WSEDC Hires Business Development and Immigration Officer


 Recently the City of Winkler and the RM of Stanley jointly agreed to provide support and funding to the Winkler Stanley Economic Development Corporation (WSEDC) to hire a Business Development and Immigration Officer for the region. 

The Business Development and Immigration Officer will work with business, government, and community partners for the purpose of facilitating and advocating growth for Winkler/Stanley’s workforce with a focus on Immigration, In- Migration and retention. With an overall goal of positioning Winkler/Stanley as the location of choice for the purpose of Local Business expansion and attracting new business investment, work will also include providing direction and support for businesses looking to locate in the area and for new and early-stage businesses to grow and succeed. 

We are pleased to announce the hire of Mark Sawatzky; A local Business and Consulting Professional. Mark grew up in the area and returned in 2000 to raise his family and start a management consulting practice. Prior to returning to the area, his experience included working as an Economic Development Officer for the City of Winnipeg. 

With the establishment of this brand-new position and office, the goals in year one are as follows: 

1. Develop a labour pool strategy and provide oversight for that strategy considering three sources of a strong labour pool: i.) Immigration, ii.) In-migration, iii.) Retention/Growth 

2. Establish the Economic Development Office, its strategy, its marketing, and its business community engagement. 

3. Be a first point of contact and provide support for new business growth originating both inside and outside the region. 

 “I look forward to bringing my strategy work as a consultant to this position, helping organizations in the region meet current challenges and develop future opportunities.” – said Mark Sawatzky. 

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Mark to this position. When the board identified this need in our business community, we also recognized that the person hired needed to be the right fit. With Mark, we have the entrepreneurial spirit that our region is well known for, the connectedness to our business community and the ability to create and foster relationships,” Leak Klassen, WSEDC Board President. 

“This strategic partnership between the City of Winkler and the RM of Stanley is a building block for expanded economic growth and long-term community sustainability. The ability to partner together on this initiative with the WSEDC only makes us stronger not only as municipalities but as a region. – Reeve Morris Olafson 

“On behalf of Winkler City Council, we are delighted to create a regional partnership with the RM of Stanley through the WSEDC. This will have a huge positive impact for our region as a whole. Creating a venue that supports existing businesses assessing their needs that allow them to grow, create employment and improve the economy in the region and the Province will be noticeable.” – Mayor Martin Harder. 

For further information, contact:

Leah Klassen, Board Chair – WSEDC, Email: 

Mark Sawatzky , B. Comm. (Hons.) Business Development & Immigration Officer, WSEDC Email:, Phone: 204-312-0326