J.A. Richardson Cert. Bus Admin, Bcomm, MBA
A member of the Mi´kmaq reserve of Pabineau, New Brunswick, Jim has served as a senior officer with the Canadian Armed Forces and he has a variety of experience at the senior level in Government and the private sector. The first Aboriginal graduate in Queen’s MBA in residence program, Jim has experience as a CEO, a chief financial officer, a lender with a bank, in cash management including hedging in multiple currencies and spot market transactions, auditing, marketing, project management, program delivery and operations, strategic planning and all aspects of financial and human resources management.
Jim is currently doing volunteer work in the Amazon basin in Peru. He was most recently employed with the Heiltsuk Economic Development Corporation where, as part of a two year contract, he set a solid course for corporate growth and success, secured financing and partnerships for two major projects and provided the leadership required to generate a profit of over $700k in the second year of operation. Prior to that he was employed with the Business Development Bank of Canada where he was responsible for Aboriginal Banking. In addition to establishing the Aboriginal Banking division he also developed a number of unique programs aimed at increasing access to capital for Aboriginal economic development and meeting the needs of Aboriginal entrepreneurs. He has also entered BDC into partnership agreements with other Financial Institutions to more effectively respond to the needs of Aboriginal business.
Prior to assuming his position with BDC in July 1996, he was Vice President, CESO Aboriginal Services. Based out of Toronto, he was responsible for seven regional offices across Canada and activity that included over 1,000 projects conducted annually in Aboriginal communities across Canada. He also worked for four years as an executive in the Public Service with the Department of Indian Affairs as a Regional Director of Finance, Administration and Informatics and Economic Development where he was responsible for all accounting, administration, computer support, economic development program delivery and managing a budget of almost $500 million in the Manitoba Region.
Jim’s interest in creating employment opportunities for Aboriginal youth resulted in his lobbying for funding and managing an on reserve summer employment program which provided jobs for just over 600 First Nations’ students on reserves across Manitoba over a three year period. He piloted several other summer employment programs and produced a video dealing with Aboriginal employment. Jim has always been interested in communicating the need for non-aboriginals to understand and appreciate Aboriginal cultural differences when forging business relationships. While with CESO, he initiated a project involving second year MBA students from leading business schools doing projects on reserves across Canada as part of their course curriculum. In his capacity with BDC, he planned and developed a successful annual Aboriginal Youth Business Plan Competition called E-Spirit with over 300 youth participants from across Canada annually. He initiated and help coordinate the ISO certification for Membertou First Nation.
He was a member of the Government sponsored Task Force on Aboriginal Development Financing where he chaired the Regulatory Issues Sub-Committee, he served on a number of ad hoc committees at the National level and he was a frequent guest lecturer at the Banff Centre for Management in their Aboriginal Financial Management Program.