Mak­ing roots in Har­bour Grace

New eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer wants to bal­ance history with busi­ness ac­itvity

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

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.”

Back­ground

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.

MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COM­PASS

Pardy is set­tling in nicely in her new po­si­tion as eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer in the Town of Har­bour Grace.

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