Community Futures North Okanagan has named a mother of three its 2023 Volunteer of the Year, recognizing 17 years of work with the organization.
And why has Michele Hill spent the last 17 years volunteering with Community Futures while growing her own business?
“I love Community Futures,” she says. “They gave me the start I needed to open my business 29 years ago, they gave me a business loan when I was so new that the bank wouldn’t — and I wanted to be able to give back and be a part of all the ways Community Futures builds economic development and helps youth and women and entrepreneurs reach their goals … It’s everything.”
Hill is now in her ninth and final year as a member of Community Futures’ board of directors, seven of which she served as chair. She’s also served on several committees including the loans committee where she first started volunteering back in 2006, 12 years after opening Hill Environmental with a six-month-old baby and two other young children at home.
As a registered professional biologist, Hill leads a team of three biologists who provide environmental, wildlife and riparian assessments, as well as dock and marina services. The team is based in Armstrong, with their office having just moved into the converted former theatre building on Pleasant Valley Boulevard.
Leigha Horsfield, Community Futures’ executive director, says considering how busy Hill is, their chair’s dedication is all the more appreciated.
“She is so committed to the role and the organization. She schedules her work and home life around volunteering for Community Futures. We are so thankful for the expertise and guidance that she brings, and this tremendous contribution to our clients and community.”
It’s the second time Hill has been named Volunteer of the Year, having received the honour in 2017.
To learn more about the ways Community Futures supports businesses and economic development, or for volunteer opportunities, visit futuresbc.com.