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Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2021 Economic Development Awards of Excellence Winners Announced

For Immediate Release
December 1, 2021

The Economic Developers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (EDANL) announced the winners of the province’s Economic Development Awards of Excellence during its Annual Conference and AGM yesterday. The awards were sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Six awards were presented in the following categories:

Marketing Project (Population under 3,000)
“Welcome to Pouch Cove” website – Town of Pouch Cove

Community Project (Population under 3,000)
SmartIce

Marketing Project (Population over 3,000)
“Live Local PCSP” – Chamber of Commerce Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

Community Project (Population over 3,000)
“Neighbourhood” – a Choices for Youth Social Enterprise

Economic Developer of the Year
Derek Butler, Executive Director – Association of Seafood Producers

President’s Award
Jeff Lawlor, Director of Economic Development, Marketing, and Communications – Town of Portugal Cove St. Philips

“Recognizing and celebrating excellence in Economic Development in Newfoundland and Labrador has never been more important. Economic Development can mean many things to many people, but it is the cumulative work and successes of those in our profession that shows the breadth and effect of our impact. We celebrate the amazing efforts being made in our province by our members and congratulate all nominees and award winners on their accomplishments.”
Jennifer Penney, EDANL President

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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For further information about the Awards of Excellence, please contact:

Jennifer Penney,
President, EDANL

jpenney@paradise.ca


BACKGROUNDER

Marketing Project (Population under 3,000)

“Welcome to Pouch Cove” website – Town of Pouch Cove

This award recognizes marketing initiatives, campaigns or materials used for attracting, retaining, and/or fostering economic or community development for communities with a population under 3,000. It rewards communities or organizations for using marketing and communications to make a positive social or economic contribution locally, regionally or provincially. The winner of the Marketing Project Award for Population under 3000 is the “Welcome to Pouch Cove” website. This winning project is one of the initial economic development and marketing efforts for a community that is attempting to position itself as progressive. A website was created to appeal to young professionals looking to live close to regional assets and amenities and equip real estate agents and developers with readily available information about the community.

Community Project (Population under 3,000)

SmartIce

This award recognizes a project that has had a major economic development impact in a community or region for populations under 3,000. It rewards such things as strategic planning, BR+E, placemaking, sector development, tourism, community involvement etc. The winner of the Community Project Award for (Population under 3000) is SmartIce. This internationally recognized social enterprise empowers indigenous communities to adapt to increasingly unpredictable ice conditions. It builds capacity within communities across the North, harnessing the vast potential of indigenous women and men, especially youth, to embrace science, technology, and traditional knowledge as a vehicle for sustainable employment, economic development and well being in communities.

Marketing Project (Population over 3,000)

“Live Local PCSP” – Chamber of Commerce Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

This award recognizes marketing initiatives, campaigns or materials used for attracting, retaining, and/or fostering economic or community development for communities with a population over 3,000. It rewards communities or organizations for using marketing and communications to make a positive social or economic contribution locally, regionally or provincially. The winner of the Marketing Project Award (for Populations over 3000) is the Chamber of Commerce Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s “Live Local PCSP” Website and Marketing Campaign. This project was developed to engage and educate residents on the benefits of supporting local, encouraging them to choose their community as first choice when shopping, and to provide a new platform for local businesses to be seen. Featuring in-depth information on businesses and attractions in the community, the resource is a way to increase digital presence of local businesses to support their recovery and growth during the COVID-19 crisis. Measurable results include number of users, views and sales and due to the overwhelming uptake, the scope has been expanded to include special events and places and has positively impacted a new local arts group.

Community Project (Population over 3,000)

“Neighbourhood” – a Choices for Youth Social Enterprise

This award recognizes a project that has had a major economic development impact in a community or region for populations over 3,000. It rewards such things as strategic planning, BR+E, placemaking, sector development, tourism, community involvement etc. The winner of the Community Project Award (for population over 3000) is “Neighbourhood”, a Choices for Youth Social Enterprise. The project’s primary goal is to provide valuable training and employment for youth 16-29 in a supportive space. While working at this social enterprise, young people have access to a dedicated training team that helps improve job skills and life skills, as well as help youth navigate systems and issues within their personal lives and are supported as they transition to mainstream employment opportunities or post-secondary education. The program employed 14 youth in 2020-21, equally approximately 10,000 employment hours and have sold over 26000 items. To be sustainability minded, the program works under a zero-waste mandate and diverts all unsellable items to be re-purposed into alternative textile items by another social enterprise operation.

Economic Developer of the Year

Derek Butler, Executive Director – Association of Seafood Producers

This award recognizes an Economic Development practitioner in Newfoundland and Labrador. It rewards excellence in the field of economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador, taking into consideration such things as extent of economic impact on community, region or province; business skills and leadership; relationship building and support; voluntary involvement; and positive impact on other economic development professionals. This year’s Economic Developer of the Year goes to Derek Butler, Executive Director of the Association of Seafood Producers. Derek Butler has lead this industry association for over 17 years, overseeing operations, board management, public policy, and industry, government, and media relations. He serves on a number of industry boards, provides input on effective public policy with organizations and all levels of government, strengthening key government relations and advocating on behalf of the organization’s members. His efforts have secured Canada’s first-ever Marine Stewardship Council certification, a third-party audit process that confirms to the market that our fisheries are sustainable. This individual has received recognition for promoting reform and sustainability in an industry that adds well over 1 billion dollars annually to the provincial economy, employing over 5000 people in 400 communities, and strives to ensure the industry continues to positively contribute to our economic sustainability and recovery.

President’s Award

Jeff Lawlor, Director of Economic Development, Marketing, and Communications – Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

This prestigious award, decided upon by EDANL’s President, recognizes the excellence, dedication, and impact of an economic development professional’s contribution to the community and the practice over the course of their career. This year’s President’s Award goes to Jeff Lawlor. Jeff is currently Director of Economic Development, Marketing, and Communications with the Town of Portugal Cove- St. Philip’s where he has: lead the implementation of a communication strategy; been instrumental in strategic planning and development plans; developed program and policies to support businesses and stakeholders; and has transformed what public engagement initiatives mean for the community. He has been a champion for the local Chamber of Commerce and has rolled out collaborative projects like the Business Directory and support page, and community projects such as the Best of PCSP Awards. With over 13 years in municipal economic development supporting, promoting, and growing the local economy, Jeff is well known as a community builder and facililator. He has participated on countless committees and working groups to enable economic growth throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Jeff is committed to the economic development profession, and his leadership and contributions towards EDANL have allowed it to become the self-sustaining organization that it is today.

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