EDCO Regional Economic Development Professional Development Event

Earn 3 Economic Development Certification Points for Attending!

Eastern Region

Venture 13 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre

739 D'Arcy Street, Cobourg

Wednesday, October 18, 2023



8:30 AM       Registration & Networking

9:00 AM       Welcome

9:15 AM       Workforce Development - Microcredentialling Practices

This module will begin with a hands-on session that examines microcredentialling offered by post-secondary institutions and provides you with an action plan to enhance workforce productivity.

Speaker Profiles:

Mike Miller, Loyalist College & Rachel Sumner, Ontario Tech Talent

Mike Miller is a Community Engagement and Business Development Advisor at Loyalist College. Mike has extensive experience in the higher education, alternative dispute resolution, information technology and financial industries.

Rachel Sumner is the Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Tech TALENT a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of Ontario Tech University. She leads TALENT’s strategy and its exceptional team to deliver on their vision to transform the workforce for the digital age. Leveraging workforce planning and development strategies, TALENT works in regulated industries to build workforce capacity and capability, competency by competency using rapid cycle training known as microcredentials.

10:15 AM     Workforce Development - Improving the employability of underemployed people

The unique Elevate Plus program will be featured as a program to improve the employability of underemployed people.

Speaker Profiles:

Mike Hewitt, Quinte Economic Development Commission 

Mike spent twenty years in the chemical industry in Canada and the US before taking the Manufacturing Resource Centre job with Quinte Economic Development Commission in 2008. For the last 15 years Mike has been responsible for supporting the Bay of Quinte Region’s 110+ manufacturers by accessing programs, facilitating interactions between manufacturers and with other organizations, supporting workforce, productivity and sustainability initiatives and actively representing the manufacturing sector at numerous local and regional organizations. Mike’s passion for workforce development has seen him as the project lead on the Elevate Plus workforce development program since 2016.

10:30 AM     Networking Break

11:15 AM     Creative Community Spaces

The way in which we live, work and play in urban spaces is changing. This module will examine Downtown Kingston's dynamic outdoor community spaces that have been designed for people to meet, work, relax and interact. The film and television industry is rapidly growing with significant economic impact to communities offering locations, products and services. This module will further explore this unique sector and how communities can be film-friendly when production companies come to create their next project.

Speaker Profile:

Marijo Cuerrier, Downtown Kingston BIA & Eileen Kennedy, Invest Durham/Film Durham

Marijo Cuerrier has 20 years of experience in creating packages and destination experiences for the tourism market in Ontario. Prior to entering into the world of Business Improvement Areas, Marijo worked on the marketing team that helped Ste. Anne’s Spa, a popular destination spa 90 minutes outside of Toronto, grow from a small country inn to one of the top spas in Canada.

Eileen Kennedy is a seasoned film commissioner, sector development officer and award-winning marketing professional with private sector experience, bringing extensive knowledge of the film industry and advertising excellence. Over the past 10 years, she has worked passionately to create and develop the “Film Durham” brand to support this industry while promoting its unique locations, production services and studios to domestic and international clients. 

12:15 PM       Lunch Break & Networking

1:15 PM       Indigenous Economic Development - Raising Awareness and Tourism Kingston Case Study

Economic development practitioners are looking for ways to engage with Indigenous communities and include them in program development.  This module reviews Indigenous community engagement and profiles Tourism Kingston initiatives, specifically Kingstonlicious and the Katarokwi Indigenous Art and Food Market, that integrate Indigenous cuisine and culture into tourism experiences.

Speaker Profiles:

Scott Berry, Insight Strategies & Alison Migneault, Tourism Kingston

Scott Berry has over two decades of experience in the health, environment, energy, and government sectors working as a communications practitioner supporting corporate communications, community stakeholder engagement and Indigenous Relations. Working with Indigenous communities, he has successfully led meaningful engagement, cultural learning, and respectful actions towards reconciliation. He is the owner of Insight Strategies and currently works at Northumberland County executing communication strategies on major capital projects and Indigenous Relations.

Alison Migneault, Director of Marketing and Communications at Tourism Kingston, is an accomplished marketing and communications professional with nearly two decades in the industry. She is responsible for guiding Kingston’s leisure marketing portfolio, stewarding the Kingston brand, and developing and leading special projects. Before joining Tourism Kingston, she held a senior marketing role with Queen’s University for a decade. Alison’s work has been recognized with 25+ national and international awards.

2:15 PM       Networking Break

2:30 PM       Current and Future Trends in Investment Attraction

There have been some sizable investment attraction announcements made in Ontario over the past few years.  This final panelist presentation and discussion will examine the current and future trends in investment attraction and the implications for Eastern Ontario communities.

Speaker Profiles:

Nicole Simone, Invest Ontario & Jay Amer, Ontario East Economic Development Commission

Moderator: Daniel Van Kampen, Manager of Economic Development, Town of Cobourg

Nicole Simone is Director of Strategic Partnerships with Invest Ontario, a role she has been since last November. Previously, she has held Ontario government management and policy advisory roles with the Ministries of Education, Infrastructure, and Finance and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Jay's 25 years of experience as an economic development professional includes twelve years as a senior executive with a regional economic development agency and operation of his own consultancy, Amer & Associates Economic Development. He has delivered a successful portfolio of work for clients that includes economic development strategic plans, economic research and analysis, investment attraction and trade, marketing communications, government relations, planning and funding programs, as well as organizational development and governance. Prior to discovering his passion for economic development, Jay has also volunteered on numerous non-profit boards in his hometown of Peterborough. He is a past President of the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC), has been a member of Ontario East since 2000 and is Ontario East’s representative on the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council (EOLC).

3:30 PM       Question & Answer Period from the day



*Registration Cancellation will receive a full refund less a $50.00 administration fee*


Best Western Plus Cobourg Inn & Convention Centre

930 Burnham St., Cobourg, ON  K9A 2X9

P: 905-372-2105 

Reservations Property direct: 1-866-COBOURG (262-6874)

Book your room by calling 905-372-2105 or online at:

2 Queen Beds $171.65 (+taxes)

1 Queen Bed $155.83 (+taxes)

1 King Bed $163.74 (+taxes)

This group block is only available until September 12, 2023

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