Economic Development - Basic Do’s and Don’ts

First Nations are coming into significant amounts of wealth from a number of sources: land claim settlements, impact benefit agreements, revenues from Nation owned businesses, etc. Many Nations are looking to use the funds to create economic development, which, in turn, creates jobs for its members and wealth for the Nation. This is an admirable goal, but the process of creating successful economic development can be daunting. This presentation explores the fundamentals of economic development, from what constitutes economic development to the basic steps that every economic development project should have in place before any serious money is spent. Real life examples will be given of projects that have failed, with reasons why they failed.

Presented by: Georgina Villeneuve & Jeff Frketich, Peace Hills Trust Company

Georgina Villeneuve brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the administration and settlement of First Nation Trusts. Georgina has over 24 years of experience in the trust industry and has been administering First Nation trusts for over 20 years. Georgina earned an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the University of Regina. She obtained her MTI (Member Trust Institute) designation through the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Georgina is currently a member of NATOA, CANDO and AFOA. Georgina completed the AFOA Harvard Program on Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities.

Jeff Frketich joined Peace Hills Trust in August of 2012. His 25 years of experience in the investment industry gives Peace Hills an added dimension of depth in monitoring and reviewing external managers’ performance. One of his tasks is to provide training sessions on investment basics and investment policy statements to Trustees as part of Peace Hills’ ongoing commitment to capacity building for its clients. Jeff started Ridgewood Capital Asset Management with his partners in 2008, where he was Vice President. He structured and managed discretionary accounts for his clients, which included First Nations, foundations and individuals. Prior to that he was a Portfolio Manager at Mulvihill Wealth Management, where he specialized in First Nation clients. Jeff began working with First Nations in 1996 while working with the Yukon Territorial Government. He helped develop investment policy statements and did training sessions for Chief and Councils and investment committees throughout the Yukon. Jeff is a CFA charter holder, is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and graduated from the University of British Columbia.