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New leadership hired for Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation

Economic development organization created in 2010 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the LCCDTS
Tim Grouette is the new LCIC executive director. (Submitted photo)

The Lower Columbia’s economic development organization has appointed a new leader to direct and guide its team.

Tim Grouette is the new Executive Director of the Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation (LCIC).

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Grouette is a human resource and management professional with over 20 years of experience working in indigenous affairs, business development, and the not-for-profit sector.

He spent his formative years building capacity in community organizations and creating growth at the government level before transitioning to helping organizations build inclusive work environments.

He values cultivating relationships with his team, sharing knowledge and resources, and assisting others in authentically developing their skill.

“I never want to be the smartest person at the table; I feel that there’s a genius in numbers, and it’s just a matter of creating a safe environment that encourages development,” he says.

He recognizes the value of inspiring confidence in his people. While he gets a sense of the organization and settles into his new role, he’ll look to his board and three-person team as subject matter experts.

The Manitoba native moved to the region with his wife a few years ago to support FortisBC as a contracted indigenous employment advisor. The empty-nesters are pleased to have time to explore their community with their two daughters away in post-secondary school.

“I love small cities and towns,” he shares. “You can really become part of the fabric and move things forward quickly because there’s not much to work against.”

While the environment is a definite draw, Grouette is also inspired by the Metal Tech Alley initiative and is committed to building on what’s been achieved so far.

The marketing concept focuses on celebrating the region’s growing metallurgical and technology sectors. It highlights the innovative businesses positioning their companies near local anchor, Teck Resources Ltd. The hope is that sharing these companies’ stories and how they benefit from the region’s offshoot opportunities will attract like-minded people to the area to do business.

“The Metal Tech Alley initiative is a cornerstone of what we do; continuing this conversation at a new level and encouraging the growth of a circular economy here in the Lower Columbia remains a priority,” says Grouette.

The circular economy is based on deliberately designing products for reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling. This creates a closed-loop system where instead of resource inputs being discarded at the end of a product’s life, the resources are salvaged to be repurposed for a new product. The value of resource inputs is maximized and the creation of waste, pollution, and carbon emissions is minimized. Residents can look to Teck, Retriev Technologies, KC Recycling and Fenix Advanced Materials as examples of companies already successfully taking this approach.

“I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going and showcasing the world-class talent here at our upcoming Industrial Circular Economy (ICE) Conference on June 16-18th,” he adds. “I’m proud to represent the region both at the conference and when I travel, which helps us stay on the cutting edge of the economic development that’s happening in the province.”

Grouette will focus on strengthening relationships with the LCIC’s stakeholders and community partners: Trail, Rossland, Fruitvale, Montrose, Warfield, and regional district electoral areas A and B.

The LCIC works collaboratively with the communities in the Lower Columbia region, local agencies, organizations, and businesses to develop and implement strategies that assist in strengthening the local economy.

Grouette has hit the ground running, feeding off the energy the upcoming ICE conference is generating.

He plans to grow the organization with an eye to sustainability through implementing key economic development strategies. LCIC’s headquarters is now located above the WorkBC Centre at 1499 Bay Ave. in downtown Trail.

“I love the brand new renovated office space – the views of the river are spectacular. I can see if the fish are jumping and when to call it quits early to head out on the water,” he laughs. “I’m thrilled to be here leading the LCIC and learning more about the communities, people, and business professionals in the region. I welcome the public to come in and say hello.”

Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation was created in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society (LCCDTS). LCIC’s mandate is to provide economic development services within the Lower Columbia Region and to serve as the first place of call as opportunities develop.

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Sheri Regnier

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