A native of South Glengarry, Lesley began her entrepreneurial career in SD&G as a small business owner while she studied International Politics and Economics at Guelph University. After obtaining her degree, she continued following her passion for entrepreneurship and economic development by joining BDC. During her time there, she advanced quickly through the organization and held a number of roles, all of which focused on providing specialized commercial lending and consulting solutions to businesses in the SD&G and Ottawa areas. She is also actively involved in the community and volunteers her time to a number of boards and committees as Director and Mentor.
It’s only been one year since Lesley Lang began her leadership role as Executive Director of the Cornwall & Counties Community Futures Development Corporation, but her impact has been significant.
Her obvious desire to improve the livelihoods of those within her community is contagious. As she stated a few times, entrepreneurship fires her up. Growing up surrounded by family members who had entrepreneurial spirit fuelled her interest and need to get out into the working world quickly.
At university she dove into small business ownership with a “college pro painters” type business that proved to be the perfect opportunity to teach her about the joys and sorrows of being a boss. Real life experience long hours of work, customer service, building out a team, collecting unpaid invoices, and even terminating employees all served to help her have empathy for the small business owner. Her university experience also taught her that she can take the concepts of her International Politics and Economics studies and transition them into initial role at the BDC in Ottawa, and now with CFDC. Being a champion for those who have a dream to own a business, surrounding them with the right level of practical and financial support, and then connecting them with others to ensure they gain momentum is her daily mission. She’s excited to support, and learn more about progressive business concepts like new start ups in the Cornwall area such as The Innovative Task Force, Code Heroes, and Big Catch Communications.
Lesley is also passionate about taking our education system to the next level by transforming it to be inclusive, and one that is designed to embrace, connect and fit with a wide variety of students. Innovation and creativity over academia is essentially the paradigm shift that will enable all students to have a more positive education experience and set them up for success in the future. She encourages everyone to take notice of Sir Ken Robinson who is a passionate advocate for the social movement changing the current education system.
It was clear that Lesley has the ability to share her point of view, attract a following, and live her values. She knows her current role offers her the chance to authentically put herself out there, and encourage the recent upswing in interest to strategically quicken the economic development in her area. She’s fallen in love all over again with her Cornwall community and based on the cheers from the crowd, they want her stay. You can connect with Lesley on LinkedIn and keep up to date on innovation for business by following the CCCFDC Facebook page.