The two-year contract for executive director of economic development commences on June 3.
“In all honesty, coming back to Victoria and living here full-time after being in [San Francisco] has underlined for me what a truly unique and inspiring place Victoria is,” says Baker.
Regarding the City’s economic development efforts, “This is really the strategic component,” says Baker. “How do we unify the message? Frankly, I think we’ve done ourselves a disservice by not doing [the strategic component] well.”
Baker’s role includes assessing and strategizing on opportunities that were outlined in Growing Business in BC’s Capital City: Victoria’s Economic Development Strategy, released in 2011. This will include a focus on defining market needs and identifying growth opportunities for the future. Her focus on economic priorities includes supporting a vibrant downtown retail sector, supporting the implementation of the downtown core area plan, harbour planning and development. She plans to work with Victoria’s business groups to help to unify the message across keys groups and sectors.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Sage to the City team, working to grow the local economy and position Victoria for economic prosperity,” says City Manager Gail Stephens. “Her proven relationships and her understanding of Victoria’s economy and opportunities for growth will be integral to the success of this new function.”
Before founding Q5 Innovations, Baker was general manager with FTI Consulting overseeing the west coast U.S. and Canadian markets. She is also the former VP of Global Corporate and Investor Relations with Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, where she was vice president of global corporate & investor relations responsible for strategic planning, corporate communications, investor and public relations, and internal communications.