On behalf of Economic Developers Alberta, I would like to wish you, our members, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks to your support, 2013 was a productive year.
EDA had many highlights in 2013. We responded quickly to the worst flood in the province’s history recognizing there are serious economic impacts resulting from a natural disaster such as this. Our Economic Disaster Recovery Project (EDRP) is well underway to providing recommendations to flood impacted communities on how to recover from a natural disaster and how to put recovery plans in place should this type of disaster, or any other economic interruption, happen again. I have been very impressed by the dedication of the project volunteers as well as the community leaders who hosted productive meetings and tours. Thank you all.
EDA’s newest project AlbertaBusinessCounts will prove to be very useful to economic development professionals in the province. This is software designed to store and analyze data on existing industries in Alberta communities. A special licensing agreement enables EDA to make this software available to economic development organizations.
EDA also offered several professional development opportunities in 2013. From our unique “Lunchinar Program;” to Webinars on a variety of topics; to our trainers crossing the province to conduct our Community Economic Development Training Program (CEDTP); a highlight was taking our CEDTP courses online through the University of Calgary. We have already offered Economic Development Establishing the Foundation on-line twice. Our Business Retention and Expansion course is being held in January with more online courses to follow shortly.
Our 2013 Annual Conference and AGM in Kananaskis was once again a huge success with over 300 delegates from across North America. We are excited about the 2014 Conference, as EDA will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary. Join us as we celebrate "Promoting Commitment, Community and Collaboration for 40 Years."
We plan to build on these successes and look forward to enhancing your economic development profession further in 2014.
-Richard Pauls, EDA President