Fresh Faces at the Western REN

Two new directors, and a new executive. That’s a part of what was announced, Tuesday, at the Western Regional Enterprise Network (Western REN) 4th Annual General Meeting.

Much of the Western REN’s success is due to the strengths on its Board of Directors. Appointed from the private sector only, this Board provides strategic direction to the organization, while leaving operational decisions to the CEO.

Directors are appointed, not elected, by the Liaison and Oversight Committee (LOC) which is comprised of the organization’s funding partners. This includes an elected representative from each of the seven municipal members, and two representatives from the Province of Nova Scotia.

Digby Warden and LOC Vice-Chair Jimmy MacAlpine presented the LOC report and appointment decisions at the AGM. “Building an effective Board is a solid example of strengthening relationships across the region. To get the most effective Board, the LOC considers required skill sets, geographic representation, gender, age, and cultural background. We work together to recruit regionally.”

Since it’s incorporation, the Western REN has had stable and growing Board of Directors. At the inclusion of Barrington Municipality, the Board grew from 9 to 12 Directors. Now three of the inaugural Directors have served their final permissible term. At time of print, two of those vacancies have been filled and the LOC is targeting its recruitment in Clare for the final seat.

Nick d'Eon 2018

Nick d’Eon

Mary Thompson 2018

Mary Thompson

Outgoing Board Chair, Warner Comeau, will be staying on as a director and welcomed the new Directors; Mary Thompson, Principal NSCC Burridge, Shelburne, and Digby campuses, and Nick d’Eon CFO for O’Neil Fisheries and Scotia Harvest.

“The inaugural Board has worked hard and very well to establish the Western REN as a leader among RENs in Nova Scotia and I speak for the rest of the Board when I say thank you to those who are leaving.” says Comeau, “And to those coming on Board. We are pleased with the LOC appointments. Each of these people has needed strengths and perspectives that will be an asset to our team.”

Ron Smith 2018

Incoming Board Chair Ron Smith

Incoming Board Chair, Ron Smith, echoes Comeau’s sentiments. “As this is the final year of our initial strategy, it is also good timing to have some new perspectives on the Board. We look forward to putting Mary’s and Nick’s skills to work – along with the rest of the Board and our many stakeholders and partners – as we develop our next three-year strategy for regional economic development.” Smith will be working with the new Vice-Chair, Clark Sigfridson to lead the organization to continued regional successes.

CEO LeBlanc reported on the current Business Plan and pointed out that “the momentum gained in our foundational work will be at the heart of our next strategy. We are looking forward to working with this Board and our partners in developing and implementing the next stage of our work.”

The Western REN informs, connects, and accelerates regional economic development in the Municipalities of Argyle, Barrington, Clare, Digby, and Yarmouth, and in the Towns of Digby and Yarmouth.

Directors leaving the Board after the 2018 AGM:

  • Michel Comeau
  • Angela Lombard-Thurber
  • David Saxton