Our Team

Your Wellington County Economic Development team

Working to facilitate the growth and prosperity of the local economy and to promote Wellington as a destination to work, live, and invest. We manage local market information, provide business support services and design events to help businesses make the connections they need to grow. Our 3,200 businesses benefit from our proximity to the GTA, excellent transportation routes and a qualified and diverse labour force.

Jana Burns, BA, MSc
Director of Economic Development

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Jana BurnsIn her role as the Director of Economic Development of the County of Wellington, Jana has set ambitious goals for her new department and executed them with ease and efficiency. She diligently evaluates the needs of existing businesses and designs new projects to effectively assist with current issues and trends. She spares no effort to represent the County on a national and international stage and effectively promotes Wellington's many assets to attract new investors to the region.

She has been a long standing volunteer with numerous community organizations, including the Centre of Sustainable Agriculture, a non for profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting learning opportunities that encourage sustainable food communities. She played a crucial role in bringing this idea to fruition, by developing a business case and spearheading discussions with related organizations and the Upper Grand District School Board in order to create the opportunity for high school students to enroll in a Sustainable Agriculture course. Jana continues to volunteer with the WCSA as the Board of the Chair and is heavily involved in fundraising and further developing the centre's viability.

Jana has been a member of the Taste Real Guelph Wellington Local Food advisory committee since 2011, supporting the programme's efforts, which include supporting local food and farm businesses and becoming one of the most vibrant destinations for food tourism in the province. Under her guidance, Taste Real has successfully assisted many new and existing farm and food businesses in Guelph and Wellington with marketing and business support and the initiative has received provincial and national awards recognizing leadership and expertise in marketing and events management.

Jana is passionate about community development and promoting Wellington County as a place to live and do business. She is a true leader and a visionary who inspires her team and anyone who has the chance to work with her along the way.

Crystal Ellis, BA
Manager of Economic Development

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Crystal Ellis

Crystal's role with the County of Wellington is to encourage economic growth, attract new investment and support local initiatives such as the Taste Real programme. Her main focus is on implementing countywide Business Retention and Expansion initiatives, as well as coordinating the Wellington Festivals and Events Guide, Lure Brochure and Visitors Map publications.  

Crystal bring with her experience with various projects including municipal corporate rebranding, cultural planning, economic development strategy implementation, event coordination and volunteer management. Growing up on a dairy farm  in Mapleton Township has also provided Crystal with practical, first-hand experience of agriculture in Wellington County.   

Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Diploma in Arts Management from the University of Western Ontario. She has completed AMCTO's Municipal Administration Program (MAP) and is currently pursuing her certified Economic Development Professional designation at the University of Waterloo. Crystal volunteers with the Friends of the Drayton Theatre and acts at Vice President of the Renew Northern Wellington Board.

Mandy Jones, BA
Economic Development Officer

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Mandy Jones, Economic Development Officer

Mandy has over 8 years of experience in community economic development, both at the local level and upper tier level of government. Her experience has focused on various areas of economic development including downtown revitalization, business retention and expansion, and tourism and marketing.

Mandy's role with the County of Wellington includes coordinating the countywide Business Retention and Expansion programme, the Wellington Signage Plan and promoting Wellington as a top place to invest and do business.

Mandy holds a degree in Contemporary Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, a diploma in General Arts and Science from Conestoga College and is currently working towards her certified Economic Development Professional designation at the University of Waterloo.

Mandy is passionate about economic development and is very engaged in the community. In her spare time, Mandy is a Director for the Arthur Agricultural Society, Vice President of the Arthur Curling Club and Chair of the Fundraising Committee. Mandy enjoys living in Wellington County with her husband and two boys.

Tom Lusis, PhD, RCIC
Talent Attraction

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Tom Lusis

Tom Lusis received his PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph. Primarily an economic geographer, his research has focused on two main areas; the labour market integration of immigrants and the impact of social networking technology on immigrant's transnational networks.

Tom is a registered immigration consultant with an extensive background in the settlement field. His professional experience includes positions with; Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington, the Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership Project, and the University of Guelph. He has also led workshops for service providers in Guelph and Toronto that highlights the importance of an intercultural perspective when working with culturally diverse groups.

His volunteer activities include serving as President of the Board of Directors of Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington, and supporting refugee initiatives in Guelph and Wellington County with intercultural training and speaking engagements.

Tom's role with Economic Development concentrates on talent attraction and retention.
His portfolio has been developed to help meet labour market needs in Wellington County and support strategic economic growth. To achieve these objectives Tom oversees the "Live and Work" initiatives, advises employers about economic immigration programs and practices to enhance global talent retention, and is building employment-focused partnerships with local post-secondary institutions, the settlement sector and ethno-cultural groups to connect high-skilled job seekers with employment opportunities in Wellington County.

Christina Mann
Taste Real Coordinator

 

Christina Mann

Christina joined Guelph Wellington Local Food in 2010 and took over coordination of the taste.real programme in late 2012. She works strategically with partners and agri-food related businesses in Wellington County to create enhanced channels for local food within the region.

Growing up in rural Southern Germany provided Christina with a strong appreciation for good, locally produced food grown in a sustainable manner. She shares her family's passion for growing food, cooking and preserving the seasonal bounty.

After graduating from Hotel and Hospitality Management, Christina lived and worked in Germany, Spain and the UK. She brings with her extensive experience working in the Food Industry and Event Management.

Christina lives in Guelph with her husband and two kids and is passionate about making Local Food available for everyone.

Heather Vasey
Economic Development Assistant

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Heather Vasey

Heather joined the team in December 2014. She is a graduate of Conestoga College and has been working in business and administration within Wellington County for over 10 years. She brings her business, research, database and community knowledge with her to help increase the strength of our network. Her role is to support initiatives within the Economic Development Office and the Taste Real Programme.

Heather's goal is to continue to learn and develop her knowledge in business, and greatly enjoys working with the public and with businesses in the area. Being part of the economic development outlet is important. She is inspired by and proud to be working with people who are helping to create a positive future for the communities in our region.

Heather grew up in Centre Wellington, and currently lives in Fergus with her husband and son.

© 2018 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, F 519.837.1909