A homebuilder known for helping transform his community and spiking its growth rate is the recipient of the Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership.

Rob Noseworthy, President and CEO of Westerra Homes & Developments, received the award for his community building efforts as an ambassador attracting new residents, investments and business to North Grenville. The award was presented by Warden David Gordon and the late Mr. Thake’s wife, Marlene, at the 8th annual United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Summit recently. Also honoured was nominee Joe Moulton, who runs businesses in Spencerville and Kemptville. Both men have volunteered their time and resources to build stronger communities.

“These are business people who also put their time, money and dedication into strengthening their greater communities so they are better places to live and do business,” said Warden David Gordon. “They look at the bigger picture and go the extra step to not just grow their own business but the businesses and community around it”.

Rob earned the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2010, the Mayor’s Commendation Award in recognition of his exceptional volunteer service to the community in 2014, and the North Grenville Economic Development Ambassador Award in 2015. He was founder five years ago of the North Grenville Home Builders Association and continues as Chair. As an ambassador, Robert assisted in attracting Lapointe Developments, a company now building the multi-million dollar, 100-room Kemptville Retirement Living residence.

He is known for his support of 20 non-profit organizations and was Chair of the 2013 Build Committee for the Habitat for Humanity – Thousand Islands Kemptville Build. Robert is also the Chair of the Kemptville District Hospital Foundation Board, which will be embarking on a $2 million Campaign for the Modernization of Clinics in 2017.

Mr. Moulton is credited with putting Spencerville “back on the map” by purchasing the historic Spencerville Hotel three years ago and restoring its splendour for commercial and residential use. He believes businesses can once again thrive in our smaller communities – not just our larger centres. He and his wife and business partner, JoAnne, are dedicated to supporting their community by employing local people, contractors and suppliers.

Together they have given their expertise to community causes and events, including the ever-popular Spencerville Fair. The Fair Board recognized the couple in 2013 “for their outstanding years of service and contributions to the Fair.” Joe designed, and continues to host for free, the Spencerville Agricultural Society and Spencerville Business and Community Connections group websites. JoeComputer provides free Wi-Fi at the Spencerville and Cardinal arenas.

Since the Bill Thake award’s inception almost six years ago, 27 deserving women and men have been honoured with nominations and seven have received the award. Past recipients include Jean Jacque Rousseau, Municipality of North Grenville; and joint 2013 winners Don Ross, Leeds and the Thousand Islands, and Don Munz of North Grenville.

The summit attracted more than 200 business operators, non-for-profit organizations and government representatives from Leeds Grenville and neighbouring regions. It was hosted by the Counties Economic Development Department in partnership with Gord Brown, MP for Leeds-Grenville, 1000 Islands and Rideau Lakes, and Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville, the 1000 Islands, Valley Heartland and Grenville Community Futures Development Corporations, and the 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board.

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