Donna Gillespie Receives Joseph A. Montgomery Economic Development Achievement Award

Kingston, Ontario – February 14, 2024 – During the Economic Developers Council of Ontario’s (EDCO) president’s dinner and awards ceremony Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development was announced as the distinguished recipient of the Joseph A. Montgomery Economic Development Achievement Award. The award, representing the EDCO’s highest honour in economic development, pays tribute to the legacy of Joseph A. Montgomery, who was a driving force behind the establishment of the EDCO and the Economic Development Association of Canada.

“I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Donna for almost a decade. Witnessing the remarkable transformation in our local economy and within the economic development office has been truly inspiring. Donna is a team player and collaborator; her ability to unite talented individuals towards overarching community goals is admirable. This award is a well-deserved recognition!” says Bryan Paterson, Mayor, City of Kingston.

Joseph A. Montgomery’s impactful career in Niagara Falls laid the foundation for the flourishing economic development profession we witness today. Donna Gillespie’s well-deserved recognition mirrors the dedication and pioneering spirit exemplified by Montgomery, and her contributions have significantly shaped both the community and the economic development profession.

In a tribute video played at the awards ceremony it was noted, “Donna has been instrumental in spearheading and supporting projects that brought over $100M to the Kingston economy.”

Donna’s influence extends across various initiatives, from spearheading the Kingston Film Office and the creation of the first Kingston Arts Awards of Excellence to her pivotal role in establishing the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway. As one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Economic Development Council, she has consistently demonstrated leadership and vision.

“Not only did Donna rebuild this organization with integrity and discipline, but also she has led the organization through a significant strategic refocussing effort that has aligned Kingston with one of the most significant changes to our economy in generations,” says Anne Vivian-Scott, Chair – Board of Directors, Kingston Economic Development. “On behalf of the board, I want to congratulate Donna on winning this award and to thank her for making Kingston such a wonderful place to grow my business.”

The Joseph A. Montgomery Economic Development Achievement Award is a celebration of excellence, and Donna Gillespie’s name now stands alongside the distinguished three other recipients since 2017.

“I am extremely honoured to be recognized by EDCO for the work I have done. Economic developers have a great opportunity to have a positive impact on their communities supporting entrepreneurs, attracting new investment and creating an environment for business success. I’m tremendously grateful to have strong leadership on the Board and a rockstar team to support me along the way,” says Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development.

Media Contact:
Nour Mazloum
Marketing & Communications Manager
Kingston Economic Development Corporation