New Brunswick

Ron Gaudet named new CEO of Enterprise Saint John

Ron Gaudet will take over as CEO of Enterprise Saint John beginning Nov. 1, 2017, replacing Steve Carson who's accepted a role as the city's director of strategic real estate.

Gaudet will start on Nov. 1

'Clearly things like a shrinking population, holding on to our youth, shrinking tax base, these things are all systemic of an economy in transition,' says Ron Gaudet.

Ron Gaudet will take over as CEO of Enterprise Saint John (ESJ) beginning Nov. 1, 2017, replacing Steve Carson who's accepted a role as the city's director of strategic real estate.

Gaudet, a New Brunswick native, has spent the last seven years leading a number of economic development agencies across Canada.

"I guess I'm hardwired for a challenge," he told Information Morning Saint John

"I started my career in economic development in Saint John way back when, right out of university."

Opportunity is 'exciting'

ESJ's former CEO Steve Carson announced in May that after 20 years with the company, he was leaving for the position with the City of Saint John. 

A hiring committee started the search for a replacement soon after. 

Enterprise Saint John's uptown office. (Connell Smith)

On Sept. 7, ESJ announced Ron Gaudet would take over as CEO for the company.

"The opportunity to come back, the opportunity to work with a great staff and board and partners to really focus on the future of Saint John is exciting," Gaudet said.

An 'economy in transition'

When it comes to his new appointment, Gaudet is optimistic, despite the challenges he sees.

"Clearly things like a shrinking population, holding on to our youth, shrinking tax base, these things are all systemic of an economy in transition," he said.

"This may sound a little cliche, but when I see challenges I try to see the opportunity side of them." 

Fresh start for Saint John

Gaudet said the economic development of Saint John will take some time, and that it's not a one person or even a one month process.

For him, it starts by sitting down with the city to hear the larger economic concerns.

"I want to hear the concerns of the members of the municipality. The fact they're focused on economic development, I see that as a real positive." 

Although there were some rocky exchanges between council and ESJ in recent years, he hopes to work "in tandem" with the city.

"If we can have a little bit of time to say 'let's start anew, let's start fresh, let's build on the success of the past,' I see it as an opportunity for a meaningful exchange," he said.

"As we come out of that, we really need to have a collective vision."

With files from Information Morning Saint John

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