New Northwest Economic Developers Focused on Creating Positive Regional Impacts

July 31, 2010

Northern Development Initiative Trust is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Derek Baker for the position of Economic Development Officer for the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Commission as well as Evan van Dyk for the position of Economic Development Officer for the Terrace Economic Development Authority.

Both Derek and Evan have worked with communities across central and northern British Columbia as Economic Development Interns with Northern Development Initiative Trust.  Through their internships, they are bringing experience in building economic development, investment attraction, business retention and expansion, and community development, having worked collaboratively with Chief Administrative Officers and Economic Development Officers throughout central and northern British Columbia.

“I have learned many crucial skills that are necessaEvan van Dylry to be successful in the business world in my few short months interning under Brodie Guy and Dean McKinley at Northern Development.  Working with other economic developers and chief administrators from a number of communities on investment-ready profiles has really refined my ability to manage client relationships, improved my attention to detail, and most importantly, shown me the significance of creating extremely high quality work that I, and my community can be proud of,” stated Evan van Dyk, Economic Development Officer with Terrace Economic Development Authority. “Applying for the Internship program at Northern Development was the best decision professionally I have ever made, and I recommend it to all future University of Northern British Columbia graduates.”

Read about Evan van Dyk featured in the Terrace Standard as the community’s new Economic Development Officer:  Van Dyk to Head Economic Group by Samantha Butler – Terrace Standard.

“Working with Northern Development gave me an oppoDerek Bakerrtunity to build a diverse network of professionals throughout northern BC, and today that network is an integral part of my success. The experience I received while interning gave me the skills I needed along with my degree to successfully build a career as an Economic Development Officer,” said Derek Baker, Economic Development Officer for Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Commission.

Northern Development’s Internship program is a unique initiative focused on identifying talented business graduates from northern educational institutions that are seeking careers in local government and rural economic development. The Internship provides a unique immersed program of training and experience that supports local governments in the region with a resource for recruiting qualified economic development professionals.  The program was established earlier this year and is already linking the majority of internships with full-time, permanent Economic Development Officer positions in the region.

The Economic Development Internship program is building on the momentum and close partnerships already in progress between Northern Development and a number of communities who have been collaborating on investment attraction projects. Each intern engages with a variety of municipalities, regional districts, and First Nations, working with them to develop marketing collateral, business engagement tools, and economic profiles.  This not only builds practical knowledge of economic and rural development, but most importantly, builds experience working in a collaborative regional context building strong working relationships in a number of communities.

Northern Development’s intern, Kelly Bryan, who hails from Williams Lake, BC in the Cariboo region, is currently working with a number of communities, developing economic development marketing products.  Kelly has recently returned from work in Fort St. James, developing the municipality’s Investment-Ready Community Profile under the direction of Deb Hadwen, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer.  In August, Kelly will be working for Williams Lake Economic Development under the direction of Alan Madrigga, Economic Development Officer where Kelly will be focused on developing foreign investment attraction marketing tools promoting industrial assets in the community.  Communities that are recruiting for economic development officers are welcome to contact Dean McKinley, Economic Development Manager, Northern Development for Kelly’s CV and contact information.

“Working for Northern Development as a part of the Internship program has been a tremendous experience. The knowledgeable and friendly staff has helped me develop crucial skills that have improved my ability to work with a number of central and northern communities and non-profit societies. My work with Northern Development, which has included community economic profiling, industrial site marketing, and grant writing support has provided me with a valuable understanding of central and northern BC, as well as the opportunities and challenges facing the region,” said Kelly Bryan, Economic Development Intern with Northern Development.