June 14, 2007


JUNE 13 TH, ST. THOMAS, ON – People are returning to Marmora to shop more and more these days, thanks to the commitment of Julie Maynes and Trevor Winn, Owners of Stoney Creek Ventures.  This dynamic couple is being recognized as Ontario’s Entrepreneur of the Year for their business achievements and their notable commitment to main street revitalization in the town of Marmora.  The award was presented to Maynes and Winn last week at the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC) Conference in Honey Harbour.

“Julie is a business owner who gets involved and takes steps as a private business owner to revitalize the urban centre,” says Andrew Redden, Main Street Revitalization Initiative Coordinator.  “Julie and Trevor understand that improving our Main Street goes beyond just decorations – clients must enjoy a unique shopping experience and have a desire to return.”

This husband and wife team are recognized as local champions in the business community for their successful business, which is comprised of three renovated stores in historic downtown Marmora:  Stedman's V&S Department Store; Porch & Parlour; and Twist.  Their work also encompasses countless volunteer efforts to make the community a thriving place during the tourist season and throughout the year.  Local festivals, mural projects, parks, economic development and local charities all benefit from their giving spirit.

Their enthusiasm for the community is catching.  Stoney Creek Ventures has a staff of 11, whom Maynes praises.  "They are a really good staff who work together so well and see the value in the economic development projects and how important downtown revitalization is to the community."

Starting a small business in a failing rural economy was a challenge, but luckily the Community Futures Development Corporation of North & Central Hastings and South Algonquin in Bancroft became a major source of funding through the purchase of Stedman’s in 2002, and further expansions in 2003 and 2005.  The company's overall gross revenue growth since 2002 is up 82%.

Maynes has a personal goal to help reverse the downturn in Marmora’s economy and morale of the late 1990’s, so she makes the most of their location in cottage country.  The village 1,400 expands to 15,000 in the summer, which presents the unique challenge of serving a small core of local shoppers, while garnering the interest of tourists who seek a daytrip experience.  Other store owners are catching on, and realize that having several boutique style shops on one street actually multiplies business for everyone.

Redden says that tourists are increasingly interested in visiting the town, and credits Maynes with her vision.  “She’s planted the seed for economic development.  She’s put Marmora on the map.”

The Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC) presented the award at its 2007 Awards Banquet which took place on Monday June 4th during its Annual Conference, and also featured presentations for Youth, Innovation and Community Economic Development Initiatives.  The conference, titled "From Broadaxe to Broadband – Hewing out the Future" was held at the Delawana Inn at Honey Harbour, and attracted a cross-section of more than 300 participants, including CFDC staff and volunteers, as well as municipal, provincial and federal government representatives.

As community-based, non-profit organizations, CFDCs are run by a board of local volunteers.  They are staffed by professionals who encourage entrepreneurship and the pursuit of economic opportunities by offering strategic community planning and socio- economic development, support for community-based projects, business services, and access to capital.  Through FedNor/Industry Canada, the Government of Canada provides funding, advice and support to 61 CFDCs located throughout rural and Northern Ontario.

The OACFDC is a provincial association which is a member driven leader for sustainable community development.  Information about the Community Futures Program and "From Broadaxe to Broadband – Hewing out the Future" can be found on line on the OACFDC website.

Media Contact:  General Manager: Bob Cloes
CFDC of North & Central Hastings and South Algonquin, Bancroft
Phone:  1-613-332-5564 / E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Media Contact:  Diana Jedig, Executive Director 
Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC) 
Telephone:  888-633-2326 x23 / Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.