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Redvers woman wins provincial economic development award

Christina Birch is the founder of the Community Café in Redvers, and has lots of experience in economic development.
From left, Affinity Credit Union representative Corina Farbacher, left, presented the award to Christina Birch.

REDVERS - Christina Birch, founder of the Community Café, was named the 2024 Professional of the Year by the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA) at their annual conference in Saskatoon on June 13.

This prestigious award recognizes Birch's dedication and innovative contributions to economic development and community empowerment throughout the province.

Currently residing in Redvers, Birch has been a driving force for community and economic development throughout southeast Saskatchewan and the province as a whole. Her passion for rural communities has been evident as seen through her dedicated work supporting regions, municipalities, economic development professionals, business associations and entrepreneurs.

Birch's grassroots approach has not only earned her recognition and accolades but has positively impacted countless communities.

The award presentation included an introduction by Affinity Credit Union representative Corina Farbacher: "It is my pleasure to present the Professional of the Year Award to an individual whose dedication, expertise and tireless efforts have made a profound impact on individuals, businesses, communities, and regions throughout the province.

"Based in Redvers, Christina Birch has devoted tremendous efforts and care to build relationships and engage stakeholders at the grassroots level within her own southeast area of the province as well as across Saskatchewan. She has implemented at least five mentorship and collaborative networks to nurture success within small businesses, as well as other community economic development practitioners.

"This deep commitment to sharing her knowledge is evident by the 11 letters of support that accompanied her nomination, articulating her direct impact on other professionals, communities, and organizations. At the provincial level, Christina volunteers her time and expertise serving as vice-chairperson of the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance and making significant contributions to international activities as a member of the education, training, and curriculum committee for Business Expansion & Retention International.

"Christina's commitment to continuous learning in her field is evident through her attainment of four internationally-recognized certifications in recent years. Her consistent dedication to drive positive change and foster sustainable growth in Saskatchewan make her one of a kind, a leader in her field.

"Her unwavering dedication to community economic development, coupled with a commitment to collaboration, leadership, mentorship and commitment to lifelong learning, make her a worthy recipient of this leadership award.”

Birch is the founder of the Community Café and previously worked as the regional economic development co-ordinator for Community Futures Sunrise from 2019-2024.

“I am incredibly honoured to have received the 2024 Professional of the Year. Community building and economic development is my passion, and receiving recognition in this field is deeply meaningful.

“I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work alongside individuals who are striving to build vibrant rural communities. It is truly inspiring. This award is not just a personal achievement, but a celebration of what can be done through collaboration and a shared vision.”

Birch said she is looking forward to continuing to support entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, communities and regions as they work to achieve their business, community and economic development goals.