David Oakes is the Director of Economic Development, Niagara Region. Educated at the Brock University with a B.A. in Environmental Economics and the University of Waterloo with a Masters in Local Economic Development, David came to the Region from the City of St. Catharines as Director of Economic Development and Customer Service. Over that period, the department has won in excess of 20 awards in economic development and tourism at the provincial, national and international levels. Oakes was a recipient of the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year Award and the Business Link 40 under Forty Business Achievement Award in 2010. Oakes is a certified economic development professional, he is a member of the Economic Development Association of Canada, Economic Development Council of Ontario and International Economic Development Council. Oakes is a member of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival Board of Directors and Past Chair of Innovate Niagara. David is a happily married father of two who enjoys golf, curling and reading.