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Profile: Economic Development Winnipeg

Article by TEN Staff December 7, 2016 Profile

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Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) is steering a fresh course under the direction of president and CEO Dayna Spiring. Since taking the helm in March, Spiring has advocated a targeted approach that focuses EDW's efforts to maximize results. EDW is the lead economic development agency for Winnipeg. It also encompasses YES! Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg. EDW facilitates investment promotion and attraction, capacity building and the management of market data.

YES! Winnipeg leads global investment attraction, local business retention and expansion, and job creation. Tourism Winnipeg's mission is to facilitate a healthy, prosperous, responsible and fully integrated tourism industry that enhances the city's economic growth and showcases what Winnipeg has to offer.

A champion of the arts, cultural and business communities, Spiring - formerly chief strategy officer for the Canadian Wheat Board - is excited about her role in promoting the city. "I'm a passionate Winnipegger, and I've been very fortunate to have had an incredible career here," she says. "At EDW, I really feel like I have an opportunity to shape our city's growth."

Spiring is working with city and provincial governments, business and industry to create new opportunities and to capitalize on existing assets. There are incredible Winnipeg stories to tell, and one of EDW's objectives is to ensure Winnipeggers and people across the country know what the city offers.

Globally, Winnipeg stands out among roughly 400 competing jurisdictions as one of the Top7 Intelligent Communities of the Year for 2016, a designation bestowed on smart, innovative cities by the Intelligent Community Forum, a New York-based think tank. It's the second time the city has been so honoured. "That may come as a surprise to some, but I think people should know Winnipeg is on the cutting edge of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence and composite materials," Spiring says.

The city is the largest aerospace centre in Western Canada, and its creative and entrepreneurial culture is epitomized by startups like SkipTheDishes - which developed a proprietary algorithm to provide better food delivery - and New Flyer Industries, an established market leader making best-in-class electric buses that can run for 20 hours on a single charge.

"Those are amazing stories, but many people aren't aware things like this are happening right here in Winnipeg," she says. "These are stories we should tell."

One way to equip people with such stories is through EDW's recently launched mywinnipeg.ca website, which provides information about new developments in infrastructure, tourism, hospitality, events, and national and international media coverage. The concept is simple: The more we tell our story, the more successful we'll be. Spiring encourages all Winnipeggers - particularly the business community - to become ambassadors for the city.

"Mywinnipeg.ca provides a cheat sheet that says, 'Here are the great things happening in Winnipeg right now,' " she says. "So when you're in the Air Canada lounge at Toronto's Pearson airport, I want you to use it to talk about the amazing things going on here."

"An ambassador is a cheerleader, and one of my biggest roles as EDW's president and CEO is to be a cheerleader. I want people to go out and talk about all the great things Winnipeg offers visitors and investors. I want people to say, 'I choose to live here. I love this city. Now here's what I want you to know about it.' "

For more information on Economic Development Winnipeg, visit: http://economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com

Want to meet Dayna and her team? You'll find them at a TEN Event