ROLE: Grant, Budget and Taxation Administrator
HAILS FROM: Saskatchewan
DOWN TIME: Boating, camping
Have you always lived in the region, or did you move into the region?
I moved to the MD in 1992. I was adamant that I wasn’t raising my kids here. I was okay with the school, which went to grade three, but by the time they reached middle school, I wanted to be out of here. But here we are. My oldest is 27, and he now owns a business in town, so….
And where did you come from?
Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. It was a bit of a dying town. If you went to the beach, it was just a small beach, you were certain to have blood suckers on you when you got out. So when I moved to the MD, I was blown away. Seeing the lake for the first time was like looking at the ocean. The lake is so beautiful, and you can’t beat the summers here. I’m doing things here that I didn’t get to as a kid. I love wakeboarding and being on the water; I do that every chance I get.
How long have you worked for the MD?
Did you go to school for what you’re doing now or you’re self-taught your learning as you grow?
I have 20 years experience doing books in an oilfield company. I did the payables, the receivables, the payroll and the benefits, just on a much smaller scale. My experience is from learning on the job.
Have you worn other hats at the MD? What has it been like? Well, okay, take out the stress component. What has it been like being involved in all of these different sorts of things in the MD?
I think for a good portion of my utilities position I was able to laser focus, as you would say, and I learned how to do the meter reads. I’ve learned about people’s sewer grinder pumps and water metres and what happens when they’re leaking, and all kinds of stuff. That role was a lot of fun.
And do you think you were able to do that because there were resources in place to allow you to do that? Or do you think that that was just what made sense at that time?
I think a big part of that would be working under the Director of Utilities. She was an operator as well. She would always explain things to me. So I just tried to soak in everything I could just to learn.
I actually even took the Level one Water Wastewater Operators course to try and learn a little bit more.
That is really cool. I guess you’re seeing your career, the benefits of being mentored and…
Well, yeah. I mean, the more they mentored and educated, the better. I was able to talk to the ratepayers, and I’m on the front line, so to speak. So the more knowledge I had, the better I could answer ratepayers.
I started as an assistant, and I was very fortunate to have directors and managers who took me under their wing, showed me the ropes and helped me grow.
Have you worked in other municipal settings?
No, always private sector, so that’s been a little bit of a learning curve.
As workplaces go, how would you rank the MD and why?
Our Chief Administrative Officer, has been amazing. During the budget, when a colleague and I helped present the budget, we had the opportunity to shine a little bit. I think the CAO recognized some of that. So that’s been good for me. I enjoy being under his leadership. I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues here — both professionally and personally. I think things are just going to get better and better. We’re moving toward where we need to be.
When you’re not working, what do you spend your time doing?
We live in town, but we own a lot on the river that goes out to the mouth of the lake. We camp most weekends. We have a camper and we have a boat. That’s what we do all summer long, every chance we get. And in the winter, not too much…maybe a bit of sledding and stuff.
Do you feel that there’s further room for you to grow your career within the MD?
Yeah, I think so. I don’t know what that would look like, but I do know that if we continue to have the leadership we have, people who want to succeed and grow personally and professionally will thrive here.
What’s one of the things that you like best about working with the MD?
As strange as it sounds: the chaos, because you’re doing one thing, then you’re doing another, and you’re never bored. There’s always something to do. There’s always somewhere you can pitch in; someone you can help out with. You’re always learning.