Making roots in Harbour Grace
New economic development officer wants to balance history with business acitvity
For most of her adult life, Erika Pardy travelled around the world, never intending to move back to Newfoundland and Labrador.
But after stints in Ontario and Quebec, the United Kingdom and all over the United States, the Goose Bay native had a strong urge to make the move back home, setting up roots in Harbour Grace.
With a wide range of job positions and experience, Pardy is not a stranger to economic development. The mother of three was previously employed with the Northeast Avalon Regional Development board, Metroworth Consulting and Modern Business Equipment Ltd. in the business development field.
But experience is not what Pardy will say if asked why she is qualified for the position of economic development officer for the Town of Harbour Grace. The reason she would give is her passion for working with people.
Hit the ground running
Earlier this year, Pardy signed on to work in the town of some 3,100 people. Her position will entail bringing business and tourism to the area, something she believes is important for everyone in the community.
Since May, it hasn’t be uncommon to see Pardy knocking on doors around town to chat with locals about what they would like to see happen in Harbour Grace.
But what is her mandate in a town that is striving for economic growth but also wants to keep its history alive?
“I’m a dichotomy,” Pardy tells The Compass in her new office earlier this month. “I love both economic and business growth, but I also love history. I’m very interested in keeping both alive in Harbour Grace. One does not take precedence over the other.”
One thing she would love to see happen is the town to become a destination point for those touring the region, rather than just a drive through. One way she hopes to achieve this is to work with other economic development of- ficers from neighbouring communities, including Bay Roberts and Carbonear, to create a more inclusive and diverse tourism destination to benefit the area.
“I want to bring the community together,” she states. “People of Conception Bay North have the right to prosper and enjoy the benefits of the economy that Newfoundland and Labrador currently has. We have a goldmine that we’re sitting on historically and business opportunity-wise.”
Although Pardy was born in Goose Bay, she spent most of her childhood on Fogo Island, spend- ing summers in Twillingate. When she was finished high school, she wanted to experience the world, travel to different places and see the big cities. But she always wanted to get educated.
Her first stop was Toronto to begin studying nursing, which she realize quickly she didn’t enjoy it.
She changed her major to veterinarian sciences, and continued her education over the years by studying psychology and business.
For many years Pardy ran her own companies, including a holistic pet treatments for health and behavioural issues in Canada, the US and the UK. She is also the editor-in-chief and founder of both The Progressive Pet magazine and Dogs… Naturally, international magazines that highlight some of the holistic approaches she has researched for animals. As a publisher, digital marketing strategist and CEO of Main Street Magazines, she helps create exposure for small, local businesses. She is also president and CEO of Quadra Plus, where she is working to create herbal and alternative products for pets.
Pardy is settling in nicely in her new position as economic development officer in the Town of Harbour Grace.