New Brunswick

As new chair of development agency, Moosehead boss targets young who leave

More change is on the way for Enterprise Saint John with the naming of Moosehead Breweries CEO Andrew Oland as the new board chair.

Andrew Oland has 3 children who don't live in province, so the stake is also personal, he says

Andrew Oland, the president and chief executive officer of Moosehead Breweries, is stepping in as the new board chair for Enterprise Saint John. (CBC)

More change is on the way for Enterprise Saint John with the election of Moosehead Breweries CEO Andrew Oland as the new board chair.

Oland told Information Morning Saint John he is honoured to be overseeing the board that governs the regional development agency sometimes known as ESJ.

It's not a lot of money, and we have to be very focused on what we're going to do.- Andrew Oland

"I'm passionate about greater Saint John, and I want to see it do well, and do better, and I think ESJ can play a leadership role in this," he said.

Oland is taking over as the Saint John area continues to lose people, especially young people, to other parts of Canada, and the population of the city itself is no longer the highest in the province.

"We need more people, and we need more workers in Saint John, and so within the parameters of the resources we have at ESJ, I'd like to see us spend more time on retaining and attracting people to Saint John," he said.

Personal stake

Oland said that as a business owner, area resident and father, he has a personal vested interest in seeing the region do better.

"I have three adult children, none of them are living in New Brunswick, so I'd love the opportunity for one or all three to be living and working in Saint John," he said.

"In the last few years, as a community we are starting to work together to identify opportunities and come up with solutions. And ESJ can play a lead role in that."

Oland's appointment also comes two months after Enterprise Saint John saw another key change to its leadership.

Enterprise Saint John is experiencing a period of change with Ron Gaudet recently named the new CEO, and four new board members appointed.

Ron Gaudet took over as CEO on Nov. 1, 2017, replacing Steve Carson, who held the position for 20 years. Carson left for a position with the City of Saint John as its director of strategic real estate.

Oland said the agency is experiencing "a time of change and recommitment," with the additional recent appointments of four new board members: Louis Labelle, Cathy Simpson, Andy McPherson and Sue Harley.

Enterprise Saint John serves the municipalities of Saint John, Quispamsis, Rothesay, Grand Bay-Westfield and St. Martins.

Those communities together contribute $700,000 to the budget of the economic development agency. Another $250,000 is collected from private sector partners, and another $1.6 million comes from the federal and provincial governments for specific programming.

"So it's not a lot of money, and we have to be very focused on what we're going to do," Oland said.

"We know we are entrusted with the taxpayers' dollars, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Communication … on a frequent basis to all stakeholders, to local mayors, to citizens is vital for ESJ." 

With files from Information Morning Saint John

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