New Economic Development Corporation Appoints First CEO
Today, following a nation-wide executive search, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Mayor Don Scott and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the newly-formed Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation (WBEDC), Gregg Saretsky, jointly announced the appointment of the WBEDC’s inaugural President & CEO, Mr. Kevin Weidlich. Kevin will assume the role on January 7, 2019, and will be moving his family from Edmonton to Fort McMurray to take on the full-time, permanent role.
Kevin will be bringing over 30 years of leadership experience to the role, ranging from international market access strategies for Alberta-based businesses to major organizational transformations to re-branding strategies for corporations and communities.
“This is exciting news for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo,” said Mayor Don Scott. “RMWB Council committed to getting the WBEDC up and running by the end of 2018, and I am proud to say this has been achieved. We look forward to working with Kevin and his team, and I am pleased to welcome him to our region and community.”
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am very pleased to announce Kevin Weidlich as the inaugural CEO of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation,” said Board Chairman Gregg Saretsky. “Kevin brings deep experience not only in economic development, but in brand, marketing and communications, as well – all crucial elements of the strategy of our new organization. With a career of public service spanning decades, countries, and industry sectors, it was quickly clear to the entire Board that Kevin is the right guy for the job.”
“I am honoured to take on this important post,” said incoming WBEDC President & CEO Kevin Weidlich. “This region is not only the economic engine of our country, it is a wonderful place to live, work, and invest. I am excited to start working with the team and delivering on results for the residents and taxpayers of RMWB. I would also like to thank my wife and three sons for their support in this endeavor – as a family we are truly excited about the opportunity to move to the RMWB and start a new chapter of our lives in this wonderful community. There’s a great deal of work to get done, and I look forward to digging in on January 7th.”
The WBEDC was created this past year by RMWB Council, and the Board was appointed this past summer. Brad Ferguson has served as interim CEO since August 2018, and will remain as interim until Kevin assumes the CEO role on January 7th.
About Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation
Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation is a wholly-owned entity of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, governed by an independent Board of Directors, and tasked with increasing the growth, innovation, prosperity and resilience of the economy of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS – LCol Kevin Weidlich CD, MBA
Kevin Weidlich’s 30-year career spans Canada’s private and public sectors, and is built on a foundation of military service.
Early in his career, Kevin joined the army reserve as an officer in The Loyal Edmonton Regiment. His military service has transitioned from part-time and full-time service over his entire 30 years in the Army reserve. Over the course of his military career, he has served on four international operations: Cyprus (United Nations), twice in Bosnia (NATO), and most recently leading Canada’s military training and assistance team in Jordan.
Applying his experience from the Canadian Armed Forces, Kevin began his civilian career in the construction business working on several iconic projects in Edmonton in the late 1980s. Following this, Kevin moved to Mexico to lead a successful international market entry strategy for an Alberta-based business.
Returning to Canada in 2004, Kevin joined a large construction firm where he held the position of project manager and later manager of business development.
In 2013, Kevin joined the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation where he held the role of Vice-President, Marketing and Communications. Over the course of his tenure with EEDC, Kevin led organizational transformation and place re-branding initiatives.
Kevin holds two degrees from the University of Alberta, Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Arts (Political Science).
Kevin is husband to Gaylene Weidlich and the father of three very active boys. Kevin plays golf poorly but enthusiastically and enjoys skiing with his family.