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Introducing Wendy Luther, our New President & CEO

Posted: June 19, 2019

Halifax is growing, and so are we. That’s why we are excited to welcome Wendy Luther to the Halifax Partnership team as President & CEO.

Wendy’s experience at EduNova and Nova Scotia Business Inc. focused on selling Halifax and Nova Scotia to the world, and she’s jumped right in to join our staff, partners and investors to focus even more deeply on helping Halifax grow.

We asked Wendy for her thoughts on what excites her about Halifax and the Partnership. Here’s what she had to say.

How did you choose Halifax as your home?

Originally, I did not want to come to Halifax. I was born in Vancouver and had a career there, but my fiancé at the time (now my husband), who was from Halifax, was desperate to return home. In 2001 I quit my job in advertising and somewhat reluctantly moved here.

What changed for me was securing employment. I was very lucky to receive two job offers on the same day. I tell this story to young people who say there are no opportunities here. That’s a myth. I think I’ve had a much more interesting career path here than I would have if I’d stayed in Vancouver.

I accepted a position with the World Trade and Convention Centre, and spent my time there representing our province and region to the world. I started by saying to myself “I’m selling this place. What is it that I’m selling?” This really opened my eyes to the incredible opportunities we have here.

What’s your favourite part about this city?


What makes Halifax so unique compared to other places in the world is that you’re never more than one degree of separation from anyone in the city. And, the people who live here truly take pride in their ability to introduce, include, and integrate people. It’s how I was able to hear about my first job here. The Halifax Partnership’s Connector Program is a concrete example of that – how we use our professional and personal networks to connect with graduates and newcomers so they can grow their own networks, get a foothold in our job market and ultimately pay this forward to the next group of graduates and newcomers.

In Halifax there’s a feeling of connection to the community that I have not sensed anywhere else. We hear that from people who visit as well, that there’s a difference here in how the community connects and includes visitors and newcomers. It’s manifested even in our community events, which doesn’t always happen in other cities in a safe and inclusive way. As we have more people moving here in record numbers, we need to let them know this is for you, as much as for the people who already live here. If we put resources behind deliberately creating connections and networks for people, they will stay, and that’s a large part of what’s helping our city grow.

What attracted you to the Partnership?

There’s so much happening in Halifax right now, and the Partnership is at the epicentre of that activity. To be here not as an observer to this growth, but to be in the middle of it, listening attentively to our business community, governments, and stakeholders, hearing what they see and need and then ensuring we’re doing everything in our power to reach toward those aspirational goals for population and GDP in the Economic Growth Plan is incredibly inspiring to me.

I’m captivated by the opportunity to be a part of the conversations and in a position to stand hand in hand with many stakeholders who are making this happen: to drive the growth agenda and, to quote Ron Hanlon, to make sure we keep our foot on the gas. We’re already doing so much great work here, but there’s so much great work left to do. What I’m particularly interested in are the concrete actions that we and our partners can take between now and 2031 to reach our goals.

How has your career led you to this role?

Having led EduNova through two strategic plans and a governance restructure by working very closely with many of the same government stakeholders as the Partnership will be an asset in this role. Since I moved to this city in 2001, I’ve been a marketeer and champion of Halifax. All three of my past roles have been all about helping companies and education institutions succeed by creating the environment for their success and promoting that to the world.

I have touted the benefits Halifax offers in more than 20 countries, not only promoting what exists, but actively creating the foundation for “what could be” – new initiatives that have never been attempted before that create new opportunities for success. One example from my time at EduNova is the creation of the Study and Stay™ Program. Guided by leaders from all 11 post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia and federal and provincial governments, it is the first of its kind in the world as a targeted and deliberate international student retention program.

Similar interesting and impactful initiatives already exist here at the Partnership so as I think about how we celebrate what’s working well I’m also thinking about how we also look forward to “what’s next?” What’s the legacy of these programs? How are we innovative in creating initiatives that no one else has that will help us both draw businesses here and support further growth of those who are already here?

I’m a Halifax resident by choice. I believe strongly in this city, and that it has created opportunities for me that I would not have achieved elsewhere. Over the course of my career in Halifax, I’ve worked with hundreds of private sector companies, helping them reach their growth goals. I have a history of driving innovation and informing policy and programming and my work is always based on collaboration and input from the community that we serve.

I am honoured to join the Halifax Partnership and to work with our team, and our community to drive growth and success all across our city.

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