Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) held its 2022 Annual General Meeting on May 17, marking the organization’s first in-person AGM since 2019.
President and CEO Dayna Spiring delivered an update to more than 120 guests, including Mayor Scott Gillingham, Michael Swistun, secretary to the Province of Manitoba’s Economic Development Board Secretariat and Bill Parrish Jr., chair of EDW’s board of directors and chairman, Parrish & Heimbecker.
“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to report that Economic Development Winnipeg delivered excellent outcomes in 2022, exceeding targets set by YES! Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg in terms of capital invested, jobs created, economic impact derived from business events and conferences booked, and more,” said Parrish. “The team also rolled out Winnipeg’s bold new place brand, Winnipeg – Made from What’s Real, which positions us on the global stage as a world-class destination, business hub and a great place to invest.”
The AGM featured reports from Sales & Business Development, Business Intelligence & Marketing and Tourism highlighting critical organizational achievements, as well as a reflection on Dayna’s 7+ years at the helm as a passionate champion for our city’s competitive advantages.
“Winnipeg has so much to offer to businesses, residents and visitors and we can amplify our impact as a collective,” said Dayna. “I challenge all residents and business leaders to think about the story you’re telling the world about Winnipeg and to be unapologetic ambassadors for our city.”
As Dayna plans to step down from her role this summer, this AGM served as an opportunity to reflect on the organization’s pathway and reinforce the importance of innovation and collaboration to the future of EDW and the city.
“Today, in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, EDW is an even stronger organization than it was before. We have done the work. We have built processes and tested those processes. And we have invested in relationships across Manitoba and Canada but also with trade commissioners and Canadian offices around the globe.”
EDW is executing actionable solutions and effective strategies to increase our city’s competitiveness. “Our teams are pitching and securing events and conferences for immediate economic impact, providing local business expansion and retention support, and leading intentional and methodical efforts to attract foreign direct investment and talent. We are a catalyst for economic growth and we are helping to propel our city forward.”
EDW’s 2022 accomplishments include:
- Refining a balanced scorecard launched in 2020 to track key metrics, including the impact of the work we do, our NPS (or Net Promoter Score) determined by the clients we serve, and the EDW team’s satisfaction.
- Growing our investor base significantly – both in number and total investment value -- totalling over $1m annually for our five-year campaign.
- Optimizing the implementation of Salesforce, a powerful CRM and data analytics tool to measure efforts and track leads, while ensuring every member of the team has the information they need to do their jobs.
- Confirming seven economic wins, representing 111% of target, with a continued focus on four key sectors which are thriving post pandemic – agribusiness, aerospace, creative industries, and advanced manufacturing.
- Preparing 82 bids/proposals for future-year Business Events opportunities and securing 59 events for our city representing $26.3 M direct economic impact.
According to Dayna, the work of economic development in our city and province is constant and we must be mindful of making it easy for companies to invest and grow in our city.
“We need to work to align the efforts of government and economic development agencies across our province to avoid duplication and to ensure we’re putting our best foot forward every time we pitch. In a province of 1.3 million people, working together as one team, with one voice and one strategy should be our secret sauce.”
According to Parrish, when Dayna was selected to take on the leadership role in early 2016, the direction was to elevate EDW’s profile.
“Our goal as a board is to ensure that EDW remains relevant, impactful and integral to conversations about the growth of our city. Dayna has gone above and beyond as one of Winnipeg’s greatest cheerleaders, positioning our city for continued success. Every city should be so lucky to have a Dayna Spiring.”