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____ Thursday October 1, 2015 ____



Credit Union and the University of Guelph Partner to Grow Prosperity

LONDON/RIDGETOWN, ON – Libro Credit Union (Libro) and the University of Guelph announced a partnership creating a new professorship at the university’s Ontario Agricultural College. The Libro Professorship in Regional Economic Development for southwestern Ontario focuses on building regional economic development and innovation across the region, through world-class research, teaching, outreach and collaboration.

“Libro exists to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking, and this partnership allows us to identify opportunities and guide the direction of the region’s future economic development,” said Steve Bolton, Libro Credit Union President and CEO. “Collaboration is a huge element in growing prosperity and we are thrilled to partner with the University of Guelph.”

Libro has committed to endow the professorship with $500,000 for the next 10 years, which will be matched to existing donations, for a combined gift of $1 million.

“Libro’s leadership and commitment to its community is evident in their support of this unique position,” said Rene Van Acker, Associate Dean – External Relations, for the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). “The professorship will champion economic development and regional planning by pursing world-class research, outreach and education, and by coordinating local, provincial, national and international expertise.”

Overall goals of the professorship include:

• Establishing southwestern Ontario as a defined economic region of the province and identifying strategies to shape the future vision of economic development.
• Strengthening links between rural and urban communities to establish solutions for an integrated regional economy.
• Building a network among Ontario’s post-secondary institutions and research facilities to collaborate on initiatives to grow regional economic development.

“Southwestern Ontario has tremendous potential for economic growth and business development, especially in the food and agricultural industries,” Bolton said. “We’re very excited about the professorship and the university’s rich history of working in community economic development, agriculture, and food and resource economics.”

The university is expecting to fill the professorship role in 2016, with an anticipated start date in August. The professorship will be hosted at the University of Guelph within the Ontario Agricultural College, bolstered by its Ridgetown Campus in the heart of southwestern Ontario.

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