Why did you choose economic development as a career?
I was actually completing my Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Northern British Columbia when I heard an inspiring talk by Northern Development CEO, Janine North. She spoke about Northern Development’s Economic Development Intern program and I decided to apply. During the year I was an intern, I gained incredible experience and insight to the field, working in a number of northern communities. After that I knew this was the work I wanted to do.
What are the key issues for economic development in your community?
Strong transportation links to regional, provincial and global markets make Terrace a strategic hub in the northwest and we actively market investment opportunities related to import/exporting. As a resource-based region we also work to develop economy building initiatives related to forestry, mining and energy.
What projects have been the most personally satisfying for you?
In March of this year we held a First Nations Joint Venture Partner Workshop which brought together numerous stakeholders interested in being involved in projects with First Nations. Coinciding with the event was the creation of our First Nations Joint Venture Partnership Toolkit; it continues to be a well-used resource for learning how to connect with First Nations and progress to the deal-making stage.
When we first met with local businesses to determine how the Authority could best flow funding dollars into the community, a major outcome was the new www.investnorthwestbc.ca website that was launched in the Fall of 2011. This is a unique project based on the collaboration of communities throughout the northwest. It provides a wide range of information from contacts in local industry, bidding information, descriptions of projects underway, environmental reports and project timelines.
What do you enjoy most about working in economic development?
It’s an extremely fast-paced field; the terrain is always changing and you have to be accountable for everything you do. At the same time, economic development officers throughout the region support each other by sharing best practices and leveraging resources. And of course, it’s great to be working to improve the business climate and quality of life in the area where I grew up.