Panelists & Speakers Announced for Sold Out Bay Area Economic Summit on Tuesday, June 25th

June 13, 2024

Hamilton and Burlington Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Hamilton and Burlington Economic Development, set to host half-day summit focusing on progress, innovation, and growth

Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Burlington Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Hamilton Economic Development and Burlington Economic Development, are excited to announce details for the 2024 Bay Area Economic Summit, presented by RBC Royal Bank.

The half-day summit, set for Thursday, June 25th at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, will feature a keynote address, in addition to two engaging panels. The panels will focus on developing tomorrow’s workforce as well as leveraging climate innovation to spur the region’s economic competitiveness. Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath and Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will conclude the programming with a fireside chat. The keynote speaker will be announced next week.

General admission tickets for the event are sold out. A limited number of partnership opportunities remain. Contact Scott Bridger at or Sherri Rinaldi at for more information.

About the Bay Area Economic Summit, presented by RBC Royal Bank

Situated in the heart of Canada’s Innovation Corridor, Hamilton and Burlington presents an enticing prospect for businesses aiming for local, regional, and global success. Together, we have a unique chance to tap into the innovation, talent, and resources of one of the world’s most dynamic economic regions.

The Bay Area Economic Summit will spotlight our cities’ collective value, fostering collaboration and transformative actions that drive progress, innovation, and growth. This collective action creates an environment of growth and innovation and is crucial to accommodate our projected population growth and retain top talent in the face of global competition.

By uniting our strengths, we can pioneer groundbreaking solutions, generate jobs, and play a leading role in the global commitment to climate change and sustainability. Join us in partnering on this event, bringing together over 300 key decision-makers across business, academia, government, and non-profit sectors. Let’s collaboratively shape a brighter, more sustainable future for the Bay Area and beyond.

Panel #1 – Developing Tomorrow’s Workforce: Recruitment, Development & Retention

This panel will explore the current challenges faced by employers in recruiting, retaining, and developing talent while delving into the link between attainable housing, transportation, employee well-being, and talent retention. Discussion will explore the role of collaboration between industry and academia in addressing the skills gap and preparing the next generation of workers in our rapidly evolving economy.


Norm Schleehahn (Director, Hamilton Economic Development)


Mary Vaughan (Provost & VP, Academic, Sheridan College) Dave Carter (President & CEO, Innovation Factory) Jennifer Smith (EVP, Corporate & People, Burlington Hydro)

Panel #2 – Future-Proofing the Bay Area: How Climate Innovation Spurs Economic Competitiveness – Presented by Enbridge, Mohawk College & Nerva Energy
This panel will analyze the policy levers needed to facilitate a just transition to a net-zero economy while highlighting the role of leadership in driving climate innovation to enhance economic competitiveness. The discussion will showcase examples of companies and regions that have embraced sustainability initiatives, resulting in increased market share, enhanced brand reputation, and improved resilience to climate-related risks.


Anita Cassidy (Director, Burlington Economic Development)


Myha Truong-Regan (Head of Climate Research, RBC Climate Institute) Paul Armstrong (COO, Mohawk College)
Jeffery Cowan (President & CEO, Hamilton Community Enterprises)

Mayoral Fireside Chat – Presented by Alinea, Liuna, & McMaster University

The Bay Area Mayors: Mayor Horwath and Mayor Meed Ward, will share insights on the importance of their commitment to creating live-work-play environments that will foster a more engaged workforce of today and tomorrow.


Susan Tighe (Provost, McMaster University)


Andrew Horwath (City of Hamilton) Marianne Meed Ward (City of Burlington)

Quote from Greg Dunnett, President & CEO of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce & Terry Caddo, President & CEO of Burlington Chamber of Commerce "The Bay Area Economic Summit represents a collective effort of industry leaders and institutions committed to driving economic growth and success in our region. Our collective aim is to enhance collaboration by uniting community leaders and tackling regional challenges, all with the shared goal of boosting prosperity and securing the talent and resources needed to remain competitive in fast-growing industries and sectors of our economy.

Quote from Anita Cassidy, Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development

“Burlington Economic Development is thrilled to be a presenting partner of the 2024 Bay Area Economic Summit, an event that highlights our region and the incredible talent, innovative solutions and sustainability initiatives that are found here. The return of the summit this year represents a pivotal moment for our cities to continue pursuing collaborative opportunities that drive economic growth and prosperity in Burlington and Hamilton.”

Quote from Norm Schleehahn, Director of Economic Development City of Hamilton

“As Hamilton and Burlington solidify our status as a thriving economic hub, we must retain and attract a strong base of talent while building our community in a sustainable way. The Bay Area Economic Summit serves as a crucial platform for our communities to collaborate and accelerate this growth.”

Media Contacts

Mike Hardill
VP, Marketing & Membership Engagement Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Jordan Delfs
Manager, Strategic Communications & Events Burlington Chamber of Commerce

We’d love to show you around.

Book a Tour