Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) recently introduced Steve Blakely as their new Chief Executive Officer.
Blakely comes to AFSC — a provincial crown corporation that provides loans, crop insurance and farm income disaster assistance to Albertan producers, agribusinesses and other small business — after 40 years of financial industry experience including the role of President of CEO at Servus Credit Union and President and CEO of Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Alberta.
“I eagerly anticipate working with the team at AFSC to build upon recent strategies put in place by the Board of Directors aimed at building a strong, growing, diversified agriculture and agri-food sector in Alberta,” Blakely said in a press release.
Blakely will begin his tenure on May 1st and will begin acting on the Board of Director’s mandates which is to support policy development and lead the executive team in responding to operation issues and challenges while sticking AFSC strategic plans.
“The lending mandate is going to be critical for us here and will change the way we do things,” Blakely said. “It will be very welcomed and positive thing for the agricultural community.
“The focus I really want to get a handle on is the strengthening of the core business of AFSC in the Province of Alberta and that includes things like making sure we are responsible with funds from the Government.”
AFSC Board Chair said that Blakely’s career in finance is what made him stand out during their selection process.
“AFSC is committed to investing in Alberta by providing our clients the products they need to manage risk and grow their operations,” she said. “Steve’s strong financial background will ensure Alberta agricultural producers are receiving the support and services needed to strengthen and grow rural Alberta.”
Blakely said AFSC will continue to function as it has in the past.
“It is a very well-run organization with an extremely good board,” he said. “For me it, it is about enacting what the board has put in. It is about taking it to the levels that the new board has chosen.”
He emphasized that their mandate will continue to be in line with the direction set by the Province of Alberta.
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier said in a release that having solid leadership is key at AFSC.
“We are building on an economic recovery that lasts and works for everyone and AFSC plays an important role. The Corporation provides insurance and lending programs to producers and rural-based entrepreneurs and, with its leadership overhaul now complete, I look forward to continued support for economic development in rural Alberta,” he said
Blakely added, “I am delighted to be back in Alberta. I spent a lot of my career here and I it is really exciting to come to AFSC.”
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