EDCO Regional Economic Development Professional Development Event

Central Region

Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Registration Closes on Friday, June 16, 2023

Register Here


9:00 AM       Welcome & Ice Breakers

9:15 AM       Implementing a DEI Strategy

Are you working on a DEI initiative and need tools to assist you in your work? During this session you will learn what Codesign is and how it is an excellent DEI tool. Claudia will further expand on how Codesign can be used to create solutions and initiatives that address local economic development objectives such as Business Attraction, Workforce Development, Infrastructure Development. Small Business Support, and Tourism Promotion.

Speaker Profiles:

Claudia McKoy is the Founder and Principal of UpSurgence–a strategic engagement firm. She is an expert at connecting diverse stakeholders to ensure that their work collaboratively to achieve community goals including those that encourage economic development. Claudia now sits on the Economic Developers Council of Ontario’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

10:30 AM     Break

10:45 AM     Workforce Development      

The Honda Philosophy is a body of values that collectively defines who the company is are as they want their associates to Dream, have Joy, come to work with Passion and Respect themselves and one another.  With over 4,200 associates, HCM has developed an internal apprenticeship and training program to help their employees continue to learn, grow, and advance their careers.  This session will provide an overview their recruitment process, and internal apprenticeship/training program.

Speaker Profile:

Honda Canada Manufacturing

Honda Canada Manufacturing opened its first plant in Alliston, Ontario in 1986, making it the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to establish a production facility in Canada.  Since than, the Alliston plants have produced over 10 million cars for the North American and European marketplace. Today, HCM is one of Honda’s premier manufacturing facilities in the world, and produces the Honda Civic (Sedan, Si and Coupe) and CR-V.

11:15 AM     Succession Planning

BizLink is a proven transition program and tool that offers confidentially and anonymity in buying and selling of a business.  BizLink is the only program that offers business matching services along with a wrap-round support to both the buyer and seller in undertaking their due diligence.  This session will provide an overview of the national and provincial award-winning program along with information about how to can implement the program into your community.

Speaker Profile:

Carol Benedetti joined the Orillia Area CDC in 2011 and works on the implementation of community development projects. She’s responsible for managing the CDC’s annual grant, professional development program, and BizLink, which connects business buyers & sellers, supporting successful business transitions.

12:00 PM     Lunch Break & Networking

1:00 PM       Transitioning to EV Manufacturing

The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising public and investor awareness of Ontario's advanced manufacturing ecosystem.

Accelerate: Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Chain Alliance is a 5-year national initiative bringing together key players across Canada, from mining to mobility, from R&D to commercialization, and from vehicle assembly to infrastructure. Accelerate will establish a forum for members to collaborate, strategize and advocate for priorities that will support the accelerated development of a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) supply chain in Canada.

Speaker Profiles:

Brendan Sweeney is the Managing Director of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing. Prior to his appointment with the Trillium Network, Brendan served as the Project Manager and Research Director of the Automotive Policy Research Centre (APRC) at McMaster University, where he also taught in the DeGroote School of Business and the School of Labour Studies. Brendan holds a PhD in Geography from Queen’s University and a B.A. in Labour Studies from McMaster. He has also held appointments in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and the Department of Economics at the University of Manitoba and spent a year at the University of Washington as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar.Erman Sener, Associate Director – Research

As President and CEO, Matthew Fortier is responsible for bringing together key public and private-sector stakeholders to organize and align Canada’s ZEV supply chain.

Mr. Fortier is a recognized public policy leader with over 20 years of experience building meaningful and progressive relationships with Canadian industry and government. He was Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs at the Institute of Corporate Directors, where he led content and strategy development on matters of public policy, legislation and regulation, including sustainability, climate change reporting and the future of work. Previously, Mr. Fortier was an executive at Re:Sound and directed policy option development and government relations strategies on Canadian intellectual property issues. He has also held senior corporate and public affairs roles at TD Bank, TD Securities and the Business Council of Canada.

Erman Sener is an Assistant Director at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing where he is responsible for leading various research, data, and ecosystem engagement initiatives. During his time at the Trillium Network, Erman has contributed to several major research reports, including Developing Canada's Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain: Quantifying the Economic Impacts and Opportunities. Prior to joining the organization full-time, Erman completed his Master's degree in Engineering and Public Policy and worked as a Research Assistant at McMaster University. He also holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and has several years of work experience at an international bank’s corporate banking and financial markets divisions.

2:15 PM       Break

2:30 PM       How Ontario Site Selection is Changing to be Competitive Globally 

This session is aimed to introduce Invest Ontario and provide an overview of its site selection process. A detailed breakdown of how Invest Ontario responds to RFIs will also be covered along with estimated timelines.

Speaker Profiles:

Nicole Simone is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Invest Ontario, where she is responsible for leading and fostering collaboration with key partners, including municipalities, regions and other levels of government to increase Ontario’s competitiveness in attracting investment. Nicole has over a decade of experience in a variety of policy, operations and leadership roles in the Ontario Public Sector, including at the Ministry of Finance, Treasury Board Secretariat and Ministry of Education. Nicole holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour from McMaster University.  

Stefano Sanguigni is the Director of Investment for Invest Ontario, the province’s central agency for investment attraction. There he manages and coordinates the agency’s investment outreach teams which conduct strategic FDI investment attraction activities.

Previously, Stefano served as the Director for International Marketing & Investment Outreach for the province of Ontario where he oversaw the development of all international investment and trade advertising and the brand presence of Ontario’s investment attraction efforts. He also managed Ontario’s International Trade and Investment Offices (TIOs). The TIOs are a network of Ontario offices located in Canadian diplomatic Missions around the world.

Together with his teams, Stefano has represented Ontario’s trade and investment interests by attracting investments, generating new business opportunities for Ontario companies, fostering collaborations, and raising Ontario's profile for over a decade. He has targeted global multinationals and their supply chains across sectors including agri-food, aerospace, automotive, cleantech, and defence and has led efforts that successfully secured hundreds of millions of dollars in global investment into Ontario, creating thousands of jobs.

3:45 PM       Question & Answer Period from the day


Farewell & Thank you


Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre - Special Group Rate Available Until June 1, 2023

2023 AMERICAN PLAN ROOM ONLY RATES (Individual payment) (includes accommodations only - no meals)

Single OR Double - $239. per room per night PLUS 13% HST

Room reservations can only be made online directly through their website at:

Group booking code: 302557

Check-in time is anytime after 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is no later than 11:00 a.m. for bedrooms reserved.

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

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