July 31, 2012

Denis Bérubé has been elected President of the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations (OACFDC), following the association’s recent conference and annual general meeting in Sault Ste. Marie.   Mr. Bérubé is the General Manager of the North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation in Kapuskasing, where he has worked for 13 years. 

Prior to taking on his role with the CFDC, Mr. Bérubé was a social worker and camp director for 25 years.  He has been on the Board of Directors at the OACFDC for the past three years. 

The North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation is one of 61 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across rural Ontario.  They offer free business counselling, loans for start-up and expansion of small business, strategic planning on local projects, and community economic development.  Each CFDC is locally managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, funded by Industry Canada’s Community Futures Program through FedNor in Northern Ontario, and by FedDev Ontario in Southern Ontario.

Over the past 13 years, Mr. Bérubé has embraced the Community Futures Program and what it does.  “We make a difference in people’s lives.  For some, we make dreams of becoming an entrepreneur come true.  We assist rural communities in becoming more vibrant and resilient, not only by supporting local entrepreneurs but also by helping to attract and/or establish new business and investors,” he explains.

Looking ahead at the future of the Community Futures Program, Mr. Bérubé is very optimistic. “I see the CF Program continuing to play an important and vital role in the development and survival of rural communities.  We will become more imaginative and innovative in the way we continue to deliver our services in order to better meet the needs of our clients and communities. I also see the CF Program playing a leading role in planting the seed of entrepreneurship in our youth,” he adds.

As he takes on his role new as President of the provincial association, Mr. Bérubé is positive about the part that he and the organization can play:  “In the coming year, the OACFDC will continue delivering quality and relevant services to all our members.  Furthermore, through consultation and discussions with our members and funding partners, we can help shape the future of the CF Program in Ontario and ensure that the OACFDC remains responsive to the needs of its members,”

As a provincial association, the OACFDC brings together CFDCs from across Ontario to share best practices and work together as a whole, for the betterment of Ontario’s non-urban areas.  The association provides services to their member CFDCs, acts as an advocacy group, and offers professional development. 

In his new role as President of the OACFDC, Mr. Bérubé hopes to encourage collaboration.  “I hope that my inclusive and cooperative approach will strengthen the OACFDC as well as enhance our relationships with existing partners and establish new partnerships to the benefit of all CFDCs across Ontario,” he says.

To learn more about CFDCs in Ontario or the OACFDC, go to:

Denis Berube photo