Guelph, ON [June 1, 2010] – Mr. Norman Ragetlie has been appointed as the first Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement with the newly formed Rural Ontario Institute (ROI).  Ragetlie brings experience, innovative thinking and energy to his role in this new position, beginning on June 1, 2010.  Ragetlie is enthusiastic about joining the Rural Ontario Institute at such a critical, formative time in the new organization’s evolution.  “I look forward to having many positive and energizing conversations with stakeholders and those concerned with the future of rural Ontario and to hear ideas about the opportunities people see for the new organization and for broader positive change in the communities across rural Ontario,” says Ragetlie.  “I believe there is a strong foundation here on which to build new partnerships and to work together to lead initiatives that will succeed in strengthening rural Ontario.”  Ragetlie has a track record in leading the development of collaborative partnerships in both the government and non-profit context.  Ragetlie has over a decade of experience in community economic development with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, where he was focussed on leading the development of tools and resources that assisted rural communities implement effective economic development strategies.  Rob Black, Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Ontario Institute, is delighted that Ragetlie has joined the ROI team. Black says, “Norman’s expertise, knowledge and skills will certainly complement and add to the staff team currently in place, and he brings a strong network with provincial and national organizations to ROI and a vast knowledge of rural Ontario research priorities.”  Ragetlie is a graduate of the University of Guelph in Rural Planning and of the University of Western Ontario in Political Science.  In previous municipal policy roles, he demonstrated strategic innovative approaches surrounding growth management and environmental concerns.  Over the years, Ragetlie has served in a range of staff, board and advocacy positions with non-profit organizations in the environment, agricultural land preservation, land trust, and the natural food co-operative movements.  The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) is a not-for-profit organization formed in 2010.  ROI has a mandate to provide rural leadership development and to engage rural and multi-sector stakeholders for the purposes of informing and influencing rural policy development.  ROI provides three core services – leadership training, stakeholder engagement and third-party program delivery. 

For information, contact:

Rob Black, Chief Executive Officer, ROI:  519-826-4204, ext. 222; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kathie MacDonald, Communications Manager, ROI:  519-826-4204, ext. 223; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.