By Justine Janssen
Six months ago, my husband and I made the decision to move our family and careers to Windsor after a decade of living in cities like New York, Dallas and Toronto. As relatively new Windsorites, we often get asked what the community needs to do to get others to think Windsor.
To me, it comes down to these three things:
1. We Need Swagger
This is an incredible community and I don’t think that many people in Windsor-Essex realize how good we have it. The combination of affordability, proximity to the US and the Great Lakes, phenomenal community organizations, fantastic restaurants, and a warm and supportive community feel makes this an incredible place to live – and if you don’t believe that, I actually encourage you to move away for a period of time. Go learn and grow somewhere else, then come back and appreciate this incredible community and share with it what you’ve learned from being away. We will all be richer for it. It took us moving away for my husband and I to realize what a treasure South Western Ontario really is.
2. We Need Vision
It was sad to see Windsor excluded from the Innovation Corridor this month, but we need to take responsibility for developing a coordinated, bold vision for this region to give both private and public sector investors something to invest IN. I have been blown away by how much talent and passion there is in this region – that is not the issue. We need to declare what we want to be when we grow up and allow that vision to guide our priorities and investments as a region.
3. We Need to Work Together
We can declare a bold vision, but we all need to move in the same direction to achieve it. We have a massive opportunity to tear down silos and barriers between organizations to transform Windsor-Essex with a unified vision that respects our roots and enables the innovations we need to move forward. Whether you are in the public or private sector, we ALL have a role to play in celebrating Windsor’s strengths and supporting the entrepreneurs who create value in our community.
Justine Janssen is a technology executive and strategist. She is passionate about community stewardship, entrepreneurship, and women in tech. You can reach her by email HERE.
“Attracting People to Windsor Starts with Swagger, Vision & Teamwork” originally appeared as the Generation YKNOT feature in the April 2016 issue of Biz X Magazine. Subscribe HERE to get your free digital copy of Biz X Magazine delivered right to your email inbox!