Amanda Haitas

Amanda Haitas

36 Years Old

Class of 2020

“I genuinely love Fort McMurray. As a family, we live a good life here.”

After her six-month plan to live in Fort McMurray turned into a thirteen-year stay with a self-rewarding career and a family of her own, Amanda Haitas has no plans to leave, but she is busy making plans.

Amanda first learned about the city while studying Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto. It was a presentation for a university conference in the prairies that led to a call that encouraged her to pack up what she had and leave everyone she loved behind.

Today, she’s the Senior Manager for Planning & Development at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).

In the past thirteen years, her career has earned her experience with the RMWB business and economic development teams, and she was also a part of the inaugural launch of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation.

In 2011, her work on the Municipal Development Plan for the RMWB was recognized and received the Planning Excellence Award for Western Canada by The Canadian Institute of Planners.

“Today, I am back to my roots in Planning & Development. I have a passion for community development, strategic planning, building strong relationships, continuous improvement, and most importantly, our region,” she said.

“Growing our community is a collective effort from everyone who lives here, and I know my skill set is understanding local governance and where that intersects with private sector investment and interest.”

Her husband’s online retail business,, will be opening up a shop downtown, Fort McMurray and she is excited to see how it does.

This year’s challenges reminded her of her priorities: family, enjoyment, a sense of oneness, and putting health and family first.

“While driving a nice car, having a beautiful home, making a good salary, and being able to afford the things you want are nice – none of it truly matters, nor do they define you. What matters to me is my integrity, my realness, my honesty, my ability to make people smile, keeping my child-like qualities, and sharing or inspiring wisdom in my children,” she said. “I genuinely love Fort McMurray. We fully enjoy all of the amenities here as a family and living a good life here.”

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