New Economic Development Corporation Moving Forward in 2016

By: Gerry Remers, CEO Christie Digital Systems Canada and Chair of the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors

Economic development will be receiving a new stimulus in the coming months, as the new CEO of the WREDC makes his move from Toronto to Waterloo Region. The WREDC Board has worked diligently over the past six months to identify and hire someone with significant strengths in economic development. We are extremely pleased to announce that Tony La Mantia has accepted the position.

The Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation was formally incorporated this past summer – with bylaws and MOU’s in place between the eight municipalities (Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, Woolwich and the Region) and the corporation. We hired Odgers Berndtson to undertake our CEO search last July. They received over 200 applications for the role, interviewed 50 applicants and narrowed down the list to 11 very qualified candidates. Our CEO search committee, lead by Charlie Cipolla, conducted in- person interviews with 6 of these candidates and narrowed the field down to the top 3 for the final stage – in which the candidates presented their action plan for their first 6 months at the helm of WREDC. Tony’s very strong background in economic development, his extensive government and business contacts and his superior interpersonal skills won him the role.

Tony’s career spans more than 25 years of experience in large public sector organizations as well as private sector growth-oriented companies. He is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister, Investment & Industry Division for the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. He has helped lead the Ministry in both attracting investment to the Province and in working with industry and regional stakeholders to grow existing anchor companies including Cisco, Open Text, Toyota, and Ford. Tony has held responsibility for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund and the new Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, which support local businesses in Ontario. His private sector experience includes executive-level roles with innovative and entrepreneurial companies in the technology and mining sectors.

Tony also has a strong personal connection to the region. He is a proud graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Honours BA, Coop program and has played an active role in mentoring and employing students. His start date is January 4th, 2016.

As a side-note, Canada’s Technology Triangle will officially wind down its operation at the end of calendar 2015. WREDC will be taking over the current location and lease and will continue working with the core CTT business development team. Jane Black, a WREDC board member, very graciously accepted an interim volunteer CAO role with WREDC to ensure we have as smooth a transition to the new corporation as possible. The board is looking forward to working with Tony in the coming years to continue to accelerate our Region’s economic prosperity.

Originally published in the January|February 2016 edition of the Advocate