Our organization is comprised of individuals with experience and expertise in entrepreneurial development and finance, in strategic funding, project coordination, governance and business development, with a focus on innovation capital investment.
Wendy Curtis Biography
Formerly Director of Trade Marketing, Pillsbury Canada Ltd, Wendy Curtis (Bachelor of Commerce, Queen’s University) is a recognized multi-award-winning leader in our regional innovation ecosystem. Wendy leads progressive, dynamic firms to superior results via management principles that value individuals, teamwork, quality and strategic focus. She is described by the Government of Canada’s Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario as “Northumberland’s Woman of Influence.” The success Wendy has experienced in her career is mirrored with her personal commitment to the community. She is a multiple recipient of the Town of Cobourg’s Civic Awards and was named the Northumberland Business Woman of the Year (2007) by Northumberland Publishers.
Kim Botrie is an accomplished lending professional with nearly 25 years of consumer, mortgage, commercial lending and administration experience. After attending Trent University for Administration and Policy Studies, Kim went directly to work in the financial services industry, spending 18 years at Ganaraska Credit Union and earning her Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation. Kim joined NCFDC in 2010 as Program Administrator, providing support to Lending Services. In 2018, Kim took on the role of Loan Manager at NCFDC, providing superior service to local entrepreneurs in need of funding—propelling business start-up, expansion and stabilization in Northumberland.
At NCFDC, Kim’s work has included the modernization of Lending Services: she has played a key role in the development of NCFDC’s fintech-driven microfinance platform, closely collaborating with lending partners to improve and enhance alternative access to capital pathways for SMEs. Her interest in a multitude of diverse industries and innovation-driven enterprise underscores her commitment to providing lending solutions through the Community Futures Program as well as other entrepreneurial finance and development initiatives.
Judy Selvig is an accomplished regional program manager with complimentary experience in the municipal sector as an experienced economic development professional. Her work at NCFDC has focused on driving significant industrial innovation both locally and across Eastern and Southern Ontario—impacting hundreds of advanced manufacturers and growth firms—including the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP), CEDP (Collaborative Economic Development Projects), RIIEO (Rural Innovation Initiative – Eastern Ontario) and RE3, with the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada.
At NCFDC, Judy works with innovators, intrapreneurs and industrial leaders to accelerate their timelines for investment in innovation capital and to maximize success—driving business development, export market expansion, sales growth and job creation.
Devon Girard is an accomplished strategic communications professional with more than fifteen years of experience in government, community and media relations. Notable strengths include planning and implementing large-scale public relations and community relations strategies, issues and event management and strategic planning. Previously Director of Marketing and Communications at Park Place Financial, Peak Benefit Solutions and Farm Life, Devon holds diplomas in Broadcast Journalism from Fanshawe College and Public Relations from the University of Victoria. Devon’s volunteer experience includes serving as Director of the Blenkinsop Valley Community Association, as a Community Organizer with the Terry Fox Foundation, and she was Past Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Community Futures Peterborough.
Grace West Biography
Grace West is a student in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship program at Durham College. Her previous experience includes working as the Social Media Lead for FastStart Durham College, a program designed to help entrepreneurial students develop and launch their own businesses, and working as a Communications Project Lead for Enactus Durham College, a student lead organization of social innovators and entrepreneurs. Grace worked with StrikeUP as part of her 2022 student internship and is continuing with NCFDC in supporting marketing and communications.
Joe Miller Biography
Joe Miller (Bachelor of Science, Business and Science, University of Notre Dame), is a biotech entrepreneur, former collegiate athlete (diving) and IP specialist with extensive experience in entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization, with previous assignments at Ontario Tech University, the Wistar Institute, the Innovation Cluster and the University Health Network (UHN).
Victoria Pichler Biography
Victoria Pichler graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and holds various digital sales and marketing certifications (Google, Hubspot, CRM Group). She is a recipient of multiple awards including the Rick Norlock Citizenship Award and the Silver Achievement Award (Duke of Edinburgh Program, Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Winner). Her interests include Marketing Strategy and Management and Product Development.
Devin McDonald Biography
With a longstanding passion for computers, Devin McDonald is pursuing a career in cybersecurity and is enrolled in the Computer Security and Investigations Program at Fleming College. Devin worked with the V13 Policetech Accelerator joint initiative with the Cobourg Police Service as part of his 2022 student internship and is continuing with NCFDC in supporting implementation of cybersecurity best practices and other special projects.
John Hayden (B.A., University of Toronto, M.A., American University of Beirut) has over fifteen years’ experience working with entrepreneurs and innovators with a special interest in early-stage technology-driven enterprises. He completed a certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School (Exec Ed) including the Entrepreneurial Development Program (EDP) and practices Customer Focused Technology Planning®. His own startup experience includes: They Innovate, Zoomaal and General Civilian.
At NCFDC, John has led the development and execution of regional startup acceleration and funding initiatives (N1M) as well as equity financing, fintech, cybersecurity projects and more, with the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada. He is a member of the CVCA and enjoys running (roads and trails).
Braden Kemp Biography
With more than a decade of experience in Canada’s technology commercialization industry, Braden Kemp has held senior roles in both the public and private sectors. As an entrepreneur, Braden founded and currently operates a manufacturing and e-commerce company along with a consulting practice.
Braden has held various positions in growth companies and the organizations that support them—most recently as Director of Operations at National Prostaff Inc. and previously as Director of Client Services at Spark Centre, Durham and Northumberland’s Regional Innovation Centre.
Braden has been an advisor to a variety of technology companies in food and agricultural technology, military technology and training, engineering and design, influencer marketing, e-commerce, wearables and more. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics from the University of Guelph and is a graduate of Ryerson DMZ accelerator.
Abby Elder Biography
Born and raised in Cobourg, Ontario, Abby Elder graduated from Algonquin College with a Veterinary Technician Diploma, but later went on to a career in the restaurant industry. After ten years in general management, Abby expanded to business bookkeeping, obtained her Small Business Accounting diploma from Fleming College, and gained seven years of full cycle bookkeeping experience. A Tae Kwon Do 4th degree Black Belt (Master), she is currently responsible for financial administration at NCFDC.
Barb Elsom Biography
Barb Elsom is a financial professional with extensive small business experience. She is also an avid curler and member of the West Northumberland Curling Club (WNCC).