A well-schooled Director
The director of the Centre local de developpement (CLD) of the Coaticook MRC for the past six years, Marjorie Tyroler, was recently recognized as the 2010 Economic Developer of the Year for the Estrie region. “It’s a really nice prize,” said
Mrs. Tyroler who received a standing ovation when she accepted her award in January. “But credit should also go to the community and the dynamic people I work with,” she was quick to add.
Mrs. Tyroler, who moved to the rural setting of the Coaticook Valley thirteen years ago, commented that “I seem to have come full circle.” After growing up in a small town in New Jersey, as a young adult she was ready for a change. “I went to McGill to study and I just stayed,” explained the director who holds degrees in Cooperative Development and English Second Language, a Masters degree in French Literature and, most recently, an MBA from the Université de Sherbrooke.
From Montreal, the New Jersey native went to Sherbrooke, again to study, and after a few more years spent there, she finally headed back to a small town, this time to the little hamlet of Compton to raise a family. Somewhere along the way she managed to learn how to speak French fluently, although with a New Jersey accent!
“We enjoy it where we are now; we’re staying.”
Asked about her work at the Centre local de developpement, Mrs. Tyroler commented: “Economic development has a social side to it. At the CLD we assist businesses with capital venture funds and other services, but we also work on community projects. Community develop- ment is becoming more and more important, You can’t separate quality of life from business development. When you work at a CLD there’s an added aspect of creating a future. We have CLD’s so that people can live, work, play and be prosperous.”
The Coaticook MRC’s Centre local de developpement has recently initiated many projects unique to the Eastern Townships region. “We’ve been working a lot with the Neils/Tillotson Community Fund to set up several projects,” said the director. Members of the CLD have begun working with their counterparts on the other side of the border, in New Hampshire. One mutual project was the creation of a coupon booklet for tourist destinations on both sides of the border. “In New Hampshire, they have lots of lodging, while in Coaticook, we have lots of activities for tourists to do, but not enough lodging. So it’s a good partnership.”
Other new projects, all of particular interest to entrepreneurs, focus on the agri-food industry. “The City of Coaticook gave us some land at the Ferme du Plateau for us to rent out in small parcels,” explained Mrs. Tyroler. Agricultural entrepreneurs can rent this land to grow organic, specialty crops. Another project in the works is the building of a ‘business incubator’ for food transformation, where people can rent out small spaces to transform local produce into specialty food items.
After recently receiving a sizable grant from the Neils/ Tillotson Foundation, Mrs. Tyroler admitted: “This is a big year for us. We’ve hired a business counsellor and a territorial development agent, we’re working to get recognized as a ‘Village d’Accueil’ and we’re having a Job Fair on April 8th. With our extra staffing we have an exceptional opportunity to get things done.”
One reason Mrs. Tyroler is such an effective director is that she likes her job. “My job is very varied and I get to meet a lot of interesting people; it’s never the same. I’m privileged that the people are appreciative and they’ve welcomed me, making it nice to work here.”
If you’d like to learn more about the services offered by the Coaticook MRC’s Centre local de developpement, visit their easy-to-navigate website or call 819 849-7014.
CLD Director Marjorie Tyroler, who is also the industrial commissioner of the Coaticook MRC, at her office in Coaticook.