Our Team

Your County of Wellington 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 3,400+ 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 Burns

Jana grew up in Germany and moved to Elora, Ontario in her junior school years. She studied Economics and International Trade at the University of Waterloo and once again moved to Germany upon graduation. Working for the German International Development Organization, Jana spent two years in South Africa, creating a chamber of business in the western cape which is still growing today. She then spent two years in the UK, completing her Masters at the London School of Economics. Jana has been with the County of Wellington for six years, having been fortunate to establish the County’s  economic development division. She loves what she does and the community in which she does it and is humbled by the opportunities which the community enables. She spares no effort to represent the County on a national and international stage to promote the county’s many assets.

Jana has been a long standing volunteer with numerous community organizations, including the Wellington Waterloo Community Futures financial lending organization and the Wellington 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, 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 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 merged to become a County programme, assisting new and existing farm and food businesses with marketing and business support. Taste Real has received provincial and national awards recognizing leadership and expertise in marketing and events management.

Jana loves to travel, loves to cook and absolutely adores her husband and baby girl. She has a great team that inspires her daily and makes work fun.

Crystal Ellis, BA
Senior Economic Development Officer

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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 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 the Township of Mapleton, it 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.

James Vaclavek, MAES
Economic Development Officer

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James Vaclavek

James grew up in London Ontario, and moved to Guelph to complete his undergraduate degree in Environmental Governance at the University of Guelph. It was here that James became familiar with Wellington County and all it has to offer. After peaking an interest in rural economic development, James completed his Masters of Economic Development and Innovation from the University of Waterloo. James moved back to Guelph immediately following graduation, and has now lived there for 6 years. He loves Guelph and Wellington County, and is passionate about seeing its future growth and economic development. James is now actively pursuing an Ec. D. designation with the Economic Developers Association of Canada to further advance his skills within the field.

James brings with him a background in government grant consulting. He is experienced at providing direction to companies seeking to grow their business in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, environmental technology, finance, and computer and software technology. James also brings project management skills in working closely with public and private stakeholders. As Economic Development Officer, James will rely on his experience to manage the RIDE WELL Rural Transit Service, Community Improvement Programme, and Signage Programme initiatives with the County of Wellington.

James currently still lives in Guelph where he exercises his passion for sports, cooking, and nature.

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 a part of the business, administration and tourism sector for over a decade. 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 resides there with her husband and son.

© 2019 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909