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Valley Heartland

Our Board


Our Board is comprised of entrepreneurs, experts and leaders in business, finance, community development and beyond.

Pie chart illustrating the board of directors' expertise.

Board Recruitment

A call for board members is done once a year in the event of vacancies.

A CFDC board member enjoys being part of a team that works together to:
  • Help shape our strategy, monitor progress, and fulfill the governance responsibilities for the corporation.
  • Make funding-related decisions concerning local small and medium enterprises.
  • Board members should uphold and embrace our core values and bring knowledge to help us achieve our vision and mission.
Ideal candidates will have knowledge or expertise in at least two of the following areas:
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Board Governance
  • Innovation + Technology
  • Business Operations
  • Business + Market Development
  • Commercial Finance + Banking
  • Community Economic Development
Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Commit to a three-year term with the option to pursue a second and third three-year term
  • Participate in monthly meetings
  • Contribute to the ongoing and positive development of the corporation’s reputation
  • Board members must be a resident or operate a business in our service area
  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Cannot be a current CFDC client, a former staff, a representative of a partner program or an elected official

2023 Board of Directors

Rob Dyke, BA Acc, CPA, CA

Past Chair | Joined Valley Heartland in 2004

Rob has been the proud owner of Dyke & Murphy Professional Corporation in Perth since 2009. Before this, Rob worked as the Chief Financial Officer for a local large-scale trucking and logistics company. His financial background, professional designation, and nineteen years of dedication to Valley Heartland bring valuable expertise and leadership to our Board of Directors.

Larry Sparks, MBA

Board Chair | Joined Valley Heartland in 2011

Larry retired in 2021 as Head of Human Resources for Omya Canada Inc. Before Omya; Larry worked in HR management positions in both the public and private sectors. He has an MBA and has served on various boards in Perth and Smiths Falls, including the Chair of the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital Board.

Amber Percival

Board Vice Chair and Investment Committee Chair | Joined Valley Heartland in 2019

Amber Percival is the former President of Urban Hearth, a wholesale business in Perth. After working in the computer industry straight out of college, she joined her family retail store in 2003 and in 2017, she purchased Urban Hearth from her mother. Amber has been managing people for over 20 years. She is committed to exploring innovative ways to increase employee satisfaction and customer retention while ensuring profitability and professional business management. As the past owner of a small-town Yoga Studio, she has experienced a spectrum of business ownership challenges - and learned a lot of lessons along the way. Amber has participated as a board and committee member of the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada and several local volunteer initiatives, including the Perth Community Garden committee and the Perth Conlon Farm Bike Park Committee.

Dianne Adshead, CPA, CMA

Director | Joined Valley Heartland in 2010

For over thirty years, Dianne brought financial management skills to not-for-profit agencies, senior management and boards of directors through reports, guidance and recommendations for good operating policies and procedures to ensure they could meet their goals and vision. Before taking up accounting, Dianne worked in many other fields, including as a dietetics trainee with the Canadian Army and as an ophthalmological technician. In addition, she was an elementary school teacher and worked for a few years for an Ottawa-based Diplomatic Service, where she was given their second-highest security clearances. Since retirement, Dianne has spent a portion of her time on boards of directors, including Valley Heartland, and served on the Ontario Association of CFDCs from 2011 to 2017.

Dennis Staples, FCPA, FCMA

Treasurer | Joined Valley Heartland in 2018

Dennis has an extensive background and senior management experience in the Municipal Sector, the Ontario Public Service Sector and the Private Sector. In addition to serving as a Director with Valley Heartland CFDC, he was a former Administrator at the Rideau Regional Centre, a former Mayor and Councillor with the Town of Smiths Falls, and a member of the Smiths Falls Rotary Club. Dennis remains active in local sports and live music events.

Tracey Phillips, B.Sc.Phm, MBA

Secretary | Joined Valley Heartland in 2019

Tracey brings a wealth of business, board and pharmacy experience to Valley Heartland. A pharmacist for over 30 years, she owns the IDA in Westport, holds a controlling interest in Central Fill Solutions Inc, and is the Chief Pharmacy Officer for Felix Health – a national, online telemedicine platform. Before this, Tracey was the Vice President of Pharmacy for Rexall. In addition, Tracey has held positions on the Westport Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Committee, McKesson's National Advisory Board and the Ontario College of Pharmacists Board. She holds an Executive Master's Degree from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Toronto.

Joan Stephenson-Bowes

Director | Joined Valley Heartland in 2022

Prost! Schnitzel anyone? For the past ten years, Joan has been the part owner of Maximilian Restaurant in Perth. Pre-Schnitzel, Joan managed various food service models, including owning a wholesale baking business. Before that, Joan managed institutional dining within schools, factories and office buildings. Joan's 45 + years of management in the food industry have taught her the importance of strict financial controls within a business, a valued skill set she brings to her role on the Valley Heartland Board.

Jerry Flynn

Director | Joined Valley Heartland in 2022

Jerry is a graduate of Algonquin College in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. He spent 35 years in the trades working for Carrier Air Conditioning. His skills extend beyond mechanical; working with customers daily, he learned the value of listening and problem-solving after receiving all pertinent information. Jerry carried these skills into a 12-year career in Carleton Place and Lanark County municipal politics. During his political career, he served on various boards and committees, chairing many. He is the Vice President of The Roy Brown Society and Vice President of the Brett Pearson Run for Your Life. Jerry's work and life experiences thus far will serve him well as a Valley Heartland Board of Directors member.

Katherine Williton

Director | Joined Valley Heartland in 2022

Katherine is the owner of Calculator & Co., a Bookkeeping and Financial Process Setup and Support firm founded in 2017 based in Perth, Ontario. Her experience includes 15 years as Controller for a software development firm in Ottawa, ten years as a Senior Financial Analyst for a national telecommunications company and working with a US public company responsible for their Canadian and Belgian financials. Her detailed experience with the financial processes and requirements of all sizes and types of organizations allows her to serve as a valuable resource in working with local area businesses.

Carol Ann Lehovich

Director | Joined Valley Heartland in 2022

Carol Ann brings three decades of experience as a small business owner to our Board. She started her entrepreneurial journey 30 years ago when she received a loan from Valley Heartland to open her first business, Southern Exposure Suntan Studio. Carol Anne later purchased and operated Lanark Landing Restaurant in Lanark for nine years, then Embers in Perth for thirteen years. Her experience and unique perspective of Valley Heartland make her a valuable board member.

Bill King

Director & Lanark County Council Representative | Joined Valley Heartland in 2023

A seasoned public and private sector executive, Bill is currently Deputy Reeve for Lanark Highlands Township. When he hasn't been working in one of the three levels of government, Bill owned and operated a retail store in Perth for several years. Today, Bill and his wife, Dawn, are raising their family in Lanark Village.