Our board


Community Futures Yellowhead East is a community driven, non-profit organization that is guided by a Board of Directors. The Board is made up of local municipal Councillors who bring extensive knowledge and experience of the area’s economy. Our Board members represent our region’s population and main economic sectors. The role of the Board is to establish our organization’s priorities, monitor performance, and be accountable to key stakeholders, such as local, provincial and federal governments.

Board Composition

Appointment to Board of Directors

Community Futures Yelowhead East is governed by a 10 member Board of Directors appointed on an annual basis from our 10 Shareholder communities. All Directors are restricted to a maximum 8 year term on the Board to ensure periodic, if not annual Board renewal.  These appointed Directors bring extensive knowledge and experience about the local and regional economy and the area’s social composition.

Directors are appointed by the individual Shareholder communities based on the assessment of the locally elected municipal representatives as to who would best represent their community interests in the context of a regional economic development organization. As the 10 Shareholder communities are disbursed throughout the region there is satisfactory geographic representation.

The skills required to serve on this Board would include engagement in their own community, willingness to participate in Board discussion and initiatives for the region as a whole and a common sense approach to advocating and action for Community Futures Yellowhead East.

The Community Futures Yellowhead East Board of Directors does not have specific age or gender requirements for Board composition but historically there has been as good balance based on the diversity achieved when drawing from 10 Shareholder communities.

All Board and Staff members are bound by a Code of Conduct and Confidentiality Agreement including Conflict of Interest and Privacy regulations.



Community Futures Yellowhead East is an independent not-for-profit corporation led by a Board of Directors. The local Board of Directors has final authority for all decisions. 
In an effort to safeguard all efforts are made to ensure clients are served in a fair and professional manner, the Board of Directors will ensure the Corporation provides clients with access to an appeal process. 

In addition, where a client requests an independent review of the Board’s original and subsequent appeal process, the Board of Directors will ensure the Corporation provides the client with timely access to a process of external appeal provided in Alberta through the Northwest Alberta Community Futures Region’s Appeal/Redress Committee. 

The role of the Northwest Alberta Community Futures Region’s Appeal/Redress Committee is to provide an external and independent review of Community Futures Yellowhead East’s decision making and internal review processes.  The Board of Community Futures Yellowhead East maintains all final authority for all decisions.

Carol Webster

Chairperson & Investment Review Committee Member

Town of Swan Hills

A third generation Swan Hillian, Carol was raised with the belief that volunteerism and community must be a top priority.  For the past 30 years, Carol has lead her family business as Editor/Publisher of the Swan Hills Grizzly Gazette and has been involved in many volunteer organizations and Town Boards since her return from college in 1989.

Following in her mother's footsteps, Carol was elected to the Swan Hills Town Council in 2016 and continues to serve her community as a Director of the Swan Hills Chamber of Commerce, Secretary of the local Hospital Foundation, and grant coordinator of the Swan Hills Community Club.  An active elected official, Carol was appointed to Community Futures Yellowhead East in 2016 and currently sits as Chair; Growth Alberta and Wild Alberta are also on Carol's docket, sitting on the executive of both regional boards.

A former client of CFYE, Carol says the organization has helped many businesses over the years and credits it's success to the dedicated staff and volunteer board.  "CFYE has been both mentor and teacher to many small businesses and its member communities." Carol said.  "Adding the financial component makes Community Futures a true partner in business success."

Daryl Weber

Vice Chairperson & Investment Review Committee Member

Village of Alberta Beach

Daryl attended NAIT before beginning a 45 year career with Xerox. Numerous roles in that time included Technician, Specialist and Project Manager. In recent years he has been involved in horizontal directional drilling.

In his 4th year as Councillor with the Village of Alberta Beach, in that time Daryl has been a Director, and now serves as Vice Chairperson, with Community Futures Yellowhead East. 

"Entrepreneurship means the possibility of more jobs, and taking financial and emotional risks for Community Futures clients. Entrepreneurs are more resourceful, more creative, energetic and driven".

Ray Hilts


Town of Whitecourt

Ray resides in Whitecourt with his family, and serves as Councillor for the Town of Whitecourt. He is a consultant and spent many years of his career in the forestry industry.

Jim Hailes


Town of Fox Creek

Jim Hailes, BEd, Grad Diploma Ed Admin. Long time resident of Fox Creek. Retired after serving as a Teacher and Administrator at Fox Creek School for 34 years.

Very active in the community having been on numerous Boards and Committees, coached innumerable teams both at the school level and in the community, as well as, over the years participating in many sporting activities. Served on Fox Creek Town Council for 14 years and is currently the Mayor.

A member of the Board of Community Futures Yellowhead East for 3 years.

Leslie Penny


Town of Barrhead

My name is Leslie Penny. Currently I am 3 years into my second term as a Councillor for the Town of Barrhead.

I am married to Rick and we have two daughters and 4 granddaughters. Prior to my retirement 6 years ago, I was an administrator with Alberta Health Services. My primary responsibility was senior’s health.

I have run in two provincial elections and one federal election. I ran to be a Town Councillor as I wanted to give back to a community that has been a wonderful place to live work, play, and raise a family.

Nick Gelych


Lac Ste. Anne County

Councillor / Deputy Reeve, Lac Ste. Anne County.

A farm boy at heart, I started a career with Alberta Power Ltd, later to become ATCO Electric.  After responding to a multitude of afterhours calls, climbing countless poles restoring power to customers, living in ten different rural communities I retired, after 38 years of service, as the South East Regional Manager responsible for Distribution Operations. 

With a background in Utility Economics, Human Resource Management and a previous Principal of a private business, I have an appreciation for the need of private business and the importance that small business owners play in the economic strength of any community.  These business owners and their businesses are a vital component to a region's sustainability, growth and prosperity and I consider it a pleasure to serve on the Community Futures Yellowhead East Board of Directors.

I am serving my first term as county Councillor and have been on the CFYE Board for three years.  It astounds me to see the entrepreneurial spirit still flourishing and the patrons who have come to depend on the service provided by Community Futures. From existing business that see a need to expand or the new start up with a desire to see their dreams come to fruition, CFYE has been supporting economic growth within the province.

Entrepreneurship to me is the creation and the building of a business from the ground up or the acquisition of existing commercial potential.  The willingness to take risks and to make personal sacrifices, along with the devotion of endless amounts of time and energy to make sure your business is profitable and grows into an enterprise you are proud of.

Aside from council and committee obligations I serve on the board for the Onoway & District Chamber of Commerce, Executive member with Northeast Rural Crime watch, active member of the Onoway Fish & Game Association and a member with the Lac Ste. Anne Community Choir.  When you don’t find me doing any of these I am usually cursing the loss of a golf ball, enjoying time at the lake cooking the perfect marshmallow; or just spending time at our acreage enjoying family & friends and especially if it is with any, or all, of our 18 grandchildren.

Marvin Schatz


County of Barrhead

I am a partner in a multi-generational family farm south of Barrhead. I am married and raised 3 kids in Barrhead. I am fortunate that the kids are all grown and married and now I have the privilege of being a grandparent.

I have been a Barrhead County councilor since 2013. I was on the Pembina West Co-op board for 18 years in which I was board secretary, vice-president and president. I enjoy doing committee work and working with other people. I’m on the Barrhead Seed Cleaning Plant board, Shepard’s Care Foundation Governance committee, County Policy committee and the Ag Service Board. I’ve also been part of the Ag Society and FCSS.

I have been on CFYE board since October 2019, I think Community Futures is a good way to get not only young people, but people from all walks of life, the opportunity to become entrepreneurs. It’s important for our community to have an organization like CFYE that offers a wide range of business loan options, training courses, personal business coaching and networking events.

Being a small business owner / farmer myself I am diverse in all aspects of what it takes to own and operate a business and I hope I can put that knowledge to use with CFYE.

Judy Tracy


Town of Onoway

I was born and raised in Edmonton. In February of 1999 my family and I moved to Onoway. In 2013 I ran for council, and in 2017 I was voted in as Mayor by my fellow Councilors.

I have sat as a Board member for Community Futures Yellowhead East since 2016.

My field of expertise is primarily retail sales. I am the Chair of one of the local non-profit organizations, Onoway and District Heritage Society. I am also a Board member with the Onoway and District Chamber of Commerce.

As a CFYE Board member I have participated in many different activities, such as education sessions and investment review committee.

Entrepreneurs are an essential part of economic growth in the Town of Onoway. They are the people that built the town.

John Burrows


Woodlands County

John resides in Woodlands County, and serves as Mayor of Woodlands County.

Pat Burns


Town of Mayerthorpe

As Councillor with the Town of Mayerthorpe, Pat is in is 3rd year serving as Director with Community Futures Yellowhead East.

Pat enjoys being hands-on, and has a 40+ year career as a journeyman carpenter, small business owner in construction, and has tickets for running boilers and pressure vessels.

"Being part of the community means giving time, helping out and giving a hand with community groups", especially enjoying the work of the spring-time flower beds and beautification of the town.

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Get in Touch

Community Futures Yellowhead East
Unit #1, 5023 - 50 Avenue
Box 2185
Whitecourt, AB T7S 1P8


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Communities Served

Alberta Beach, 
Birch Cove, 
Blue Ridge, 
Camp Creek, 
Castle Island, 
Fort Assiniboine, 
Fox Creek, 
Lake Isle, 
Lone Pine, 
Pass Creek, 
Rich Valley, 
Rochfort Bridge, 
Ross Haven, 
Sandy Beach, 
Silver Creek, 
Silver Sands, 
Sunrise Beach, 
Sunset Point, 
Swan Hills, 
Tiger Lily, 
Val Quentin, 
West Cove, 
Windfall Junction, 


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