Colin Stansfield is taking the reins as the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization’s (SCREDO) first executive director.
Stansfield, who had been working as the executive director for the Gibsons Community Building Society, which operates the Gibsons Public Market and Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre, was chosen from 48 applicants who responded to a national job search.
He takes over from Chris Hergesheimer, who was SCREDO’s program manager for the past two years.
“Stansfield brings a wealth of experience to his new role,” the organization said in a release announcing the appointment. “He has worked with small business and regional trade associations across the province advancing economic policy that supports triple-bottom line development.”
SCREDO also said Stansfield is “a recognized leader in British Columbia’s growing social-economy.”
Before joining the Gibsons Community Building Society, Stansfield worked with RADIUS at Simon Fraser University, Ecotrust Canada, Potluck Café, PURPPL, and the BC Partners for Social Impact.
“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work alongside our regional partners to develop a sustainable, thriving and diverse local economy that is aligned with community values, expands opportunities for all residents and improves overall community well-being,” Stansfield said.
“Colin’s experience, familiarity with the Sunshine Coast economy, and vision for the future made him the ideal choice to take our Economic Development Office to the next level,” said SCREDO chair Celia Robben. “The Board believes that Colin’s experience with multiple constituencies around the province, combined with his commitment to social and environmental innovation, will help broaden economic development on the Coast in ways that will benefit us all.”
Robben said the SCREDO board and Stansfield believe the Sunshine Coast is well positioned to be a leader in economic development in B.C.
Stansfield said he plans to be visible and proactive in the community, and will meet with business owners, local and regional officials, legislators, and other partners in the coming months.
“My job is to listen, to be a facilitator, and to connect businesses with organizations, programs, and services to strengthen employment opportunities and help new and existing businesses succeed,” he said. “The Sunshine Coast is a great place to live, work, play, and do business and I look forward to assisting in every way I can.”
SCREDO is funded by local governments, which contribute $292,000 annually. According to the agencies 2019-20 work plan, total revenue is expected to be around $332,000 with $130,000 in administration expenses, $20,000 in capital costs and $215,000 going to programming initiatives.