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December 15, 2008
Toronto's strong economic development strategy continues Appointment of General Manager of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism
The City of Toronto today announced that Mr. Mike Williams will be joining the City of Toronto as the new General Manager of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism. Mr. Williams will begin working at the City on February 2, 2009. The General Manager is a staff position in the City.

In the past year, the three divisions of economic development, culture and tourism have been amalgamated and restructured to support the Mayor’s Agenda for Prosperity. A new committee of Council has been created -- the Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Councillor Kyle Rae. The Mayor has appointed a new Economic Advisor in his office, Nick Lewis. And the City has created two new development agencies, Build Toronto and Invest Toronto, to carry out the recommendations of the Mayor’s fiscal review panel and the Mayor’s Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee. The appointment of the new General Manager of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism completes the picture.

These changes, together with the capital budget announced last week, strongly position the City of Toronto to contribute alongside other orders of government to the economic strategies necessary to confront the recession.

“Toronto’s economic strategy is of great importance to the city -- especially during the very challenging times we are now experiencing,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller. “Toronto has taken the steps necessary to help us get through the recession and we will continue to work in partnership with Toronto’s business community on the initiatives that build prosperity, opportunity and liveability in our city.”

Mr. Williams comes to the City of Toronto from the Toronto Region Research Alliance (TRRA), where he has recently served as Senior Vice President, Investment Attraction. He has been instrumental in the startup and establishment of the organization and in the course of his work at TRRA has come to know many of the City’s key stakeholders and opinion leaders. He has been involved with a variety of cluster building strategies and action plans, including greentech, digital media, advanced manufacturing, bio life sciences and ICT, and this extensive experience will serve him well in his new role at the City of Toronto.

Mr. Williams has a B.A.(Hons) in Economics and Geography and M.A. in Urban Geography from Queen's University, and is a Certified Management Consultant. He has had a varied career ranging from Assistant Regional Director at Statistics Canada, to Principal at Woods Gordon, and Senior Vice President International for R.L. Polk, a multinational information and marketing company, where he was based out of the UK and responsible for Europe, South America and Australasia. He has conducted numerous economic development consulting assignments for municipal and provincial governments and agencies, and has served on the boards of directors of the Toronto Board of Trade and Dixon Hall.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Rob Andrusevich, City of Toronto, Strategic Communications, 416-397-4149,



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