Meet Your Community Futures Centre West Team

Our team of dedicated small business specialists really care about your goals and would love to hear about your plans. Meet our team of business analysts, proudly located in Cochrane. They’re here and ready to help you.


Patti-Jay Powell

Executive Director
Let's talk about your business idea!

(403) 389-8272
LinkedIn Profile

Our Executive Director, Patti-Jay Powell, is passionate about rural economic development. She knows entrepreneurs and small businesses are the backbones of our communities. Patti-Jay leads a team of talented specialists ready to help new and existing business owners succeed. CFCWest's track record of helping communities prosper, local economies expand, and businesses grow reflects her strong leadership and strategic approach.

Patti-Jay loves dogs, horses, the backcountry, building things, and creating magical memories with her family and friends.


Dianne Graham

Senior Operations Coordinator
Do you need a hand? We're here for you.

(403) 464-2572
LinkedIn Profile

During her 17 years with CFCWest, Dianne has built solid skills and talent in coordinating our behind-the-scenes operations. Her primary role includes managing EFT payment processing, collections, security registrations and discharges, Equifax reporting, bookkeeping, office administration, payroll, and  portfolio support. She loves the challenges of handling multiple different tasks and thrives on assisting colleagues and clients who need her help.

Dianne lives in Cochrane with her family and spends her free time having fun outdoors.


Steven Paolasini

Business Development Advisor

Steven is from the small, agriculture focused community in southern Ontario. He obtained his chemical engineering degree from McGill University in 2014 and has been an Albertan by choice over the last 8 years. Upon graduation, Steven worked briefly with an oil and gas software company before leaving to enter the realm of entrepreneurship. Since then, Steven has advised, mentored and worked with many small businesses assisting in their growth through his own various entrepreneurial ventures in Calgary including a community coworking space, HustleCo Workspace, and an inbound digital marketing company, QuadRipple Inc.

More recently, Steven transitioned into supporting business immigrants and has assisted dozens who call Canada home as an immigration professional licensed with the College of Citizenship and Immigration Consultants (CICC) as an RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant).

Steven is deeply passionate about supporting small businesses and working with entrepreneurial immigrants. He loves free enterprise and has assisted dozens of prospective business immigrants, start-up visa entrepreneurs and onshore business owners in Canada. He understands technology and innovation and believes in entrepreneurs as the job creating engine of Canada that they are. He believes strongly in rural renewal, and is a big supporter and proponent of rural business development and rural business immigration strategy.

Hobbies/Interests: Steven is passionate about culture and travel, and finds that a professional career in supporting small business and business immigrants helps foster that. He loves to make friends and support others from all corners of the world to unite in Canada and enjoys learning about their culture and particularly their culinary specialties.

Lauren Levay

Community Economic Development Coordinator

Lauren recently relocated to the Calgary area from northern Alberta, where she held the position as the Economic Development Officer with the City of Grand Prairie. Laruen is a motivated and energetic self-starter, specializing in marketing, communication, public relations and economic development. Her expertise includes identifying and developing strong partnerships, creative writing, gathering and utilizing analytics to drive success and collaborating with stakeholders to create effective partnerships and marketing campaigns. Lauren has experience in government relations, community engagement, internal and external communications software implementation and project management.

Prior to the City of Grande Prairie, Lauren was employed by Montrose Cultural Centre where she was the Event and Marketing Specialist, collaborating with external stakeholders to facilitate dynamic and engaging community events. She was employed by the Grand Prairie Airport from 2016-2018 where she was the Marketing and Business Development Manager, building relationships with stakeholders to support airport initiatives and identify opportunities to grow non-aeronautical revenue. Lauren also held an economic development position with the Corporation of North Bay as the Economic Development Research Officer back in 2014-2016.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Nipissing University, a Diploma of Liberal Arts from Seneca College and Economic Development program, year 1 & 2 through the University of Waterloo.


Jodie Eckert

Community Development Consultant
Let's connect and build community!

LinkedIn Profile

When local community resources work together to create something new in our area, our external Community Development Consultant, Jody Eckert, is often involved. She knows the results collaboration brings and works closely with our economic partners and us in the communities CFCWest serves. A key figure in developing the popular SMARTStart program, Jody uses her MBA and Community Economic Development education and business experience to bring the right people together to produce results.

Jody loves camping, biking, and paddle boarding, with people she loves.


Let’s see what we can do for your business

Give us a call, send us an email, or drop in for a chat.

Contact Us

3209, 101 Sunset Drive
Cochrane, AB  T4C 0W7
P: 403-389-8272


Communities Served

Airdrie, Balzac, Banff, Bearspaw, Bottrel, Bragg Creek, Canmore, Cochrane, Crossfield, Dead Mans Flats, Elbow Valley, Exshaw, Ghost Lake, Harvie Heights, Madden, MD of Big Horn, Morley, Redwood Meadows, Seebe, Springbank, Rocky View County, Kananaskis Improvement District, Improvement District 9 (Lake Louise and surrounding area)