About Us

SouthGrow is an economic development alliance of thirty south central Alberta communities committed to working together to achieve prosperity for the region.

SouthGrow Regional Initiative is a member-driven, non-profit regional economic development alliance in south central Alberta. Voting representatives among member communities consist of one elected and one designated community member from each municipality. Our focus is on working with member communities, industry/business, government and others to achieve common purpose of area economic development and shared services opportunities.

Strategic Collaboration
Marketing & Communication
Economic Development & Innovation




Our Core Goals

SouthGrow’s mission is to accelerate and enhance quality of life, development and sustainability for the communities of the SouthGrow region of Alberta.

Specifically, SouthGrow:

  • Fosters a south central Alberta shared vision for regional economic development;

  • Creates new economic development opportunities in the region;

  • Encourages and enhances shared services among communities through cooperation; and

  • Provides south central Alberta with a unified voice on regional priorities.​

Recent Projects

The SouthGrow region continuously produces companies, organization, and communities which are successful on a provincial, national, and even global stage. Below are a few case studies of such examples:

  • Launch extranet through website

  • Annual council presentations

  • Focused committees

  • Regional asset inventory

  • Secure increased investment from members

  • Secure funding increase from province

  • Expand staff and increase organizational efficiency

  • Develop grant monitoring and application program

  • Secure final three members

  • Expand associate memberships to industry

  • Website redevelopment

  • Community website enhancement

  • Organizational rebranding

  • Site selection assets for all communities and the region

  • Legislative review for investment readiness 


Our Team

SouthGrow Regional Initiative is operated by a small but dedicated team of employees and an Executive team of the Board of Directors.

Jim Willett

My name is Jim Willett and I am a member of the Village Council in Coutts where I also serve as Mayor.

I became a member of the SouthGrow Management Board  in February of 2018. I am also a past director on the board of Community Futures Chinook where I sat on the


Investment Review Committee. I was a journeyman tradesman in industrial instrumentation and control and spent over 25 years in mining maintenance supervision. Prior to moving to Coutts in late 2013, my wife, Cindy Clarke, and I, were private business-people in Edmonton. I chose to retire in the SouthGrow region because it felt like home, the people are friendly, and opportunities abound.

As chair of the SouthGrow Executive I am blessed to be able to work with a very dedicated group of people on the executive, and an outstanding executive director,  who have nothing else but the advancement of our region economically as their collective goal. We have an outstanding region with tremendous potential, and SouthGrow is working to see that potential recognized worldwide. I’m happy to be able to play a part in this great adventure.

Laurie Lyckman
VIce Chairperson

I was born and raised in Carmangay and married my husband, Randy, forty-two years ago. We have four daughters and ten grandchildren. We live on the Lyckman homestead which was started in 1907. One of our daughters has come home with her family to continue with our cow and calf operation. We also do custom haying along


with our own hay.


I have been very involved in my community since I was young. I received the first Carmangay Lions Award and the Provincial Award for Volunteerism for my community leadership and volunteer work in 2016. I worked at the Peter Dawson Lodge in Vulcan for over twenty years as Director of Resident Care and loved my job so much I never worked a day in my life. I was elected to the Council of the County of Vulcan in the last election and I have truly enjoyed people I have met and all that I have been able to help with on our council.


I’m looking forward to being on the SouthGrow Board & helping bring more to Southern Alberta which I have always called God’s country because it is so beautiful.

Peter Casurella
Executive Director

My name is Peter Casurella. I was born and raised in Didsbury, Alberta, where I attended a rural school, and lived and breathed the rural Alberta lifestyle till I moved to the big City of Lethbridge to attend University. Lethbridge quickly became my home and won over my heart, and over the intervening years Southern


Alberta has taken over a big chunk of my heart. I met my beautiful wife here, and now we are raising a small family together.


The SouthGrow Region has so much promise, so many opportunities, and can play such a big role on the world stage. Our communities form a hub of technological and agricultural innovation with a deep well of experience and talent to draw from. We are backed by one of the most vibrant economies in the world, fueled by massive natural resources and environmental advantages, and have economic opportunities unrolling in front of us that speak directly to our strengths. 


It is my honor to be able to play a key role in helping our region seize these opportunities so that all of our communities can enjoy a high quality of life together. 

Kim Welby
Economic Development Officer

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. 


"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."