Se­nior staffer leaves Har­bour Grace

Grate­ful for her con­tri­bu­tions over the past six months.

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­

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.

Re­plac­ing EDO

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.”

Mov­ing for­ward

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




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