North Dundas welcomes new economic development and communications officer

North Dundas Township's new Economic Development and Communications Officer Stephen Mann. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER — A new economic development and communications officer has been learning the ropes at the Township of North Dundas since Jan. 3.

It’s a new gig and new career for Stephen Mann, 31, whose hiring was officially approved and announced at the Jan. 17 council meeting.

Mann — who has no family connections to North Dundas — emerged from the University of Guelph in 2007 with a commerce and marketing management degree.

The married Kanata resident previously worked in the private sector, in the insurance industry, and holds a Chartered Insurance Professionals designation. The North Dundas job marks his debut in a government position.

“The team is great here. Everyone works great together. It’s kind of a family atmosphere,” Mann told Nation Valley News. “It’s a good place to start, for sure.”

His hometown of Lindsay, Ontario, where he grew up on a rural property, is very much like North Dundas in its rural character, he said. “It’s like coming back home to be in a town like this.”

Asked about his goals for North Dundas economic development, Mann explained that he wanted to get out and meet business owners and make them aware of various government programs that can help them. That includes the township’s own facade-rebuilding Community Improvement Plan.

As communications officer, he will continue to promote the township through social media and update its community calendar, he said.

Mann replaces former Economic Development Officer Anne Leduc, who held the position for less than a year before taking a job closer to home with the Township of North Glengarry. Leduc had replaced North Dundas’s first-ever economic development officer, Rob Hunter, who had departed for neighbouring South Dundas — slightly closer to his Brockville-area home.

Mann said he’d like to live in North Dundas. “Eventually, I’d like to get a piece of property,” he said, adding the yard needed to be big enough “for a John Deere.”