The City’s new Economic Development Officer, Schaun Goodeve. Carolyn Grant file

New Economic Development Officer in Kimberley

A familiar face is back in town and has just taken up the reins of Economic Development at Kimberley City Hall.

Schaun Goodeve began work as the City of Kimberley’s Economic Development Officer this week, and he is delighted to be back in town.

Goodeve left Kimberley for the Edmonton area five years ago. Before he left, he was deeply involved in the Kimberley business community, as President of the Kimberley Chamber among other positions. He was the founding chair of the Downtown Business Association and sat on many boards.

“I’m very familiar with the Kimberley business community,” he said. “This is like coming home.”

Goodeve said friends made him aware of the job opening in Kimberley, and he thought it was an interesting opportunity.

“I was director of an entire department in Alberta, so this will be a little different, but it’s good. We kept a house here. It was always our intention to come back. My daughter was born here and was only a year old when we moved. I’m seeing lots of familiar faces, it’s great. There’s a real sense of coming home. I’m excited for my daughter to experience it.”

Goodeve is a Planner as well as having an economic development background and he’s eager to take a deep dive into all the available data.

“I want to understand how investment ready we really are. The heart of economic development is supporting and growing what you have.

“I’m just going through the files now and I will start meeting with the key stakeholders.”

Despite staying in touch with people, Goodeve says Kimberley certainly has changed in five years.

On top of a very heated housing market, he says the Platzl has completely turned over in terms of the demographic of the business owner.

“I was Chamber president during the recession, and a lot of businesses were struggling. It’s exciting to see the vibrancy again. It’s cool.

“And the condition of Gerry Sorensen Way now and the completion of Mark Creek, and the new bridges and the new park downtown.

“These are really good changes and people seem happy.”

He was a part of the bid team to attract Amazon to the Edmonton area, and he says that taught him a lot. Attracting new business is critical, he says, but it doesn’t have to be one big employer.

“95 per cent of Canadian business is small. Maybe you try to target the business with 25 to 50 employees. What the Amazon bid did was identify how strong in tech that area was, and then you start to think, who is supplying these guys? How do you get those small business to locate in your area.

“How attractive are we? How competitive are we?”

Goodeve says he wants to understand the baseline data, what’s going on in the local labour force’s demographics.

“I want to dig into the stats. There are 4,000 cars going down to Cranbrook each day. Who are these people? Where are they working? How do we get some new business here, grow the business that we have and hopefully cut down on some of those vehicles heading to Cranbrook? I’m pretty excited.”

Goodeve’s family will arrive in Kimberley in time for the school year and he’s looking forward to experiencing the Kimberley lifestyle again.

“I’m pretty happy to commute down the ski hill.”

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