Julie Sperber hired as community economic development officer

Economic Development Advisory Group

Press Release

Tuesday, May 15 2018

Job applications were received from all over the globe and dozens of residents took part in an exhaustive selection process to hire a Community Economic Development Officer for Gabriola, DeCourcy and Mudge islands. The successful candidate starts the new job this week, and her name is Julie Sperber.

Sperber has lived in the community for 11 years and her two children were born on Gabriola. She has been a studio artist, a market vendor, and she founded a series of island-based businesses, including Red Roaster Coffee and the Old Crow Cafe.

“Julie Sperber has been effectively doing this job in our community for years as a valued volunteer and mentor to entrepreneurs and anyone starting something new here. This job is all about balancing economic development with positive social impact and sustainable practices, and we believe Julie is the best person to get this started in a good way,” said Graham Bradley, a farmer and founder of the Gabriola Food Hub who serves as Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Group.

That advisory group is made up of volunteers and ensures that the base funding for economic development from the Regional District of Nanaimo to the Chamber of Commerce is administered in a way that reflects and represents the needs of islanders.

“To say I am excited about this position is an understatement and I can’t wait to get started,” Sperber said. “Community economic development really resonates with me because it is not just about an economy of scale and growth. It is created by the community with that community’s unique needs, assets and values in mind and it aims to build resiliency in structures through collaboration and democracy. 

“In essence, it is about home-grown solutions, innovative partnerships and seeing our own potential.”

Sperber encourages anyone who wants more information or to share ideas to contact her at ecdev@gabriolaisland.org