KINGSTON – The Ontario East Economic Development Commission has named Ann Weir the BDC Ontario Economic Development Officer of the Year.
Kevin Coleman, of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), presented the award at the opening ceremonies of the annual Ontario East Municipal Conference (OEMC) at Kingston’s Ambassador Hotel Wednesday. Ms. Weir is the Manager of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office.
“I’m very honoured to receive this award. It was a complete surprise,” Ms. Weir said. “I want to share it with my team, Deanna Clark and Joanne Poll, and with thanks to a supportive Counties Council, our member municipalities and their committees.”
The BDC Ontario East Economic Developer of the Year Award is presented annually to an economic developer based in eastern Ontario who has provided exceptional performance in his or her community and contributed to the advancement of the economic development profession.
“Ann has many achievements in economic development and success in facilitating tourism investment, a strategic priority for Eastern Ontario,” said Rita Byvelds, Team Lead with the Ministry of Economic Development & Growth; Research, Innovation and Science. Ms. Byvelds submitted the nomination. She noted Ms. Weir was instrumental in bringing Europe’s le Boat to the Rideau Canal and securing a $16-million investment to the region. Le Boat is Europe’s largest operator of self-drive boating vacations.
“Ann believes in collaboration and teamwork and I know she would want to attribute the successes to the leadership of the United Counties, her colleagues, her counterparts and volunteers across the region and Ontario East, and to Noreen Cartwright at the Ministry of Tourism,” Ms. Byvelds said.
Among her many achievements, Ms. Weir was involved in securing the 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Giant Tiger Distribution Centre in the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal, which is opening in 2018. She has helped many businesses launch or expand in Leeds Grenville, including King’s Lock Craft Distillery, Windmill Brewery, Canadian Rail Equipment Works and Services (CREWS) and Advonex International, which recently held its grand opening in the Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley.
In 2015, Ms. Weir helped launch the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail, a tourism driver. This year the Garden Trail was selected to be on the esteemed “Canada 150 Garden Experience” list.
Ontario East President Dan Borowec congratulated Ms. Weir for her dedication and successes in economic development both in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and across Eastern Ontario.
About Ontario East and the OEMC:
The Ontario East Economic Development Commission is a regional organization promoting Eastern Ontario as a prime location for investment, representing more than 200 communities and two million residents. Established in 1989, the Ontario East Municipal Conference has developed into the largest annual regional municipal conference east of Toronto. For more information visit www.oemc.ca.