MANAGER OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Phone: 519-631-1680 x4503
Hi, I’m Tara McCaulley, Manager of Business Development & Entrepreneurship for the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation.
Having strong roots in St. Thomas, I am dedicated to working with our community to strengthen our economic climate. I take pride in living in a community that is resilient and that has overcome many challenges and I am thrilled to have a role that allows me to further contribute to positive economic growth and development. I am passionate and excited to watch the evolution of the small business community as it grows and thrives in St. Thomas and Elgin County.
I’ve had the opportunity to work for a large banking corporation for 15 years and started from the ground up. I have in-depth experience and knowledge on business planning, creating and cultivating a strong customer experience, sales, partnership development and project management. My husband is entering his 5th year of business ownership and together we have built the business from a hobby to a full-time business with 1 employee.
I am committed to ongoing personal growth and continuing education and I am currently focused on obtaining my Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo. In addition to the in-depth training received at the bank, I also have taken courses in strategic leadership, sales process management, economic development, and people management courses at the University of Western Ontario, University of Waterloo and Fanshawe College. In 1995, as a single mom with 2 young boys, I graduated with a diploma in Office Administration from Fanshawe College in St. Thomas.
I am passionate about providing the best possible opportunities to youth in our community and I am a mentor for the Elgin/St. Thomas Junior Achievement Program. I am a board member of the Youth Employment Counselling Centre and work closely with the Talbot Teen Centre. We have an amazing network of young entrepreneurs in our community between the ages of 20 – 40 and watching them help to build and strengthen the small business community is truly a joy to watch. They help me to see opportunities with new eyes and I am excited to see where this will take us from an economic development perspective.
Hi, I’m Elle Crevits. I grew up in neighbouring Norfolk County, in the tobacco fields of Delhi, and am excited to be getting back to the region.
Entrepreneurship became a big part of my journey towards the end of my undergraduate degree in Arts and Business, Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo. I was struck by the crippling poverty and food insecurity in the city, while at the same time seeing the food waste from businesses in the region. It was about that time that I participated in the Summer Company program which helped me to pilot my first venture Food Not Waste. The summer was spent working with local food businesses and non-profit organizations to coordinated weekly food rescue, redirecting over 7000lbs of food. While the venture wasn’t viable long term, Summer Company inspired me to continue into the world entrepreneurship.
I went on to get my Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Queen’s university and continued to cultivate my interest in business. I have spent many years bring my business skills to the non-profit sector supporting entrepreneurs with micro-loans and helping non-profits launch social enterprises. My passions for food and business are being cultivated through my current business Elle Chef, where I teach sourdough bread making workshops.
Coming full circle, I am grateful to be able to share my knowledge while running the Summer Company and Starter Company Plus programs that first helped me so much in getting started in my entrepreneurial adventures.
RURAL BUSINESS ADVISOR & HORTON FARMERS’ MARKET MANAGER
Hi, I’m Vicki Asher, the newest team member with SBEC joining as Rural Business Advisor and Horton Farmers’ Market Manager.
Most recently I was the Manager of the Ignite Youth Centre in St. Thomas where I worked to assist in the development of youth in our community in what has truly been unprecedented times. Throughout 2020 I launched the Cultivate program – a youth led virtual farmers’ market which filled a void in the community and gave local youth the opportunity to lead and learn while making a positive impact for both the rural and urban communities.
Prior to that, many may remember me as the Manager of the Horton Farmers’ Market for three incredibly successful years. Over these years the leadership and assistance provided through the market supported revenue growth for the vendors by an average of over 40%.
I’m looking forward the possibilities the expansion into Rural Business Advisor will enable year round for our market vendors and rural businesses. Having spent several years actively supporting our local producers and the Horton Farmer’s Market already, I may be a familiar face to many of you but I am excited to build new connections and support you on your business journey.
MANAGER OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Hi! I’m Sarah Noble, Manager of Marketing & Communications for the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation.
Aside from my time at the University of Guelph obtaining my Bachelor of Commerce with a Hospitality focus, I have been a lifelong resident of Elgin County and St. Thomas. Returning to the community instilled a deep appreciation for our history, emerging arts & culture, and the small businesses paving the way to growth.
I wear a few hats around here coordinating Social Media and Communications for the SBEC channels and events like Bridges to Better Business. I also work with clients to develop marketing strategies incorporating social media and more traditional avenues.
My background and love for tourism lead me to obtain a certification with Ontario’s Southwest as an Experiential Tourism Coach. Small business is a huge part of the fabric of tourism. I am excited to connect with those ready to craft experiences building sustainable tourism opportunities that celebrate the rich agricultural traditions of Elgin County and highlight the growing Arts, Culture and Culinary community. Rural markets like ours are perfectly situated to share authentic experience and stories that span generations with locals and visitors to the community. In building experience-based tourism opportunities, those stories and communities can thrive for generations to come. I am currently working towards my Certificate in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo.
After operating Pink Spark Photography and Events for several years as a side hustle, I have experienced the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and value the resources offered through the Small Business Enterprise Centre from the other side of the desk. We are here to help!
“Creating an ecosystem where small businesses in Elgin County and St. Thomas can connect, learn and grow their business.”
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
MON: 8:30A – 4:30P
TUES: 8:30A – 4:30P
WED: 8:30A – 4:30P
THURS: 12P – 8:00P
FRI: 8:30A – 4:30P