2020 is going to be a great year for the Greater Regina Area! That’s my fearless prediction, and I’m sticking to it. It’s easy to be optimistic when you see your community eagerly embracing the future and talking about how we can make it better for everyone who lives here. It has been our privilege to be the lead agency in working with the City of Regina, to discuss and consult with stakeholders across Regina to build a consensus for an Economic Growth Plan for our city. We continue to gather research and to condense all that we have learned about our aspirations for the future. The internal phase of this project will soon be completed for final approval and recommendation by our board, and it will then be brought before city council.
Stay tuned and keep Thinking BIG!
Conexus CEO says partnerships are key to economic development
By Bruce Johnstone
As a locally owned and controlled financial institution, Conexus Credit Union sees its role in the community as a catalyst and collaborator, says Eric Dillon, CEO of Conexus Credit Union.
“We’ve been around for almost 90 years now,’’ Dillon said, referring to Conexus’s beginnings as Regina Co-operative Savings and Credit Union in 1937 and Sherwood Savings and Credit Union in 1945. Conexus, the province’s largest credit union and sixth-largest in Canada, was formed from the merger of Sherwood and credit unions in Moose Jaw and Assiniboia in 2003.
“The most successful projects we’ve participated in … are where there are broad partnerships in our community …, where organizations give of their time, their expertise and their resources,’’ Dillon said in a recent interview for Think BIG Regina.
Dillon, who became CEO of Conexus in October 2011 after three years as a senior executive with Servus Credit Union, Alberta’s largest credit union and the second-largest in Canada, says partnerships are critical to making economic development happen.
“Getting really smart people in a room thinking about how we can create the next economic roadmap for our city and having people participating with time, money and energy, we believe, is going to get a much better outcome.’’
“We just think it becomes a more diverse group, with more engagement and more people committed to helping to move the needle.’’
That’s why Conexus is getting on board with Economic Development Regina’s Investment Partnership program, which will contribute more than $1 million to fund EDR initiatives, like the Regina Advantage campaign.
Supporting EDR through the ‘IP’ program enables organizations, like Conexus, to bring people together to create new business opportunities and jobs for Regina and area, he said.
“I think (participating in the ‘IP’ program) is the right thing to do. I think it also shows that people have confidence in EDR’s ability to act as a kind of conduit or catalyst, which I think is really important.’’
Conexus itself is playing a major role in promoting economic development, Dillon said, citing the new $30-million Conexus Venture Capital Fund and the Cultivator business incubator, which will be housed in the new Conexus head office building.
The 80,000-square-foot building will house about 200 Conexus head office staff in 55,000-square feet of space, as well as 15,000 square feet of business incubator space and 10,000 square feet for future growth.
So in many respects, Dillon says EDR and Conexus play complementary roles in helping economic development and growth happen.
“We’ve got the financial resources; we’ve got really smart people that work at Conexus. We’re just showing that, almost like EDR, we have a facilitation role to play.”
Be Your Own Paparazzi
Call out for photos! Tourism Regina is always seeking out new content to use across our social channels and on our print collateral. Have you recently had professional images taken at an event/ your business and are willing to share them with us? Email Sarah Pilon, Marketing Manager at email@example.com
(Photo courtesy of Jack Tunnicliffe, Java Post Productions)
Investment Partners Corner
EDR is very fortunate to work with some committed companies and organizations who are prepared to invest directly in the future growth of Regina by joining us as Investment Partners. Our 23 partners are providing over $300 thousand per year towards our key priorities.
We thought it might be useful to let some of them tell you why they do it. We will feature a statement from one or two each month.
"When you’re investing in your community – whether it’s in health care or job creation or education – all of those things benefit your community. If EDR can help existing businesses to grow or make it an exciting place for new companies to consider living in, then we’re all doing our job.’’
-Bruce Axelson, Capital Automotive Group
"We know it’s the right thing to do and we know it makes sense. So, it makes sense for Ascent to be at the table and commit to that investment, it’s hard to think of organizations that it wouldn’t make sense for.”
-Jeff Boutilier, Ascent Management
January is Full of Life
It’s amazing how much is always going on in our city. Beer, bacon, choirs, hockey, and art, to name a few. Tourism Regina has put it all in one place for you with their January Events Calendar.
Check it out here.