Community Futures Central Island recognizes the importance of small to medium sized business in our regional economy.  This past year has been a challenge; our Business Recovery and Resiliency Program’s purpose is to assist rural businesses and organizations to gain traction and recover post COVID-19 pandemic and other world factors that have added other complexities to our businesses.


Small and medium sized businesses, social enterprises and not for profit organizations.


Our goal is to provide you with practical tools, resources and strategies to help your business become more resilient and successful. Our goal is to help you work smarter, not harder!

Despite its rewards, running a business can be hard at the best of times. The ‘pandemic’ introduced additional challenges and complexities that businesses weren’t expecting or prepared for. While the road to recovery is being paved with numerous programs, grants, subsidies, initiatives, and supportive services, many businesses either don’t have the time or expertise to figure it all out and develop their own plan to recovery. Our coaches can assist businesses that are being impacted by the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, supply chain issues, logistical issues due to world factors and/or workforce challenges.  Or, you may require strategic direction in business succession, transition to new markets or adoption of new business practices.


Business Recovery and Resiliency Coaches will be in rural communities within the Central Island Region. They will be serving all business owners/operators and organizations within the Regional District of Nanaimo excluding the City of Nanaimo. (We have graciously been awarded funding via Island Coastal Economic Trust to offer this program and jurisdictions have been prescribed by the funder.)


This program is available July 5, 2021 until March 31, 2022. There are no fees associated with participating. Only criteria, you must be a willing and participatory applicant.

How and by Whom?

Our Business Recovery and Resiliency Coaches will work one on one with existing businesses to help stabilize and increase, as well as if required, identify and diversify revenues streams. Their activities will be to advise and coach business owners to determine their specific needs and align their recovery efforts with programming, grants, subsidies and initiatives that are being offered by a myriad of providers from all levels of government and industry. If assistance is required, to aid in the application process, the coach can help or be a conduit to individuals who have sector/industry specific knowledge and expertise.

Many businesses are realizing that an objective, independent coach can provide them with fresh new perspectives, improve their general business effectiveness and expand market reach. Coaching encourages highly engaged business owners and entrepreneurs to bridge the gap to recovery, and gives these leaders the opportunity to strengthen specific business, communication, leadership or managerial skills. We’re with you every step of the way, supporting you in your business’ progression to greater success and growth.


Meet Our Coaches

Katharine Chernyak

Katharine Chernyak

With over 25 years of experience in Operations Management, Human Resources and Change Management, both as a business owner and employee, I have strong understanding of the key challenges that many businesses face. Whether it’s optimizing customer satisfaction, hiring, developing and retaining skilled and committed teams, growing revenues, or expanding market footprint.

Throughout my career, I’ve helped businesses across diverse industry sectors build more resilient management teams and organizational cultures. A key aspect of my work is helping these entities navigate through challenges – regardless if expected, such as growth pains, new technology rollouts, mergers/acquisitions, or unexpected, such as 9/11, 2008 financial crisis, and now the Covid-19 pandemic. The recurring theme I’ve realized, as quoted by Heraclitus, is that “the only constant in life is change.”

Yet when we talk about change, the words “resistance” and “tension” often spring to mind. Consider the difficulty for instance, when two organizations merge, or the fear that employees feel when a part of their job is automated and some of their skills become redundant. However, the problem isn’t with the change itself, in spite of the challenges it may bring. The problem is that many leaders struggle to fully motivate and engage their employees in the process. They often move too fast, are too outcome-driven, or not consultative enough in their approach.

What’s most rewarding about my work is helping entrepreneurs and leaders make people feel safe and secure during the change process, while building effective organizational frameworks to transition from current state to future state. In particular, resiliency – the ability to bounce forward in times of change and adversity and to see opportunities for growth – is a critical component needed in today’s times.

What I bring to Community Futures is multi-functional expertise in business operations through the lens of both an entrepreneur and manager. This extensive experience has provided me with fresh new approaches to build organizational capacity and sustainability, employee engagement, and thriving team relationships.

One of my favourite business books “Thick Face, Black Heart” by Chu, is one that I read early on in my career, yet stuck with me. This practical yet insightful book inspired me to be mindful and do things purposefully and meaningfully, as well as taught me profound concepts to master day-to-day challenges in a harmonious way.


Robert Regner, CEC

Robert Regner, CEC

After growing up in a small southern Alberta town, my career kicked off in Calgary in 1997 working with an amazing family-owned business where I was given the invaluable opportunity to be a part of the management team of a successful start-up company. Like in most start-ups, each of us wore multiple hats. I was able to be actively involved with every business function including HR, finance & accounting, legal matters, manufacturing, operations, sales & marketing, and logistics & distribution. It was here that I developed my passion for business and laid the foundation for the next chapters of my career journey.

I spent the next decade working with the world’s second largest oilfield service company leading teams and businesses at the national, regional, and global levels with job assignments based in Saudi Arabia, Texas, Colorado and the United Kingdom. Our family relocated to Vancouver Island in 2017 where I was provided with the rewarding opportunity of changing industries at the executive level as I joined a major forestry company as vice president of operations. In 2020, I made the decision to become a full time executive coach as well as to support a small business that I remain a co-owner and director of.

As a Certified Executive Coach (CEC), I bring a diverse, global business experience combined with my approach to leading organizations and building high performance teams to support entrepreneurs, leaders, and owners of businesses ranging from start-ups to multinationals and from public and private to non-profit organizations. My leadership style is known for a coach-like approach, constructively and respectfully challenging the status quo with the hard questions, and being a strategic thinker with my eyes always on the desired results and towards achieving what is just on this side of impossible.

One of my favourite quotes is by Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” Business can be tough, challenging, exciting, and full of opportunity – often all at the same time. This quote highlights that success is a mindset and starts with the right attitude. That’s what I love most about coaching relationships – they can not only explore what better looks like but can develop the belief and plans to get there!

Apply Now!

Complete the application and return by email to – in the subject line type Business Coach Application