Barrie mayor named in top-100 list of most creative business people

Barrie mayor named in top-100 list of most creative business people

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman has been named in U.S. business magazine Fast Company’s top-100 list of most creative business people.

“As a municipal leader, I’m honoured to be on this list,” Lehman said in a statement. “As Mayor of Barrie, I’ve worked to shift government from being reactive to proactive.”

The Fast Company list honours influential people in different industries, including technology, design, government, entertainment, health care and more.

“Only creativity and innovation can solve many of the complex challenges municipalities face,” Lehman added. “It’s my job to champion this change and create a culture that embraces doing things differently to improve our city for residents and businesses.”

Under Lehman’s leadership, the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service have been using data to improve fire-prevention initiatives and to conduct targeted neighbourhood blitzes in high-risk areas.

According to a city news release, Barrie is one of seven Ontario cities that helped create Alectra, the largest municipally-owned electricity utility in Canada. The city’s dividends from the company have grown from $3 million to $8 million in seven years.

Barrie had its best year ever for industrial construction in 2018, the city said, with about $45 million in industrial building permits.

WATCH: Local entrepreneur impresses business communities across Canada

“Mayor Lehman never accepts the status quo and constantly challenges staff and the community to find new and better ways of working to improve our city,” Michael Prowse, Barrie’s chief administrative officer, said in a statement.

According to the release, Fast Company’s editors and writers spent a year researching candidates for the list. Those selected have all accomplished something innovative within the last 12 months and have made meaningful contributions to their industries.