Economic development director Wendy Dupley. (Phil Melnychuk – THE NEWS)

Economic development director Wendy Dupley. (Phil Melnychuk – THE NEWS)

City has new leader for economic development

Wendy Dupley says millennials will like Maple Ridge

The plans and long-term goals have all been settled, now the new economic development director of Maple Ridge just has to leverage those advantages and keep growing the city’s economy.

Wendy Dupley has been in her office since the new year and says the city’s commitment to developing within the urban boundary, density and mixed-use development makes her job easier, noting in previous assignments, that wasn’t the case.

As director, it’s her task to entice companies here to provide good paying jobs, while at the same time, improving the tax base of the city.

That takes time and persistence and work but it’s also a lot of fun.

“I always say I’m going to have the best job in the building for sure,” she said Tuesday.

Dupley has a raft of experience in the field and, this September, moves from her current position as vice-president, to president of the Economic Developers Association of Canada.

She arrives in Maple Ridge after serving five years as excutive-director for economic development with the City of Abbotsford. Before that, she was executive-director for the Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta, based in Medicine Hat. And before landing in Canada, originally from the U.K., Dupley was regional manager for the Australian immigration department in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve always moved for career opportunities. I need to feel that I can make a difference,” she said Tuesday. Dupley replaces Lino Siracusa who a year ago, moved to the City of North Vancouver to manage the new tourism developments focused on the shipyards and waterfront in North Van.

Dupley said that economic development is about bringing together the public and private sectors. She’s also staff liaison to Maple Ridge’s economic development committee composed of community business leaders.

Read more: Maple Ridge needs to tell its story better

Having just settled into her office next to city hall, Dupley sees lots of opportunity for Maple Ridge, adding that what this city offers in lifestyle, with its abundance of nature, is second to none. That’s what millennials are looking for, she adds.

“We have amazing parks and recreation facilities here. It’s so well situated in all those aspects.”

She said Maple Ridge needs to continue to grow and adds that council is an enthusiastic supporter of that. “I think we’ll have a lot of fun working togehter.”

That growth all has to fit within limit amounts of land for economic development but that’s a common challenge throughout Metro Vancouver, she said.

Read more: Innovation minister tours Maple Ridge tech company

Industrial growth and the need for affordable housing must all be balanced, and finding that balance must be dictated by what makes good economic sense.

Dupley noted that when companies are looking to relocate or expand, they do most of their background research online and arrive on site fully prepared.

But Maple Ridge already has a good online presence through its open government portal and website. One enhancement that is planned will be e newsletters that appear in info-graphic format, she added.

“I want to put this community on the map,” for both tourism and business, Dupley said.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

economic growth

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lobbying efforts continue to have a fish ladder added to the Alouette dam. (News files)
ALONG THE FRASER: Habitat behind dam could help reverse salmon declines

VIDEO: Environmentalist keeps lobbying for Hydro to fund a fish ladder to move salmon over the dam

SD42 superintendent Sylvia Russell.
Need for post secondary education in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows growing

New curriculum, influx of young teachers changing school district, says the retiring superintendent

Desiree Betz captured a picture of an osprey at Pitt Lake, anxious to share some of the photos of “our beautiful town.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Feeding time on Pitt Lake

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

New Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall supports hiring more full-time firefighters. (The News files)
Pitt Meadows approves four new career firefighters

Two will be hired in each of 2021 and 2022

Work continues at Planet Ice, but one ice surface will be in use in December. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Planet Ice to partially reopen in December

Maple Ridge arena should have emergency repairs completed in early January

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Most Read