Libro and University of Guelph announce new professorship

For Immediate Release
Monday, October 17, 2016

Libro Credit Union and the University of Guelph Announce New Professorship

LONDON/GUELPH, ON – Libro Credit Union (Libro) and the University of Guelph are pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan Gibson, PhD, as the Libro Professor of Regional Economic Development for southwestern Ontario. The professorship is a partnership between Libro and the university’s Ontario Agricultural College, focused on building economic development and innovation across the region, through world-class research, teaching, outreach and collaboration.

Ryan Gibson, PhD, the Libro Professor of Regional Economic Development, at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the University of Guelph and are very excited to have Ryan as part of the Libro family,” said Stephen Bolton, Libro Credit Union President, CEO and Head Coach. “Libro exists to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking, and the professorship will help us to discover the opportunities for future economic development. It’s a tremendous chance to leverage the strengths of this region and enhance the place more than two million of us call home.”

Gibson joins the University of Guelph from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He’ll be working through the Ontario Agricultural College’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.

“The opportunity created through this innovation position is truly exciting,” said Ryan Gibson, Libro Professor of Regional Economic Development for southwestern Ontario. “I am looking forward to working with communities, indigenous groups, and others interested in enhancing the prosperity of southwestern Ontario.”

Gibson’s research examines key issues related to the future of rural communities and regions, and topics such as governance, public policy, immigration and revitalization. He is also president of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, a national organization committed to strengthening communities by creating economic opportunities that enhance social and environmental conditions.

Originally from rural Manitoba, Gibson has a deep respect for rural communities, rural people and the events that shape their futures. Growing up witnessing the transformations in rural development, agriculture and their influence on communities instilled a fascination and commitment to rural issues.

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

“Ryan’s expertise and experience are a perfect fit for this new position,” said Rene Van Acker, Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). “His focus on community-engaged scholarship combined with his enthusiasm, assures me he will do great things while working with the communities of southwestern Ontario.”

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.

The professorship will be hosted at the University of Guelph within the Ontario Agricultural College, bolstered by the University’s Ridgetown Campus in the heart of southwestern Ontario.


About Libro Credit Union

Libro is Ontario's third largest credit union with $4 billion in assets under administration and more than 103,000 Owners across southwestern Ontario and has been recognized as a 2016 & 2017 Platinum Level Aon Best Employer in Canada. As a co-operative financial institution with more than 70 years of history, Libro supports the well-being of people, businesses and communities by providing high-quality financial coaching and profit sharing. Libro is proud to support The Prosperity Project, which aims to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by mobilizing and inspiring collaboration, strengthening the financial health of people, families and businesses, and investing in our communities to help the region prosper together. Libro offers a full range of financial products and services for consumers, businesses and farms, including savings and chequing, investing, and borrowing. Great service can be experienced through 31 branches, online, telephone, mobile devices and a network of 4,000 ATMs across Canada.

For further information or to set-up an interview, please contact:

Mike Donachie, Communications Manager
Libro Credit Union
P: 519-672-0130 ext. 4344
Mike.Donachie@libro.ca