his dedication to client service, Fraser is a welcome addition to CFDC, having joined the board in early 2020. He sits on the board as a representative of the geographic region of Adelaide Metcalfe.
Susan Clarke has been a member of the CFDC Board of Directors since 2011. She is a retired banker, having spent more than 30 years in the commercial lending industry. Currently, she operates a cash crop farm in Adelaide Metcalfe with her husband, David. A mother of four adult children, Susan also serves as an Adelaide Metcalfe municipal councillor, as well as several not-for-profit boards of directors throughout the region. She holds a degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Joel Aalbers, CPA, CGA,
Joel Aalbers, CPA, CGA, is a Partner and Business Advisor with MNP’s Assurance and Accounting Southwestern Ontario team in Strathroy and Arkona. Joel works closely with his clients to help them keep their businesses current, competitive and profitable, delivering sound advice and solutions customized to their unique needs. Joel helps owner-managed businesses and corporations in a variety of industries, including agriculture, agri-business, manufacturing and construction. Joel brings extensive knowledge of government farm support and income stabilization programs to his agricultural clients. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Certified General Accountant (CGA) in 2014. He joined the CFDC Board of Directors in 2016, representing the municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc.
Keith Crawford is a Partner with McFarlan Rowlans, and represents the community of Southwest Middlesex on the Board of Directors. He brings considerable business and agricultural knowledge to clients in order to assist them with addressing their commercial insurance needs. Keith grew up on a beef and cash crop farm in the Glencoe area where he learned about hard work, community, and where your food comes from, at an early age. He currently resides just a few minutes from the original family farm. Prior to beginning his career in the insurance industry, Keith worked in an information technology environment, dealing with commercial businesses surrounding implementation of hardware and software to add function and increase efficiencies. Keith became a valued member of the CFDC Board in May 2020.
Jean Coles is an invested community creator who is frequently called upon for her expertise in relationship building. She leads mainly by example, always doing her best and encouraging others to do the same. She joined the CFDC Board of Directors in May 2020, representing Middlesex Centre (Ilderton). Currently, as the owner of three Sport Clips Haircuts, a franchised, international modern-day barbershop, Jean oversees the marketing and operations. Previously, as a Leasing Manager, Jean led leasing opportunities for the Southwestern Ontario division of Northwest Healthcare Properties. She holds an MBA from Norwich University, BACS from Western University, and a Certificate in Marketing Management from Humber College. She serves on the Hyde Park Business Improvement Association Board of Directors, Home and School Committee at Oxbow Public School, Entrepreneurship Program Advisory Committee at Fanshawe College and on the Team Leader Advisory Council of Sport Clips Haircuts Canada.
Shelagh Morrison is newly retired, most recently working with Turbo Images as the Executive Director of Marketing & Business Development. She has an extensive track record of past accomplishments overseeing marketing and sales departments, strategies and projects. Leveraging her sales, marketing and business development experience with companies like 3M, Coca-Cola, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive, Shelagh launched Yup! Marketing and worked as a consultant with advertising agencies and startups across North America. She is currently involved in supporting economic development initiatives in North Middlesex, participating as a member of the North Middlesex Economic Development Committee. She has also extensively contributed to building the awareness and success of the Ailsa Craig Quilt & Fibre Arts Festival. Shelagh is a keen equestrian and resides on a farm just outside of Ailsa Craig, representing North Middlesex on our Board of Directors.
Staff Recruitment: Business Development & Community Outreach Officer (click here for job description)
Community Futures Middlesex is a not-for-profit organization that stimulates economic development throughout Middlesex County by providing an array of community and business development, counseling and lending services.
We are committed to supporting the efforts of entrepreneurs and forward-thinking community leaders in building community wealth in diverse and innovative manners. If you would like to be a part of our organization and help lifting and building in our communities, please reach out.
We are currently looking for new members of the Board of Directors to represent:
- Municipality of Lucan Biddulph
- Municipality of Thames Centre
The Board of Directors typically meets on the third Wednesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. There may also be additional meetings for committee work.
Candidates for the Board of Directors should have significant experience in at least two of the following:
- Board Governance
- Small Business Operations
- Market Research
- Business Development
- Commercial Finance/Banking
- Community Economic Development
If you are interested in volunteering on a dynamic Board of Directors and have a passion for nurturing prosperity on your community, we invite you to forward an expression of interest, with a resume to:
Student Internships (Summer)
Each summer, our organization hires 1-2 student interns to support our community and business development efforts.
A sample job posting:
Location: Ilderton, ON
Description: Full-time, Temporary (8 weeks)
Salary: $14 – $18 / hour
The Business Development and Community Outreach Intern will promote an increased awareness for Community Futures Middlesex, its programs and services. The individual will lend support to community-based events and initiatives undertaken in partnership with local business associations partners and clients. The position will be involved in supporting pilot programs to promote youth entrepreneurship, development of client success stories and other content to support social media and digital marketing campaigns, website, monthly newsletters, workshops, presentations, surveys, online forms, and promotional materials.
The position is made possible with funding under the Canada Summers Jobs Program and is open to post-secondary applicants 30 years old and younger who are eligible to work in Canada. Office and remote working options may exist for the successful applicant. Applicants with a background or interest in economic development, business management, marketing and communications are encouraged to apply! Contact us here.