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Excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador Economic Development Recognized

NOTE: This event has already taken place.

For Immediate Release
January 27, 2023

St. John’s – The Economic Developers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (EDANL) and its partner Deloitte recognized the winners of the province’s Economic Development Awards of Excellence last night at its Awards Night event.

“It is so important for us to recognize the successes of our economic developers in this province,” says Kieran Hanley, EDANL’s President. “Economic developers are the worker bees behind the growth and sustainability of our communities and industries.”

Hanley says that economic developers juggle a long list of priorities and often their work pays off over a period of time that may span years or even more. “Celebrating the achievements of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economic developers is a big boost for the practitioners themselves, and it is also a reminder to us all on how vital this profession and these individuals are in growing the province’s economy.”

Achievements recognized last night included:

Marketing Initiative

This award recognizes marketing initiatives, campaigns or materials used for attracting, retaining and/or fostering economic or community development. It rewards communities or organizations for using marketing and communications to make a positive social or economic contribution locally, regionally or provincially.

The 2022 winner of the Marketing Initiative award is the City of St. John’s for its “Advantage St. John’s” campaign.

From left to right: Business and Research Officer Wendy Mugford, Economic Development Coordinator Ross Houlihan, Director of Economic Development Elizabeth Lawrence, and EDANL President Kieran Hanley

The City of St. John’s recently embarked on a strategic brand initiative that led to the establishment of the Advantage St. John’s sub-brand – a place marketing endeavour that is amplifying economic growth and enhancing people and investment attraction opportunities for the City of St. John’s.

The throes of the pandemic caused a shift in our priorities, including how we live and work. In many large cities across the country, residents began leaving in hopes of finding a different quality of living. They began moving away from large urban centres to find a sense of belonging and purpose. St. John’s ticks a lot of the boxes for those seeking something different.

With the mandate to market the many advantages of living, working, studying and investing in the beautiful and historic city, Advantage St. John’s is directed at a predominantly national and international audience. The main goals behind the initiative include:

  • To attract and retain skilled workers, newcomers, remote workers and post-secondary students.
  • To attract and retain top-tier talent that can play a vital role in creating successful businesses.
  • To encourage economic growth, with an emphasis on our tech, ocean innovation, energy and mining sectors.
  • To continue to build an engaged workforce that benefits from a healthy work-life balance; and
  • To standout in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The St. John’s Advantage is too good not to share with the world’s investors, entrepreneurs, families and youth, and a strong, well-managed brand makes it easier to tell its story.

The successful pursuit of economic development by our capital city benefits the whole metro region, the Avalon, and Newfoundland and Labrador at large. So it is EDANL’s great pleasure to present this Economic Development Award of Excellence to the City of St. John’s.

Community Project (population under 3,000)

This award recognizes Community Projects that have had major economic development impacts in a community or region with a population under 3,000. The award rewards such things as strategic planning, BR&E, placemaking, sector development, tourism, community involvement, etc.

The winner of the Community Project award for a population impact of under 3,000 is the Town of Glovertown for its “Live / Work / Play” strategy.

From left to right: Town Manager Sandy Collins, Economic Development Officer Pam Thornhill, Mayor Doug Churchill, and EDANL President Kieran Hanley

Glovertown Town Council embarked on an ambitious project reimagining its downtown area and recreational grounds. The Glovertown Centre Plan was initiated with an intention to grow the Town Centre into a complete and attractive neighbourhood that offers shops and services, jobs and homes, schools and museums, natural open space and recreational facilities, and more… all within a twenty-minute walk of one another. Live, work, and play!

A beautifully streetscaped downtown boasting attractive landscaping, comfortable street furniture, and a charmingly lit sidewalk connects and identifies the Town Centre. Wayfinding signage connects adjacent parks, cultural venues and recreational facilities.

The Events Committee brought economic growth and improved community quality of life through building on the success of events like Alexander Bay Days and the Winter Carnival and initiating many other new annual events such as Easter egg hunts, children’s movie and popcorn nights, Halloween dances, Bonfire Night events, and New Year’s Eve Balls.

The Town Centre Plan attracts consumers to stay longer, spend more, and spread by word of mouth the positive experiences that they’ve had in Glovertown while shopping in local businesses, visiting cultural installations, or using the many recreation facilities and green spaces.

Economic developers know that a vibrant town centre is important to the quality of life and economy of the community. The town centre reflects how the community sees itself, which is crucial to the retention and attraction of businesses. Businesses invest where there is a high quality of life. EDANL is so happy to present this Economic Development Award of Excellence to the Town of Glovertown.

Community Project (population over 3,000)

This award recognizes Community Projects that have had major economic development impacts in a community or region with a population over 3,000. The award rewards such things as strategic planning, BR&E, placemaking, sector development, tourism, community involvement, etc.

The winner of the Community Project award for a population impact of over 3,000 is the City of Mount Pearl for its “Find Your Centre” renewal plan.

From left to right: Councillor Mark Rice, Director of Corporate Services Cassie Pittman, Deputy Mayor Nicole Kieley, Marketing and Economic Development Officer Jeremy Schwartz, and EDANL President Kieran Hanley

Find Your Centre sets the stage for the renewal and transformation of Mount Pearl’s core over the next 25 to 30 years. It is intended to be a long-term vision that outlines strategies for public and private realm investment that will encourage the City Centre to grow and thrive well into the future.

The city has identified 33 actionable priorities within the plan, which will be implemented by following three frameworks related to public spaces, mobility, and the built environment. These priorities were developed based on extensive community engagement and input from many stakeholders, both public and private. The frameworks will inform and guide decision-making and future development in the City Centre such that a high quality, vibrant built environment emerges.

The Find Your Centre plan has already made a significant impact on the community with recommendations of the plan being implemented, including the announcement of a new Community Centre. The city is also preparing to implement a series of recommendations from the report that will enhance the commercialization of the Waterford River such as commercial kiosks, upgrading twin falls passive recreation space, and installing city centre gateway signage.

Viewed with an economic lens, the proposed development will offer a range of opportunities for a niche service area, providing cultural, culinary, and experiential-based services and goods that cater to contemporary needs, while providing connectivity to an existing commercial core.

Recognizing and playing to your strengths is a simple, yet powerful, approach to economic development. The Find Your Centre plan will inform sound decision-making for future development to ensure the city centre becomes and remains a distinct core that contributes to Mount Pearl’s rich quality of life and a strong sense of place. It is EDANL’s pleasure to present this Economic Development Award of Excellence to the City of Mount Pearl.

President’s Award

This year the President’s Award is recognizing the body of work of an individual who has made an indelible mark on the practice of economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador: Dr. Robert Greenwood.

From left to right: Dr. Robert Greenwood and EDANL President Kieran Hanley

Through his career, Dr. Greenwood has contributed to the economic development of the province in a variety of different theatres, including (but not limited to):

  • He is currently an Associate Vice President at MUN for Public Engagement and External Relations.
  • He is the Director of The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development.
  • He has served as a Director and Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy in Economic Development departments in Newfoundland and Labrador (and also other provinces).
  • He was the Director of Research and Principal Author of the 1995 Report of the Newfoundland Task Force on Community Economic Development.
  • He led the process to establish Regional Economic Development Boards in 20 Economic Zones and oversaw their implementation.
  • He has taught, consulted, published, and presented extensively on community economic and regional development, strategic economic planning, sectoral and cluster development and knowledge mobilization.

Without exception, Dr. Greenwood approaches his work with vigour, honesty, and passion. An expert in public engagement, he is skilled in inspiring others to voice their opinions and participate in important debates.

But Dr. Greenwood is being recognized not for his resume, but because – with all of his experience, with all of his energy, all of his ideas, and amidst his relentless pursuit of progress – he takes great care to include others in his journey. When he crosses paths with someone who has an interest, he does not see them for what they do not know. He sees them for what they might have to offer, today and into the future.

Dr. Greenwood has a history of nurturing passion and talent and providing opportunities to those around him to make a difference. In making the deliberate choice to approach his work in this regard, Dr. Greenwood is ensuring that his efforts in economic development not only have an impact today and tomorrow – but for many years into the future as his students carry on with the work to make Newfoundland and Labrador a better place.

It is EDANL’s pleasure to present the President’s Award to Dr. Robert Greenwood.

Economic Developer of the Year

This award recognizes an Economic Development practitioner in Newfoundland and Labrador who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, rewarding excellence in the field and the standard by which economic developers should all strive to achieve. The award can recognize one singular achievement or sustained proficiency.

This year’s Economic Developer of Year Award goes to the Executive Director of the Cabot Community Business Development Corporation – Margo Soucy.

From left to right: Executive Director of the Cabot Community Business Development Corporation Margo Soucy and EDANL President Kieran Hanley

The magnitude of involvement that Margo displays in the community and economic development space is nothing short of inspiring. Aside from her day job – where she has supported more than 2,000 individuals in the business plan process – she has been a champion of the Conception Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown CBS boards, chairing and directing with both. She is a Director with the Provincial Association of CBDCs, Treasurer of EDANL, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce. She also chairs the Long Pond Harbour Authority, and regularly steps up to assist municipalities in the region with committee positions like “Imagine Paradise” and “Pride in your Community CBS.”

Margo also finds ways to lift up her community though education, social enterprise and healthy living. She volunteers with the CRA as a community income tax volunteer, is a director with Home Again Furniture Bank, and is an Executive Member of the Athletics NorthEast organization. She also is a longstanding volunteer with Junior Achievement.

She dives into education and professional development every chance she gets to keep herself as sharp and informed as possible. She has completed Year 2 of the EDAC Economic Developers Certification, and has diplomas in international trade, advanced leadership, non-profit management, governance, public administration, and small business counselling.

Margo Soucy is an economic development engine. The impact that she has had on the communities that she has served has been enormous, and Newfoundland and Labrador is lucky to have such a star on its team. EDANL is so happy to present the Economic Developer of the Year award to Margo Soucy.

Thank You

The Economic Developers Awards of Excellence were made possible this year by the support of Deloitte.


The Economic Developers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (EDANL) is the provincial organization of economic developers pursuing excellence in the field. The Association’s mission is to enhance the professional competence of Economic Development Officers; to advance economic development as a distinct, recognized, and self-governing profession; and to contribute to the province’s economic well-being.

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Kieran Hanley, President


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