Publication:

The News (New Glasgow) - 2021-11-25

Data:

From NYC to Pictou County

News

ADAM MACINNIS THE NEWS adam.macinnis@ngnews.ca @ngnews

PICTOU, N.S. – When Scott Ferguson wakes up in Caribou, he looks out his window at the beauty of Northumberland Strait and contemplates whether to launch his kayak out for a paddle or to bike into Pictou. It’s a far cry from his life two years ago. Until 2020, Ferguson was surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, where he was employed for three and a half years as CEO of the World Trade Centres Association – an organization that worked with 325 World Trade Centres and WTC branded properties and trade service organizations around the world. Before that, he was president and CEO of the Halifax World Trade Centre, an organization that operated the World Trade Center Halifax, Scotia Bank Centre and the Halifax Convention Centre. Now he’s stepping into the role of CEO of the Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network. “Ferguson’s international recognition for his ability to foster organizational growth will help move the PCREN into its next phase, post-startup,” said PCREN board chair Ryan Fraser in a release announcing his appointment. “We are thrilled to have his leadership at the PCREN and to have Scott as a resident of Pictou County.” Pictou County can thank COVID for bringing Ferguson here. Ferguson grew up in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, before pursuing an economics degree at Acadia University, and years later, completed an MBA at Saint Mary’s University. While he has no direct connections to Pictou County, Ferguson said he always admired the area as he drove through. “I always have known it as a beautiful little area, and I actually used to think of Pictou as a place as I might want to retire or move to at some point,” he explained. While he was in New York, he and his wife began looking for a cottage they could spend some time in in the summer and ultimately decided on a property in Caribou. What appealed to them about the area was the natural beauty and the proximity to Halifax and the airport. When Ferguson returned from New York, he did his required isolation in the Caribou cottage and fell in love with it. He was amazed at the friendliness of the people in the community. “It kind of begged the question: ‘If I like it so much, why don’t I stay here,’” Ferguson said. When the PCREN position became available, he felt it would be a perfect opportunity that fell in line with his experience and passion. While the World Trade Centre was larger in scope than what his current position entails, Ferguson said the basics are the same in many ways. “It really comes down to how those cities in different parts of the world – some of them are very small – are developing local skills and trying to engage globally,” he said. “It started with a local piece first and that’s exactly what’s happening here in Nova Scotia.” He believes the qualities that drew him to Pictou County are the same strengths that can be used to draw others – a beauty and quality of life that can’t be found in many large urban centres. As he hits the ground running in the new role, he said one of his main focuses is collaboration and innovation. “We have to collaborate. We’re not big enough to be infighting and arguing amongst ourselves. It’s like a family. We need to work together,” he said. Aside from creating a more positive environment locally, he said it’s also a good way to secure additional funding from provincial and federal governments who want to encourage regional economic development. “There are significant budgets and funds available to support communities. But the one thing they insist on is a unified ask,” he said. Other areas he hopes to continue to help grow our small business innovation and immigration. He believes his past experiences will serve him well as he begins those efforts. “I have a chance now to apply what I learned, but also to learn some new skills and meet some new people.”

Images:

© PressReader. All rights reserved.