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A message from Bill Spenceley - Outgoing Board Chair

Mar 24, 2018
Trevor Lewington
It’s an exciting time to be a part of Lethbridge. In fact, you could say the city is a pretty happening place -  a strong community, that’s getting stronger each year, with plenty of opportunity for business and industry to thrive, grow and succeed.

In the past year, Economic Development Lethbridge supported some major projects, the most notable of which was the Irving-owned Cavendish Farms groundbreaking in September for a new $360-million frozen potato-processing plant in Lethbridge. The company expects that plant to be completed by the fall of 2019 and at the height of construction, it is anticipated there will be 400 construction workers on-site and 750,000 person hours of work.

We are also gaining critical mass in the agri-food industry, which is a major growth sector for the community, and our work to grow this industry is in line with our goal of diversifying the economy.

We are creating in the community, the environment that will lay the foundation for business and industry to develop and reach their potential as we aspire to lead the way in agri-food. 

A great example of working together to build a solid foundation is the Team Lethbridge initiative. In November, Team Lethbridge headed to Edmonton on its fifth mission with approximately 50 representatives from 19 community organizations. The team was able to meet with 15 ministries in 2017 to hear more about the provincial government’s priorities and key programs. Team Lethbridge continues to represent a group of community leaders interested in raising awareness of how the city of Lethbridge contributes to the province and how we can work with our government representatives to support long-term success for Alberta.

This was the first time I was able to attend and represent Lethbridge on this mission. It was a great networking opportunity and it was evident during government meetings that we had a real power group of influential individuals on the mission. But, the power is truly found by people working together, with one collective voice, to share information related to the key priorities of our community.  Having an audience with senior government officials as well as members of the Opposition built connections that will benefit Lethbridge for years to come.

One of my highlights of the past year was being able to work with the solid team at Economic Development Lethbridge. I saw first-hand how effective this team can be and how the organization continues to work with a spirit of collaboration and an emphasis on partnerships.

It has also been fascinating to watch the brand strategy come to life. EDL has been able to lead some extensive research to discover the unique experience of living in Lethbridge for people. There have been several opportunities for the community to engage through surveys, engagement sessions and online feedback.

It’s exciting to see the brand story and visuals take shape as we share our story in the community, the province and in Canada. I encourage people to visit to provide feedback into the brand essence and visual directions that are unfolding.

A great brand should give you an immediate sense of the experience of the community and this has been reflected in the past year in the efforts by Economic Development Lethbridge to ensure the process is an outcome of authentic community experience and dialogue.

Our story is a simple one. It’s an exciting time for Lethbridge as the community and the economy grow. And Lethbridge truly is a bright community that I’m proud to call home.

- Written for the Lethbdige Herald (March 2018)

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