Stan Kapashesit executive of the year
Wakenagun’s Stan Kapashesit accepts the NADF Executive of the Year award.
The 2012 Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund executive of the year advises the youth his organization works with to aim high with their goals, whether those be in business or elsewhere.
“I’m pretty proud of the youth program we just launched last year,” said Stan Kapashesit, executive director of Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation and a Moose Cree First Nation band member. “(We went) to each of our 10 communities to deliver workshops to the youth. We had about 180 youth participants and we had another 60 attend a youth gathering this past June.”
The Aspinemowin Youth Entrepreneurship Partnerships Program aims to increase understanding of business and entrepreneurship among youth and to create awareness of developments happening in the area.
Kapashesit said the program will be expanded this year to include elementary school students and a Wabusk’s Den, which is modeled on the CBC television show Dragons Den, where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hopes of securing business financing.
Kapashesit encourages youth to work hard to achieve success in the future.
“Work hard, have a lot of commitment, get a good education too because that gives you the backbone to support your career, whatever you choose,” Kapashesit said. “If it’s business, great. Economic development always circles back to the community — it’s two-fold because you’re making money for yourself and then in turn (giving) back because you’re creating jobs, employment.”
The New Horizons Project ran from 2011 to 2012 with a goal of enhancing the region’s capacity for working together in economic development by laying a strong foundation for the future.
“The New Horizons was a way to gauge the economic pulse of the region we serve,” Kapashesit said. “We serve 10 First Nation communities in James Bay, so we went in and did the work and took a pulse of what everything was about.”
Kapashesit has served with Wakenagun as executive director for the past five years, the board of directors for about two years before accepting the executive director post and as an investment fund officer for three years before joining the board.
“We do a lot of business lending and giving back to the community through various funds,” Kapashesit said. “I work with a good team and a good volunteer board of directors, so I think that had a lot to do with (the award).”
Kapashesit is president of Wasiabin Entertainment Group, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on music support for youth.
He also volunteers at many events in the Moose Factory and Moosonee area, including as a minor hockey team trainer and fundraiser.
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