The SDE is incredibly lucky to have a remarkable team devoting their hearts and souls to the efforts of the organization. With May 1 marking International Workers’ Day, we would like to honour the dedication of the people behind La Société de Développement Économique.
In this month’s SDE logo, the letter “D” has been replaced with an abstract heart that is meant to represent the love SDE has for both its own team and the clients it services and supports. Lily-of-the-valley flowers decorate the heart shape with their association with “La Fête du Travail”.
This year alone, our team has contributed to developing and managing more than 26 different projects, and partnered with over 50 organizations to support over 900 entrepreneurs and businesses in achieving their goals. Because of our hardworking and dedicated staff over the past 20 years, the SDE has increased its operations budget from $80,000 to $1.8 million, allowing us to dedicate more monetary efforts towards helping our community make a difference in our economy.
Over the years, the organization as a whole has attained many achievements thanks to all of the individuals working behind the scenes. In 2008, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) awarded a certificate of achievement to our organization for its contribution to the economic development of the francophone community in B.C. for the years of 1998-2008. That same year, the SDE was the recipient of the Baldwin-Lafontaine Award, granted by the Canadian Club of Vancouver in recognition of our efforts to collaborate with Anglophones, Canada’s national majority.
Over the course of the SDE’s 20 years of existence, some of our employees, many of whom have been with the organization for a very long time, have been formally recognized for their achievements:
- In 2013, Donald Cyr, our Executive Director, received an honorary award from Community Futures for his exceptional role and contribution to the development of our community. In that same year, the Province of B.C., under the office of Premier Christy Clark, granted him another award for his role in the advancement of the Francophone community in B.C. economy. Finally, because good things come in threes, Cyr was awarded Le Prix d’excellence Gérald-et-Henriette-Moreau from La Fédération des Francophones de la Colombie-Britannique for his excellence and dedication to our Francophone community.
- In 2014, our Director of Business Services and Communication at the time, Rita Couture, was noticed by L’Alliance des Femmes de la Francophonie Canadienne for her outstanding contribution to the advancement and support of women. Through her role in the implementation of a mentoring program for women in business, and her efforts towards the creation of FAM, a network of women business owners, Couture was named Une Femme Remarquable 2014.
- In 2015, Mme Nicole Smith, Manager of Tourism at the SDE, and Mme Pascale Knolinger, Director of Economic Development Programs at that time, were recognized by RDÉE Canada for their contributions to enhancing the vitality and economic development of the Francophone community.
The work that our team performs is invaluable to the Francophone community of B.C. and Canada, and the board of directors and executive staff feel very lucky to have such motivated and hardworking people that make up the SDE. Thank you to every member of our staff, new and old, for your dedication!