November 21, 2022

Kathryn Baird: Winner of 2022 GIS WebTech Award for Technology Leadership

Economic development and tourism can complement each other in supporting a community’s development, but too often they’ve been viewed as separate silos. With the rapid ascension of talent attraction and quality of place as crucial components of economic development, forward-thinking professionals like Kathryn Baird recognize the importance of utilizing local data to tell a consistent story across a community’s web presence.

Angela Yan, Kathryn Baird and Mitchell Bailey of Maple Ridge

Kathryn knew that her community, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, had great local assets that were relevant beyond her department, which had primary responsibility for tourism. Kathryn took the lead and assembled local data she knew could support the city’s economic development strategy, especially its emphasis on quality of life and talent attraction. Kathryn worked with Angela Yan and Mitchell Bailey of the city’s technology team to utilize Esri tools and to integrate the data into Maple Ridge’s installation of Guru. The team is pictured nearby.

Inclusion of this data allows Guru to act as a single-source app incorporating not just familiar site selection data like commercial property listings and demographics, but customized local data supporting business retention, business attraction, talent attraction and tourism. These data sets include everything from pet-friendly businesses to eateries with outdoor seating to popular locations for filming to agri-tourism and eco-tourism attractions. Utilization of the latest GIS technology allows all these disparate data sets to be housed in a single, convenient and easy-to-use app.

“With today’s millennial workforce, talent attraction has become as important as business attraction,” said Wendy Dupley, who served as Maple Ridge’s Director of Economic Development and nominated Kathryn for the award. “With Kathryn’s leadership and the support of the technology group Maple Ridge has become a leader in Canadian economic development.”

GIS WebTech is pleased to name Kathryn Baird one of three winners of the 2022 GIS WebTech Award for Technology Leadership for her application of local data and utilization of GIS technology as a local data hub supporting business attraction, talent attraction and tourism. Our entire team congratulates Kathryn!