Jordan Stackhouse didn’t waste any time becoming involved in Hay River. In fact, after a tour of Great Slave Lake in August and meeting a few residents, he gladly accepted the opportunity to put together a proposal for Hay River to host NWT Tourism’s 2013 annual general meeting – before even being employed here.
Hay River’s application was successful and it will welcome approximately 150 tourism delegates next year.
Living in Fort McPherson, Stackhouse wanted to relocate his family to a less-isolated community. After deciding to move here despite no immediate job opportunities, the position of economic co-ordinator became available in October.
“This opportunity came up and it really spoke to my background,” he said.
These days, you will likely see him going around town introducing himself and trying to create a stronger bond between Town Hall and the business community.
Stackhouse’s position in Fort McPherson saw him work on a number of projects, including the creation of a brand-new visitors centre.
Besides working as a general manager for a development corporation, he also took on the position of tourism officer for the community and went after different funding opportunities, creating important contacts in virtually every governmental organization along the way.
“We went from having nothing to developing a tourism strategy,” he said about his work in Fort McPherson. “We got funding for infrastructure, which doesn’t happen overnight. We were able to do a lot of things there.”
In Hay River, Stackhouse’s position is diverse, to say the least. One of the components of his job will be to gather ideas from various local boards and try to help them materialize.
“There was a need in the community for this position simply because, with all the different boards and council, there are so many great ideas that they just needed someone to do the legwork and push them through,” he said.
Another important component is bringing jobs and businesses to Hay River. With forestry, mining and tourism activity on the rise, Stackhouse believes the area is destined for growth within the next couple of years.
“We have to position ourselves to take advantage of that,” he said.
Part of his job will also involve collecting data and setting a baseline for what Hay River currently has, and what kind if success it can have in the future.
“We really need to put our best foot forward in saying there is growth happening here, and we need to sell this community and its businesses,” he said. “The job creation will have to grow organically.”
Stackhouse emphasized he is available to local organizations and businesses, which have already started passing along various funding ideas to him. He said he’ll provide any help he can – whether it’s information, advice or assistance in obtaining funding.
“I want to let people know they’re supported and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure Hay River, the South Slave region, is poised for growth in the future,” said the economic co-ordinator.
— Myles Dolphin