Canadians are everywhere. It’s true. We’ve run the International Space Station, we’ve won gold medals, play on most NHL hockey teams, have a strong contingent of all-star baseball players and are revered around the globe. Our guest on this episode is Rod Regier, Executive Director of Economic Development for the city of Kitchener.
The area of Kitchener-Waterloo is well known to be the birth place of Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry (now called BlackBerry) but that is not all. As a result of the proximity to Toronto (to the east), the University of Waterloo and the many millions of dollars that have been dropped into the local economy from BlackBerry’s success (among others), the entrepreneurial ecosystem has become a great strength for the region. The result of this has been a growth in Kitchener/Waterloo grads and entrepreneurs spreading their wings and heading to the U.S. to get their businesses up and running.
Rod fills us in on why there seem to be so many Kitchener expats floating around and what that means to the area’s business community.
Visit the Kitchener’s Economic Development site
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About Rod Regier
Rod Regier, Executive Director of Economic Development for the City of Kitchener, received an Honours Bachelor degree in Geography at the University of Winnipeg, and a Masters in Regional Planning at the University of Waterloo. After graduating from Waterloo, Rod worked briefly with the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth in planning policy; then for 16 years with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in various capacities: municipal planning, regional economic development and provincial economic policy with a special focus on dialogue between business, labour and government on provincial competitiveness in global markets. In his current position, Rod provides leadership to a staff team and community of stakeholders implementing the Kitchener’s Economic Development Strategy (KEDS.11). Key initiatives include Start Up City, Cluster Development, Talent, the Downtown Action Plan, and the Innovation District. Economic development services in Kitchener include the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, Business Development, Downtown, Special Events, Arts and Culture and the Kitchener Market. Rod lives in downtown Kitchener with his wife, Lisa Langwieder, and two teenagers, Ben and Ali. Off line, his recreation passion is hang gliding.