© Nancy Kelly - kingscountynews.ca
Simon d’Entremont, deputy minister for the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, centre front, was joined by mayors, wardens and chief administrative officers from the Valley-area REN 3 collective in Kentville Aug. 22 to roll out a newly created recruitment package for the new group’s board of directors.
By Nancy Kelly
Partners in the Annapolis Valley’s new regional enterprise network (REN) were congratulated for being “the first out of the gate” at a stakeholders’ meeting Aug. 22 in Kentville.
Mayors, wardens and chief administrative officers from the 10-member collective gathered with representatives from the province’s Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism to roll out a recruitment package for the new group’s board of directors. The network, known as REN3, replaces the former Kings Regional Development Agency, which disbanded in June, and part of the territory of the Hants Regional Development Authority and the Annapolis/Digby Economic Development Agency
“Thank you for leading the way,” said deputy minister Simon d'Entremont, He added the Valley group’s experience in developing a recruitment package will be shared with RENs in other parts of the province.
“As early adopters you are helping set a precedent for how others will follow.”
D’Entremont said he hopes agreements between the partners and the province formalizing the new REN model will be signed in the near future. The province has earmarked $2.2 million for developing networks in six regions.
Developed by the liaison and oversight committee of REN 3, which is chaired by Berwick Mayor Don Clarke, the recruitment effort is focused on establishing a “business-driven board of directors,” capable of “building strong strategic relationships and founding a strong organizational framework.”
Ideal candidates will have skills and experience in a variety of areas, including business, industry, financial stewardship, law, human resources and communications.
The plan calls for the recruitment of people to fill nine positions on the volunteer board that reflect a balance in regional representation. Windsor’s chief administrative officer, Louis Coutinho, who sits on the liaison committee, said ideally Kings and West Hants would each field three members, one would represent the First Nations community and two would be recruited from Annapolis County.
“Even though Annapolis County and Annapolis Royal aren’t on board right now, we have Middleton and Bridgetown that need to be represented,” Coutinho pointed out.
Directorship applications can be obtained by contacting CAOs of any of the REN 3 partners, including the municipalities of Kings County and West Hants, the Glooscap First Nation and the towns of Windsor, Hantsport, Wolfville, Kentville, Berwick, Middleton and Bridgetown. The deadline to apply is Oct. 9.
A proposed timeline developed by the working group suggests having a governing board installed by the end of the year and strategic and business plans in place by next March, to be followed soon after by staffing of the organization.