The Leduc-Nisku EDAtorial
Leduc Blog
The not so Dog Days of Summer
August 05, 2016
Mark Gallant
Summer is now in full swing and brings with it the slow season for economic development … Or so I’m told. With three full-time summer students growing our ranks to nine, I have certainly noticed a lot more activity and energy around the office. All of this enthusiasm has been a welcome addition and has evolved into a theme for the month of July. Volunteering, learning and planning were three of my major accomplishments this past month. 
 

Thank a Volunteer

As you know, Leduc recently hosted the Alberta Summer Games and I am honored to have volunteered as a Games Ambassador over the course of the weekend, including the Opening Ceremonies where our Leduc-Nisku EDA team volunteered together. It was a wonderful event showcasing the enthusiastic and vibrant youth of our province. I didn’t realize what tremendous sporting facilities the City of Leduc has – ball diamonds, football/rugby pitches, kayaking areas, not to mention the Leduc Recreation Centre and its fabulous arenas, swimming pool and workout areas. On top of volunteering at the Summer Games, I also joined fellow members of the Nisku/Leduc Rotary Club running the 50/50 draw out at Castrol Raceway during the Rocky Mountain Nationals event. I volunteered at the Wildrose Figure Skating Competition this past long weekend held in Leduc at the LRC and am volunteering at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival this weekend. The tremendous thing about volunteering is that you not only get the opportunity to attend renowned events for free, but moreover, you’re granted the opportunity to connect with people. The Greater Edmonton Region hosts world class festivals, tournaments, and a variety of events that wouldn’t be as successful as they are unless they were supported by all the volunteers that help make them run efficiently and cost effectively. I am thankful for every opportunity I have to volunteer in the community.
 

Learning more about the region

We hosted two delegations from China looking to invest in and connect with companies in the region. The Minister of Labour, Christina Gray, also paid us a visit to discuss opportunities and challenges in our region that impact her portfolio. Minister Gray left with a better understanding and knowledge of the Leduc-Nisku region. Another highlight from this past month was getting to take a tour of the Alberta Food Processing Development Centre located in the City of Leduc. It is an unbelievable centre for innovation and business development right here in our own backyard. Finally, I was out at the Renaissance Hotel at EIA to learn about some of the new developments on EIA property and mingle with fellow Rotarians from the region. 
 

Planning for 2017

July has also been a month where our team sat down and began to frame our Strategic Plan for 2017. At any point during the year, you have to look back to understand what you do well, what you can do better and what you would like to accomplish moving forward. Because we work with a variety of stakeholders, we take their plans and strategic direction into consideration and work them into our plan. We reviewed budgets, events, travel and marketing all the while keeping in mind the three tenets of Economic Development - opportunities to retain, grow and attract new business to the Leduc-Nisku region.

I expect August to be another busy month as our office will be re-locating. My calendar is filling up with business visits and our office continues to plan for 2017. We have so much planned for the next half of 2016 and I look forward to sharing it all with you in future editions of my blog with the next one coming in early September. Until next time, keep your head down and swing easy.