Futurpreneur appoints two accomplished finance leaders to its board

February 13, 2020

Paula Cruickshank and David Sharpe join Canada’s only national, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs

Toronto, ON (February 13, 2020) – Futurpreneur Canada today announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors, Paula Cruickshank and David Sharpe. Seasoned business leaders, they each have more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector, expertise that will help strengthen Futurpreneur’s mission to support young entrepreneurs across Canada.

“Paula and David bring unique insights that will help Futurpreneur through our next phase of impact,” said Karen Greve Young, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. “Both are keenly aware of the entrepreneurial landscape in Canada—Paula through her extensive experience at BDC and David through his many years of experience offering alternative financing to small- and medium-sized businesses across the country, and as one of the only bridge lenders to First Nations in Canada.”

“We look forward to working with Paula and David on the Futurpreneur Board of Directors,” said John Risley, Futurpreneur board chair. “Both of these leaders have deep ties with the Canadian business community, and bring national connections and invaluable experience to the board.“

Cruickshank has over 20 years’ experience in the banking industry, having worked at the Scotiabank Group before joining BDC in 2009. In her current role as senior vice president, BC, North & the Virtual Bank, Cruickshank oversees BDC’s financing and consulting services for the bank’s 17 business centres in British Columbia and the Territories; indirectly looks after the bank’s 17,000+ virtual clients nationally; and is responsible for BDC’s national Indigenous Banking Unit. She holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business and an LL.M in Banking and Financial Institutions from Osgoode Hall Law School.

With over 25 years’ experience in financial services, Sharpe is CEO of Bridging Finance Inc., one of the largest private debt investment managers in Canada. A Mohawk and member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (Tyendinaga), Sharpe is the Chair Emeritus of First Nations University of Canada, a board member for the Economic Development Corporation for Eabametoong (Fort Hope) First Nation and Historica Canada, a member of the Board of Trustees of Queen’s University and the Chair of the Dean’s Council at Queen’s University, Faculty of Law. He has an LLB from Queen’s University, an LLM in Securities Law from Osgoode Hall Law School and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

As Cruickshank and Sharpe join the board, Futurpreneur thanks the following outgoing directors for the valuable expertise and advice they offered throughout their years of dedicated service:

  • Harry Chemko, co-founder and CEO, Elastic Path Software Inc. – Futurpreneur board member for 14 years
  • Janice McDonald, president, The Beacon Agency – Futurpreneur board member for 5 years; will continue to support Futurpreneur as an advisor to the CEO

The Futurpreneur Board of Directors includes:

  • John Risley (chair), O.C., president, Clearwater Fine Foods Inc.
  • Elizabeth Roscoe (vice chair), senior vice president and national practice leader, public affairs, Hill & Knowlton Strategies Canada
  • David Aisenstat, chairman, CEO and director, the Keg Steakhouse & Bar
  • Michel Bergeron, chief strategy officer, BDC
  • Devon Brooks, founder and CEO, Sphere
  • Paula Cruickshank, senior vice president, BC, North & the Virtual Bank, BDC
  • Mike Dobbins, chief strategy and corporate development officer, RBC
  • Valerie Fox, chief innovation consultant, The Pivotal Point
  • Cindy Goertzen, co-founder and COO, Trivenity Corp.; co-founder and president, Maira Group Inc.
  • Joanna Griffiths, founder and CEO, Knix
  • Nadir Hirji, partner and lead, PwC Canada Digital Services
  • Derrick Hunter, president and CEO, Bluesky Equities Ltd.
  • Catherine Roche, global head, marketing and strategy, BMO Financial Group
  • Mark Segal, executive vice president finance and CFO, Spin Master Ltd.
  • David Sharpe, CEO, Bridging Finance Inc.

About Futurpreneur Canada                       

Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of enterprising young Canadians since 1996. We’re the only national, non-profit organization that provides resources, financing and mentoring to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program matches young entrepreneurs with business experts from a network of over 3,000 volunteer mentors.

Futurpreneur is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.


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