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Entrepreneurs and innovators in the Bay of Quinte region, from Brighton to Napanee and Prince Edward County to South Hastings including Belleville, Quinte West and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

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Rob Clute: QuinteVation new Executive Director

Rob Clute:  QuinteVation new Executive Director

Quintevation Welcomes Rob Clute as New Executive Director

 

With two decades of experience in a small business environment, and with a fervent desire to see the Bay of Quinte region become a true centre of innovative entrepreneurial endeavours, Rob Clute chose to put his name forward for the position of executive director of Quintevation.

Ultimately, it was a successful move, as Clute was confirmed by the organization’s board of directors in that position earlier this month and has hit the ground running.

“I know [Quintevation chairperson] Ryan Williams really well and knew the kind of person he is and the kind of commitment he has to building our community and this region, so as I was looking for a change after nearly 20 years selling cars and then being an investment advisor, I realized this was the opportunity I was waiting for,” said Clute, who came to Belleville in 1994, and was an integral part of the family automotive sales business in Belleville from 1999 until his dad Bob sold their dealerships a few years ago. He then took a securities course and earned his investment advisor designation, taking a job with Investor’s Group.

“Quintevation has been on my radar since it started. I had been following it on social media and checking on their website and seeing all the exciting things that they were doing and how good they were at getting their message out. And I think because of my experience working in the region and the number of contacts I have made and having a keen understanding of the dynamics of the local economy made me a good candidate for this role.

“I have always had a very personal approach to business and I think I have gained some pretty good communication and interpersonal skills over the years. I am able to interact with people of all different types of business and backgrounds and through my years being a Rotarian, I also have experience in dealing with an active and vibrant board of directors, like we have with Quintevation.”

QuinteVation Board (missing – Vicki Samaras and John Bonn)

Although only on the job for a short period of time, Clute already has a good handle on the mission and mandate of Quintevation and its role in fostering innovative economic development programs, projects and individuals within the Bay of Quinte Region.

“Quintevation, to me, is about making this the premier region for innovative rural economic growth over the next 20 years. We want this region to be top of mind for people anywhere looking for somewhere to either bring their business or start their business, and to help them make their business grow and thrive. And for the stability of our local economy, we need to get people aware of the wonderful things that are going on in this region,” Clute said.

As for his role, he said it is to work with all the key stakeholders to continue to build new partnerships and nurture existing ones, and to keep pushing Quintevation’s role as a key economic development agency within the Bay of Quinte region.

“My role, specifically, is to work with the Quintevation board of directors to provide some consistency and clarity in our message as to what we’re doing and for me to be the public face and the driving force behind that message. And I am also responsible to make sure that all our stakeholders and partners are happy with what we’re doing and are confident in what we’re doing and that we are getting the results we need to get.”

Clute said he is excited to be working on a number of existing projects, particularly being the lead organization in the ground-breaking RevUp program, as well as the development of more industry clusters.

“RevUp is a program designed for businesses that do between $350,000 and $500,000 in revenue that are looking to scale up. And that means looking to expand their product or service offerings, their sales and their employee base. It’s an excellent program that sees the business owner work with Entrepreneurs in Residence [EIR] from Queen’s University over a six month period to take their business to the next level. There’s nothing like this program anywhere else in Ontario,” he explained.

“The other thing we are doing is facilitating industry clusters to organize themselves. So we’re bringing in things like peer-to-peer mentoring and meet-ups within these industries. For example we have the film/television industry and the craft beer industry clusters already. The craft beer has already created their own organization now with Quinte Craft. So we continue to look for those types of industries that are starting to develop in the Bay or Quinte region, bringing the entrepreneurs in those sectors together to talk about similarities in their business and any challenges they are facing to get them working together to help resolve those issues, but also to help promote one another and promote their sector to a much wider audience.”

“We are also looking at industries such as agri-tech, small high-tech businesses that would fit into the RevUp program and we’re also looking at the cannabis tech and health care and wellness industries too. Going forward, in Canada, all those industries are going to be huge over the next five to 10 years. Those are key areas that we’re keeping an eye on so that when things really start happening we will be in the right position to maximize our opportunities as a region to attract those sorts of businesses and also to encourage local entrepreneurs to create and build businesses in those sectors.”

To get in touch with Clute, please call 613-391-8566, or email rob@quintevation.

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