Senior staffer leaves Harbour Grace
Grateful for her contributions over the past six months.
Some councillors in the Town of Harbour Grace said they will be sad to see the town’s economic development officer (EDO) leave, but are grateful for her contributions over the past six months.
Erika Pardy was hired as the town’s first EDO in May, and has become a familiar name within the town’s business community.
Councillors Gord Stone and Hayward Blake are the co-chairs of the economic development committee.
Both Stone and Blake spoke to The Compass after news of Pardy’s resignation went public.
“I certainly wish her all the best,” Stone said. “We really enjoyed working with Erika. She’s done some great work.” Blake echoed Stone’s message. “(Her resignation) did catch us off guard,” he explained. “It really proves talent is in demand. When people recognize it (and) other organizations recognize it… they go after it.
“An opportunity presented itself that we couldn’t compete with.”
Pardy has been named the new EDO for her hometown, Fogo Island.
Since being in her position, Pardy began networking with communities around the Avalon Peninsula and meeting with business owners.
She told The Compass earlier this year her intention was to bridge the gap between municipal government, the community and local businesses. Her hard work has paid off.
“She’s done some great work,” Stone said. “It shows us the potential of the job.”
Stone and Blake were a driving force behind getting the position filled, which they consider to be essential to the success of partnerships in the town.
“Hopefully we’ll move forward on hiring another EDO,” Blake said. “She did sew the seeds for a number of activities we hope to see take on some life in the short to long term.”
The town’s Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Pike could not confirm the details of hiring a new EDO, but did confirm it would happen.
“Council and the economic development committee… are in discussions now regarding the next steps, but recruitment of a new EDO will occur in the near future,” she explained.
When asked what she thought of Pardy moving on, Pike had a two-part answer — one as the chief administrative officer and the other as a friend.
“Having Erika onboard was refreshing and a welcome addition to the team,” she said.
“The loss of Erika will not only be felt in the community because of her relationships she’s built, but by me personally because she has become a wonderful friend. The Town of Fogo Island is lucky, indeed.”
Pardy has confirmed she will not lose her ties to Harbour Grace. She and her partner own a home there, and she has developed friendships in the town.
“I will still have a presence in Harbour Grace,” she explained. “I love the town and I see great potential. I will do the best I can to continue to help nurture that.”
Blake agreed he’d like to see her continue to be a part of the town.
“Having someone like Erika with her energy and enthusiasm, serves us well,” he said.
Fogo is a blooming town of tourism, and although she’ll miss Harbour Grace, she said she is looking forward to the chance to showcase her knowledge and skills there.
“I’ve gone full circle,” she said. “Growing up on Fogo Island, leaving for 30 years to travel the world, just to come back to New- foundland and get a job on Fogo Island.
“The irony is that when I was young, I couldn’t get far enough away. But when I got older, I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to get home.”
Pardy will finish up with the Town of Harbour Grace on Nov. 15.
(Her resignation) did catch us off guard. It really proves talent is in demand. Coun. Gordon Stone