Grayson Zeilstra has 17 years of experience in the local manufacturing sector; he is currently part of the management team at Dieter’s Metal Fabricating where he oversees purchasing, shipping and receiving. His focus has been on securing and strengthening local, regional, and global partnerships, managing logistics, overseeing cost savings, and contract negotiations.
In addition to his professional work, Grayson is very active in the community as the Chair of the Heritage Kitchener Advisory Committee, Board Director for Waterloo Region Crime Stoppers, volunteer with KW Oktoberfest, coach with Kitchener Soccer Club, and Stanley Park Optimist. He was a recipient of The Record’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2012.
Utilizing his business and volunteer experience, Grayson is focused on implementing cost savings initiatives, retaining and attracting new business, and promoting citizen engagement. Continuous Improvement is a philosophy that Grayson will implement to bring positive changes in our community.
A long-time resident of the area, Grayson currently lives in the Stanley Park neighborhood of Ward 2 with his wife and two children. Grayson looks forward to making a meaningfully contribution to Kitchener’s legacy of being a great city in which to live, work, play, and volunteer.
Excerpts from Grayson’s Better Choices Questionnaire
“Council needs to promote the city, show that we are open for business and that we encourage growth. One way this can be achieved is by having competitive development charges for those looking to build a new facility. Additionally, we must work together with the region, province, Chamber of Commerce, etc., to make sure we have adequate job re-training. If there is a skills shortage in a particular area, we can look to other areas to draw from and provide the necessary tools.”
“We need to look at the procurement process and make improvements to allow the opportunity for more local/Canadian businesses to quote. Quoting on government projects can be cumbersome and many businesses feel intimidated by the process. Kitchener needs to reach out to the potential suppliers and communicate that we want to work with them. For many of the purchases, there are many suitable suppliers within our region/province/country. When considering vendors, consideration should be given to the location of the supplier to return the tax dollars to the local economy as well as considering the carbon footprint related to transportation to supply the goods/services.”
“We need to promote open dialogue with all unions when addressing issues related to collective bargaining rights. It is critical to understand the contractual agreement and work within it. Council must have a good working relationship with all parties, regardless of them being internal or external and not use the media as a wedge.”
“One area that I will focus on will be promoting the intensification of the downtown core. This will promote the reuse of existing vacant properties rather than developing natural/agricultural areas. We must also make more public/green space available in the core as the population increases. As the population grows downtown we must ensure the public transportation system meets the needs of the public and encourage the use of it. This will help ease automobile congestion within the core and move people in a more efficient manner.”
“I believe the government must lead by example and support a living wage. It is extremely difficult to survive on minimum wage. Using the child care cost example mentioned previously, one can’t afford to work when the whole pay cheque barely covers the cost of child care. We must reduce the divide between the “haves” and “have nots.””