Twelve years is a long time: time enough to make a huge and lasting mark on the organization; time enough to influence the culture of the office; time enough to leave friends who will miss you. That’s how long Laura Howes, former Deputy Director of Corporate Administration, served the people of Chetwynd in her capable and efficient manner. Laura has accepted a position with the city of Fort St. John where she will continue to serve the people of the great North East, our home in our native land.
Twice 12 plus one defines the period Jannene Disher, Deputy CAO and Director of Corporate Administration, has had to shape the way District Office does its business. During her 25 years in the Office, Jannene has demonstrated her versatility, survival skills, wisdom, and business acumen while serving five CAOs and four Mayors. I can’t comment from the CAO perspective but, as Mayor, I have benefited enormously from her many years of municipal experience. In her own special way she has guided me around many a pitfall.
While Jannene has opted to retire, with her last day in the office set for August 2, the effect she has had on corporate culture will not depart with her. Staff, Administration, Council, and Mayor will not soon stray from the path of good business practices she so consistently demonstrated. And it is not just good practice that has benefited District Government and the people of Chetwynd. Jannene acquired an enormous fund of history gleaned through approximately 7800 days of dealing with senior government bureaucracies, District staff and administration, a sometimes-ornery but mostly friendly and cooperative public, and Councils that have been known to be blind to boundaries. Sadly, this history will go with her.
Laura and Jannene cannot be replaced. We didn’t even try. But the positions they vacate have been filled with competent people who bring their own histories, their own well-developed work ethics, and their own perspectives on how the business of their offices should be conducted. The first few months on their new jobs will be filled with learning experiences for all of us.
Carol Newsom, the new Director of Corporate Administration, comes to Chetwynd with 12 years in the Legal Services branch of the City of Kamloops. Prior to Kamloops, Carol served for 10 years with the City of Williams Lake. With her 22 years of relevant experience combined with her education and commitment to life-long learning, we expect Carol to perform capably in her new office.
Deanne Ennis, a resident of Chetwynd, has accepted the position of Deputy Director of Corporate Administration. Deanne’s recent experience includes a similar position with the Village of Pouce Coupe followed by a stint as HR Recruitment Coordinator with Walter Energy’s Willow Creek and Brule mines.
Together, the new Director and Deputy Director will pick up the work on bylaws, contracts, record keeping, elections, and HR issues. We are pleased to welcome Carol and Deanne to the team.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor