Stephannie Schlichter is the City of Barrie’s Director of Business and Creative Development. She is responsible for driving business innovation, collaboration and excellence within Barrie, which was voted the 4th top Ontario city to invest in (REIN, 2018). In her role, Stephannie oversees a suite of programs and services designed to ignite economic growth and support local businesses. During her tenure, Barrie and the wider Simcoe region have become home to a series of leading industry hubs, including in the medtech, data, technology, and automation and precision manufacturing sectors. She believes that a strong economy is a home-grown affair and that it begins with a combination of local community supports and big-picture thinking.