WELLINGTON, PEI – Sept. 27, 2012 – Wanting to thank its general manager for her many years of service and dedication, the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation (SDBA) organized a surprise retirement party for Louise Comeau on Sept. 25.
While the brief SDBA annual meeting was going on upstairs at the Community Business Centre in Wellington, Comeau’s friends, colleagues, former board members and employees gathered in the downstairs board room to surprise her. And when she came down from her meeting, she was escorted – bouquet in hand – to the party so that she could bask in the congratulatory atmosphere of the occasion.
In a brief speech prepared for the occasion, SDBA president Angèle Arsenault mentioned that Comeau, who was born in Nova Scotia, quickly got involved in the local community when she moved here some three decades ago. As an entrepreneur, she became well known and well respected.
She first sat on the board of the SDBA for a few years and was eventually elected president, which allowed her to play an important role in the development of the community. When general manager Wilfred Arsenault resigned to pursue a political career, Comeau applied for the job and was hired.
“From then on, you were really able to work hands-on to continue development some great projects,” she said.
During her 13 years as general manager, Comeau oversaw a large variety of projects and initiatives. The largest ones are probably the expansion of the Community Business Centre, the establishment and management (for 11 years) of RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the establishment of the Wellington Rural Action Centre.
Under her direction, the SDBA established the PERCÉ, Jeunes millionnaires et Jeunes entreprises programs; helped build the new Centre Goéland; organized economic conferences, knowledge economy fairs, entrepreneurial banquets and exploratory missions; set up the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce; provided support services to entrepreneurs; and bought, renovated and maintained several community facilities. “And you’re even the one who plants flowers in front of this building in the springtime!” added the president.
“Throughout your involvement with the SDBA, there is especially one thing that was always extremely clear and that always stood out: your immense love for our community. So tonight, please accept this small sign of our great love and great appreciation for you, for everything that you have done for us and for everything that you are for us,” concluded Arsenault.
Obviously moved by this gesture of appreciation shown to her, Comeau sincerely thanked her colleagues, employees and board members for their support, collaboration and friendship over the years.
In her official message to the annual meeting, she noted that she had taken on the management of the SDBA, with a certain naivety, at an amazing time. “It felt like there was an awakening – it was a time of changes, a time of great dreams for development, the years of establishing of the network of RDÉEs throughout Canada, and which the SDBA got to become one. It felt like those were years of unlimited possibilities.”
“Today, I wish to recognize the leadership of the people who make this marvelous community what it is. The citizens continue to invest a lot of time, on a volunteer basis, for this community, not only on the board of the SDBA but with countless other boards, committees, groups, organizations and events of all kinds so that the region can continue to grow and offer its residents a dynamic, clairvoyant and collaborative community,” she said.
“I have rarely seen communities such as this one, as I affirm at each opportunity I can do so. As well, it is the community that I proudly call home, without hesitation.”
She said she hoped that had been able to contribute “just a little bit” to the development of the region and of PEI’s francophonie.
CUTLINE 1: Louise Comeau, who was general manager of the SDBA for 13 years, has just retired. She received this colorful bouquet of flowers during a surprise retirement party on Sept. 25.
CUTLINE 2: During the retirement party for SDBA general manager Louise Comeau (second from left) on Sept. 25, she was surrounded by members of her board. In the first row, from left, are president Angèle Arsenault, Louise Richard and Tania Bernard. In the back from, from left, are vice-president Ronald Caissie, Donnie Arsenault, secretary-treasurer Roger Gallant and Desmond Arsenault.
For more information:
Angèle Arsenault, president
Baie Acadienne Development Corporation