Billings hires economic development officer

Kagawong

KAGAWONG—The new economic development officer for Billings is going to be familiar to most residents. Todd Gordon, who was officially hired by Billings council at a  meeting last week, is originally from Kagawong.

“I am looking forward to it. I think there is a need for more economic development on the Island. It’s too bad municipalities don’t have more economic development people in place,” Mr. Gordon told the Recorder last Friday.

Previous to this job posting Mr. Gordon had been working with Waubetek Business Development Corporation (WBDC). “I left there at the end of April (2016); I had been on a contract there,” he said, noting for several years he has also had a consulting business.

“Before I came back to the Island I had been doing consulting work for 10 years,” said Mr. Gordon. “When I was interviewed for the job as EDO, I indicated I hadn’t gone through the conventional background for an economic development officer—with a certificate—but I do come with past experience working for the Northern Ontario Aquaculture Association (NOAA) and Waubetek. This experience is a good combination to go into a job like this.”

With his previous job experience (and being a Haweater as well), “I’m fortunate because I know a lot of people on the Island. You do develop quite a number of contacts over time.”

As Billings’ EDO, some of Mr. Gordon’s responsibilities will include overseeing the waterfront capital project, develop an incubator and incentive program for businesses, work with regional partners to implement economic development initiatives, create new culture and arts that will attract tourists from other areas, implement other priorities from the Billings Strategic Plan, implement economic initiatives for tourism and promote and foster economic development to stimulate employment growth  in the community.