Lane reflects on time as CEO of Agribition

When Canadian Western Agribition rolls into Regina in late November, they will have a new CEO.

Chris Lane has stepped down from his role to become the new President and CEO of Economic Development Regina.

Lane said he would miss and remember the people when reflecting on his time.

“Whether it’s exhibitors who come to every year or partners who we get to visit with around their business needs or travelling the world and flying Canadian Agriculture’s flag all over the place. It’s been a fantastic six years to be able to do that, and really honoured to be a part of that community.”

Lane, who took over the role as CEO in July 2016, said he has seen Agribition change and grow.

“When I came into the job here, we were in the middle of major renovations and teardowns of old buildings and commissioning and the building of the ITC (International Trade Centre), that was all new. The challenge in the first year or two was really reorganizing the exhibition around a brand new physical footprint.”

“Agribition has grown to be more of a year-round operation; we’ve started multiple initiatives like virtual education or a mentorship program that really has us working in the agriculture community 12 months a year, so we are not just a six-day event anymore,” he continued.

He said that Agribition has also grown to be an important piece of Regina and the Agriculture community.

“We have also grown our sense and our stature as an important piece of the fabric of the community, and I think it becomes easier for people to spend time with us as we become an unmissable part of the yearly calendar in Regina,” he said. “I think we’ve grown our place in the community, in the international Agribusiness market in the last five years.”

Lane said people should be proud of Agribition.

“It’s something special, and I hope all the people that it serves and all the people that have taken it in over the years always understand and never lose the idea of what they’ve got here in the City because it is something special,” he said. “Around the world, people know about Agribition, and we should hold our chin up when we talk about it.”

As for what’s next for Lane, he said right now it’s an exciting point in the City of Regina and the region’s history in terms of economic development.

“We’ve got a critical mass of momentum around agriculture and Agri-business and the kind of the things that we can attract here based on the strengths we have and events like Agribituon and Canada’s Farm Show that have become a huge part of advocating for that business,” he said. “Really, there is a whole bunch of cohesion around what a future economic boom can be built around in Regina, and that is really what attracted me to the role. We are just on the cusp of something so good here in Regina around economic development, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Lane added that though he won’t be the CEO by the time 2022 Agribition happens, he noted it would be a return to ‘the best parts of Agribiton.’

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