When I started in Economic Development, it became clear that this career was going to involve a wide variety of projects. Building a network of peers that had experience in various projects was very important. EDAM has allowed me to develop that network of contacts that I can call on for information and experience. The networking, combined with the training opportunities offered at the Forums are a valued resource for me and anyone else working in the field.
Networking and gaining a provincial perspective has been invaluable to me in my position. Being on the board and participating in projects / seminars that EDAM has been involved in has enabled me to have a wide network of individuals to call on in a wide variety of topics. Learning from my peers has been one of the biggest advantage of being an EDAM member.
When I arrived in Manitoba, EDAM was the best way for me to become a part of the economic development network. EDAM’s membership has a remarkable mix of experience and expertise that they are willing to share. Practical help is only a call away. The welcoming support I received and the relationships created by being a part of EDAM are invaluable to my work as an EDO. Thanks EDAM!
Anna W. Mondor
When I started my career as Economic Development Officer I was very glad to join EDAM and to be part of an invaluable network with other economic development practitioners across Manitoba. EDAM has helped me to gain greater understanding of economic development through my colleagues and fellow members. It is a great place to be part of — I would recommend it to everybody in a heartbeat.
When I was first hired in the field of economic development, it was as the executive director of the Town of Dauphin (then Town, now City) economic development department. It was a very lonely position. The RDC’s existed and met regularly, but they were a closed group; and what is now known as CF Manitoba was just being formed to serve the needs of Community Futures. As a community development officer in 1993, there were not even a handful of us in all of Manitoba. And you pretty well worked in a vacuum. No internet back then. I have always believed that Economic Development is not a competition, but rather doing the best with what you have – what are your strengths and how do you build on them, and what are your weaknesses and how do you deal with these (basically SWOT analysis). As such, I am not in completion with Brandon, Flin Flon, Winnipeg, Selkirk or anyone else. My opportunities and challenges are my own. I also believed that my community could only grow if the region grew, and if Manitoba grew. Growth, unless it is resource exploitation, seldom happens in isolation. So the more of us doing economic development in Manitoba, meant that there should be more opportunities for my community; the more I was connected to the development world and government, the more sharing and generation of opportunities. The more I could learn and share, the better I could do my work. EDAM gives me opportunities to learn, to mentor, to gain knowledge, to network, to be connected. Yes to be connected – and it is really interesting to me that this is what the internet, cell phones, emails, blogs, Facebook and all the new social media offers everyone today. As a community developer, I could do more, do it better and be more successful. Lofty goals for EDAM, but I think it has been mostly successful.
As a new Economic Development Officer out of University, I didn’t have an EDO manual to look things up in, I didn’t have a contact base of other EDO’s, and I certainly didn’t know the industry at all. Then I went to some EDAM events, and things started to fall into place. Instantly I had a huge network of contacts across the province to ask advice from. I had fellow EDO’s that have “been there, done that” and became my “manual” for information. Taking part in EDAM functions has led to many insightful and beneficial relationships that continue to this day. The learning, networking, and sharing events that EDAM puts on cannot be found anywhere else in the province. Each EDAM member brings their own strengths to the association, and sharing those strengths leads to stronger communities across our province. I have also had the privilege to serve on the EDAM Board of Directors, and they continually strive to bring value, relevance, opportunities and knowledge to the people involved in creating stronger and more vibrant communities. As long as I am in the field of Economic Development I will be an EDAM member.
Being a member of EDAM is so much fun. The organization hosts Fall Forums that are engaging and interesting. Being new to the profession, it was so helpful having a team of experienced EDO’s to turn to when I needed further information about a particular subject or project. The EDAM executive and Shelley and her team make it easy to stay informed and connected.
I was introduced to EDAM about 10 years ago and the purpose was to develop a network of peers in the economic development profession and learn. Needless to say, it is been an evolving and challenging field to work in. Without the support from an organization like EDAM, my professional development would have been difficult to achieve. EDAM has given me the opportunity to see how others grow and what obstacles they face. Equally important is the fellowship that has evolved that has helped me deal with my day-to-day activities. Whether you are from an urban or rural setting, our challenges remain the same. It is the people you will meet and collaborate with that will help you grow, from those who have the experience to those who have the new and invigorating ideas. These are the people of the Economic Development Association of Manitoba.
During the past 10 years as a Financial Business Advisor and a member and board member of the Economic Developers Association of Manitoba (EDAM), the organization has allowed me to meet individuals that work in the same field as I do. The Association has given me the opportunity to connect with Economic Development Officers, both federal and provincial government representatives, municipal representatives and other economic developers to share best practices and exchange ideas to better the sustainability of our communities. Being a member of EDAM provides me with a network and a link with the economic development profession across Canada.