Executive Director – Rob Furlonger
Second youngest of four children Rob grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. After graduating from Lakeview High School Rob went to Lakehead University and completed an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a specialty in economics and marketing. Being tired of long, cold winters Rob decided to pursue his career dreams in Vancouver, British Columbia but one winter of rain was enough to send Rob back to his home province of Ontario. Re-locating to Toronto Rob spent the next twenty-five years in publishing, managing a couple of iconic printing houses and meeting the love of his life (Penny). After raising three children (James, Mary and Lauren) the Furlongers decided it was time for another change. Being raised in Northern Ontario Rob longed for the land with big lakes, granite hills and pine forests once again but wanted to still be close to his children. The Orillia, Ontario area seemed perfect. It is there that Rob discovered Rama and its’ community on the eastern shore of Lake Couchiching. The Chippewas of Rama First Nation were a thriving, progressive people who required skilled, managerial talent to help its’ businesses grow and prosper, but to also build the capacity within the community to sustain their economy on their own. The Fit was just right and Rob became Rama First Nations General Manager of Business Operations and Economic Development in 2008.
For the past twelve and a half years Rob has managed and developed many businesses for Rama including four (4) retail shops in Casino Rama; a Shell Gas Station and Convenience Store; a 150+ slip marina; a 180 acre RV/Wilderness campground with Indigenous cultural experiences; two (2) Tim Hortons outlets; an organic community farm; multiple business leases; and representation on many economic/tourism boards including OFNEDA, Ontario’s’ Lake Country, Orillia Community Development Corporation and Simcoe County Regional economic committees. New projects in the works are the Rama Cannabis store and website, as well as, a new Rama Office Complex centre (home to the Rama Health Department and Indigenous Child & Family Services).
In the summer of 2020, at the age of 65, Rob decided it was time to pass the baton on to Rama community members to take all of these businesses to the next level. But Rob was not done yet. After becoming a member of the OFNEDA Executive Committee in 2019 he realized that the organization required a serious commitment of time and effort if it was to regain its’ stature and membership after some tough years. Although Rob could not continue to help support and lead the organization on the board, the opportunity to lead the membership as the new Executive Director did. Rob is excited and motivated to rebuild and reposition OFNEDA as the pre-eminent organization that represents the interests and economic wants and needs of the First Nations’ people of Ontario.
Marketing & Training Director – Steven McCoy
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (705) 257-1809
Steven McCoy is founder of multiple companies of his own and returns to OFNEDA because of his passion to see First Nation communities and members become self-reliant through economic development. Mr. McCoy’s Anishnabe name is Mishkwanakwet (Red Cloud), he is a part of the Bear Clan, is a member of Garden River First Nation and life-long resident of Ste. Marie, Ontario.
He is founder of Gencity Consulting which is a communications and marketing firm focused on servicing First Nation communities, organizations, associations, non-profits, politicians and corporations. In addition, he created a media company called Indigenbiz where he publishes his own articles that feature Indigenous leaders in business plus economic development relevant opinion pieces.
Mr. McCoy also worked in various positions in the private sector employed in numerous roles that were directly related to business development, communications and marketing. He has worked with organizations such as OFNEDA back in 2016, Algoma University, White Lake Limited Partnership and the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Association.
Steven graduated from Sault College with a diploma in Hospitality Management – Hotel and Resort and he also graduated from Algoma University with a bachelors degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing.
Mr. McCoy is happy to be working once again with OFNEDA while helping build capacity while learning about all the great things that the Economic Development Officers working on First Nations are doing across Ontario.
Finance Director – Kendal Pawis