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Richard Bright

Director of Lending Services

Richard Bright, originally a member of our Loan Committee, joined us as Director, Lending Services in June 2012. He brings a wealth of financial knowledge and a passion for helping others.

Richard’s career spans 40 years with experience in retail, corporate and investment banking, human resource development, credit union general management, and discount and full service brokerages. He has worked across North America for firms in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and many points in between. He is the former CEO of the Defence Community Credit Union in Ottawa and a former senior corporate lender with the Royal Bank. He recently retired from the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, where he was responsible for adjudicating investment complaints brought against Canadian investment brokerages and mutual fund dealers.

Richard states, “The Community Forward Fund is supported by investors who believe strongly in the organization’s vision. We are working closely with borrower-organizations, building relationships that will create long-term value for our investors, for our borrowers and, most importantly, for the communities that the nonprofits and charities serve.”

Richard has been active as a volunteer for many years in a number of charitable events and organizations. Currently, he is a member of the executive committee of the Ottawa Chapter of the Motorcycle Ride for Dad, a national organization focused on prostate cancer research and education.

Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers, a Professional Financial Planner and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary.

Sarah Young

Administrative and Communications Coordinator

The Community Forward Fund Assistance Corp. is pleased to welcome Sarah Young to its staff. In March 2012 she started in her role as Administrative and Communications Coordinator. It was an exciting time to begin her work as CFFAC had just been granted Ontario Securities Commission registration and the fund was officially opened.

A recent graduate of Carleton University, Sarah holds an Honours’ BA in English which prepared her well for the writing and researching which is part of her role at CFFAC. A lifelong volunteer, Sarah brings an appreciation of the importance of the nonprofit and charitable sector to her work and states, “I think it is so important for everyone to have a sense of fulfillment from their work. I’m so pleased to be a part of the CFFAC team. Not only do I find it personally fulfilling, I know that CFFAC is filling a need that had not yet been addressed in Canada. To be a part of something which is pioneering options for Canadian charities and nonprofits is very exciting.”

Heidi Lasi

Consultant, Communications and Marketing

Photo-H-Lasi-Aug-4-2011Heidi Lasi brings 20 years of experience as a management consultant and marketing expert to her work as the Community Forward Fund Assistance Corp’s Communications expert with Communicarium, an independent communications consultancy based in Ottawa, Ontario. With a hand-picked team, Heidi has created a memorable, customized brand for the Community Forward Fund which includes work on events, social media, websites, corporate materials, media outreach, and videos. She also serves as the communications liaison with CFFAC’s partners.

With a long time presence working and volunteering in nonprofits and charities, Heidi brings a deep understanding of the sector, in organizations both small and large. She sat on the Board of Tucker House, an organization which received a pilot loan from CFFAC in 2011.

Her passions include philanthropy, business development, social enterprise, green businesses, and social media. Each year a percentage of Communicarium’s profits go to nonprofits and charities.

Betsy Martin

Consultant, Partnership Development

Betsy Martin recently transitioned from a role with the Advisory Committee of the Community Forward Fund to a consulting role leading the organization’s Partnership Development. It’s an exciting time as CFFAC focuses increased effort on building long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships. Betsy is now working with potential accredited investors, foundations, financial advisors and others to develop the partnerships that will make investors’ capital work at a local level.

Betsy is co-founder and partner of Jackson-Martin, a new Canadian impact investing consulting firm, and she comes to the Community Forward Fund with a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge. After graduating from university in the US, Betsy worked for eight years with Citibank where she learned the ropes in the banking industry. She discovered that she was particularly enjoying her role in the community work that Citibank is famous for. Around the same time, she discovered community foundations and was impressed with the work they were doing with pooled capital.

Eager to continue learning and to be of service, she studied for a Masters in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School. She met a Canadian while there and moved to Canada with her new husband. Still interested in community foundations, she soon found herself at the Community Foundations of Canada where she worked in a variety of roles for 17 years.

“The practice of using pooled capital as a way to make grants is an excellent one. The Community Forward Fund has taken this one step further by providing a vehicle to use pooled funds to make loans,” states Betsy. “And, quite frankly, it’s an idea whose time has come. With the combination of economic upheaval, changing grants structures, new ways of looking at and assessing risk, and a growing interest by corporations and individuals in mission- and values-based philanthropy, the time is right.”

Before moving into the foundation sector, she was VP for public affairs for Citibank’s US mortgage business. She is a director of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network and the Small Change Fund. She has a master’s in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.