For the past 18 years, Holly Sorgen has been working in the economic development field, in a variety of different capacities. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English, Ms. Sorgen began working as Youth Programs Coordinator with SMEDA Business Development Corporation. Here she was responsible for the facilitation and co-coordination of the “I Want to be a Millionaire” program for budding young entrepreneurs. She also facilitated Youth Service Canada projects intended to reengage 15-30 year old youth to the workforce, and coordinated the Youth Connections program that provided career and employment counselling, job placement and training for youth. In 2005, Ms. Sorgen, began her role as Executive Director for Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region. Over the past ten years, Holly has helped the organization grow significantly, both in terms of advisory services, loan numbers, loan amounts, dollars leveraged, jobs created and maintained. Most recently, Holly was managing a portfolio of over 100 loans which has grown to a value of more than $7.5 Million, from an initial investment of $1.55 M in 1988. In addition to this, Holly has been an active facilitator and online trainer for the Community Economic Development Training Program offered by Economic Developers of Alberta; and part of a dynamic, 12-member Matrixx Mastermind, where she acts as an Accountability Partner to other members, creates opportunities for information and resource sharing and works to create strategic vision for the group and for her own business. In 2014, she put her entrepreneurial skills to work and started her own strategic planning and facilitation business, EmPower Up!