Our board

Community Futures Central Island is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of local business people who have extensive knowledge and experience of Vancouver Island's economy and represent it’s
 population and main economic sectors.

The role of the Board is to establish our organization’s priorities, monitor our our business loans, oversee our general performance, and be accountable to key stakeholders, such as local, provincial and federal governments. Interested in becoming a board member or committee volunteer? Please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.


Ed Poli

My most interesting and rewarding job was managing the Canada Employment Centre in Nanaimo. This was in the days when the focus of the Federal Government’s employment policy was on results rather than bean counting and decision making was delegated to the local level. I was able to involve the community in the decision making process, build great relationships and make a difference. Management of a large unionized staff and significant budget was also a great learning experience.

One of my first bosses gave me great advice about avoiding unproductive conflict when he said “Never get in a peeing contest with a skunk – even if you win you end up smelling bad”. Over the years I have learned that relationships are everything! Take the time to build relationships – listen – be respectful – pay attention to what drives and matters to the folks you deal with. Once you have established a solid relationship with someone you can often achieve in 5 minutes what could otherwise take forever.

When asked for a favourite book my response is, ”One Book?? Come on – I’m a reader.” Lord of the Rings – Anything by Arturo Perez Reverte, Michael Chabon or Guy Gabriel Kay – the Maj Siojwal / Per Wahloo series of Martin Beck books – and on and on – not a fair question! An immediate short term goal for me is to get another boat and get back on the water – I was never happier than the 10 years we were sailing on the BC coast.

I’m a creative thinker who works well with others and my varied background gives me a broad understanding and balanced perspective. I believe that these things together with my management and organizational experience enable me to make a meaningful contribution to the Board.

David Mailloux
Vice Chair

I took over the positions of Manager, Communications & Public Affairs – Nanaimo Port Authority in 2014. My most Interesting occupation to date is my current one. I am learning that one never stops learning when working in in Communications

What Have I learned over the years about being in business?

  • Good Business Models are affected by Politics; Politics are part of Business.
  • Many people ask you for information to confirm what they already believe…and then tell you that you’re wrong.
  • People with autonomy and ownership will perform at higher levels than people who are continually scrutinized, provided that the goals and timelines are clear, and results are acknowledged by someone they respect.
  • Respect is earned and seldom achieved by title. A sincere “Thank You” can be a subtle but powerful motivator.. 
  • Information is incomplete without context.
  • Emotion produces results but on occasion, can erode credibility.

Regarding advice for business people. First, do not consider yourself as an established business until you operate for 5 years; you must survive various cycles. Secondly, most business fail due to under capitalization, inflexibility and understanding their position in the market place.

There are so many books out there worth a read but my favourites are Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett) and The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton.  A foundation of regular consistent habits establishes confidence and leads to achievements that otherwise wouldn’t be considered possible.  Saying “what if” creates possibilities.  Passion is a core ingredient for achieving success and happiness.

I worked in business and in Government at the Provincial level, with a Federal authority (agent of) and for non-profit Organizations as staff and at the Board level, in two provinces.  I am currently the Chair of the BC Ocean Boating Tourism Association and a board member with the Nanaimo Tourism Leadership Committee. My understanding of these agencies along with my expertise in Organizational Development, Management, Marketing & Sales, Training and communication are what I bring to Community Futures.

Adam Hawryluk

At present, I help people locating funding for mortgage financing as a Mortgage Expert at DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts. One of my most interesting occupations was as Service Manager at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar Even more surprising is the fact that I’ve been bitten by black widow spiders on two separate occasions.

What I have learned over the years about being in business is to be authentic in what you do. Authenticity goes a long way in today’s business environment.  I would tell business people what I practice every day -remember to take every possible occasion to get to know people and to create relationships with others in the community.

A favourite book is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami . And my passion at the moment is to plan to continue to stay fit and active. I wouldn’t want a lack of personal fitness to be the reason that holds me back from doing anything and everything.

My years of self-employment mean I have “been there”; I understand what business owners are dealing with today. I feel my involvement with the Young Professionals of Nanaimo allows me to bring to the table the perspective from the young entrepreneurs. As well, I bring to Community Futures a high level of customer service expertise through varying levels.

Related occupations, education, achievements related to “business expertise”: Mortgage Expert at DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts;
President of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo (2013); Graduate of VIU with a BBA in Management; Chaired “Connect VI” Conference  (2012);
Nominated as “Top 20 Under 40” (2013)

Allison Morgan

I have been in the banking industry for 30+ years.  My current role is also my favorite role as a Banker.  I have the privilege of working with and getting to know entrepreneurs all over North Vancouver Island.  As a Sales Manager who works with 10 dedicated business account managers on North Vancouver Island it is inspiring to see the diversity and the passion of business owners in all of our communities.

One of the most important things I have learned over the years that I feel is essential to every business is the need to  have a business plan, and that business plan needs to be a fluid document.  You should be reviewing your business plan quarterly and making course adjustments as you go.

The expertise I bring to the CF Board role is my understanding of business plans, financial statements and the challenges SB owners face with access to capital.  I recognize that it can take more than one partner to get a business up and running and that collaboration within the community partners can be hugely important to the success of a business and of a community.

I look forward to working more closely with Community Futures Nanaimo, looking for ways to help our community thrive and our entrepreneurs proper. 

Al Tully
Past Chair

During my lengthy career, I was an Operational Air Traffic Controller, an Air Traffic Services Training and Human Resources Superintendent, and retired as the National Manager of Air Traffic Services Training Delivery at the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ontario.  Now retired, I keep active in the community, having been a member of the Nanaimo Airport Commission Board of Directors since 2009

While I used to be very active in sports playing football, lacrosse and rugby in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria, I now focus on honing my skills in photography, freelance writing, fly fishing, gardening, and aviation. My favourite read is Hotel  by Arthur Hailey. My favorite quote is one of my own. “There’s good in everybody – it just takes a little more effort to find it in some, but it’s there!” 

The expertise I bring to the Community Futures Board is my experience in Governance related issues and my background in policy writing for other Boards besides CFCI. My training and Human Resources history in previous employment is a definite asset.

Other volunteer positions.

Director FSNA – Federal Retirees Association – Special Events Director; Chair, Oceanside Tourism Association – 2003 – 2009; Vice President, Tourism Nanaimo – 2009 – 2012, Governance Director; Vice Chair, CFCI – and member 2010 – Present, Governance Committee Chair; Vice Chair, Oceanside Spirit of BC, 2008 – 2010; Director, Nanaimo Airport Commission 2009 – present, Governance and HR Committee,Chair

Wendy Smitka

I understood the importance of a succession plan early on and, at the age of 53, was able to sell my business. Now I am working on my passions instead of for a paycheque. I see the value in organizations like Venture Connect in how they are able to assist business owners towards retirement. 
Over my many years in business and as part of many organizations, I recognized that excelling in people management is the key. Keeping your staff and volunteers motivated and happy in the work they do improves business success.

I studied to be a paralegal but eventually went into banking. Then I opened my business, watched it grow and be sold.  I wish I knew about Community Futures when I started out. I grew the business from 3 employees to 23 employees; along the way, I understood that capital (as well as mentorship) was important to its success. While there are many wise people inspiring business owners, my favourite quote is, “Show me someone who doesn’t mind losing and I’ll show you someone who loses a lot!” If I had to offer one piece of advice to business owners - be honest with your financing institution. They are there to help you and can only make good decisions with the correct information.

The year I spent as General Manager for a professional Theatre company was one of my most interesting professions. It led to my current life passion to improve access to live theater by finding a permanent home for Theatre One.

John Predyk

John is currently Special Advisor to the President at Vancouver Island University.  He has been active for 25 years as Executive leader and Faculty in Post-secondary Education in the non-profit, for-profit and public sectors in Alberta and British Columbia.  A lifelong entrepreneur, John has been starting and running a variety of businesses since his early teens.

John grew up in Alberta and moved to British Columbia almost 20 years ago to be with his wife - a professor, entrepreneur and artist.  John has held numerous board and advisory committee positions and enjoys fishing, driving his tractor, and spending time with his horses and sundry other farm critters when home.

Zeni Maartman

Zeni Maartman has 30 years experience in the Insurance Industry with the last 19 years spent as part of the management team at BCAA.

Zeni has a long record of leadership roles within the Community. She has served as School Trustee for District 68 where she held positions as Chair of the Business Committee and the Education Committee.  More recently  Zeni enjoyed being part of the Board  for Tourism Nanaimo, leading up to one year as the President prior to the move to the Economic Development Corporation. Her balance to business initiatives was to be Chair of the Social Planning Advisory Committee for the City of Nanaimo for eight years assisting with various initiatives from food security to housing our homeless.

These roles have given Zeni an understanding of both economic and social issues in our community.  Zeni believes that social and environmental responsibility go hand in hand with a healthy, diverse economy.  

“ I look forward to working with my fellow Directors and staff at Nanaimo Community Futures, so we can contribute to making Nanaimo a healthy, vibrant city filled with opportunities for  economic development and entrepreneurship. “


Patrica Blakney-Huntsman

A born cultural entrepreneur, Patricia Huntman’s talent is finding the place where communications and culture can meet and flourish. She is an experienced communications and cultural development professional.  Prior to making Vancouver Island her home, Patricia worked nationally and internationally in senior roles in the creative industry and has a background in not-for-profit management and fundraising.

Her British Columbia based consultancy offers a roster of management, planning, and communication services tailored to building communities through culture. Patricia’s clients include local, provincial, and federal governments, arts organizations (from community-based to professional), creative workers, museums, developers and foundations.

She holds a Diploma in French Studies (Literature and Art History) from Sorbonne University in Paris, France, and an MBA from North America’s oldest public university – the University of New Brunswick, where she also earned a BA in psychology (visual perception concentration). She is a member of the professional association of Arts Consultants Canada, the Creative City Network, the Canadian Museums Association, and the British Columbia Museums Association.


Performance Indicator

Community Futures Central Island loaned 19 businesses in the region for a total of $1,055,000 in 2012/13 and created/maintained 50 jobs. Since the inception of the Community Futures program, to the end of 2012-13, Community Futures offices nationwide have helped 114,306 entrepreneurs and invested over 3.9 billion directly into the rural economy. In British Columbia, Community Futures offices disbursed 13,230 loans, totaling $417.8 million, and leveraging an additional $777 million.

Performance Reporting - 2016

Performance Reporting - 2015

Performance Reporting - 2014

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Communities Served

Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, Lantzville, Nanoose, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Bowser, French Creek, Lasqueti Island


Community Futures Central Island
#14 - 327 Prideaux Street
Nanaimo, BC
V9R 2N4

T: 250.591.7499
T: 888.303.2232
T: 877.585.5385
F: 250.591.7498