Gerry Gabinet, Ec.D.

gerry headshot

A Celebration of Life for Gerry Gabinet will be live on Youtube on Saturday, August 29 at 4:00pm EST

July 1955 – August 2020
EDAC President 2018/2019

EDAC is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Gerry Gabinet, Past President of EDAC. Our deepest sympathies are with Gerry’s wife Annette, their families and Gerry’s work family at Strathcona County.

Gerry was a long-standing supporter and member of EDAC (since 1998). One of our favourite highlights of his time as EDAC President was that he hosted us for the 2019 Annual Conference in Edmonton, AB.

Gerry was an individual who gave all of himself to his family, friends, and colleagues. He was always willing to assist in any way he could. He was a mentor and friend to many of us within the Economic Development Profession from coast to coast to coast.

Gerry had a magnetic personality, we all gravitated to him as he always had open arms. He was the ultimate positive influence, encourager, and supporter. A true light at the end of any tunnel!

Gerry will be sadly missed. His memory will live on in all of us as well as within the impact he had on the profession he loved deeply.

The charity of choice to donate in Gerry’s memory is the Terry Fox Foundation.

Leave a tribute to Gerry

We invite you to share your memories and photos of Gerry using the button below. There are many stories to be told from across the country and beyond. Your tributes will be added shortly after you send them and shared with his loved ones. Please feel free to pass on this page to anyone who knew and loved Gerry.


Penny Gardiner, Ec.D.


The Profession has lost a giant. It is quite difficult to sum up the importance that Gerry had within the economic development profession, as well as my career and my personal life. Gerry was someone who dedicated himself to many causes and his many friends. To me, Gerry was someone I could always count on regardless of the issue or situation. He always took the time to listen carefully and provide thoughtful guidance.

I was fortunate to have had many opportunities to be in his presence, especially during board travel, which allowed me to get to know Gerry so very well. For that I am grateful. Whether we were in Niagara, Fredericton, Calgary, Edmonton, or Quebec City – we always had a “Gerry pour” and plenty of laughs.

No matter where we were, Gerry always found a way to share about Strathcona County. He was so proud of his community, his colleagues, and all their accomplishments. I remember a time when we were in Ottawa at a meeting with DFAIT, discussing investment around the world. Gerry piped up and provided the group with a sample and a lesson in fracking!

One of the most touching moments I recall, was when Gerry and Annette showed up at my office door to show their support after my husband passed away. Both of them sat, listened, and shared sincere thoughts as well as many hugs! I am forever grateful for that moment with Gerry – just one that will live in my memory for a lifetime. You will be greatly missed, Gerry, my friend.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Maya Angelou

Aileen Murray, Ec.D.(F)

EDAC President & Mellor Murray Consulting

Gerry was a driving force on the EDAC board and a huge advocate/ booster for his community.

One of my fondest memories of Gerry was celebrating with him when he received his Ec.D. certification. He was so proud of this achievement and a very vocal supporter of the certification process.

He contributed so much to EDAC, as a leader, advocate for the organization and mentor to those entering the economic development profession. Gerry’s energy and enthusiasm were contagious.

We have lost a champion.

Mark Morrissey

Director of Economic Development, City of Fort Saskatchewan

There are simply no words to describe the impact Gerry has had on my life. He was a colleague, a mentor, but most importantly, he was a dear friend.

I am where I am today because of him. His guidance, encouragement, and leadership have helped me go further than I ever thought possible.

Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

Gerry was indeed a giant, he was larger than life. His influence and impact on the Economic Development profession here in Alberta and across Canada will have a lasting legacy. It was been an honour and a privilege to stand on his shoulders and see further than I ever imagined.

My sincerest condolences to his family. Gerry touched the lives of so many people and we grieve with them now. The world is a much better place because he was in it.

Rest in peace my friend.

Shane Olson

Strathcona County Economic Development & Tourism

On August 9th, we lost a dedicated leader at Strathcona County. A true champion of the economic development profession in North America, and a terrific person! As our leader, Gerry Gabinet always took extra time to mentor the team and indeed many others around Alberta and Canada. He taught me the value of relationships in business. I loved to co-present the economic update deck with Gerry to various real estate brokerages and after each one he would comment on the “natural energy” that it gave him for the rest of the day!

My life has been enriched knowing you, Gerry. My sincere condolences to Gerry’s family. A reminder that the joy of life is the journey, not the destination – a favourite poem of Gerry’s, The Station by Robert Hastings. Thank you for enriching my life and all those around you, I appreciated your mentorship, leadership, and courage.

Rest In Peace. God Bless. A reminder that donations in Gerry’s memory can be made to the Terry Fox Foundation.

Neil Moore

Summerside, PEI

I met Gerry for the first time at EDAC 2019 in Edmonton and I’m glad I got to spend some time with him, albeit briefly. I’ll always remember his jokes about his “new haircut” and how he approached his situation with poise, selflessness, and levity. I also remember how much he stood out at the opening reception and similar events. His height always gave him away but not as much as his warmth, his humour, and his ability to have a conversation with virtually anybody.

If I could talk to him right now, I would flatter him by saying he made such an impression on me after only a short time. Whether you spent 20 years with him or 20 minutes, you are a better person for it. Gerry was entertaining, scholarly, and just a plain cool guy.

Robert Fernandez

Gerry is remembered by many for his personality and always wanting to helping and working with people he met along the way. Gerry started his public sector career as the Economic Development Coordinator in 1997 with Parkland County before he joined Strathcona County in 2002. On behalf of everyone at Parkland County please accept our message of comfort and condolences.

Jennifer Penney

Town of Paradise, NL

Gerry was a tremendous ambassador for his community, the profession and our Association.

I will always be thankful for the encouragement he gave me as President of the Economic Developers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and how he championed our efforts at the national level. I am also honoured to have received my Fellowship during Gerry’s Presidency, and aspire to have as much dedication and positive impact in my career as Gerry had in his. He had such a positive attitude and was a natural born leader, drawing out the best in people because he always gave the best of himself.

Gerry left a huge dent in our professional network and positively influenced so many. Our world is certainly better because he was in it.

Thinking of his family, friends and many colleagues. I will miss him and his contagious smile.