Cyril Cooper leaving post

The man who has been the face of Red Deer to many investors and business people is leaving the city.

The man who has been the face of Red Deer to many investors and business people is leaving the city.

Cyril Cooper, Red Deer’s land and economic development officer since 2003 and recently also manager of Central Alberta: Access Prosperity and head of Red Deer Regional Economic Development, has accepted a position with a private consulting firm. His last day on the job is today.

Cooper has been hired as vice-president of investment attraction with Rainmaker Global Business Development, a Calgary-based company with offices around the world.

“I’m seeking a change in my career and a new direction,” he said, adding that the position with Rainmaker will allow him to expand his skills, especially with respect to private sector work.

“It’s just a natural fit for me.”

Paul Meyette, Red Deer’s planning division director, said the process of hiring a new land and economic development officer is already underway.

The deadline for applications is next Monday, with interviews expected to begin later in the week.

Central Alberta: Access Prosperity — a partnership of the city, Red Deer County, the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, Red Deer College and Central Alberta Economic Partnership that’s working to attract foreign direct investment to the region — is also seeking a new manager. That competition closes next Friday, with the selection process to proceed as quickly as possible thereafter, said Tim Creedon, the Chamber’s executive director.

“The Access Prosperity board would like to hire quickly, because the project is time-sensitive,” he said.

Creedon said the decision to find someone other than Red Deer’s new land and economic development officer to oversee Central Alberta: Access Prosperity was motivated by advice from the city, and the recognition that the position requires a full-time manager.

He added that the new land and economic development officer’s role in Red Deer Regional Economic Development — another partnership involving the city, county, Chamber and college — has yet to be determined.

Meyette and Creedon said the voids created by Cooper’s departure will be filled by other staff until replacements have been hired. But Meyette acknowledged the situation at the city has been complicated by the fact former Land and Economic Development manager Howard Thompson recently moved to the Inspections and Licensing Department. His replacement, John Sennema, does not begin work until March 5.

“There’s certainly going to be an adjustment,” said Meyette. “It will take some time for people to get familiar with everything that we’re doing on the economic development side.”

Cooper, who will continue to reside in Sylvan Lake, said his work with the city and its economic partnerships has been “a great experience. It was satisfying, he said, to see the local economic development focus broaden from business retention and expansion to include investment attraction.

“If you’re only doing business retention initiatives, then those industries grow within themselves and you don’t diversify your local economy,” he explained.

Cooper said there is now international awareness of the Red Deer region, and the area can compete against much larger cities when pursuing investment.

“I’m quite pleased with where we’re at and what we’ve done.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Parenting: Every woman will have a different pregnancy experience

Wife whose hormones are unbalanced can be unpleasant experience

Men posing as repo men attempt to steal vehicle in Red Deer County

Two men attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a Red Deer… Continue reading

Red Deerian spreads kindness with one card at a time

One Red Deerian wants to combat bullying by spreading kindness in the… Continue reading

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Uncertainty looms over Canada’s cannabis tourism, but ambitions are high

TORONTO — Longtime marijuana advocate Neev Tapiero is ready for the cannabis-driven… Continue reading

Feds mulling safeguards to prevent ‘surge’ of cheap steel imports into Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government extended an olive branch of sorts to… Continue reading

Ontario govt caps off summer session by passing bill to cut Toronto council size

TORONTO — The Ontario government passed a controversial bill to slash the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month