Jan. 31, 2018
Joelle Foster appointed executive director, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Joelle Foster as the executive director of the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, effective March 5, 2018.
In this inaugural role, Foster will steer the development and execution of entrepreneurial thinking initiatives at the University of Calgary. Foster is a recognized leader in business counselling and entrepreneurship, overseeing Futurpreneur Canada’s offices in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, leveraging more than $36 million in business financing.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity of providing guidance to a collective brain trust of entrepreneurial ideation at a national level. The Hunter Hub will grow to be Canada’s entrepreneurial jewel and respected internationally for its wealth of innovative thought leadership. All of us, working together as a community of talented students, scholars, staff and business professionals, are greater than any one of us,” says Foster.
Foster has established more than 50 strong community partnerships in the Prairies and the North, resulting in a culture of reciprocal relationships built on a network of champions. Foster’s placement at the University of Calgary will help build even stronger ties across Western Canada for entrepreneurial initiatives and activities, especially for young people as they build their careers and launch new, innovative ventures. Since 2011, 310 businesses in Manitoba alone have been financed and mentored, establishing Futurpreneur as the go-to place for entrepreneurship in Manitoba.
Hunter Hub will drive entrepreneurial thinking across the community
The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking was established in 2017 thanks in part to a $40-million gift from the Hunter Family Foundation, helping spark transformational change, enriching the student experience and empowering entrepreneurial thinking across the institution. The Hunter Hub will engage and immerse students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community in a culture of entrepreneurial thinking, challenging them with a new and bold approach to teaching, learning, discovery and knowledge-sharing.
As executive director, Foster will champion the Hunter Hub and its work, on- and off-campus. Under her leadership, the Hunter Hub will be a fundamental link for our campuses, building and championing new initiatives and programs that will have a profound impact in our community.
I would like to thank Kimberley Neutens for her work as interim executive director during a very important transitional time. Her expertise and leadership in entrepreneurial thinking has helped move the university forward over the last five years, starting with her role as founding director of the Hunter Centre in the Haskayne School of Business. Neutens will be returning to Haskayne to take on a leadership position in the Creative Destruction Lab.
I would also like to thank the search and selection committee, which I chaired: Nuvyn Peters (executive leadership team representative), Lesley Rigg (decanal representative), Richard Sigurdson (decanal representative), Steve Boyd (faculty representative), Suzanna Crawford (graduate student representative), Jonah Zankl (undergraduate student representative), Mark Blackwell and Michelle Scarborough (community representatives). Their time and expertise in providing a recommendation was invaluable.
Please join me in congratulating Joelle on her appointment and welcoming her to the University of Calgary.
The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking is the University of Calgary’s new multidisciplinary initiative to engage and immerse students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community in a culture of entrepreneurial thinking, challenging them with a new and bold approach to teaching, learning, discovery and knowledge-sharing.