New Community Futures manager a familiar face

After 32 years with the organization, Mary Ellen Heidt is leaving her role as the general manager for Community Futures.

After 32 years with the organization, Mary Ellen Heidt is leaving her role as the general manager for Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen.

Heidt, who has held the manager role for 15 years, will be replaced by Imre Togyi, who has been with the organization for four years and is already known by many businesses, financial institutions and community and economic development groups throughout the region.

As Community Futures’ business analyst Togyi worked with 350-plus businesses, facilitated $8.5 million in business expansion loan financing and provided extensive mentorship to clients.

He brings more than 20 years experience working within the high-tech, hospitality, viticulture and consulting industries both as an executive and entrepreneur.

“I am honoured to have been selected to succeed Mary Ellen and I sincerely wish her much success as she moves on to her next and new set of projects. She was an excellent leader and mentor for me,” said Togyi. “I am committed to continuing this level of effort. Our strategic plan is to raise the profile of Community Futures and expand the role it plays for small business on all levels as our region evolves and faces its challenges and significant opportunities.”

Heidt said she was excited for Togyi.

“He knows the business climate well and he understands the benefits and challenges of working both in the Similkameen and with our Okanagan communities as a region,” she said. Besides taking on leadership of Community Futures, Togyi has taken the lead for the South Okanagan Foreign Investment Marketing Strategy.

Board chair Sheilagh Seaton said Togyi has clearly demonstrated his knowledge and consideration for the economic improvement of the region.