Statement on the passing of Ron Hanlon, President & CEO of Halifax Partnership


Matt Hebb, Chair of the Board

May 28, 2018
Halifax, Nova Scotia

This weekend, Halifax lost a champion.

With an understated approach that belied his vast business experience, Ron Hanlon inspired us to believe in the limitless potential of Halifax. More than that, he lifted us up to go after it.

Having come to the Halifax Partnership from a distinguished career doing business around the globe, Ron saw Halifax as not merely the equal of, but as more promising than most cities in the world – if only our story were better known.

Ron was a person of great integrity and strong values. Important among these was “wisdom” – the intent to understand issues through knowledge and listening. It was in this manner that he developed his unshakeable view of Halifax’s potential. He took the time to meet with hundreds of businesses, learning their capabilities and capacities. He familiarized himself with the research expertise and programs at our universities. He immersed himself in the challenges of immigration, settlement and youth retention.

Ron described his ambitious vision of Halifax’s future, which is captured in the city’s Economic Growth Plan, as both optimistic and realistic. With great humour and intellect, he set a high bar, and then set to helping us clear it. 

A testament to his thoughtful orientation to action, Ron developed the Sell Halifax plan, a strategic campaign designed to promote the city and attract immigrants, investment, and new business. He championed the creation of an Innovation District to better leverage our density of universities, hospitals, innovative companies, and entrepreneurs. He sharpened our efforts on youth retention and played a key role in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. 

Ron established an unprecedented level of alignment and cooperation with other organizations and levels of government. This was evident, among other things, in Halifax’s audacious bid for Amazon HQ2.

Ron’s tenacity benefited our community, our region and our country. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Feed Nova Scotia. He was a member of the Consider Canada Cities Alliance. And because Halifax is the only Atlantic Canadian city in that alliance, Ron led the creation of the Atlantic Canada Economic Coalition in partnership with Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Sydney and St. John’s to promote collaboration amongst Atlantic Canada’s largest urban centres.

Such was Ron’s level of business distinction and accomplishment that he could have chosen anything or anywhere in the world to spend the final chapter of his career. He chose to spend it with all of us, promoting the great potential of our city. And he loved it.

Ron was a colleague, a mentor, a leader, and a friend. He spurred us to a higher level of ambition. And he lifted us to a level where such ambition is achievable. His passing is a painful loss. We shall strive to honour his memory by sustaining his positive sense of urgency and his unbounded optimism for our city.

Above all, Ron cherished his family, who were a source of immense pride and joy for him. On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and all the members of the Halifax Partnership, we express our deepest condolences to Ron’s wife Greta and their family.

Ron, Halifax will miss you.


Media Contact:

Krista Juurlink
Director, Communications
Halifax Partnership
O: 902-490-7105

About the Halifax Partnership

The Halifax Partnership is Halifax’s public-private economic development organization. The Partnership drives and accelerates economic growth by selling and marketing Halifax to the world, helping businesses reach their full potential and tracking Halifax’s economic progress. The Partnership’s network of over 115 influential and globally connected partners are committed to building a thriving, prosperous Halifax.