VERNON, BC—Why has Michele Hill spent the last 17 years volunteering for Community Futures North Okanagan while raising three children and her own growing business?
“I love Community Futures,” says Hill, who has just been named the organization’s 2023 Volunteer of the Year. “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 the board of directors, seven of which she has served as chair. She’s also served on several committees, including the loans committee where she first started volunteering back in 2006, just 12 years after opening Hill Environmental with a six-month-old baby and two other young children at home.
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. They’re based in Armstrong, and their office just moved into the converted former theatre building on Pleasant Valley Boulevard.
Considering how busy Hill is, Leigha Horsfield, CF North Okanagan executive director, says 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.”
Hill also received this honour from CF North Okanagan in 2017. To learn more about the ways Community Futures supports businesses and economic development, or volunteer opportunities, visit futuresbc.com.