Fred Eisenberger, The Canadian Urban Institute

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Fred Eisenberger BIM Sept 16, 2011

Interview with Fred Eisenberger, President and CEO of The Canadian Urban Institute and former Mayor of Hamilton.

Fred Eisenberger was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute in December of 2010. His career includes serving as a Councillor for the City of Hamilton and the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth for nearly a decade in the 1990s.  In 2001, he was appointed by the Federal Government as the inaugural Chairman of the new Hamilton Port Authority providing strategic and operational leadership to one of Canada’s largest inland Ports and, in 2006, Eisenberger was elected Mayor of Hamilton and served until November of 2010.  As Mayor, he championed a wide array of successful initiatives promoting sustainability, urban revitalization and economic transformation in a diverse regional city of more than 500,000 people. His private sector experience as Government and Community Relations President for ECS Consulting (2000-2006) was focussed on providing public and private entities consulting services in strategic planning, business development, public relations and communications.

What is the Canadian Urban Institute?

The Canadian Urban Institute is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in researching and championing urban issues.

Because so much of the world’s population lives in urban areas, the CUI helps Canadian and International urban leaders make more informed decisions about urban planning and economic development.

The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is a Toronto-based not for profit organization with a national and international reach. Through our work we seek to create a world of thriving, sustainable, harmonious and engaged urban regions

Some of the countries that CUI is working in includes Jamaica, Phillipines, Cuba and Ethiopia.


Insights from this interview

Two important questions that need to be addressed about regional economic development are:

How do you organize your assets?

How do you promote your assets to the world?

What under-valued asset does Iloilo, Iloilo have to offer?

Two big issues that urban centers need to review are their approaches to energy and water.

The Canadian Urban Institute provides clients with independent and unbiased data and advice. Their strength is that they will tell you what you need to know – not necessarily what you want to hear.

As a not-for-profit, the CUI has both advantages and disadvantages in the marketplace. But they still need to sell the value of their services.

Personal insights from Fred Eisenberger

Leadership is not about managing. It’s about taking the organization somewhere.

It all comes down to relationships.

On economic development: Give the people the resources and get out there and beat the bushes.

On politics as a career

There is always both the business side and the personal side to relationships.

Politics can be a career and business killer. It consumes you fully.

Make sure you are ready to take the slings and arrows of politics.

Have a plan B.

Interview with Fred Eisenberger, President of the Canadian Urban Institute,  on the weekly radio show,  Business in Motion with host George Torok.

Canadian Urban Institute


Click below to listen to the podcast or download the audio file.

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George Torok

Founder and Host at Business In Motion
George Torok is the host of Business in Motion on 93.3 CFMU. He founded the radio show in Sept 1995. Since then he has interviewed over 500 business leaders. Listen to frank interviews with entrepreneurs, corporate executives, authors and association leaders. Capture ideas, insights and inspiration to help you with your business or career.
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