Volume 96, Issue 81
Wednesday, March 5, 2003

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Mayor DeCicco: city moving forward

By Diana Whellams
Gazette Staff

For all of those keeners interested in the economic state of London, you missed your chance to hear about it firsthand yesterday.

London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco spoke about London's economic development last night at an event sponsored by Western's faculties of science and engineering and InterNETwork London.

"I've come to hear what the mayor has to say," said Steve Jakul, manager of Wide Skies Information Technologies. "The title of her speech, 'The Future of London,' gets your attention."

"There has never been a time that we've been better prepared as a city to move forward," DeCicco said. "Over the last two and a half years, we have made a real change," she added, referring to the economic progress London had made.

DeCicco told listeners that seven new companies have opened in London this past year and 45 existing companies have expanded, creating hundreds of new jobs.

"We like to think that a lot of deals happen as a result of these get-togethers," said Vijai Lakshmikantha, a representative for InterNETwork London. Lakshmikantha said InterNETwork was formed three years ago as a means for dot-com and e-business entrepreneurs to network.

The group has meetings on the second Tuesday of every month, he said, adding last night's event was the largest to date.

"I'd say it's helped us," said Jennifer Nixon, head of Genuine Consulting, her own computer and corporate training company. Her husband, John, works at Liberate Technologie and had been a speaker at a previous InterNETwork London event. "It doesn't always seem to be this well attended," John Nixon said, adding he believed the mayor's presence had encouraged attendance.

"We want to get to local businesses, to let them know what we are doing," said Raveendra Rao, a Western professor of electrical engineering, adding he hoped the event would encourage collaboration between Western's engineering faculty and the local business community.

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