By Sue Tiffin
Published June 26 2018
Andy Campbell and his accomplishments through the Haliburton County Development Corporation were celebrated on June 15 when the Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre filled with well-wishers for the executive director of HCDC as he retired. He had worked with HCDC since it launched in 1985.
“When we started we were a small community and our first project officer said ‘I’m not sure you’re going to be able to actually qualify for this program you’re too small’” said Campbell in his speech to the crowd. “‘We’re not sure you’re going to be able to lend the amount of money that’s required to keep your corporation going.’ OK that’s a challenge. So we did it. We have. We are there and I think we have accomplished that challenge and I’m very very proud of that.”
Patti Tallman who started with HCDC in 1997 as secretary receptionist and was applauded herself as she moves into Campbell’s role was emotional at times as she showed a slideshow of Campbell’s long career.
Under his management HCDC advanced more than 2000 loans to businesses in Haliburton County worth $79 million and grew the capital investment provided by the federal government of just more than $2 million that has grown to a healthy portfolio that sits just less than $17 million
Jim Blake MCed the early evening gathering which was attended by local business owners government officials and past and present members of the HCDC board and staff. The room filled with laughter on numerous occasions as Campbell shared stories from the field and speakers joked about his tendency to push boundaries.
“The name Andy Campbell has been one that comes up frequently – always positive and often bringing to the forefront in-depth discussions regarding the program and the opportunities in rural communities” said Paulette Prentice manager economic development Federal Economic Development Agency. “Andy is known to challenge the status quo and he is never afraid to challenge policy. For years he advocated for lending limits to be above $150000. Once that exceptional basis was approved he already had a number of them approved and in fact he had a full business case as to why we should be looking to further increase them.”
Prentice spoke to Campbell’s patience sensitivity and humbleness.
“The quality of the results that have emerged while you have been here with the HCDC are quite honestly unbelievable” she said to Campbell. “One of the smallest communities in terms of population density has produced the largest investment fund portfolio in Canada.”
Others agreed that Campbell had been the kind of leader who is hard to find.
“I remember once talking to an applicant who got his loan request refused and his comment to me was ‘what a nice guy Andy is’” said Dysart et al Mayor Murray Fearrey.
Fearrey said Campbell’s positive progressive attitude was always needed and welcomed in the county.
Evelyn Beeby former chair of HCDC and an honourary board member said she thinks of the “outstanding impact Campbell has had on people who had dreams of doing something that would help them earn a living start or grow a business or improve the community.”
Her speech outlined the respect Campbell had given and received over his years with HCDC.
“Andy showed respect for clients his staff the board his Community Futures associates and for each and every person with whom he came in contact. One of the things I enjoyed doing most during my time on the board was going out to visit clients with Andy. It didn’t matter how big how small how achievable or somewhat far-fetched their idea was. Andy listened asked good questions and kindly gave well thought-out suggestions. I saw mutual respect and the outcomes it achieved.”
“Happy retirement Andy” said Beeby in the conclusion of her speech. “Be well be happy in whatever you decide to do. You’ve done great service for Haliburton County and earned our respect.”