Community Futures South Fraser (CFSF) is a not-for-profit Corporation funded by the Federal Government through PacifiCan (Pacific Economic Development Canada).
Our purpose and passion is to promote economic development and job creation through advisory services and capital investment in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford region.
We are one of 34 offices across the province and 266 across Canada that have been in existence for just over 25 years.
We also deliver a Self Employment Program in Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz.
What We Do
We provide basic business advisory services including free one-on-one coaching conversations for small to medium-sized business owners in Chilliwack and Abbotsford. If you’re wanting to grow your business in a specific way, we have a specialist that can help.
We provide business loans to early stage businesses and those businesses that are unable to meet the equity or experience requirements of other lenders. We also receive referrals from other financial institutions. We differ from BDC in that we use residential property as equity and we are willing to approve very small loans, i.e., less than $1,000.
We deliver the Self Employment Program in Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz. The Self Employment Program is funded by the Provincial Government through Employment Insurance. Our services include one-on-one business development coaching and planning sessions along with workshops and information sessions.
In partnership with other local community members and agencies and through our Self Employment Program, workshops are designed to support businesses in all stages including startup, growth and expansion, as well as in succession planning.
Board of Directors
They actively support community-based economic development with a range of products and services aimed at creating diverse, sustainable rural communities.
Community Futures South Fraser (CFSF) considers its volunteers one of the organization’s most important resources. Our Board of Directors consists of local business people who have extensive knowledge and experience of our local economy. Together with skilled staff, board and committee members guide the organization to its locally-created and community-driven goals.
Our board members are individuals that aspire to contribute to the community in ways that reflect broadly held values, have a meaningful impact, draw on unique strengths as a corporation, and reinforce our community economic development objectives.
Interested in becoming a board member?
Applications for board member positions are continuously accepted. Please visit our ‘Join Us’ page or click here to learn more about becoming a board member.
Current Board of Directors
Meghan is a Senior Relationship Manager for Farm Credit Canada and is passionate about supporting Canadian Agri-food and Agri-businesses. With over 16 years of experience in the financial services industry, Meghan’s approach to serving her clients is inclusive and engaging. She is not only passionate about helping her clients prosper – she wants her community to thrive as well. Meghan enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her family and friends in both her childhood hometown of Enderby (Okanagan) and her current hometown in the beautiful community of Chilliwack.
Carson is a Lawyer at Waterstone Law Group LLP who works out of the Chilliwack office. His practice areas include Banking Law, Business Law, and Real Estate Transactions.
Carson obtained his Bachelor of Management degree at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna before relocating to Kamloops where he obtained his law degree from Thompson Rivers University.
Carson recently welcomed his first child into the world with his partner, Grace. When Carson is not working, you can find him out on the golf courses, local trails, or spending time with his young family and friends.
Brad received a degree in Business Administration from the University of the Fraser Valley, an economics minor and a communication certificate while sitting on the University Senate and working as a UFV supported learning group instructor. Currently, Brad is working as a designated accounting professional with MNP at the Abbotsford office. Brad has lived the majority of his life in Abbotsford and in his free time enjoys sports (mainly hockey and baseball) and spending time with his family.
Gavin is Chief Strategy Advisor to Abbotsford Tech District, a proposed mixed-use campus on Sumas Mountain that will be an education, innovation, and commercialization hub for Abbotsford’s powerhouse agriculture sector and strong aerospace cluster. Gavin is an experienced corporate strategist and public affairs professional with an MBA from Oxford and an entrepreneurial background. As an advisor to senior decision-makers in large companies and organizations, he has been involved with navigating some of the most complex and challenging commercial and political environments in Canada, with billions of dollars and thousands of jobs at stake. Outside of business, Gavin is a proud father to Abby, the cutest two-year old in the world.
Matthew’s early career days were dominated by building IT departments for FastTrack500 companies in the UK. Moving to Chilliwack in 2001, gave him the chance to expand on that corporate experience, leading him to manage the operations side of national organizations, developing customer focused teams and technologies to push them to success. (While also lending his expertise and skills to similar organizations in Australia & New Zealand). Since then, Matthew has started, grown, and exited two successful businesses of his own, and is currently working on his third.
As a proud Dad of 2, Matthew shares his free time with non-profit youth organizations in the community and also loves to enjoy the amazing BC outdoors with his family.
Jimmy is currently a Senior Accountant at Grant Thornton in Abbotsford—with a focus to help clients and communities thrive. He finished his degree at Columbia Bible College and then went on to a Master of Arts degree at Regent College in Vancouver, before studying accounting at UFV. Outside of the office and tax season, you can find Jimmy camping with his family, pretending to play golf, or coaching his kids in soccer with the Abbotsford Soccer Association.
Kaitlin is the co-owner of The Polly Fox Bakery + Bistro, a gluten-free bakery and cafe in the heart of historic Downtown Abbotsford. She has a diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management and has spent her career working in various aspects of the hospitality industry including hotels, banquet and convention coordination, spas and food and beverage. As an entrepreneur herself, she is keenly aware of the challenges and struggles of opening and growing a small business and is passionate about helping others trying to do the same. Kaitlin has spent most of her life living in Abbotsford and is now raising her family here. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Tonya has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Recently leaving her career as a Senior Commercial Banking Advisor with a local credit union to start her own business in the mortgage industry. Tonya is well known in her industry and brings a wealth of knowledge to her contract position with Community Futures South Fraser.
Tonya is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and helping them grow their business. Tonya is actively involved in the Chilliwack Community. She sits on the board of The Chilliwack Community Arts Council, delivers soup with the Bowls of Hope and is part of the Rotary Club of Chilliwack Mt. Cheam.
Tonya, her husband and two children live on a 5-acre tree farm in Rosedale. She enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
Nicole Read, General Manager – Nicole was raised on a dairy farm in the local community of Chilliwack and was a part of her parents’ family-owned retail dairy store since she was 7 years old. At 22 she managed her family’s retail sports store and at 25, Nicole started her first business in the hospitality industry doing sales and marketing for hotels in different markets throughout BC and Alberta.
Other entrepreneurial adventures included contract work for employment programs, on-line vacation home rentals, restaurant owner of an upper casual steakhouse, and a temporary to permanent employment staffing agency. Nicole has worked closely with Community Futures South Fraser for over 6 years as a service provider to GT Hiring Solutions whom Nicole was the Service Delivery Manager of the Lower Mainland contract. Nicole is very passionate about building community as well as helping entrepreneurs grow and develop their business.
Nicole is deeply rooted to the Rotary Club of Chilliwack and the Ann Davis Society in Chilliwack allowing her to give back to the community that has given her so many opportunities.
Teresa Pippus, Self-Employment Program Manager – Teresa has trained and coached entrepreneurs for more than 20 years and has assisted over 1000 people to start their own small or micro-businesses.
After owning 4 successful hospitality industry businesses and creating and delivering employee/customer retention workshops for over 15 years she realizes one important principle – happiness is profitable. She is known as a customer service and marketing guru and has a passion and intuition for helping people move forward.
Teresa is a sought after speaker and workshop leader for amazing, authentic, and adventurous customer service. She lives in beautiful Fort Langley with her daughter Arden.
Daisy Melnyk, Program Ambassador – Daisy has always had a passion for relationships and connection, this has been reflected over the course of her career.
Over the last decade, she has developed and taught mindfulness programs for youth and co-founded a successful wellness company. Most currently, working as an Event and Marketing Project Manager for various non-profit organizations, and the local business community.
When Daisy isn’t enjoying time outdoors or with her family, she is actively involved in the community sitting on the Board of Directors for the Chilliwack Fair and volunteering her time in local schools.
Julia Lamb, Administrative Assistant – Julia has a deep-rooted passion for community growth and their ability to thrive. Raised in Chilliwack, she has a strong connection to her local community and is dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of its members.
Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, her personal experience has fueled her roles within the disability community. She has been actively involved with disability initiatives, including being a member of the City of Chilliwack’s Accessibility and Inclusion Advisory Committee, and is the current Chair of Disability Alliance BC. She has a certificate in bookkeeping and has provided social media services to locally owned small businesses for 5+ years.
She enjoys accessible trails and roaming the aisles of local bookstores. When you can’t find her out in community, Julia will most likely be at home reading with her rescue cats.