Windsor

Pupatello inks 3-year deal to be CEO of economic development corporation

Sandra Pupatello has signed a three-year deal to be the CEO of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation.

CEO position has been 'revolving door' municipal affairs expert says

Sandra Pupatello has signed a three-year deal to be the CEO of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation. (File Photo)

Sandra Pupatello has signed a three-year deal to be the CEO of the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation.

Her original one-year deal expired at the beginning of June.

Shelley Fellows, chair of the corporation's board, told CBC News the agency wanted stability in its most senior position.

"Our concern is with the stability of the corporation. Very rarely are they overnight successes. They are usually one, two or three years in the making," Fellows said.

The length of the deal doesn't surprise CBC Windsor's municipal affairs expert Cheryl Collier, a political science professor at the University of Windsor.

"The economic development corporation has been a bit of a revolving door with its CEO over the last number of years," Collier said. "What it does is say is that she thinks economic development is an important area."

Fellows said details of the contract, including Pupatello's wage, are confidential.

During Pupatello's first year, jobs have come and gone.

  • Heinz announced the Leamington plant would close, putting 740 people out of work.
  • Highbury Canco announced it will hire 250 people in place of Heinz.
  • Thomas Canning in Maidstone announced a $25-million tomato deal in Nigeria, which will create approximately 40 jobs and contract about 30 farmers.
  • Cosmetics company PAX-ALL will create "up to 35 jobs" in LaSalle.
  • CEN Biotech announced a $12-million medical marijuana facility in Tecumseh and will create "up to 50 jobs"
  • Omega Tool expanded, creating 10 jobs, according to the president there.
  • The City of Windsor announced a cargo hub and the potential of 150 jobs at Windsor International Airport.

Fellows called the work the development corporation does "incremental." Not every announcement is "major."

"If by major announcement you mean the major announcement of new investment, the kind of thing that has a press conference and that says there will be 500 jobs as a result of a multimillion-dollar investment in our region, [they are] few and far between," Fellows said.

Fellows said she was impressed with Pupatello's first year on the job.

"I am always and continue to be impressed with her energy, enthusiasm and get-it-done attitude and the connections and collaborations that seem to be a part of who she is," Fellows said. "People who work with her are enthusiastic and on board."

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