GRAVENHURST - The town’s economic development and communications director vacancy has been filled.
IN THE DIRECTOR’S SEAT..
Renato Romanin was hired last week and started Monday, Jan. 28 as Gravenhurst’s new director of economic development and communications, taking over a post that has been vacant since early fall, 2012.
Photo by Neil Etienne
Hired just last week and already on the clock on Jan. 28, Renato Romanin, BA, Ec.D., has taken over the seat.
“After a bit of a hiatus for the position, we’re poised to move ahead now; I think it’s great news to have him on board,” said town CAO David Weldon, who welcomed Romanin into the fold and the town’s lead management team first thing Monday morning.
Romanin comes to Gravenhurst by way of Peterborough, where he held the same position for the past three years.
“Mr. Romanin brings over 25 years of progressive experience in economic development to the position,” said Mayor Paisley Donaldson. “He has the background and experience to position our economic development department to assist both new and existing businesses to successfully locate and expand in Gravenhurst, and to ensure that the municipality takes advantage of programs available to enhance the local business climate.”
Romanin has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and has received his Certified Economic Developer designation from the Economic Developers Association of Canada, with extensive background in advanced manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, technology commercialization and real estate sectors in urban, regional and rural settings.
“He is a passionate advocate of the proven CARE (Create, Attract, Retain and Expand) approach to economic development that mobilizes community strengths and assets to effectively improve the quality of place and standard of living of its residents,” Donaldson added.
Romanin and his wife will be moving to Gravenhurst shortly, while each of his two sons completes university. He said he’s thrilled to join in the staff with Gravenhurst, having done some summer cottaging in the area in the past.
“I am very familiar with how beautiful this place is in the warmer months, so I’m really looking forward to seeing all seasons,” he said. “This is certainly a new and exciting chapter in my career.”
Romanin said his general philosophy on economic development is to essentially stick with what a community does best.
“What I emphasize is building on what you have and your strengths,” he said. “A lot of talk in economic development is about trying to hit that big home run and land one major business to create jobs; but the way I see it, a lot of the growth will come from our existing businesses.
“I am eager to begin the challenge of engaging the community so together we can improve Gravenhurst and Muskoka as a pre-eminent place to do business,” he added.
Romanin takes over the post from Tony Rossi, the most recent to hold the job. Rossi and the town parted ways in mid-September of 2012, only a few months after he had taken over the job in May 2012. Prior to that the position had been vacant since April 2011.