The community development officer, Maple Creek Main Street Program co-ordinator and chair of the board of directors for the Cypress Hills Destination Area was the recipient of SEDA’s Economic Development Professional Award at the SEDA 2014 Awards of Excellence in Saskatoon on Nov. 19.
“It was quite a surprise,” he said of the honour.
Pettyjohn was one of three nominees for the award, with two other economic development officers in the province also nominated. The decision was based on years in the field, economic development studies, professional accomplishments, service to the profession, and relevant community involvement, demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity in the profession.
The first impression exchange done by the town contributed to the honour when a group from Unity, including its economic development officer Carey Baker, toured the town. He was impressed by what he saw and nominated Pettyjohn.
“I’ve always heard of the many good things being done in the Maple Creek and the Cypress Hills area,” Baker said in a press release. “I’ve known Royce for several years as a peer and proponent in tourism and economic development, and have respected him and appreciated his contributions to grow and improve our communities and province. But it wasn’t until my recent visit and comprehensive touring of Maple Creek that I could truly appreciate the scale of work and success that has occurred over the past number of years.”
Pettyjohn’s work with the Main Street Program, the business retention and expansion project, Communities in Bloom and the Cypress Hills Destination Area all played into the nomination.
Other awards presented during the evening were the Outstanding Young Professional Award, Outstanding Initiative Award and John P. Sutherland Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pettyjohn noted the award speaks volumes about the progress being made in the community.
“It was very exciting,” he said. “It’s always nice when people recognize work that’s being done, and it just makes me feel that Maple Creek’s on the right track. It’s encouraging.”