Director Snapshot: Mike J. Columbus

A Boy from Rattlesnake Harbour

Mike Columbus was raised on a farm on the corner of the Norfolk County village known as Rattlesnake Harbour’. Doesn’t that sound like a fun place to visit?

As you can imagine, Mike was exposed to farm life at an early age. He worked wita variety of crops on the family farm as well as cows, hogs and poultry. These early experiences resulted in a life-long passion for farming and agriculture. Following his graduation from the University of Guelph where he earned a BSc in Agriculture, Mike cashcropped the family farm for 5 years. 

Passion for Agriculture

With a keen interest in conservation, Mike spent 33 years working with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He has been a valuable contributor to the Nova Mutual board for 20+ years and serves on the board of our reinsurance company, Farm Mutual Re. Dedicated to serving the community, Mike was the founding Chair of the Tobacco Recognition Awards Committee. He is also a founding member of the Delhi Community Health Centre and the current Board Chair of the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. How does he find the time?! 

Councillor Columbus

Speaking of time, Mike has been married to his wife Kathi for 45 years and has been involved in local politics for almost as long. He has served as a Councillor for Delhi and currently represents Norfolk County. The amount of organizations and causes Mike has supported is almost too long to list, but we’ll try... 

  • Haldimand Norfolk Senior Support Services 
  • Norfolk General Hospital Board 
  • Norfolk County Public Library Board 
  • Ontario Tobacco Museum and Heritage Centre 
  • Haldimand Norfolk Housing Corporation
  • Norfolk District Community Futures Committee 
  • Local Economic Development Committee 
  • Delhi Business Improvement Area Assoc. 
  • Delhi District Chamber of Commerce 
  • Haldimand Norfolk Board of Health 
  • Norfolk Agriculture Advisory Board 
  • Norfolk Police Services Board 

Sharing is Caring

As a part of our Director Snapshot series, each Board Member is invited to select a cause that speaks to them for us to focus on. We then work with the cause to ensure that our contribution is impactful and to amplify their message. Mike requested that we work with the Delhi Sharing Pantry.  

Ruth Brown, DSP Program coordinatortold Nova 2020 started as a tough year that came with positive things in the end. The pantry was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community over the holiday season. Ruth also credits HN-Reach with redistributing funds which would typically benefit school nutrition programs to local food banksIt is a huge relief for Ruth to know that children who are food insecure are still receiving the support they need.  

The DSP has another generous benefactorWilkinson’s Independent Grocer. Matt Wilkinson and his team ensure that all purchases made by the DSP are billed at cost. The partnership allows Ruth to purchase perishable items such as fresh produce, milk and eggs weekly. 

(By the way, if the name ‘Wilkinson’s Independent Grocer’ sounds familiar, it’s because Matt and his team also supplied groceries for the Help NorFarms project. ) 

We’ve Got the Bill

Thanks to Mike and Nova Mutual, the food bill for the DSP will be covered for nearly a month. If you are interested in learning more about the Delhi Sharing Pantry, Ruth posts regularly in the Facebook group: What’s Happening in Delhi Norfolk CountyTo make a donation directly to the DSP, please click here. Alternatively you can visit Wilkinsons Independent Grocer and purchase a gift card for the Delhi Sharing Cupboard

Written by Jessica Lymburner, Director of Strategic Partnerships