Board of Directors
With 30 years of agriculture finance experience, Michael Hoffort has witnessed the Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry grow from challenges to prosperity. As a Relationship Manager, he directly served FCC customers for almost a decade. As Vice-President, Partners and Channels, he engineered the growth and modernization of FCC's Customer Service Centre. As Vice-President, Prairie Operations, he led significant portfolio growth across multiple business lines, while maintaining a strong focus on both the customer and employee experience. As Chief Risk Officer, Michael led the Enhanced Risk Management Program to align FCC risk management practices with those of federally regulated Canadian financial institutions. In 2014, Michael was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.
Michael holds a B. Sc. in agriculture economics from the University of Saskatchewan, is a Professional Agrologist, and has his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is an active community volunteer and sits on the board of STARS Air Ambulance.
Del Anaquod is the principal founder of the First Nations Bank of Canada, Canada’s 11th domestic bank, and former president (now Professor Emeritus) of the First Nations University of Canada. A graduate of Harvard University, Canada’s National Defence College, Carleton University and Mount Royal University, Del has extensive international and national work experience, including involvement on over a dozen Boards from Vice-Chair of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development; National Parole Board; Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw; and Chair to one of Canada’s largest Aboriginal investment companies.
Del has also worked in the Privy Council Office, served as a council member for Statistics Canada’s National Statistics Council and was part of the advisory committee for the Auditor General of Canada. Owning his own company, a trading house, Del has travelled to over 40 countries. He has been a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; National Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres; and Executive Director of the World Assembly of First Nations.
Throughout Del’s career, he has had many significant accomplishments, including the establishment of the first Aboriginal Capital Corporation in Canada, Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc., which was later adopted by the federal government, expanding to 40 across Canada. Del also established the Bold Eagle program, a six-week summer employment program that combines Aboriginal culture and teachings with military training. To date, more than 2,500 young people have graduated from the program.
Bertha Campbell has a strong background in agriculture. Throughout her career, she has always been involved in the family farm while working as a public health nurse. Bertha and her husband own and operate a 2,000-acre potato, dairy and beef operation. Bertha has now retired from her career as a nurse and works full-time on the farm.
Bertha serves on the University of Prince Edward Island Board of Governors and on the Prince Edward Island Food Island Partnerships’ Board of Directors, as well as the board of Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. She has previously served on the board of Co-op Atlantic and on the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture, and later became President of both organizations. She has previously served on the Prince Edward Island Co-op Council, the Prince Edward Island Agricultural Human Resources Development Council and the for Adaptation and Development of Agricultural Production Technology Council. Bertha has also sat on the board of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and is the former President of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture.
Bertha has been involved in numerous community organizations and on volunteer boards with local organizations, including minor hockey, figure skating, school council, Red Cross and Sunday school. She is an avid gardener and has hosted numerous garden tours as well as farm tours for industry groups and the Open Farm Day initiative. She is a runner, marathoner and a member of the P.E.I. Road Runners.
Sylvie Cloutier from Bromont, Quebec, is a front-line player in Quebec's agri-food sector. She has been working in strategic roles in the sector for nearly 20 years and has developed expertise in issues management, food industry negotiations, stakeholder relations, and public affairs. She has been with the Quebec Food Processing Council since 2003, first as Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs and then as President and CEO, a position she has held since 2010. Between 1999 and 2003, Sylvie served as Vice-President of Communications and Executive Director of the Canadian Grand Prix New Products Awards at the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.
Sylvie has served on several boards over the years, including, Aliments du Québec, Éco Entreprises Québec, and the Council for Food Progress Initiatives. In addition to FCC, she currently sits on the boards of the Quebec Industrial Research Center, the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, the Conseil du Patronat du Québec, Provision Coalition, and the Food Processing Development Fund. She also sits on the Steering Committee of the federal Food Processing Industry Round Table and is a founding member of Food and Beverage Canada.
Prior to being involved in the food industry, Sylvie worked for the global public relations firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies Canada as a strategic advisor, and in different positions for the federal government.
Sylvie is actively involved with the Tablée des chefs' funding committee, which is dedicated to helping people in need and developing culinary education with young people.
Sylvie holds a Bachelor degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa.
After completing her law degree at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, Laura Donaldson has enjoyed a career spanning three decades as a respected commercial litigation and insolvency lawyer in Vancouver and Toronto, with particular expertise advising financial institutions and governments on risk management.
Laura is active in her community, including having served as a member of the Federal Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for the Province of British Columbia, the Ethics and Credentials committees of the Law Society of British Columbia and as a director on numerous governing bodies for amateur sport.
Sharilee Fossum is an organization builder, change leader, and passionate life-long learner. A versatile executive, Sharilee is currently the Chief Financial and Corporate Officer at APEGA –
the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. APEGA regulates the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta for protection of the public. It is the largest association of self-regulated professionals in Western Canada and one of the largest in Canada, with approximately 77,000 members.
She is drawn to building new organizations, organizations in transition, and leading teams through change to create a performance culture. Sharilee has experience in the capital markets, manufacturing, post-secondary education, Crown corporations and non-profit organizations. She also has experience with family business enterprises and is married to a farmer, now retired, operating a 3rd generation mixed farming operation.
Sharilee is an active board director and currently is on the boards of Alberta Enterprise Corporation, Alberta Jubilee Society Auditoria, and is incoming Chair of the Telus World of Science Edmonton. Until recently, she was on the boards of Edmonton Economic Development Committee and Red Deer College Foundation.
Sharilee has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Regina, is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).
Jane Halford has held various leadership and advisory positions over her career. From 2003 to 2005, she was Director of Practice Review for the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Alberta. She also served as Chief Executive Officer for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. She was Executive Director of the Chartered Accountants' Education Foundation from 2005 to 2013, and was its Registrar from 2005 to 2011.
Most recently, Jane helped co-found BOLT Transition – a firm specializing in leadership transition. She is also President of Halford Consulting, Inc.
Michele Hengen is an actuarial professional with over 25 years of experience within the insurance, investment and pension consulting environments. She attained the Fellow of the Society of Actuaries designation with a specialization in investments, equipping her to lead the asset liability management function for a national multi-line insurance and investment group of companies.
Roles of increasing responsibility were assumed, culminating in her most recent role within a corporate setting of Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer. Earlier in her career, Michele worked with a leading global pension and benefits consulting firm in Switzerland where she had the opportunity to speak French daily with her clients and colleagues.
Recognizing her passion for developing leaders, Michele completed a comprehensive coaching program that is recognized by the International Coach Federation. She launched a risk consulting and executive coaching practice and for five years successfully served a variety of clients. More recently, Michele joined the team of People First HR Consulting, where she provides a wide range of clients with best-in-class resources and tools that meet virtually any human resources needs.
James Laws has an extensive background in agriculture with over 36 years of work experience. He has worked across Canada in a variety of senior agribusiness-related roles, and has lived and worked overseas on international development projects as well as private-sector farm operations. He served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Meat Council from January 2004 to September 2016. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Canadian Farm Business Management Council.
He is currently self-employed as an Agricultural Consultant. In 2017, James worked in Tanzania, East Africa, as a volunteer advisor with the Canadian Executive Services Organization. He also worked in Senegal, West Africa, as a volunteer advisor for Winrock International.
James holds an Honours B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and a Professional Agrologist designation from the Ontario Institute of Agrologists. He is fluent in English and French and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
Doris Priddle gained an extensive background in agriculture as the owner and manager of various farm operations in Ontario and Alberta, and from various positions within the Ontario and Alberta governments, including Food and Rural Affairs in the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Solicitor General of Alberta, and the Alberta Ministry of Economic Trade and Development.
Doris holds an MBA from the University of Guelph, where she was a recipient of the Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Award.
Govert Verstralen is a former Principal Officer and past President and CEO of Rabobank Canada. He has over 45 years of experience and knowledge of the banking and financial industry and broad knowledge of the agribusiness sector. Govert was a member of the North American Compliance Committee and the Operational Risk Management Committee. Govert was also a Business Developer at Rabobank in the food and agri-business sector.
Govert is an 11-year member of the board of Food Processors of Canada and was a member of the Canadian Agri-Food Marketing Council for five years where he advised the ministers of Agriculture and International Trade to help grow the Canadian food industry.
Govert is active in his community. He participated in a garden and house tour fundraising event at his home for the Scarborough Centenary Hospital. Currently, Govert is assisting his partner in running a small business that imports, exports and distributes architectural business products such as columns, domes and mouldings.
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