Jon Whyte, Development Industry Consultant, Niagara Region
Jon Whyte works for the Region as a development industry consultant, working to promote more and better forms of development throughout the Niagara Region. Previous to this, he was the land development manager for a local builder and has extensive experience managing a variety of projects and multidisciplinary consultant teams.
Jon volunteered with the Niagara Home Builders’ Association for more than a decade, promoting the interests of the new home purchaser and the development industry at the municipal, regional, and provincial levels of government.
Jon was born and raised in St. Catharines. He obtained a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree in Planning from the University of Waterloo in 2002 and currently resides in Fonthill with his wife and two children.
How do you define community leadership?
I would define community leadership as someone willing to apply their efforts, experience, time, and particular skills in any given vocation for the greater good of the community.
Why are you personally motivated to explore community leadership?
I am personally motivated to explore community leadership because I am a proud lifelong resident of this Region and I want to see our communities thrive and prosper.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
I think there are many significant issues facing our community. In no particular order, some of which include cost of living challenges, societal and income inequalities, insufficient/inadequate housing opportunities, lack of employment opportunities/youth retention, and parochialism. Despite these challenges however, we have tremendous potential and quality of life in Niagara, and with greater political cooperation and alignment we could significantly improve our economy and the social benefits that come along with it.
How would you go about tackling the issue?
I believe the best way to foster cooperation and understanding is through mutual respect and communication. Providing tangible, evidence-based examples of how we could all be more successful if we could be more empathetic, and find common sense solutions to our mutual challenges.
In your view, what’s the most important attribute of a leader?
I believe the best leaders have the ability to retain focus on the bigger picture. Leaders are attune to the ability’s, strengths, weaknesses and operational dynamics of their team. Leaders motivate their team and confront challenges objectively, fairly, and adapt the plan if necessary to retain focus and progress to accomplish the overall objectives of the organization in an efficient a timeline as is possible.
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
I would hope to expand upon my project management abilities. I tend to let my passion and enthusiasm for a cause affect my objectivity, and impartiality which in turn can effect my judgement. By developing my delegation and project management abilities, I’m hoping to expand on my leadership skills and ability to remain focused on the bigger picture objectives.