At the Regular Council meeting on Tuesday, October 16, Mayor Bob Sanderson announced that the Municipality has hired Thomas Dodds as the Director of Community Development; a new, full-time permanent position, effective November 5, 2018.
“On behalf of Council, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Tom and his family,” stated Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “Mr. Dodds has an impressive background in planning, public administration, and economic and regional development, coupled with strategic planning, facilitation and management expertise. He will be an excellent addition to the Municipality and we look forward to his arrival in November.”
Mr. Dodds was most recently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, where he was the City’s lead in supporting sustainable growth and development of the local economy. During that time, Mr. Dodds and his team served as catalysts and facilitators for a number of strategic initiatives, including a unique brownfield redevelopment project, on the site of what was once one of Sault Ste. Marie’s original industries (St. Marys Paper Mill). During his leadership, the waterfront site was transformed from an idle, aging factory to a mixed-use heritage attraction, which celebrates its historic Great Lakes location and is playing a leading role in the community’s downtown redevelopment efforts. As CEO, Mr. Dodds also directed the acquisition and revitalization of the Searchmont Ski Resort, transitioning the facility from one that was in debt and decline, to a growing, sustainable winter destination attraction.
Prior to his role with the Economic Development Corporation, Mr. Dodds was a Director with the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor). During his tenure, he established and managed the organization’s former International Business Centre, which was a partnership between Industry Canada and the Department of International Trade and Foreign Affairs. As Director, he managed: innovation; investment; technology; telecom; trade and tourism; policy development and program delivery portfolios. Additionally, he facilitated large public/private transportation infrastructure initiatives, provided oversight for more than $20 million in grants and contributions, and served as a member of FedNor’s Management Committee.
“The Municipality of Port Hope is a unique community, with a wonderful mix of heritage, arts, culture, and new development, and it will be exciting to work with the community members, apply my skills and knowledge and enable Port Hope to achieve its vision and aspirations for a vibrant, sustainable, rural and urban community,” noted Mr. Dodds. “I am looking forward to getting to know the staff and Council, engaging with the community and providing positive leadership in this new and important position.”
The creation of the Community Development Department was approved by Council in July, 2018. The new department includes the current Marketing and Tourism Division and the Planning Division. Current staff within those divisions will report to Mr. Dodds beginning November 5, 2018.
Upon his arrival, Mr. Dodds’ office will be located in the Development Team Office, at 5 Mill Street South.
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