Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer for the Municipality of Huron East was named recipient of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario’s (EDCO) most prestigious award, the “Joseph A. Montgomery Economic Development Achievement Award”, presented at the President’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony on February 6 in Toronto. The evening concluded the 63rd Annual EDCO Conference and Showcase.
The award is presented annually to a leader in the economic development profession to celebrate his or her significant contribution to the profession based on their demonstration of the following:
- a strong role in projects/initiatives with substantive impact on their community;
- employed a partnership approach to build effective relationships/collaboration with diverse stakeholder groups (e.g. levels of government, businesses, academia and the community);
- demonstrated effects of the economic development profession.
I’m truly honoured to have been recognized for my work in the economic development field since taking on the role as the Municipality of Huron East’s EDO almost 12 years ago. To be selected by industry leaders for this prestigious award is extremely humbling; however, this isn’t just about myself. I’ve had an amazing team supporting my efforts since day one, and couldn’t have accomplished as much as I have without their support. I can honestly say, this is one of the highlights of my career; however, I anticipate there is still more to come!Jan Hawley, Huron East Economic Development Officer
Huron East, Seaforth BIA & Edifice Studios win for Downtown – The Making of Seaforth is Welcoming You
Q. Regarding the award for the Downtown video — can you talk about the reaction to the video and how it has helped the municipality?
When I first approached Chris Cooper, Executive Producer of Rediscovering Canada Television about producing a video to promote Seaforth’s Downtown for a marketing campaign showcasing its businesses during the upcoming road construction, it was strictly that; however, as we started to develop the storyline for the video, more people expressed an interest to come on broad. As a result, something magical happened. I believe it rallied the entire community, and even attracted people from further away to be part of the production.
To date, there have been over 140,000+ views of the video from across Canada and beyond its borders through Facebook and streaming on Rediscovering Canada Television.
This was reinforced by the feedback received from the EDCO judges regarding the “Making of Downtown….Seaforth is Welcoming You” submission: (see below)
- A strong submission with creative concept that appears to be very well executed.
- Good use of social media and high levels of professionalism.
This has now opened the door for the launch of other productions through the Huron East Economic Development Department, including the recent video of the former RCAF Base or Secret Base, known as the Village of Vanastra. This is to be submitted for a National Award in April.
The Downtown Seaforth Video was a partnership between the Municipality of Huron East, the Seaforth BIA, and Rediscovering Canada Television (Edifice Studios).
Q. What does the recognition mean for Huron East?
I feel the positive exposure provided to the municipality as a result of these two awards will pay dividends for the community, as a whole. If people didn’t know about us before, they do NOW!
Huron East, although smaller than most in population (9,500) and area, has shown it can stand shoulder to shoulder with those from across the province, who have significantly larger budgets and a much bigger pool of resources to access. To have been honoured alongside counties and cities with populations in the hundreds of thousands is very gratifying. I always like to say, “Small is Beautiful”.