Newfoundland-born Lisa Sweet grew up in a small fishing town of fewer than 1,000 people with little to do but play sports, be outside and fish with her Father. At the age of 12 she was on the water for three to four days per trip, and her job was to sort through 20,000 pounds of crab. When she wasn’t catching crab she was jigging cod.
By the age of 18, she left her community in Catalina for university in St. John’s. As she was still seeking out her career path, Sweet landed a job with the Royal Bank of Canada. She quickly progressed in the banking industry and went on to lead the commercial credit division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union.
Fast-forward to Fort McMurray, Sweet desired to make a change and knew she could do that here.
“I wanted to do something different, so I took a one-year leave from the bank and moved to Fort McMurray for a position in economic development at the Municipality,” she shared. That’s where she found her passion. Sweet states that her career in Fort McMurray has been “exciting and rewarding”. Sweet was integral in executing the 2012 and 2014 Leading the North Conferences. During the 2016 Wildfire evacuation, she worked remotely with her team to develop the region’s Business and Economic Recovery Plan and the Canadian Red Cross’ Support to Small Business Program.
Today, Sweet is in charge of Business & Investment Attraction and at Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation.
“I’ve never looked back and I’ve been Fort McMurray for almost nine years now. Both my kids, Liam (7) and Kate (4) were born here and I absolutely love it here,” she said.
“I moved here in the winter. It was cold but the sun was always shining and there was no wind. I lost myself in the Birchwood Trails and knew I wasn’t leaving.”
She has a passion for her position and this community. She shares how she thinks about the Wood Buffalo region’s future daily.
“Every morning, I get up with the goal of awakening Canada to the importance of Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo region. That’s my job,” Sweet enthused.