The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation has 130 full-time employees, 650 part-time employees, a $36 million annual budget, and the job of managing the Shaw Conference Centre and the Edmonton Research Park as well as promoting economic development and tourism in the city. And yet, if you asked most Edmontonians what the 20-year-old organization actually does, they probably wouldn’t have a clue. Brad Ferguson, who was appointed EEDC president and CEO last year, intends to change that. And while it’s still early days in his tenure, he’s already signaled it won’t be business as usual. One of Ferguson’s first priorities was to reach out to Northlands President and CEO Richard Andersen in an attempt to end the self-destructive competition between the two organizations, and he’s spoken about moving EEDC from creating visions to delivering measurable results on tangible objectives. But his dreams are bigger than that – much bigger. He’s repeatedly spoken out against what he sees as a culture of complacency in his city, and has excoriated city management for their inability to sell the city effectively. In his first week on the job, no less, he told Councillor Amarjeet Sohi that, on a scale of 1 to 10, he thought the city’s brand merited a score of 1.5. It’s safe to assume that by the time he’s done, that score will be much, much higher.
Brad Ferguson: Alberta's 50 Most Influential People 2013
Takeaway: Brad Ferguson, who was appointed EEDC president and CEO last year, is working to promote economic development and tourism in Edmonton.