Our Staff

We are small business specialists who take the time to really understand your business ideas, and roll up our sleeves to help you make them happen. Community Futures West Yellowhead staff provide a wide range of small business services, including business loans and business grant advice, business and financial planning, skills development and training, and strategic marketing and networking – and are available to work one-on-one to connect you with the right programs and services. Call or email us today to get your business dreams moving forward.

We also have in-depth knowledge of the unique characteristics of our local and regional economies, and actively work to develop rural diversification strategies in partnership with business and community leaders, local government, educational institutions, other business lenders and not-for-profits.

Nancy Robbins

General Manager

T: (780) 865-1224

Nancy moved to Jasper in 1997 for a summer job and has been living in Alberta ever since.  With a background in economic development in fisheries and women’s issues from growing up in Newfoundland, she loves the West Yellowhead region for its diversity in people, communities and geography.  She has been manager of CFWY since 2012 and worked for the CF program prior to that time with Leadership West Yellowhead.  Her passions include writing, reading, knitting, hiking, travelling, and of course, following her two children and husband around northern Alberta in a quest to see every hockey rink north of highway 16.

Tim Shain

Business Analyst

T: (780) 865-1224, ext 23

Born and raised in Alberta.  Tim has lived in many different Albertan cities, both big and small, before settling down in Hinton 20 years ago to raise a family.  He loves the outdoors, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and fly fishing.  Tim has been at CFWY for nine years and enjoys helping new entrepreneurs and all things business.  For more information, check out his LinkedIn profile.

Benita Smit

Small Business Coach

T: (780) 865-1224

Benita was born and raised in the Yellowhead Region with family roots in the communities of Edson and the Coal Branch.  The community of Hinton is where she and her husband reside where they enjoy hiking, paddling and sharing life with family and friends. Benita joins the CFWY team as the Economic Diversification and Energy Transtion in the West Yellowhead Project Manager and  Small Business Coach.

Renée Fehr

Business Liaison (Grande Cache)

T: (780) 827-1850

Renee was born and raised on a farm in rural Alberta. She moved to the mountains of Grande Cache in 1994 and has resided there with her family ever since.  She joins the CFWY team as a Business Liaison and brings with her a passion for her community. As a long time volunteer and resident, she believes and promotes shopping local to support her community. When Renee is not working, she can be found hiking and exploring the mountains around her. She loves to forage the plant life the area supports and produce her own teas, salves and balms.

Heather Cokes

Business Liaison (Edson)

T: (780) 712-9047

Heather grew up with her family’s small business in Newfoundland and moved to Edson in 1992. She loved the small-town feel so much, her and her husband decided to plant down roots and raise their family. Her love of community development, business and politics started at a young age and reaches to her volunteer work. Her employment in community and regional economic development make her no stranger to Community Futures, having partnered with them in the past, as well as participating in the CEDAP and Leadership Programs. Heather enjoys travelling and reading, but can usually be found by a lake, camping and fishing, or hanging out with her family and friends.

Nathalie Lacoste

Office Manager/SMARTstart Coordinator

T: (780) 865-1224

Nathalie moved to Alberta in 2017 after spending 24 years in the Yukon.  She’s been in Hinton since 2018 and loves the people, community-spirit and mountains.  She joined CFWY in March 2019.  When she's not working, she's busy reading, renovating her current abode, camping, and exploring Alberta's many beautiful regions.  She also loves to travel to warmer climates as time and money permit!  

Jax Delisle

Community Liaison

T: (780) 865-1224

Jax grew up in Yellowhead County in the cozy hamlet of Brule, Alberta.  She moved back to Hinton 15 years ago, and has called it home ever since.  Jax is passionate about community, and when she's not at work, it's common to find her volunteering for projects that she cares deeply about.

Deanne Fabrick

Health & Safety Business Advisor/Youth Coordinator

T: (780) 865-1224

Deanne was born and raised in rural Saskatchewan and made Alberta home in 1999.  Deanne has spent the majority of her career in oil and gas and joined Community Futures three years ago.  Her health and safety workshops have helped fill a gap in our training and coaching programs and her experience and wit bring a new twist to a tough subject.  Deanne is passionate about her community and its growth.  She sees the spark in our youth and is excited to help them become our business leaders of tomorrow.  When she's not at work, you can find Deanne outside - skiing, hiking, camping, and spending time with her family and chickens.  Go Riders!

Michelle MacNeil

EDP Coordinator

T: (780) 865-4919

Michelle was born and raised in northern BC, and moved to Hinton in 2016. Michelle joined the CFWY team as an Office and Special Projects Coordinator and quickly developed a passion for the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program. In addition to the EDP program, she will also be working with Project Gazelle, a women’s entrepreneurship program and bringing exciting new programming and a business incubator to Hinton. When she’s not working, Michelle and her family can be (not so easily) found out fishing, camping, golfing or exploring.

Jessica Hearsey


T: (780) 865-1224

Jessica has been in the accounting field for over a decade. She has worked in public practice preparing financial statements and taxes, as well as in industry doing full cycle accounting and managing the day-to-day operations of a corporation. Jessica has always been an entrepreneur, she started several businesses as a child and ran her own painting company in University. She enjoys working with small businesses and helping people understand the numbers. Jessica and her husband are real estate investors in their home town of Hinton, AB. They enjoy golfing, travelling and spending time outdoors with their two Labradors.

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Get in Touch

Community Futures West Yellowhead
221 Pembina Avenue
Hinton, AB T7V 2B3

(780) 865-1224

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Communities Served

Big Eddy, 
Bryan Spur, 
Carrot Creek, 
Coal Valley, 
Grande Cache, 
Holloway East, 
Holloway West, 
Medicine Lodge, 
Mountain Park, 
Niton Junction, 
Shaw Fidler, 
Swan Landing, 
Wild Hay, 
Winniandy North, 
Winniandy South, 
Wolf Creek, 


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