Entries in Peterborough Economic Development (2)


#TeamPTBO ... What is it anyway?

A few months ago I wrote an article here that coined the phrase #TeamPTBO. Since then the Chamber has seen multiple references to the term, and indeed we’ve used it on a number of occasions, both in conversation and as a hashtag on social media. But what does it actually mean? Who’s on the team?

Read the original article

Let me say up front that I hesitate to attempt to define #TeamPTBO for fear of limiting a concept that should have no limits, but Sandra is on holidays and I need 500 words....

Let’s look at what is a significant local economic development infrastructure.  At the top of the heap is the Peterborough Economic Development (PED). PED is funded by both the City and County of Peterborough. They are the lead agency for economic development. Their areas of focus include tourism, agriculture, start-ups and entrepreneurs, the attraction and retention of businesses in general, the airport, the Trent Research and Innovation Park, Startup
Peterborough, the Business Advisory Centre, and more. They employ professional staff who work closely with clients who are trying to start a business or grow a business.

The list of other agencies that play either a supporting or unique role is very long, including: 


  • The Chamber of Commerce. Our list of services would fill this column, but our core work is captured in our vision statement – “Strengthening Business” through advocacy, mission-based events, strategic marketing opportunities, and business protection and savings programs. There is also the Kawartha Chamber and Tourism, the Millbrook Chamber, Havelock Chamber, and township business development committees of many shapes and sizes.
  • The Innovation Cluster. Carving out a unique space in technology- based, innovation-focused, entrepreneur-led business start-ups and growth.
  • The Kawartha Manufacturers Association. Supported by PED, the KMA is a volunteer-led group of manufacturers focussed on helping each other achieve world- class manufacturing.
  • The DBIA. Governed by geography, the DBIA is still focused on start-ups and growth for businesses within their jurisdiction, serving an events and marketing function as well as a lobby group for the Downtown core. Like the Chamber, there are several similar organizations in smaller communities in the Kawarthas.
  • Startup Peterborough. An entrepreneur-led organization designed to support budding and seasoned entrepreneurs, also supported by PED.
  • The list of agencies continues: Community Futures Peterborough, The Women’s Business Network, The Homebuilders Association, FastStart, The Federation of Agriculture and multiple commodity groups, The New Canadians Centre, the Peterborough Immigrant Partnership, Sustainable Peterborough, The Workforce Development Board, and more...
  • All levels of Government deserve special mention. City and County Councils contribute $1.6 million directly to PED and indirectly to many other agencies and initiatives, The Provincial and Federal Governments also contribute to much of the work being done. And it’s not just handing out cheques. 
  • Contributions from Government include everything from the Mayor sitting on a committee, to the municipal staff working with local business, to MP Monsef’s Peterborough Advisory Council on Jobs, to the very rules and regulations that govern how, where, and if, we do business. As Councillor Dan McWilliams said at PED’s Annual General Meeting earlier this year, “We are more than just funders”.


I assume you know where this is going... Obviously all of the above are the foundation of #TeamPTBO. Let’s not try too hard to define it. Let’s not use it to exclude anyone. Let’s use it as it was intended – a rallying cry for business retention and growth.

Where do you fit in? If you are still reading, then you are on #TeamPTBO too...



Who's who at Peterborough Economic Development

Peterborough Economic Development is a community partner of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.  

Today, Peterborough Economic Development (PED) is hosting its Annual General Meeting.  Three new board members will be joining the ranks, including myself.  I am extremely excited to be joining this board as it enters a new era of collaboration, focus and leadership.  Economic development is about building our community in a way that is sustainable, innovative and purposeful.  It is a community effort that I look forward to championing. 

PED's current five year strategic plan  has an overarching commitment to think big and challenge the status quo by:

  • Igniting the transformation towards a high-performing economy and outperforming* Ontario’s economic growth averages over the long term.
  • Working with the private sector to provide desirable job opportunities, encourage enhanced and sustainable prosperity, and quality of life within the community.
  • Leveraging resources and increasing organizational and community economic development capacity (our ability to grow the economy).
  • Enhancing community collaboration and partnerships.

“We continue to lead the transformation of Peterborough’s economy to generate job-creating leads, uncover opportunities and put Peterborough on the map as a place to live, work, invest and visit, and ultimately, create results for the communities we serve,”says Rhonda Keenan, President & CEO, Peterborough Economic Development.

So who is working for our community at PED?  

The Board of Directors and 12 staff dedicated to economic development and 6 dedicated to tourism in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.  Here is the leadership team.

Rhonda Keenan

As President & CEO, I lead and mobilize the organization to achieve its mission and vision. I bring a collaborative approach to developing partnerships and working with community stakeholders to deliver on our strategic plan and operations. Together, our mission is to lead Peterborough’s economic growth by attracting talent, innovation and investments that create desirable jobs and an irresistible place to live, learn and visit. 



Lorne Kelsey

As Director of Investment Expansion, I build and lead the strategies, key relationships and partnerships that enable the Investment Expansion team to attract and retain the talent and investments in the Peterborough region that ultimately lead to the creation and development of quality jobs and an irresistible place to live. I work closely with government agencies such as the Ontario East Economic Development Commission and the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation to seek investment opportunities. I also search for local opportunities with innovation, academia, research and development and commercialization functions to maximize investment expansion in the community.


Fiona Dawson

As Director of Tourism & Communications, I coordinate the promotion of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, Peterborough Economic Development and the services we offer within Peterborough & the Kawarthas to targeted regional, national and global markets. I also lead both the tourism and communications teams in attracting visitors and larger scale tourism related investments to the local economy which ultimately creates desirable jobs, and increases visitation to and spending in the region.


Barb van Vierzen
As Director of Operations & Finance, I develop and manage the processes and support systems that help ensure the smooth functioning of the PED organization so that staff can successfully fulfil their mission.




For more information on the PED team go to: www.peterboroughed.ca/ourteam