President & CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg
“leading the clean revolution”
Dayna Spiring, President & CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW), is a visionary and forward thinker who has encouraged Winnipeggers to proudly celebrate everything the city has to offer people and business. She has taken EDW to new heights by leveraging market intelligence and best-in-class data to tell a more compelling story about the city while also shifting internal perceptions of Winnipeg on its head.
"Dayna has extensive local and international connections from previous experience as the former chief strategy officer and general counsel for the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB)."
Winnipeggers now embrace their winters and promote the city's possibilities in that season, such as unique restaurants on the frozen river, the longest naturally-frozen skating trail in North America, easily accessible outdoor activities, and its Winter City accreditation. They also talk more readily about companies creating incredible products and services in Winnipeg that continue to attract international attention.
Dayna leverages extensive local and international connections to put Winnipeg on the global stage including her previous experience as the former chief strategy officer and general counsel for the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), her involvement with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and her work on the boards of international companies, such as Winpak.
Her experiences and travels with YPO and CWB taught Dayna what is possible. She learned to appreciate and pay attention to what was going on around the globe, to see how other places handled problems and developed solutions. “I’ve taken what I've learned and it has influenced how I lead. I looked at what other cities were doing and I copied the best ideas. Other cities had good market intelligence at their disposal and I saw an opportunity for Winnipeg to do the same - you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to be successful.”
When Dayna took the helm as CEO in 2016, she knew she wanted to better leverage data and refocus the efforts of each branch of the organization. “Business attraction, development, retention and attracting visitors, meetings and conferences are all connected. Having all the moving pieces that drive the economy made more sense together than apart, all moving in the same direction and backed by quality data,” says Dayna.
Dayna has been fortunate to have multiple role models who have influenced the way she leads today. As a high school student, she had the opportunity to get to know Janice Filmon, who is now the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. Filmon taught Dayna the importance of giving back to your community and the importance of being a strong leader. Those lessons have guided and inspired Dayna to become the kind of leader who also recognizes the impact of philanthropy on a community.
Dayna is the first woman to have her name engraved on the Canadian Football League (CFL) Grey Cup and one of the first women to sit on its Board of Governors. As the first woman to chair the Winnipeg Football Club’s board of directors for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, she is a trailblazer, leader, and role model worth emulating by men and women, alike. She is often asked to speak on leadership in her community and how being a woman has shaped her views.
“I think it’s important you take all of the experiences and education you have as well as the perspective you bring as a woman to be successful. Sometimes your perspective is the most impactful in the room not in spite of, but because you are a woman.” She adds, “In industries where women are not typically present you have to go in with confidence around what you know, work hard to learn the things you don’t know and surround yourself with a team that can help you achieve what you need to achieve to create real change.”
Dayna and her team have created a more cohesive and coordinated approach to bringing business and investment to Winnipeg and Manitoba. EDW is leading Team Manitoba, bringing together strategic partners and government to make sure, when a company comes to Winnipeg or expresses interest in coming; the right people are around the table to reduce barriers. It positions Winnipeg as an ideal place to invest and grow. “We’ve developed a talent hub for business with resources and a marketing toolkit because the private sector said the biggest impediment to growth was finding the right talent,” says Dayna. “We have developed a strong foreign direct investment team and strategy to make sure that more international eyes are on Winnipeg and what it can offer.” IE
President & CEO of
Economic Development Winnipeg
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. (EDW) is the city’s lead economic development agency and champion for local growth. We use expert analysis to highlight the Winnipeg Advantage and prove why we are the best place to live, work and visit. Governed by a private-sector board and driven by the needs of the business community, EDW grows the local economy by attracting business, investment, events and people to our city.