Wood Buffalo Economic Development

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News Release

Wood Buffalo Economic Development announces small business recovery programming

(Fort McMurray, AB – July 12, 2018) – Small business recovery remains a priority for the Municipality as Wood Buffalo Economic Development (WBED) commits to provide continued programing and new initiatives through the Support to Small Business Program.

WBED launches three Support to Small Business Program initiatives:

  1. Keyano College Voucher Program – Eligible recipients of the Canadian Red Cross Support to Small Business Program can qualify for a $500 voucher to be used at Keyano College towards non-credit or certificate courses.
  2. Business Coaching Program – Eligible recipients of the Canadian Red Cross Support to Small Business Program can qualify for one-on-one coaching and advice from a professional Certified Management Consultant (CMC).
  3. Business Resource Centre, Group Programming – The Business Resource Centre will continue to offer free group programming in the form of workshops and seminars on topics relevant to local businesses and social profits. Events are open to the public.

Programming is made possible through grant funding provided by the Canadian Red Cross in support of WBED small business recovery efforts following the 2016 Horse River Wildfire.

More information on the Wood Buffalo Economic Development/Business Development Centre and the Support to Small Business Program can be found here: http://www.choosewoodbuffalo.ca/  

Media inquiries:

media@rmwb.ca

Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation Inaugural Board

 A powerful and influential force for the Region

(Fort McMurray, AB – July 10, 2018) – Council approved appointments to the inaugural Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation.

Gregg Saretsky, former President and Chief Executive Officer, WestJet has accepted the inaugural role of Chair of the Board.

“Mr. Saretsky’s strong leadership and innovative approach will provide a positive foundation for the important work ahead,” said Mayor Don Scott. “The calibre of Board Members that we have attracted is a testament to the diligent work of the Economic Development Task Force. We are at a defining moment in our history as a region. I am confident that an independent economic development corporation will provide the flexibility needed to encourage broad economic interest in our community.”

“I am delighted to be joining the inaugural board of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation as its Chair and look forward to the exciting opportunities we have ahead of us to promote the region and develop new business interests,” said Mr. Saretsky.

The Economic Development Task Force worked diligently to engage leaders from a broad spectrum of business and community interests. The new Board includes seven local members and three from across the province.

Gregg Saretsky – Chairman of the Board

  • Born and raised in Montreal, Gregg grew up in Quebec and British Columbia, graduating from UBC with a BSc in Microbiology and a MBA
  • 2010-2018 WestJet President and Chief Executive Officer
  • 2012 Alberta’s Business Person of the Year by Alberta Venture magazine
  • Top New CEO of the Year for 2013 by Canadian Business Magazine, an award bestowed on a CEO who has transformed his company within the first five years of his appointment
  • 2014 Gregg received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Concordia University
  • 2015 Recipient of the David Foster Foundation Visionary Award as Canada’s National Business Leader

Local Board members

Doug Allen – CEO Guthrie Group of Companies

Andrew Boutilier – Vice President Fort McMurray Region Ceda International

Doreen Cole – Managing Director, Syncrude Canada

Dan Fouts – Business Owner, Stony Valley Contracting Ltd.

Kristi Hines – Founder & Director – Hines Health Services Inc.

Ron Quintal – President of the Fort McKay Metis / Fort McKay Metis Group

RJ Steenstra – President & CEO Fort McMurray Airport Authority

Board members from other parts of Alberta

James Rajotte

  • Vice President Provincial & Municipal Government Rogers Communications
  • Retired Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Leduc after serving 15 years.  While MP, James served as Chair of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance and Chaired the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

 Timothy Grant

  • Executive in Residence, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta
  • Retired Major-General, Canadian Forces having completed operational tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Tim eventually led the Canadian Forces during the Afghanistan war.
  • Former Deputy Minister Transportation Province of Alberta
  • Former Deputy Solicitor General Province of Alberta

Media inquiries:

media@rmwb.ca