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President’s Message: Reporting on the 2018 EDAC Conference

NOTE: This event has already taken place.

From September 8th – 11th, EDANL board members Jennifer Penney, Jeff Lawlor, and I had the opportunity to attend the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) 50th Annual Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It did not disappoint! The conference kicked off on Saturday evening in the formal and beautiful surroundings of Government House. We were graciously welcomed to the conference by the EDAC executive and made good use of our time to explore the historic building and network with lots of economic development practitioners in attendance.

Sunday had many inspiring sessions but a key element of Sunday’s schedule was the EDAC board meeting which I attended. Incoming EDAC President, Gerry Gabinet from Strathcona County, Alberta referenced EDANL specifically in his opening welcome and congratulated us on the remarkable year we are having. I was glad to see that our work is being seen and recognized at a national level.

There were more thought provoking sessions on Monday, but an early morning start involving the unofficial AGM for the East Coast Economic Developers Association dominated discourse among conference attendees from the Atlantic Canada provinces. Five candidates were nominated to be the caretaker board and begin preparing for the formal incorporation of this fledgling organization. They were:

I shall be close to the organization’s inception and will work to insure there is no duplication of efforts and the interests of EDANL are not adversely affected by the formation of this regional practitioner network.

The EDAC Marketing awards were held on the final day of the conference, unfortunately no winners from Newfoundland & Labrador but EDANL members should always look to participate in this and showcase your marketing efforts on a national scale! The conference ended with the President’s Dinner on Tuesday evening. A full house was in attendance to acknowledge the incoming EDAC President, new board and many EDAC award winners.

I can’t recommend EDAC conference attendance to our membership enough, the networking opportunities are second to none. The sessions are led by our profession’s best and brightest. So hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to come to EDAC’s 2019 Annual Conference in Edmonton, AB next September!

Ross Houlihan
EDANL President


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