~ February 2008 Edition
Management Team 07/08
and Glenn Pettinger
Heritage Perth Business Improvement Area
Ralph Fish thanking John Clement, Heather Hansgen, Shellee Evans, Bob Leitch, and Craig Halpenny.
John brought with him a team of four people from the Downtown Heritage Perth Business Improvement Area (Perth BIA) Strategic Planning Team; Craig Halpenny, Co-Chair; Heather Hansgen, Coordinator; Bob Leitch, Strategic Planning Facilitator; Shellee Evans, Director, Community Services, Town of Perth. The purpose of this team is to develop a strategic plan for the BIA that will address critical issues affecting the downtown core and help transform the area by embracing 21st century trends and realities.
The BIA is an association of business people and landowners who have joined together to promote their mutual interests. The area covers the downtown core and includes about 150 businesses. John emphasized the importance of a downtown area to any community, particularly in a smaller town like Perth. Without a strong and viable business core, a community loses its sense of identity, particularly with so much going on outside the area, in our case on Hwy 7. A strong business area means the largest employer in town, a strong tax base, apartment units, a wealth of giving from businesses to community programs, charities and fund raising events, which depend so heavily on the business community. The principle function of the BIA is to increase business through the development of special events, beautification, promotion and advertising. The BIA provides lobbying, organizing and financing programs otherwise unavailable to their independent business members.
The first meeting of the BIA Strategic Planning Team was on June 21, 2007. After six months of strategic planning discussions and deliberations, the Strategic Planning Team has established two Strategic Action Groups; a Marketing, Promotion and Branding Action Group and an Infrastructure Action Group. These Action Groups will address current issues affecting downtown infrastructure, business development, promotion and sustainability.
The BIA Strategic Planning Team is seeking community volunteers who may wish to help either of the Action Groups by providing their expertise and experience. The level of commitment can be a one time meeting with an Action to share ideas and 'know-how' or a more extensive commitment by becoming a member of one of the Action Groups. The BIA Strategic Planning Team wishes to create a consensus, within the Perth community and desire input, from groups in Perth such as Probus, where our expertise and contacts may assist in their objectives. The BIA aims to serve the interests of their members and the community by making the downtown core a more attractive place to shop, work and do business.
A lively question and answer session followed the presentation with Probus members bringing up the problems attributed to some of the tenants and absentee landlords of the downtown core buildings. The BIA is looking for solutions to these problems. John and his team explained that the Downtown Heritage Perth BIA must remain strong to weather the economic peaks and valleys it faces every day. The BIA welcomes assistance and suggestions from anyone who is willing to offer. If any member of Probus wishes to help one of the BIA Action Groups, please contact John Clement at 613-267-1100 or by email email@example.com
Personal Profile: Eric Halpin
Eric was born in Toronto, 1944, into a RCAF family. With his father receiving new military postings, the family moved around a number of times to different places. Eric was happy wherever they went, but the one that he recalls as one of his favorites was the time his father was posted to Washington, D.C.
Eric began his working career with the CPR as a cleaner and rose to the level of Car Maintenance Man. One part of this job was to make and break up railway cars into trains. This must have led him to one of his hobbies later in life, building HO scale model railway trains with a large layout in his basement. Eric and Jim Sands have a lot in common with this passion!
Leaving his employment with the CPR, the next 40 years found Eric working for Ontario Hydro (now Ontario Power Generation). He was employed as a Stationary Engineer Trainee and when he retired, he had moved on to be their Manager of Operating Training Services out of head office in Toronto. For the first thirty or so years he was an operator in various thermal (coal burning) generating plants in the province.Eric met his wife, Barbara, in the early 60’s in Kirkland Lake. They are happily celebrating their 40’s wedding anniversary this year. They have two children and two grandchildren. Their daughter, husband and grand kids live in Thunder Bay and their son and wife live in Newmarket.Eric has many hobbies and interests. He has had fresh water tropical fish from time to time. From his time walking the many miles of railway tracks, he collected glass insulators. His collection has since been sold to an American dealer. He developed an interest in genealogy as he traipsed around some parts of the world to discover the burial spots of his ancestors. He presently is enjoying his model trains and in the future, he would like to learn more about astronomy.Eric feels he has led a very satisfying and happy life and he and his wife love living in the town of Perth.
Members of other Probus Clubs are welcome to join our special events. If you have ideas for new events or trips, please talk to Denise Mullins (267-3479). Note: For all trips, the bus leaves from the Legion.
Our program Coordinators, Ian Doig, (613-264-2707) and Glen Pettinger (613-264-9747) welcome your suggestions for future topics and speakers.