Advancing Economic Development Opportunities - ONLINE Fall


Date Location Registration fee Value

October 18 - November 15, 2023

Every Wednesday


$1150 - $1595*

(Fee structure outlined below)



Start Time  9:30 am (EDT) October 18, 2023
End Time 4:30 pm (EST) November 15, 2023

Why take Year 2?

Advancing Economic Development Opportunities (Year 2) builds on the foundation created in Year 1 and addresses more advanced topics like financial analysis, project management and performance measurement. Just like in Year 1, peer-learning and networking are built into the course. 

Year 2 is the second of two courses that make up our Certificate in Economic Development. Certificates are presented to every successful recipient annually at the Economic Developers Association of Canada conference.

Going into Year Two ... I had three goals. I wanted to make genuine connections with classmates, learn new things to help my clients, and push myself to new limits.  With some time to reflect on the experience, I believe I was successful on all fronts. Read more...

2022 Schedule*

*2023 Forthcoming

2022 Speakers*

*2023 Speakers Forthcoming

Geoff Malleck

Geoff MalleckGeoff is an assistant director of the Economic Development Program and a lecturer in the Department of Economics. He's our resident entrepreneurship expert and continues to explore the principles and conditions that drive the ‘Creativity-Innovation-Entrepreneurship’ Continuum and the relationship with economic prosperity and culture. Geoff also works on personal and professional development and individual brand building. 

Stephen Morris

Stephen MorrisStephen Morris is the Team Lead with the Economic Development Resources Unit of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Previously, Economic Development Specialist and program lead for the Agriculture Economic Development, Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E), and the Community Immigrant Retention in Rural Ontario (CIRRO) programs. Prior to joining the Ontario Government, Stephen worked in economic development at the municipal level for the City of Brantford and Town of Oakville.

Meg Ronson

Meg RonsonMeg Ronson is the Project Manager for the Legacy Leadership Lab (L3) at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience. She is a business succession researcher and economic development professional, and specializes in community and stakeholder engagement and small business education. She has previously worked in Francophone community economic and social development at the provincial level, and has also worked in the private sector supporting small business succession in a variety of roles.  Meg holds a Masters of Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Waterloo and a Certificate of Economics at Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Humanities at Carleton University.

Tara Vinodrai

Tara VinodraiTara Vinodrai an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Urban Innovation at the  University of TorontoHer research interests and expertise relate to innovation and technological change; economic development; creative and cultural industries; and local labour market dynamics. Her current projects examine the role of anchor firms and institutions in the digital economy; labour market dynamics in entrepreneurial eco-systems, and the emerging maker economy at the intersections of art, design, technology and manufacturing. She has provided advice to both large cities and smaller communities related to innovation, economic development and the creative economy. 

Dan Friyia

Dan friyiaDan Friyia is the Executive Director of the CDC of Sault Ste. Marie. Previously, he was the General Manager of the Superior East Community Future Development Corporation for 23 years. He has been a long time instructor for the Economic Development Program, teaching many economic development professionals the basics of financial analysis for small business. He also teaches student of Algoma University's Community Economic and Social Development Program.

James Lynn

James LynnJames Lynn is a Senior Investment Consultant with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism & Sport. James has nearly 20 years of experience working with Ontario's municipalities and regions to "make the case" that tourism is economic development. James also assists communities to help identify their tourism investment business cases for promotion to the investors and development companies.

Luanne Whitecrow

Luanne WhitecrowLuanne Whitecrow is an Ojibway from the Seine River First Nation in Ontario. She graduated from the Toronto School of Business with diplomas in Micro Computer Business Applications, Network and Communications, and Office Administration. She has 10 years’ experience working within the Aboriginal community in the Greater Toronto Area, where she worked at the Aboriginal Business Resource Centre in marketing and promotion for the Toronto Aboriginal Business Association, its annual TABA Awards, and the Small Business Certificate Program. 

Paul Parker

Paul ParkerPaul is the director of the Economic Development Program and a professor in the Faculty of Environment. His research focuses on building sustainable communities by creating win-win opportunities for the environment and economy. Paul combines his research background with direct experience engaging local representatives from communities across Canada and overseas to envision and build local capacity, vitality and sustainability.

Merran Smith

Merran SmithMerran is a fellow at Simon Fraser University and the founder and executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a leading think tank advancing clean energy and climate solutions. For most of her career, she has worked to unite industry, government and civil society organizations to solve pressing social and ecological challenges. Merran is a Canadian representative on the International Clean Energy Ambassador Corps and has recently been appointed co-chair of the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council. She has received numerous leadership distinctions, including the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from Clean Energy B.C.

Brock Dickinson

Brock DickinsonBrock is an Assistant Director of the Economic Development Program, and has worked in local economic development for 25 years. He is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence and an Adjunct Professor with the University of Waterloo. He was previously CEO of MDB Insight, Canada’s largest specialist economic development consultancy, where he worked with hundreds of communities across North America. Before this private sector role, Brock headed a number of provincial and municipal economic development agencies in both Ontario and Nova Scotia, and spent six years as a consultant with the United Nations, leading sustainable development projects in 30 countries.

Registration fee

  EDAC members in good standing* Non-EDAC members
Early bird $1150 + applicable taxes $1450 + applicable taxes
After Sept 13 $1295 + applicable taxes $1595 + applicable taxes

*EDAC member discount is for those who have paid their annual membership fee. Should your EDAC membership not be paid in full by the date of course/seminar registration, you will be responsible for paying the full (non-member) registration fee